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The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ten Things Stores Can Do

With the ICBA meeting just past us, and CAMEX just a couple weeks away, I thought now might be a good time to highlight Jeff Nelson's recommendations for "Ten Things Stores Can Do To Drive the Course Materials Future." The list originally appeared on the ICBA blog a few months ago, and I have been meaning to blog on it for a while. Across the documents I have seen Jeff produce, I continually admire much his careful thinking and way of capturing ideas in a parsimoneous way -- while still hitting the important stuff.  The full essay is worth the read. 
Here is the original introduction:
Those without the experience of working outside the institution can easily overlook the established advantages we can capitalize upon, campus services that can be enhanced, and value-added strengths that can be built upon. The basics include offering convenience and customer service, facilitating communication with faculty and students, collaborating with strategic partners, managing consolidated transactions, and controlling costs.
While offering valued services to faculty, students, administrators, and other course material stakeholders proves competency, capability, and credibility, this is not enough. To ensure a position of strength for the course materials future, collegiate retailers must consider forward thinking strategies and be open to new ways of thinking. The list that follows represents contemporary actions that can be taken to drive the future of course materials.
Here is the list:
     1. Think & Read Strategically.
     2. Pursue Digital Options.
     3. Pursue Textbook Affordability Initiatives.  
     4. Engage Actively with Higher Ed.
     5. Seek Collaborative Opportunities.
     6. Consider Alternative Success Measures.
     7. Seek Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty
     8. Track Market Share Not Just Top Line Revenue.
     9. Don't Be Afraid to Act Decisively.
     10. BE Your Future.

This is a great list, with even better content to go with it.  The full essay should be required reading for most stores.  #10 really sums the others up though.  There are basic business practices we should be engaged in because they are the right thing to do -- both as mission-driven organizations, and business managers concerned with providing value to our stakeholders -- starting with students and faculty.

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