Collaboration is a hallmark of higher education. Teaching and learning are collaborative by nature. Most colleges and universities collaborate with other institutions via cooperatives, consortia, coalitions, networks, and other partnerships.
The multiplier effect of institutional collaboration empowers campuses to achieve far more collectively than they could on their own. The most effective and productive collaborations leverage their combined strength to accomplish mutual objectives while retaining the flexibility to accommodate the individual needs of their participants.
Based on that combined strength, the indiCo Independent Campus Store Collaborative has built a robust support system to give higher education institutions, regardless of size or type, a range of viable new options for running their campus bookstore—whether the school prefers to manage its own store operations, entrust all operations to a partner, or adopt an innovative model that incorporates elements of both.
Given the existing options already available to campus stores, how does a collaborative add value and choice? The answer is that the indiCo collaborative blends the best of both worlds. The collaborative capitalizes on the group power of institutions to benefit store operations, yet ensures each store remains responsive to its own school’s needs and keeps more of its revenue on campus.
As a collaboration of institutions, the indiCo collaborative places its emphasis on those institutions, their stakeholders, mission, brand, and goals. These days, most colleges and universities are deeply concerned about affordability and its role in student success, yet face mounting challenges in funding. The collaborative can offer each institution expertise in assessing how well their store is meeting objectives and where there is opportunity for improvement in service and financial return.
The indiCo collaborative has the clout to secure lower pricing and better terms on merchandise and services for its institutions’ bookstores. The collaborative has similar negotiating influence when it comes to retail technologies, store design and fixturing, and other solutions but, unlike corporate entities, the aim is to develop one-of-a-kind stores in tune with their individual campus culture, values, and institutional brand. No two stores need to be the same.
Through the collaborative, the institution has access to data metrics and analytics to benchmark store performance and to determine realistic, campus-specific targets and priorities for the store.
Similar to member-owned organizations such as United Educators, which offers liability insurance and risk-management services to subscribing schools, the indiCo collaborative gives each institution the ability to have a store that fits the unique needs of its campus. Collaborative participants, while not direct owners, do share in the monies saved through the group’s purchasing negotiations, economies of scale in sourcing products and provided services, operational efficiencies, staff training and development, up-to-date retail technology solutions, nimble response to campus needs, and acute knowledge of higher education.
The indiCo Independent Campus Store Collaborative utilizes the power of cooperation and shared knowledge to help colleges and universities maximize the return on their campus stores.
To learn more, contact us.