Best Practice Projects

CRA member teams are currently working to develop, test, and share best practices in these critical business areas:

Benchmarks
Goal: Develop common and comprehensive industry benchmarks across the CRA core membership in areas such as course materials, general merchandise, and accounting, with supporting processes integrated into the VisualRATEX system to enable easy and accurate computation and use. Deployment, documentation, and training assistance will be provided to CRA member stores.

CRM
Goal:  Create the industry’s first and best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) toolkit, with supporting processes integrated into VisualRATEX. The application includes business processes to support customer data collection, campaign management, and more. CRA members will test and refine tools, share successful applications, and develop scalable campaigns including new student and family communications, buyback CRM, and other advanced marketing and customer service capabilities.

Supplier Relationship Management: EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
Goal: Refine current EDI technology and processes and extend them to develop comprehensive systems integrations with major industry suppliers who, in partnership with the CRA, can make ordering, receiving, payment, and returns faster and cheaper for member stores. The CRA already has comprehensive relationships with Ingram, NACSCORP, and Follett, and partial or pilot integrations with several other leading companies. Several new integrations will be deployed this year.

Web Store – eRATEX
Goal:  Develop the industry’s best e-commerce system using state-of-the-art tools to ensure maximum customization to campus-specific requirements. Application requirements include full integration with VisualRATEX, course materials and general merchandise flexibility, and easy site updating and management.

Digital Delivery – eBooks

Goal:  Develop a best-in-class eBook application supporting interfaces to multiple e-delivery platforms. The CRA has launched partnerships with CourseSmart and CaféScribe to offer the industry’s best terms and processes to CRA member stores.  Tools to facilitate eBook adoption and sales are being incorporated into the new e-RATEX web store.

Members: Click here to access proprietary project details

Exclusive Content and Tools for Members of the CRA [Helen, what should we do with this?]

In the Members Only section, CRA members can:

  • Learn comprehensive proprietary details on all programs, including viewing store agreements;
  • Share and access the best ideas from college store peers;
  • Locate others interested in partnering on common initiatives;
  • View white papers analyzing projects and partnerships.

Join the CRA