"We’ve got some of the best minds in the business in the CRA. Being able to collaborate, to strategize and put together a vision together, to form partnerships and be a part of the new world is essential.”
- Todd Summer, San Diego State University

Deploy the Best Practices in College Retailing

Even the largest independent college stores have difficulty reaching a minimum scale of efficiency as stand-alone entities. The challenge becomes even more daunting as the industry’s pace of transition into new products and processes accelerates.

CRA members have joined together as a business alliance to discover and deploy best practices, leverage the opportunity to integrate their approaches, and combine their strength to become a formidable market force.

Current Best Practices Projects


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.

Print on Demand: Working with NACS Media Solutions

Goal: Cooperate with NACS-NMS and other channel partners (publishers, print equipment manufacturers and print services vendors) to develop, pilot, document and scale a viable business model.  This initiative includes two components.  The first includes NACS NMS' partnership with others to develop a robust digital library management system. The second includes access and printing capabilities from a central e-library repository using any “certified” device.

Technical Investments

Goal: Partner with CRA-RBS professional leadership to develop a plan for generating new annual resources of $1,000,000 or more per year to invest in technology development that enhances the competitive position of CRA member stores and RATEX users.  This initial plan will be enhanced and extended in succeeding years





Exclusive Content and Tools for Members of the CRA

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 partnerships on common initiatives;
  • View white papers analyzing projects and partnerships.

Join the CRA