Client success story – National Association of College Stores
This month’s success story is an example of how Organizational Architecture assisted its client with the launch of a new business unit by providing HR best practices in a retail environment.
The National Association of College Stores [NACS] is a not-for-profit trade association representing the $10 billion campus retailing industry. NACS represents more than 4,000 stores serving colleges, universities, and K-12 schools in the United States, Canada, and around the world; along with more than 1,000 companies supplying goods and services to campus stores. NACS members also include higher education professionals, organizations, associations, and others interested in the industry’s vitality.
NACS is headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio, with branch offices in Westlake, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; and Irvine, California.
NACS recently launched a new initiative through its indiCo subsidiary to provide operational and management solutions to independent campus stores at colleges and universities across North America. While they had provided consulting to college bookstores in the past, this new endeavor included services involving direct management of college stores. They were already connected with Organizational Architecture through their employee benefits advisor who was aware of the deep experience we had with retail HR systems.
Frank Sulen, Chief Financial Officer, said:
We were connected with Organizational Architecture through a trusted advisor who knew of their experience with retail and multi-unit organizations. Not only has OA provided consulting services to retailers, they have actually worked in management positions with several large retail organizations.
We needed help modifying our current HR processes, which were developed to support an organization with a few locations and many people in each location, allowing our HR department to support them in a direct, face-to-face fashion. We needed help leveraging our current processes to a widely distributed model.
OA started by conducting a review of all of our current HR practices, and made recommendations on how to modify them to serve retail organizations. Then, they developed an extensive collaboration checklist to assist us before, during, and after the process to convert stores from school management to ours. They worked with us each step of the way to ensure that when our first college store management collaboration commenced, we could foresee any last-minute issues and develop good processes to use on subsequent collaborations. They worked closely with both our HR department and store operations team to make our new endeavor a success.
Besides retailers, there are many industries that share the same aspects of being multi-unit organizations with distributed workforces that rely on the strength of systems that work remotely and with limited staffing. One of our core competencies at OA is providing this assistance to our clients based on working with First Federal Lakewood, Pearle Vision, Things Remembered, Citi Trends, OfficeMax, and others.