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indiCo LLC is a dedicated, centralized source of business support for higher education institutions and their affiliated college stores, offering valuable research and insights, advanced retail merchandising programs, support for next-generation academic content models, consulting services, counsel to higher education administrators, and leadership on the issues that are critical to the success of independent institutional stores.

  1. Create touch points with campus administration to promote the contribution and value of the independent store on each respective campus.

    The purpose of this initiative is to provide store managers with a presentation template that enables them to confidently, and more frequently, share information about the health of the store, its contribution and value to campus, how it benchmarks to industry and retail metrics, and what trends the store is experiencing.

    A secondary objective is to share this template with auxiliary-level administrators, providing them with support and encouragement to make these store presentations to the Chief Business Officer. 

  2. Establish a cross-organizational task force for proactive actions that create and deliver common messages that promote the value of the independent college store, specifically targeting large commercial enterprises serving the channel; and with particular emphasis on seeking commercial opportunities for independent stores.

    The purpose of this initiative is to establish a consistent protocol and point of contact for key trading partners to explore new business models with the independent institutional store. The participating organizations include NACS, indiCo, the Independent College Bookstore Association, the Collegiate Retail Alliance, and Canadian Campus Retail Associates. 

  3. Develop specifications for stores to export relevant data to a common data warehouse; and create that database.

    This collaboration builds the necessary foundation to begin the collection and aggregation of store transactional data. This includes finalizing work on a standardized class code hierarchy, establishing a plan to maintain it, and developing an implementation strategy that incorporates support and cooperation from the system providers serving independent stores.

  4. Utilize data, within the common data warehouse, to help stores build better business intelligence.

    Building upon a platform established by the Collegiate Retail Alliance, indiCo will work collaboratively with the CRA and the ICBA to further develop and refine business intelligence tools and data dashboards that will give independent stores the ability to access meaningful data for benchmarking, trend analysis, and data-based decisions. 

  5. Develop a dynamic online portal that provides independent institutional stores with a central connection point to access information, product and technology demonstrations, and implementation strategies of next-generation, technology-based business solutions and content models.

    This initiative envisions creating a principal point of access for stores to learn about, plan for, and implement new technology-based business solutions.