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Clarity Consulting Helps Follett Higher Education Group Redefine Retail Experience With CourseTracks(TM)

CHICAGO, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Clarity Consulting Inc. today announced the full deployment of the new CourseTracks(TM) course materials management system for Follett Higher Education Group, part of Follett Corporation -- the country's largest provider of educational tools and services and the industry's premier wholesale book distributor.

CHICAGO, June 24 /PRNewswire/ — Clarity Consulting Inc. today announced the full deployment of the new CourseTracks(TM) course materials management system for Follett Higher Education Group, part of Follett Corporation — the country's largest provider of educational tools and services and the industry's premier wholesale book distributor.

CourseTracks is a unique solution that redefines the bookstore experience from the inside out: delivering cost savings and improved productivity while simultaneously enhancing the consumer experience at more than 800 college bookstores operated by the Follett Higher Education Group.

Working with Follett's business and technology teams, Clarity built CourseTracks to support a diverse range of new and existing bookstore management functions including inventory tracking, ordering, and receiving, in-store book buyback, and data and system connectivity. Leveraging Microsoft technologies including Visual Studio .NET, SQL Server, Crystal Reports and a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Course Tracks' framework and infrastructure integrates seamlessly with Follett's existing platforms to create a centralized information system connecting Follett's stores and Home Office.

"Follett is singularly focused on helping our customers realize the full potential of higher education, and leveraging cutting-edge technology is a critical part of the equation," said Doug Thompson, Sr. Vice President, Information Technology, Follett Higher Education Group. "Working with Clarity Consulting, we've been able to create solutions I am confident will drive business and brand benefits as well as core productivity and cost savings. Collaborating with Clarity on CourseTracks has been a phenomenal experience. Their process and professionalism has allowed us to consider and, where appropriate, redefine the bookstore experience."

In-store, CourseTracks uses a SmartClient model to help employees track and synchronize data such as campus course offerings and associated textbook needs, textbook inventory levels, purchase orders, receiving information, and student buyback transactions. The system automates many functions, which gives employees more time to spend on the sales floor focusing on customer service. In addition, the in-store application features a more intuitive, icon-based user interface that helps reduce training time for new employees.

At the home office, CourseTracks provides greater visibility and control. The customized store-to-office architecture allows Follett to maintain "perpetual inventory mode" — processing up to 2.8 million records on an average day and providing up-to-the-minute information on which books are in-stock or out, where they're located, and what's "hot" vs. not. All of which helps improve management efficiency, pricing, and trending insight, which in turn saves time and money.

And for Follett's customers — predominantly college students — the CourseTracks solution makes it easier to find what they're looking for, faster.

"Clarity believes there is a huge opportunity for retailers to not only improve operations but differentiate their brand through smart technology," said Don Peterson, Principal, Clarity Consulting. "Savvy partners like Follett have recognized this early and we're thrilled to have supported them in the creation of CourseTracks. We believe CourseTracks is a great example of the value of custom software as a practical and strategic business tool."

About Clarity Consulting Inc.

Clarity Consulting Inc. designs, develops, and implements custom software solutions to help clients achieve their unique visions and drive business results. Clarity's versatile and talented consulting teams specialize in experience design, application development, business intelligence, legacy integration and e-commerce websites for a range of clients, from retail and manufacturing industries to financial institutions. Clarity Consulting Inc. is based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. For more information about our company, our people, and our solutions, please visit http://www.claritycon.com.

About Follett Higher Education Group

Follett Higher Education Group of Oak Brook, IL, is the leading provider of bookstore services and the foremost supplier of used books in North America. Follett services four million students and over 375,000 faculty through more than 800 stores. Follett also services more than 1,600 independent campus stores with its wholesale services, and has the most visited e-commerce collegiate Web site, efollett.com, that provides services and products through a network of more than 900 campus stores. For additional information about Follett, please visit http://www.fheg.follett.com.

SOURCE Clarity Consulting Inc.

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