SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 21, 2013) - Rafter™, the leader in course materials management, today announced a broad set of new capabilities to its Rafter Platform™. The platform empowers schools to adopt a diverse set of educational content on campus and deliver the content across physical, digital and mobile channels, lowering the cost of that content for their students. The Rafter Platform powers more than 300 schools, and has so far saved students upwards of $300 million in cash and financial aid.
"Until now, schools have had only two options for delivering course materials on campus; manage the entire process independently, taking on significant risk and complexity, or outsource course materials operations to a third party book company, limiting choice and quality of service to faculty and students," said Mehdi Maghsoodnia, CEO of Rafter. "Rafter provides a way for schools to maintain academic choice, deliver a diversity of content across multiple platforms, and lower the cost of that content for students."
Major Service Updates to the Rafter Platform
Rafter Adopt™, Rafter Supply™, and major enhancements to Rafter EasyRent™ ease long standing operational challenges that lead to bloated costs for educational content, and help institutions manage the transition from physical to digital educational content. The new capabilities strengthen Rafter's open technology platform, help schools achieve an economy of scale, and deliver better service to their faculty and students.
Rafter EasyRent™: Simple, Centralized Support for Broad Selection and Lower Prices
Rental is the fastest growing textbook category, and EasyRent now allows college bookstores to seamlessly integrate to any wholesaler rebate programs through the Rafter Platform. This gives schools the ability to offer wider selection and lower prices for education content, while providing them with one simple management flow and customer experience for their students.
"We've witnessed firsthand how complex and rife with inefficiencies the textbook supply chain is, and the resulting higher costs all too often fall on the shoulders of our students -- those that can least afford them," said James Kielty, CFO for University Cooperative Society at the University of Texas at Austin. "Rafter allows us to aggregate all parties on a single platform and remove the roadblocks standing in the way of bringing our students the most affordable educational materials. We've already saved our students more than $3.7 million using Rafter. These new product updates will only help us build on that total."
For more information on Rafter EasyRent™, visit http://www.rafter.com/get/annc_easyrent.pdf
Rafter Supply™: An Open, Cloud-Based Supply Source to Increase Competition, Lower Prices
Schools manage a complex process of bringing diverse education content to campus through an antiquated supply chain that provides little transparency or analysis on pricing or availability of content. This results in a diminished level of service to students. Rafter provides schools with technology and services to help them tap into a broad supply chain that provides transparent information and facilitates competition among suppliers, resulting in lower prices and better selection.
To address issues of supply on campus, Rafter is first opening a vital new source of used books to schools by allowing college stores to re-purchase textbook rental returns. Textbook rental returns are quickly surpassing buyback as the richest supply of used books, the lifeblood of the still-thriving physical textbook market. Throughout 2013, Rafter will extend its existing supply chain, which includes more than 14 million titles and 150 suppliers, directly to schools that run on Rafter so that college stores can source course materials from other bookstores, wholesalers, distributors and publishers at lower costs.
For more information on Rafter Supply™, visit http://www.rafter.com/get/annc_supply.pdf
While greatly overlooked, the largely manual process of collecting adoption information from educators makes it hard for schools to acquire a wide selection of affordable materials for their students. Rafter Adopt helps educators more easily adopt educational content, lowering the cost of course materials and helping schools run more efficiently.
"For the first time ever, I've actually received emails from my faculty telling me how much they love using Rafter for course adoptions and how easy it is for them to understand," said Kerry Kirk, bookstore director at Everett Community College.
For more information on Rafter Adopt™, visit http://www.rafter.com/get/annc_adopt.pdf
Rafter provides a cloud-based platform to help colleges and universities make educational content more affordable, effective, and accessible. The company is revolutionizing the way students and schools find, source, and manage course materials -- the second largest educational cost behind tuition -- with more than 300 colleges and universities already running on Rafter and saving students more than $300 million in cash and financial aid. By delivering superior service to students and educators, schools on Rafter are increasing graduation rates, differentiating their offerings, and elevating their overall quality of education. Rafter also operates BookRenter.com, a destination site for students to rent textbooks at up to 80 percent off the retail price. Rafter is a venture-backed, privately held company headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. To learn more, visit www.rafter.com