In one of our marketplaces (newsagents) we serve 1,300 small business owners with vertical market software. On their behalf we deal with their suppliers (pubishers like News Corporation and Fairfax) on maintaining interfaces between small business systems and the supplier systems.

It’s a lopsided relationship with the small business owners being required to provide data on time and to a strict quality while the suppliers refuse to engage in discussion about providing accounting data electronically so that small business can save time.

By my reckoning newsagents, 4,600 of them nationally, could save at least 10,000 manhours a week. That’s worth A$10 million in a year. We’re about to make our case again and while it has nothing to do with developing software, we feel an obligation given that we understand how easy it is to implement the type of EDI solution which can fix this.

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