Two weeks ago Tower Systems became aware of a problem for newsagents using software from another newsagency software company (not Tower) as a result of its handling of price correction advice from a specific magazine distributor.

Our understanding is that it is only users of this other software package (not Tower) affected. The result is newsagents using this other software fail part of the industry data standard compliance criteria which is assessed continuously.

With users of only one software company affected, it appears that software company needs to modify its software to behave as all other newsagency software products do.

On hearing of the problem we went back to the IT standard. We think we can see how our competitor may have not fully embraced the standard and if so this could explain the situation they find themselves in today.

Newsagents are asking questions about responsibility for the problem and how they can claw back failures which they say are no fault of their own. The compliance rules are such that gifting them compliance when they did not comply could create challenges for the suppliers involved.

All this matters for newsagents as compliance is a key factor in lucrative newsagency of the year awards. The compliance failure denies affected stores points and points are the currency of consideration for the awards.

Our approach to industry standards is to encourage suppliers and software companies to all meet at the same time in the same place to discuss and agree on a common goal. Unfortunately others don’t agree with this, they prefer to meet alone with supplier representatives. Their disagreement leads to situations whereby different software companies can have different take aways from these private discussions. This is not good for industry standards.

Update: since we published this post earlier today, another software company has written and published material which appears to be related to this topic, information which is, in our opinion, misleading.