The XchangeIT EDI standards are vitally important to newsagents and the magazine distributors. Meeting the standards helps maintain operating costs, ensures credits are paid for unsold stock and provides a basis for a structured approach to a key part of the business.
Newsagents using our newsagency software are supported in meeting the XchangeIT standards through regular professional training, like our magazine Management workshop next week,a suite of professional advice sheets (available from our website), the most comprehensive compliance document published by a software company for newsagents and our summary 9 Point Action Plan for XchangeIT Compliance.
Together, these elements combine to help the 1,700+ newsagents in the Tower Newsagent community collectively and individually achieve and maintain commercially valuable compliance.
To demonstrate one of our points of difference, here is the 9 Point Action Plan for XchangeIT Compliance. This plan is backed by more documentation and support.
- Always use the latest version of Tower Systems’ Software. Only the latest Version of the Tower Systems software is deemed to be compliant. The most recent major release of Retailer is 2.2.5C, if you are not running this version please contact Tower Systems for a version to be sent to you.
- Ensure XchangeIT is correctly configured. This is imperative as XchangeIT is the mechanism for the file transfers. If this is not configured correctly then you cannot be compliant, regardless of your data management techniques. To check that your system is configured correctly, see Advice Sheet N3.1 Setting Up XchangeIT.
- Receive your Magazine Stock through Invoice Arrivals. You must receive all stock you sell in your business. Use EDI invoices as this the only way to maintain data accuracy.
- Use issue Specific Barcodes. You MUST use a different barcode for each issue. It is recommended that you use the FULL magazine barcode including the addenda. The addenda is the 2 digit barcode that appears on the end normal magazine barcodes, this code identifies each issue. This should be used in conjunction with Code 128 Barcodes which will re-produce the magazines barcode on the label making scanning much more accurate. Please see Advice Sheet N3.3 EDI: Code-128 Barcodes.
- Implement MPA Categories. The MPA (Magazine Publishers Association of Australia) has created industry standard magazine categories and segments. This allows all magazines to be allocated the correct categories and segments making management easier. Please see advice sheet N9 MPA Categories for instruction. Once you have done this you don’t have to do it again.
- Labelling Stock Items. You should label about 95%-98% of your stock items. This makes the process of removing Magazines at return time easier. When labelling, place the labels in a consistent position so magazines are easy to find at returns time. We recommend you place the label in the top left hand corner of each magazine, just under the masthead. If your magazines are not labelled there is a significant chance the item will be returned too late and credits will be missed. The only exception to this is very high volume weeklies and monthlies.
- Scan everything you sell. Do not use department sales for any product sales. Department key sales stop the system being able to collate accurate sales files. Department key sales are ONLY acceptable for some service items like Lotteries. You should ALWAYS scan your label if it exists on the product rather than the product barcode. This is a good habit as the label is definitely linked to the correct arrival. Stock item Hot Keys are OK to be used as long as you are selling the correct issue. If not then you should scan the barcode.
- Complete an end of shift every day. Performing this process for all terminals ensures that the EDI sales files for that day are created.
- Process ALL your returns through the returns scanning screen. This maintains your stock levels and is much quicker than filling in manual forms. You should also scan all subagent returns in this screen Subagent returns scanned in this screen will be credited in the earliest open week (i.e. a week in which the subagent billing is yet to be performed). This also ensures correct issues are returned for your subagents and shop and returns data is created accurately.
Once you have the processes down it is easy to maintain a compliant system.
Tower Systems does not charge extra to help newsagents with XchangeIT. The training, advice and support for XchangeIT is provided as part of the regular Tower support service. Access to XchangeIT in our software continues regardless of whether a newsagent pays their annual software support fee. We do not remove XchangeIT access in an effort to force a newsagent to maintain the Tower support … another Tower Systems difference.