With almost no warning and no discussion that I know about and I am sure if there was some discussion, I would know, Gordon and Gotch have decided to change their supplier codes. From what we can see 10000 has been added in front of the current code so for example, a product that has a code of 66624 like 4-WHEEL here.
This will change on the 13th Feb to 1000066624 but we cannot say with certainty yet whether this is always true of all products. It is one of the many questions we are trying to establish.
The reason for this change is that Gordon and Gotch need more codes as they are running out of unused codes. It may also suggest that Gordon and Gotch are thinking of introducing a lot more product range so need a lot more codes.
The problem here is that a change of product code indicates to the computer that it is a new item. If say you are processing magazines on the 12th Feb for the next day, your system will have here 66624. The invoice will have 1000066624 so you could create very quickly create a new stock item in your system for a product you already have. So we strongly suggest that you do not invoice in advance after the 12th Jan until the 13th Jan. This will, unfortunately, muck up many people processing procedures.
Similarly, if you are doing returns on the 12th Feb, your system will have 66624, if you then submit it on the 13th Feb your claim will be rejected as Gordon and Gotch will only accept the new code. So again we suggest that if possible do your returns on the 12th Jan.
One point is clear for quite a while after the 13th Feb many people are going to have a lot of trouble over all of this. We will certainly be hearing of this for months.
We are currently looking into making a set of procedures for our clients. I know many of them after they process their magazine on the 12th of Feb are going to be ringing us up.
All this could have been avoided if Gordon and Gotch had notified us and given us enough warning. Some patches could have been sent down to our clients, and they probably would not even have known of this problem.
It is interesting to speculate what the costs of this so-called *minor* change will be to the magazine sellers industry as a first level approximation. Let us assume that an average seller has two people working part-time on magazines invoicing and returns, typically one to two weeks a month of work processing. Over the next few months, I am sure we could say at least an extra week of work here plus there is going to be problems so many of them are going to have to ring up for support. That takes time too, and it is not like these people do not have things to do than this. Plus if people do not have a computer software agreement they need to go every Gordon and Gotch product and add 10000 in front of every code. If you consider that most magazine sellers have about 15,000 such products, assuming one person does two a minute we are looking at 125 hours, about three to four weeks and that is solid hard work. There are extras on top but as a first level approximation say about $1,000 to $5,000 a shop.
Now according to the Wikipedia here there are 3,150 newsagencies. You could easily double that figure as many substantial sellers of magazines are not newsagents, so say 6,000 shops x $3,000 (average loss a shop) = $18 million dollars lost in total waste. Just in labour, but there will be more costs I am sure.
Then, of course, there is point of sale providers like me, I have spent days over this as have our programmers and support staff it is not like we do not have other things to do either.
Is it any wonder why the industry is upset!