XchangeIT is a digital platform that enables newsagents to get electronic invoices for publications, among other things. It saves considerable time and work. Today businesses are seeking ways to optimise their processes and boost efficiency. Thus many have resorted to XchangeIT services to streamline their operations. Although widely used, XchangeIT has some vocal critics. In this post, I will explore my personal views on some of their comments.
The most significant advantage of using XchangeIT services is the time it saves people that sell magazines. To manually enter the information is very time-consuming. With XchangeIT services, they can automatically send you and receive your electronic data, freeing up valuable time for other tasks. It is a significant time saver for sellers of magazines.
Easy to use
XchangeIT services are straightforward to use. It does not need tech-savvy people to work it. The system is user-friendly and requires minimal work once set up. Other solutions tried, such as OCR, were much more complex.
On balance, XchangeIT's services have been reliable. The platform seldom experiences downtime, although some significant problems have happened. Users can rely on the platform to receive their invoices on time.
Quality of data given by XchangeIT
The next common issue about XchangeIT is data quality by users. Bad data can result in them having to spend time manually rectifying these inaccuracies. The errors are mainly caused by the publishers, not XchangeIT's service. Still, it would be nice if XchangeIT introduced a better service to filter the publishers' data and flag them for errors. Our software includes such a service but can only aid so much. Ultimately, it is up to the publishers to improve the integrity of their data.
There is a cost for such services; someone must pay for it. The most controversial issue with XchangeIT services is the cost is primarily to the user. The user must pay to use this service. That the user must pay for this service has been disputed for many years. So why do newsagents have to pay for electronic invoices? The primary explanation is that this is how XchangeIT has operated for decades.
In my experience, only some retail sectors have such services where they exist; such services do not charge SMB retailers for using their services. Generally, suppliers often provide these services to gain customers' favour in competitive industries. Overall the accessibility of electronic invoicing isn't widespread in retail. But here, XchangeIT is a monopoly service. It is the only provider of electronic invoicing services for magazines to newsagents in Australia. If they want the info, they have no alternative but to use it to receive electronic bills and send return data for publications. The question raised here, which I don't know, is others, such as supermarkets being charged for this info; I suspect NO. This leads us to the next question raised so commonly with monopolies!
The fees themselves are not exorbitant, a regular client of ours spends about $10/week, and for the service, it is well worth it. See the fee structure below with the regular charge highlighted. This cost is a reasonable expense for a user for what it is.
Yet the issue of whether the fees are fair is another point. While XchangeIT financials are not available to the public, the former general manager's report of XchangeIT states its EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) is around 19%
This is an excellent score for a service claimed to be a service to the industry.
The other point is that for what it is, it does not seem to be such a complex task. I am sure my programmers can create a similar system to send user invoices at a lower price.
No wonder there are complaints that XchangeIT's services are exorbitantly priced.
This complaint, I doubt, is valid that the fees are unreasonably going up. In the last five (5) years, the increase has been about 5%; this works out to about 1% yearly, much less than inflation.
Users supply Sales Data for free.
The claim that our clients give sales data to XchangeIT free is false. XchangeIT pays newsagents who give good data $500 annually for their data. See the table of costs above. By the way, it was only due to our concerns and arguments many years ago that newsagents got this $500. It was not part of the original plan. We had to go to the top to get it. At the meeting, no one else but us showed up to represent newsagents.
XchangeIT is a good service, well worth using. The costs are reasonable; I leave it to you to decide whether they are fair.
> XchangeIT is a digital platform for newsagents to get electronic invoices for publications and improve their operations.
> It saves time and effort for newsagents by automatically processing information.
> It is easy to use and reliable, with little technological difficulties.
>The cost to use this service has been disputed for many years, as users must pay.
>Data quality concerns exist.
>XchangeIt should strengthen its filtering system to improve data quality.
> It is a monopoly service that is highly profitable. This always rings warning bells with the public.
> The fees are affordable, and the rate of increase has been below inflation in the last five years.
> Clients are not obliged to supply sales data and are paid $500 yearly if they choose to provide it.