As much of Xchangeit is here at the conference, it been a good chance for me to meet them again. In their talk they claim that from all the sales data they are getting only 3% is accurate. A horrifying figure if you think about it. So in a room full of fifty (50) newsagents that means only one is giving them accurate sales data. Later in the talk, I was pleased to discover that in that room, one had already been checked and confirmed as having good sales data. It was one of my users.
Still to overcome this problem they want to start reassessing the quality of the sales data. But before they can do this we have problems to work out. So we are going to meet again. For example the M category of magazines. These are magazines that are due for return but are not on the return form. These M were once on the specifications but later dropped. We disagree with the decision to drop them. GG accept M class magazines but Network do not. It is needed and should be there. Another example is that sometimes sales data comes late though no fault of the newsagent which resulting in them getting a bad score on timelessness. If people are going to be rewarded for accurate sales data, these issues need to be addressed.
These in the overall scheme are small issues although they do need to be worked out. Xchangeit now clearly have a few exciting projects. These they stressed are purely voluntary. If you do not want to send sales data, you do not have too. If you want to run a DOS system, you can still run with it. But you may not be allowed to grow with the other projects like the online returns. Certainly no one is planning to dump people and leave on their own. As one said “Why should otherwise happy business owners be forced to change against their wills at their own cost”?
However to do these projects, they are releasing soon a new version of the software. So the immediate problem is that it needs windows 2000 as a minimum. There are still some people with windows 98. Soon Xchangeit will not run on these machines. The next problem is our software will need to be changed to handle the new sales data formats.