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Newsagent frustration at Network Services invoice changes

Mark Fletcher
February 27th, 2014 · 36 Comments

networkdeliveryFollowing off-topic comments here about recent EDI changed by magazine distributor Network Services, as promised I am opening a post here so newsagents can comment and through this provide feedback to Network.

This week, Network released EDI changes including the following (I have pulled this info from correspondence from Network – the image is the explanation sheet the provided):

No more multiple invoice numbers (Except for reorders sometimes)

No more pains for customers reconciling statements

Cleaner delivery documents

Changes in SA, WA, TAS and NT from 24th February delivery

  • The number of Statement Reference Numbers in the delivery will be substantially reduced.  However, it’s possible that a bundle may contain products charged on multiple Statement Reference Numbers.
  • Stores will receive an Outlet Summary with their delivery, which is the key document to enable reconciliation to the monthly statement, as it groups titles by Statement Reference Numbers, and also identifies the bundle each title was packed in.
  • DD2 file will remain sequenced in Statement Reference Number order, rather than physical packing order (as per above).

Network, through Netonline, can give newsagents something closer to the EDI experience they are used to. This is called the EDI late File option. Here is information from network again:

File creation begins at 6pm (Sydney time) the night before delivery, the file will then be available to you between 6.30pm and 9.00pm (Sydney Time)Quantities will match the quantities packed at the warehouse

The order of the titles in the delivery file WILL CLOSELY MATCH the order of your deliveries’ physical packing.

This is a new option that aims to streamline the process of physically receiving a delivery through closely matching the order of your POS labels to the order your stock is packed in.

While Network is big enough to defend itself, I’d note that back office magazine distribution software is a large and complex beast. Bending it to serve even the simplest change is expensive and challenging. Adjusting the software to serve newsagents is complicated by many voices seeking different changes.

8 likes

Category: magazine distribution · XchangeIT

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Garry // Feb 27, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    Is this the reason for the delay in uploading files. Supposed to be uploaded 6pm 26th Feb. Now 7am 27th Feb and no Network EDI XchangeIT files.

    1 likes

  • 2 MAX // Feb 27, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Garry,
    Mine were here when I got to work just after 4am

    1 likes

  • 3 DM // Feb 27, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Gary,
    Mine arrived at 6.15 last night

    0 likes

  • 4 Mark // Feb 27, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    The problem that we have in NQ is that we are being invoiced for items that are not being delivered because they have an on-sale date later than the stock that they are being invoiced with.

    We were invoiced for OK Magazine today but will not receive it until Monday. We are charging our subagents for it today but they are not receiving it until Monday. This will confuse everyone.

    Previously it was on a separate invoice so we were able to not process the invoice until we received the stock.

    0 likes

  • 5 Chris // Feb 27, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    Only received 5 labels out of about 100! Tryed to resend via netonline this morning but that did not work. Big issues as no subagent has been charged yet and I am selling the AWW without labels so that my figures will be out on my sales history. Looking forward to a few hours on the phone this morning.

    0 likes

  • 6 Jenny // Feb 27, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Still no NDC files, is this just us or are others still having the same problem?

    1 likes

  • 7 Brett // Feb 27, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Love the idea, hate the implementation.

    The communication with us was poor and the kicker is that the magazines were all over the place. It still takes 4 times longer to sticker Network than GG.

    1 likes

  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Feb 27, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    XchangeIT has confirmed there is a delay to all NSW files for today. As of right now it’s not resolved.

    1 likes

  • 9 MAX // Feb 27, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Mark,
    I’m in NSW and my files were ok.
    I must be lucky sometimes.

    0 likes

  • 10 Jenny // Feb 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Could be worse, imagine if this happened with GG, all those overseas magsazines!

    Memories of manually stickering every magazine with company, return week and retail price, plus colouring the top with a highlighter, how would we cope doing that today:)

    0 likes

  • 11 Mark Fletcher // Feb 27, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Headline just now from XchangeIT: Network Services are currently experiencing issues with delivery files to NSW customers. The issue has been escalated to the IT department as a high priority and we endeavour to have the issue resolved as soon as possible.

    0 likes

  • 12 Chris // Feb 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    The issue should have been escalated and fixed before it went out!

    0 likes

  • 13 Peter // Feb 27, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    On hold for Network this morning I got told by their recorded Voices, 1. “Australia’s Leading Distributor of Quality Publications” AND 2. “4 out of 5 calls are answered within 3 minutes”. Brilliant at Lies that what network is.

    0 likes

  • 14 Bill W // Feb 27, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Typical NDC to add complexity to a process and provide no benefit to the retailer.
    ◾”The number of Statement Reference Numbers in the delivery will be substantially reduced” – Good for them little benefit to us.

    “However, it’s possible that a bundle may contain products charged on multiple Statement Reference Numbers.” – How do to we easily reconcile this. Today I received 2 Lovett’s titles and a Fishing DVD with extended terms on three “dispatch #” meaning different invoices, but with one NDC reference number. Other items where also on each of the dispatch # with no extended terms.

    ◾”Stores will receive an Outlet Summary with their delivery, which is the key document to enable reconciliation to the monthly statement, as it groups titles by Statement Reference Numbers, and also identifies the bundle each title was packed in.” – Given there are no costs on the outlet summary, we will need a calculator to work out the cost of items charged to each NDC reference number.

    Tip no.1 if you print your labels in arrival order you will be looking for needles in a haystack.
    Tip no.2 – if you print labels in alphabetical order, don’t expect the label to match the invoice description. You need to tick the “use EDI description” under supplier/ edi.

    What a joke. Monthly statements may be shorter but you will need a calculator to work out what is charged to where.

    0 likes

  • 15 Bill W // Feb 27, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Following on from the above, today’s outlet summary contained 8 NDC reference numbers. 14 “Keys” = parcels with an invoice/ dispatch# and 1 bulk.

    The main NDC ref no. has 10 invoice/ dispatch#’s associated with it, containing 40 different titles.

    The 10 invoice/ dispatch#’s on this one ref no. also contain titles which relate to other NDC ref #’s

    If our statement comes through with ref no. 123, value $2,000, how much time is going to be need to reconcile this?

    If the statement comes through and list titles in the same way as it lists credits, you will need to check off each line of every invoice against each ref no. Again how much time will this add to the process.
    “Profits not paperwork” – really?

    0 likes

  • 16 BrettS // Feb 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Still no Invoices what a joke.

    1 likes

  • 17 Mark Fletcher // Feb 27, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Update from network @ 12:22pm: Just a quick update on the current situation with missing DD2 files on NSW.

    We have created the files manually, we will be running a check on all of them and hope to upload to XIT in about an hour. I will let you know the moment files have been despatched, but for now we need to run checks to ensure they are all OK before sending them out.

    0 likes

  • 18 Brett // Feb 27, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Mark,

    Do we need to change any Tower setting?

    1 likes

  • 19 Mark Fletcher // Feb 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Update from Network: The files have now hit XIT.

    0 likes

  • 20 June // Feb 27, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Labels thru xchangeit for GG fine. Undo the parcel find the beginning item on the invoice and all the rest follow.
    This morning Network was a nightmare.
    We couldn’t match up not 1 invoice out of
    the whole morning so we were left hunting for labels over 10 sheets instead
    of finding the first item and the rest followed.
    Who changed this and how do we get the
    system to have the labels following the invoice EXACTLY?

    3 likes

  • 21 bAZ // Feb 27, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I have been wishing for this for a while. It takes me seconds to identify Gotch and then it was ages to go thru the Network…duplication invoices etc. Today I checked of and downloaded in a 1/4 of the time. Very happy…now if I could only get my backup down to a couple of minutes instead of 10….

    1 likes

  • 22 Mark Fletcher // Feb 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Do your backup to the cloud.

    0 likes

  • 23 John Fitzpatrick // Feb 27, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Mark,

    I accept the retail store is different to a Distribution business, BUT we have no issues with the new Network via XIT files.

    In fact I think it’s easier to manage, one file multiply titles – and the delivery docket for verifying bulks is perfect.

    Now before anyone thinks we are a small account for Network – our spend is up to $15k per month.

    I would ask the question why do you need to print labels? They already come with a barcode (these are much better than the early days), OK it gives a return date but the overhead in labour must be many hours per month.

    Why sticker everything? A monthly is a monthly? Maybe just the oneshots and specials?

    Now I know people will say – he has no idea! but we do place Network mags into two Newsagencies and four supermarkets, we effectively work without labels – NOTHING IS STICKERED!

    My real point is …. look at what and why you are doing something, just maybe there’s a another way.

    Don’t do it because that’s how it’s always been done.

    John

    0 likes

  • 24 n // Feb 28, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    I’m sorry, what was wrong with the old system, one bundle = 1 edi file. When I received my statement I matched it to the invoices in my system, simple, takes 10 minutes. This new system is diabolical and I can only see it being more efficient for Network and more complicated for the Newsagent. The huge file is much harder to manage and I can see no benefit when it comes to reconciling statements. The extra time it now takes us to find all the bundles that belong to that massive edi file, check allocations for our subagents and match individual stickers to the bundles is outrageous. When I rang them I was told to print out the Outlet Summary and it would all become clear, joke, useless piece of paper. I was told it will print in the order it is packed, what does that mean, mine did not print in any order at all? I am so angry that this has been thrust upon us. Why was this changed one might ask, for the benefit of Newsagents???………

    0 likes

  • 25 shauns // Feb 28, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    Why do I use stickers , because that way I do not have to check invoices is the main reason , second it tells you info ,customer wants to know when the next issue comes you have a quick look at arrival date and it is pretty close to telling you when the next one comes , of course you can look it up on your pos but it is quicker to do it on the shop floor

    3 likes

  • 26 shauns // Feb 28, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    I do not sticker weeklys ,these I count from the invoice

    1 likes

  • 27 Mark Fletcher // Feb 28, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    John, newsagents should not and most do not sticker everything. My advice is they sticker mid to low volume non weeklies as the sticker contains valuable information with which to manage inventory on the shop floor.

    On the changes from network, I’m comfortable with them.

    1 likes

  • 28 shauns // Feb 28, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    so if you are not using stickers do you tick off all your invoices ,that must take forever , I know back when we first started before we had Tower it would take forever ticking off the invoices

    0 likes

  • 29 Chris // Feb 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Does this mean I will not have my NDC files available to download the day before delivery? If so, this is a disaster for us as we process all of our subagents the day before as we have staff delivering them at 2am.

    0 likes

  • 30 BrettS // Feb 28, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    I am with shauns on this One.
    Weeklies sticker free but rest stickers over time the cost of the sticker has paid me back in time and shortages.

    0 likes

  • 31 rick // Feb 28, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Deal with it, they won’t change it back. Much like Thursdays delivery, never consulted anyone, just did what is best for them, won’t change that either.

    0 likes

  • 32 rick // Feb 28, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    I just top both mags and staple them together. I used to cut bar codes off and staple them to the tops,(with all mags) all I do now is ensure the shop label is still on the top of the mag, that has all the details they need to audit.does everybody still separate current and supplementary tops? Or do they all get bundled together? I’m thinking of just bundling them altogether with both return authorisations.

    0 likes

  • 33 June // Mar 3, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    does anyone out there know how to change the format for the labels from Network xchangeit to download to us in invoice order.
    Am I missing something?

    0 likes

  • 34 subaru // Mar 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Printed the Network labels last night as per the normal business practice – At least they were on time…..However….
    Because all the labels were under their new “one invoice” system, finding a particular magazine was like finding a needle in a haystack.
    In a $2000 invoice (estimated 400 magazines at least) trying to find 1 magazine label, or a group of labels in damn near impossible….

    3 likes

  • 35 shauns // Mar 6, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Whats changed Subaru ,mine have always been like that

    1 likes

  • 36 subaru // Mar 6, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Shauns,

    Previous to last thursday, at least the strip of labels was broken up by network reference numbers. It still meant going up and down the strip of labels, but I was looking for a number, and somewhere under that number was the magazine label.
    With the new system, you have to look for the name of the magazines anywhere in the strip becuase there is no break up due to there being 1 reference number…

    0 likes

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