Australian Newsagency Blog

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I was wrong about Gotch, they don’t care about newsagents

Mark Fletcher
November 30th, 2017 · 3 Comments

In my post last week about the missteps by XchangeIT and Gotch on the data handling for the new Gotch gift offer, The Market Hub, I said that I thought the issues wold be resolved at the Gotch end, negating the need for newsagency software change and therefore costs falling to software3 company owners and newsagents.

Thankfully, it appears that The Market Hub from Gotch will be established as a separate supplier through XchangeIT, negating the need for any software changes. Why is this relevant? In my opinion it reflects the poor preparation by Gotch and XchangeIT for this project and an arrogance that they expect others to invest capital on their behalf. But they are from the magazine distribution side of the business so I guess that is their usual approach.

Turns out I was wrong. Gotch does not plan to operate within the IT standards they helped to establish. They have advised they will use the magazine file structure to send gift produce delated data, breaking the standards. They will do this with XchangeIT watching them, yes, the same XchangeIT that fines newsagents for poor data management.

I think this disregard by Gotch of the IT standards they imposed on n newsagents speaks to their views on the future of the channel and, in particular, the distribution of print product.

If they believed in the channel they would invest in the right tech approach to their data challenge.

If they respected newsagents they would follow the IT standards they themselves helped to bring into place.

If they believed in their own future they would invest in that. Instead, they have invested in product and marketing but not in ensuring data flow within the standards they established.

I think this looks bad for Gotch. However, I suspect most newsagents will not fully grasp why this is an issue. This will make it easy for Gotch to say I am wrong and that my software company is the problem.

Here are questions and answers that define what is happening and why I have written here and previously as I have:

  1. Does the gift product data from Gotch and sent through XchangeIT meet the data standards they participated in developing? No.
  2. Can Gotch fix the problem at their end? Yes.
  3. Will Gotch fix the problem at their end? They have said no.
  4. What does Gotch want done? They want the software companies to change how the magazine data file is used, to enable the misuse of the file structure by Gotch to work with established newsagency software.
  5. Who does Gotch propose pays for the software changes? So far, me and the other software company owners.
  6. How could this problem have been avoided? Through discussion with the tech stakeholders long before launch as that would have taken away the time challenges given that the Gotch gift product range has now been launched.

Gotch may defend their position by saying my concerns are driven by my work with newsXpress. Such a statement would be untrue. My concerns here, as explained, are purely tech standards related.

If Gotch cared about newsagents they would respect the IT standards as much as they expect (and demand) newsagents respect them.


Category: Ethics · magazine distribution · Media disruption · Newsagency management

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Paul S // Nov 30, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Mark they never have given a rats arse about newsagents and they have proved it again and again so why worry about it now ?

    I’m sure I wasn’t alone in seeing a load up of certain titles this morning in the last delivery of the month that they would claim “was a mistake” yet it happens every month outside of the the monthly early return window to ensure that they are able to wrongly fleece some extra money out of newsagents in the months account payment. If they cared or even looked at the data XchangeIT provided they would know they are over supplying.

    BTW do we know if “the Market Hub” is going to be an opt in or is it being forced on all of us because I most certainly don’t want any of their crap (like I early returned all of their under GP journals) ?


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Nov 30, 2017 at 1:52 PM

    Paul my understanding is that the gift products will be opt-in.


  • 3 Paul S // Nov 30, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    Hopefully not like some of the calendar and journal products that start with a ” contact us to order hat you would like” and which you end up getting sent to you whether you’ve ordered them or not !


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