Home' The Channel Magazine : National Newsagent March 2015 Contents 9
National Newsagent - March 2015
number of agents may depend on one person
to manage the magazine arrivals and returns;
should that person leave, there can a big gap in
knowledge and a mad panic to work out what to
do. Meanwhile, more and more magazines arrive.
It could be like the result in Goethe’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice
where the young apprentice finds himself knee deep in water
and out of his depth as the broom fetches more and more
water. He had no way of stopping it! And that’s the way one
newsagent felt when he contacted National Newsagent.
Another agent who contacted NN said he felt he was being
held to ransom by the only staff member who knew how to
do returns and asked us for a guide to manage magazines.
Newsagents taking over a new store (often previously poorly
managed) are left wondering how to manage this influx of
There is no magic to control it; just diligent hard work. (The
Apprentice learned that!)
We know this from the stories we hear of shops when they
are sold (or most likely closed) because of the piles of out of
date magazines remaining and evidence that no one knew
how to manage returns.
Magazine management is the housework of the newsagency;
it is constant, it is there every week to be completed.
Housework is made easier with modern labour saving
devices and so too is magazine management. To minimise
the work a computer system is essential; they are affordable
and will assist in managing the entire business.
Guide to magazine processing
Each point-of-sale system has its own way of managing
returns, and newsagents who use XchangeIT correctly,
demonstrate that it saves hours of processing time. There is
also online help for those not on XchangeIT.
Gordon and Gotch has Connect User’s
Guide on managing magazines through
Network Services has NETonline to
complete returns, plus
Quick Reference Guides.
Illustration from around 1882 by F Barth (Wikipedia)
Network Services Quick
⊲ The magazine distributors create an electronic file for
the magazines being delivered with all of the details
required by the POS system.
⊲ These files are sent electronically via the XchangeIT
platform to the newsagent’s computer. The
terminology the industry uses for this is called
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
⊲ The newsagent’s POS system now uses the
information in the files to create an item record
for each magazine. This includes the issue details,
quantity received, price, category, and return date.
⊲ Allocations to subagents, home delivery and shop
pickups are generated automatically and return/price
labels printed where necessary.
⊲ A unique barcode on each magazine ensures sales
are recorded against the correct issue of each
⊲ Returns are scanned into the system and are
sorted into on-time and supplemental returns. Via
XchangeIT a Return Document file is sent to the
distributor for processing.
⊲ Any rejects on returns are reported through the
Reconciliation process sent via XchangeIT.
⊲ Sales figures are collected and sent via XchangeIT
to the distributors and allow, among other things, for
top-up orders to be generated if necessary.
Using technology to manage magazines
by Bob Hollingsworth, Computerlink
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