How to resolve complications surrounding processing Network Services magazines

Last Thursday the ANF sent a communication out to newsagents with the following:

The ANF has met with Network Services regarding the issues newsagents are currently having processing magazines. The EDI files received by the newsagent are not in the same order as the magazine bundles and consequently a lot of time is wasted matching up the labels with the magazine bundles.

Network is able to work on resolving the problem if newsagents choose the ‘late’ delivery option which will ensure labels can be printed per bundle.

So far, only nine per cent of agents have chosen this option.

We received feedback from newsagents, saying that they have been selecting the late delivery option for quite some time, but still experience labels which are mismatched to some extent.

To clarify, switching to the late delivery option will not solve the issue immediately.

Network Services has stated that the reason they have not investigated how to resolve this issue is because only 9% have opted for the late option—Network interprets this as that other 91% of newsagents are happy with the current system, and the way the labels are printed. If more newsagents opt for the late option, this will be flagged at Network as an issue that needs resolving, which will lead to Network working towards a solution.

But to make this happen, Network needs more newsagents to switch to the late option which will ENSURE LABELS CAN BE PRINTED PER BUNDLE.

Comments we have received so far:

  • I have been set to Late Notification for months now and still the same problem exists!!
  • Any newsagent with subbies might not want the late option as the stickers are coming TOO late.
  • The reason very few have opted for “late” delivery option is obvious.
  • Thursday mags – Many agents pick up the mags from Followmont depot on Wednesday early afternoon and process and pack subbies supply ready to drop off with Thursday paper so subs and our own shops have the weekly mags in particular on shelf ready for sale on the on sale day.  Likewise I pick up on Sunday and process mags ready for Monday drop.
  • Selecting late option means we would physically have our mags and have no way of processing.
  • NOW….. Can someone please explain to me how it is possible for Network to pick and transport my supply overnight and I am able to pick them up QUICKER than someone can send data to me electronically? When the information has been given to their packers, why can’t it be then sent to me very soon after and not some 24 hours or so after.
  • The Gotch invoice produced for the EDI files is the same as the picking slip when magazines are packed, and so magazines are packed in order, per bundle. Simple. What can’t Network do this?

Would the late delivery option complicate the process for you, or lead to other issues? Please leave a comment below, we would love to know your opinion.

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16 thoughts on “How to resolve complications surrounding processing Network Services magazines

  1. The version of our POS software does not support the ‘late’ option. Later versions do. If Network would like to pay for the upgrade, I’d be happy to change over to the ‘late’ option.

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  2. Are these people for real. If 9% of my customers had a problem with my business I would bend over backwards to fix it.

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  3. Hi Nishi It may be worthwhile suggesting to NDC what the difference is between early and late delivery. And that this be explained to the 91 % of agents who have not responded. Best wishes John

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  4. We have been on late delivery labels for quite a while and theres too many packages with the same invoice number and barcode stickers are not consecutive or aligned with magazine bundles

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  5. I am not sure why Network services decided to change the invoicing system?
    There is no doubt this has had a detrimental effect on the Newsagency sector.
    I am a small Newsagency and conservatively it is costing me 1.5 to 2 hours labour extra a week to process Network magazine deliveries due to the change in invoicing.
    If you extrapolated this out over the whole Newsagency channel this would add up to many 100s of thousands of dollars and possibly millions of dollars in extra handling costs to our channel which no one can afford in the current economic climate.
    No one is adverse to change but when it is going to have a major impact on businesses it needs to be done in consultation with all parties.
    This problem needs to be resolved urgently and is a major problem
    Our partners need to have more consideration of the impact these decisions have on their customers businesses

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  6. I first had a whinge about Networks magazine deliveries about 3 years ago and have had another two goes during this time. I am so relieved that it is now being addressed. I think Peter’s comments (May 27, 2014) sum it up perfectly. The time spent on processing equates to extra expense and when we see Gotch’s mags arrive and are able to be processed so much easier we are entitled to question Networks procedures.

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  7. I also do not understand why Network services has changed their invoicing system. Is it another way for them to save money. I can tell you it is costing us more money and is also making my customer unhappy. We open a 6.00am every morning and have alot of customers coming in to buy mags on their way to work. They do not understand nor do they care that this new system takes alot longer to process, they just want their mags. The late option is out of the question for us as we open so early. We are a customer of Network servise and I have to Question their customer service. If I treated may customer in this manner I would soon go out of business. This problem is extremely frustrating and needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

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  8. Initially I had problems with Networks new invoicing system it caused a lot of confusion for myself and staff due to labels being all out of sequence and trying to allocate publications to sub-agents then quantities being changed. I then changed to get the later updated invoices and although I have to stay later in the evening or get into the shop earlier in the morning to invoice the EDI files into my Pos Browser it certainly has made it a lot easier as labels are in invoice order and quantities are accurate. Oh to get some more sleep.
    My big gripe now is when I have to reconcile my statement. Invoices are being placed under a reconciliation number and then reconciled to the statement. This is very confusing and time consuming matching invoice numbers to reconciliation numbers. Some invoices are delayed billing so a reconciled number may not be completed until the following month or even three months down the track when the delayed billed invoice shows up. How hard is this!!

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  9. Why are we surprised by the attitude of NDC. I am sure if we went to their office there would be notices up everywhere saying, remember our Motto ” Our way or the Highway “.
    Funny I have known a few Newsagents who are no longer in business who had the same attitude.
    It is incredible that in a declining magazine market NDC do what they want with no regard to how it will affect deliveries, processing and getting the publications on the shelf ASAP. I wonder if the publishers know that NDC actions have slowed down the procedure to get their publications on the shelf.
    Was the new system trialled.
    As has been said before if 9% of my customers were unhappy I would be doing something about it PRONTO. Unbelievable attitude – it is now our fault because not enough of us are unhappy.
    Anyway the figure is not 9% it is 100%.
    We have been on the Late option from day one and that was a shambles initially, we now have a system which has improved things but it is still more time consuming and at times very confusing.
    On several occasions when we have been busy the magazines that need to go out are given priority and the others have been left until the afternoon. We now process all GG deliveries first.
    The accounting side is horrendous.

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  10. The first time we received the new EDI files from NDC the barcode printout was an eyebrow raising disaster.
    We contacted NDC to discover this was a permanent change and they recommended we go on the late file option. We did. (We get our Monday mags around 2pm on Tuesday 90% of the time – the rest of the time they are late. And we feel blessed if the Thursday mags arrive before Saturday) We have TOWER point of sale system and it has the option to print in alphabetical order. Decided to give that a go since all the staff here are familiar with how the alphabet works. It now takes the same amount of time to sticker mags as it did before and we don’t have to pre-sort Gotch and NDC. It takes me the same amount of time to check off arrivals and to reconcile statement as it did before. If you are with TOWER try the alphabet system, if you are not with TOWER then, good luck.

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  11. This option does not work if we are receiving the invoices the best part of a day late, having the stock and not being able to label and sell it is just crazy. We would force all our weekly mag customers to shop in the supermarkets

    Is it really to much to expect Network to provide an invoice on time that reflects what is in the parcel??

    Work it out if this is costing 2 hours additional labour per week for the 2350 newsagents that receive EDI invoices 2350 x 2hours x $20 per hour this is costing our channel almost $5 million per annum.

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  12. At the moment, the Newsagent needs to;

    1. Check off each delivery label to the outlet summary

    2. Then get out a calculator and add up add up each item listed under a Network Reference Number
    ( in our case this can mean 40-50 figures to add up on a calculator while answering phones and serving customers ), then add GST, the resulting figure is the amount listed on the monthly statement against that particular Reference Number

    3. We then need to check each Network Reference Number on Netonline to determine the payment date and note this on the outlet summary to assist in statement reconciliation.

    4. When mixed payment dates are on one delivery label, we need to note details on that delivery label and retain for a future statement reconciliation.

    5. After all this, and after having something strong to drink, statement reconciliation is actually quite easy. But after all the previous work done we are probably spending about four times as much time on Network processing than under the previous system

    6. Was this invented by Josef Mengele? I thought he was dead! It seems he is alive and well, given up Medicine, and is working at Network Services designing accounting systems

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    • Perhaps I spoke too soon.
      Network’s latest trick:
      * Invoice magazines on 2nd June and charge them on the May statement
      * I might try this with my customers – NOT!

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