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mnadis™ retail product overview

What is mnadis™ retail?

News wholesalers and publishers/distributors have for a number of years successfully used Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to exchange documents between their respective operational computer systems. mnadis™ retail now extends the benefits of EDI to retail newsagents by allowing them to exchange documents with their supplying wholesalers.

All documentation previously passed between the wholesaler and retailer on printed paper (e.g. delivery notes, invoices) can be passed directly from computer to computer using the Internet. For the first time it allows retailers to use the benefits of EDI and the Internet, to reduce costs and provide an improved level of service to their customers.

The general benefits of EDI to both trading partners are well documented. A document passed between trading partners eliminates the need for re-keying of data and the possibility of error. This in turn allows greater concentration on exception items where margin may currently be lost.

What benefits will mnadis™ retail give the retailer?

mnadis™ retail holds information at the issue level for each newspaper and magazine title available from the wholesaler. This information is automatically updated on a daily basis using an issue calendar sent from the wholesaler. Two advance issues are normally available while historical issues are normally retained for up to 13 months. Issue details transferred include the title name, barcode, issue identity, price, on sale date and returns dates. This information is then readily available to resolve queries from the public providing improved customer service.

Net sales history of past issues is also transferred to the retailer and updated on a regular basis. This net sales history is available as a convenient screen enquiry and replaces the need for the retailer to retain a manual logbook of past sales and returns. This clearer access to data saves man-hours and provides more informed management decisions, resulting in improved gross margin.

mnadis™ retail also holds the retailer's order quantity of each issue. Subject to normal wholesale restrictions, the retailer may modify on-screen the order level of any title prior to delivery. In a similar manner extra copies of current issues may be ordered. These transactions can be entered at any convenient time and are automatically transferred to the wholesaler's system. This replaces the need for lengthy and expensive telephone calls to the wholesale customer service department, saving time and money.

mnadis™ retail provides the retailer with a detailed electronic delivery note. The retailer may enter any variations in the actual goods received using the barcode. Immediate exception reports can then be generated well within the wholesaler's deadlines, reducing the opportunity for waste. Retail EPOS equipment can automatically be updated with barcode and price data, reducing the opportunity for error and providing greater accuracy of pricing at the point-of-sale.

The retailer can also keep track of unsold copies, again by scanning the barcode or via manual entry. It is hoped that eventually publishers will accept this electronic affidavit without having to return the actual copies!

mnadis™ retail accepts electronic invoices and credit notes and matches these against delivered copies and scanned returns respectively. Exception reports are generated highlighting issues where the received quantity differs from the invoiced quantity or where the returned quantity differs from the quantity credited on the unsolds note. This ability to concentrate on exceptions rather than the bulk, results in cost savings and saves hours of manual checking!

What benefits will mnadis™ retail give the wholesaler?

mnadis™ retail improves the level of customer service the wholesaler can provide and this ultimately improves customer loyalty. As transactions are directly entered by the retailer, the amount of staff allocated to telephone customer service can be reduced.

mnadis™ retail uses TRADACOMS standards for the various EDI files exchanged. mnadis™ retail will interface with any recognised EPOS system, therefore mnadis™ retail provides a single method of interfacing with retail. This removes the need to develop and support different EPOS systems.

mnadis™ retail collates EPOS sales by issue and returns this data to the wholesaler on a daily basis. This means that the actual sales of each issue is available to provide information to publishers and if required 'drive' a 'just-in-time' retail stock replenishment system. This results in increased sales and improves credibility with publishers.

What is an example mnadis™ retail installation?

Eason & Sons limited, the major newspaper and magazine wholesaler in Ireland decided to adopt mnadis™ retail to improve its level of customer service. The system was initially piloted in Eason's own chain of retail newsagents, but the system is now being installed in their independent retail customers.

mnadis™ retail routines running on the wholesale computer system monitor the Eason wholesale ORACLE database and during the night generate the following EDI documents for each retail mnadis™ retail customer: -

  • A delivery note for goods being dispatched
  • A list of order changes made during the day as a result of wholesale, retail or publisher transactions
  • An issue calendar showing new issues and changes to existing issues
  • A list of net sales history changes
  • A weekly invoice
  • A weekly credit note

These documents are transferred using the Internet to the retail mnadis™ retail systems. At the same time the following incoming EDI documents are received and used to update the wholesale ORACLE database: -

  • Retail order changes for future issues
  • Retail requests for extras of current and past issues
  • Retail delivery discrepancies used for generation of claims
  • Retail returns used for comparison against physical scanning
  • Retail EPOS sales summary by issue

At each retail shop goods are scanned in by barcode and the price and quantity checked against the electronic delivery note. Quantity differences generate a discrepancy claim back to wholesale.

Eason's ICL EPOS equipment is automatically updated with current barcode and price data by mnadis™ retail. EPOS sales recorded by the tills are summarised by issue and returned to wholesale.

Eason retail shops each have a customer information point where a mnadis™ retail screen is available to handle customer enquiries.

A 'back-office' mnadis™ retail screen is used for entering order changes, requests for extra and for scanning of returns.

What environment is required to run mnadis™ retail?

Open Projects will interface mnadis™ retail with any wholesale system using a recognised relational database. A high quality/speed Internet connection is required to the wholesale system.

Retail mnadis™ retail is written in Microsoft Visual Basic and uses a Microsoft Access database. The following minimum configuration is recommended:

  • Windows 98, ME, NT Workstation or 2000
  • Single user or networked multi-user
  • 64 megabytes RAM
  • 100 megabytes hard disc
  • Printer
  • Internet connection