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Newspaper prepaid vouchers have been around since the early 1990’s when News International slashed its cover price for The Times to 10p and the Daily Telegraph countered with their cut price subscription scheme. Newsagents became the ‘piggy in the middle’ left with the task of managing the vouchers. You may only have a few per week or like us you may have hundreds or even thousands to deal with and account for.
With home delivered newspaper customers there came the added task of crediting their accounts with the vouchers received. A bit of a nightmare to begin with, but eventually the newsagent computer suppliers go their act together and provided an ‘automatic solution’. Then it’s down to handling the little bits of paper, separating them, counting them, completing the wholesaler returns form and sending them off. Then there is checking the credit is accurate when the wholesaler has dealt with them.
After years of this ‘pain’ we have found a better way of dealing with collating the vouchers, and it seems so simple I don’t know why I didn’t do it before. We have recently replaced an ‘old’ laptop as the hard drive failed. We had the hard drive replaced and now use it in the shop. One of the benefits that it has provided us is using a spread sheet set up to calculate the newspaper voucher weekly totals by entering the number of vouchers for each title on a daily basis.
This simple application of available technology that we have been using for years elsewhere may have made me feel ‘stupid’ for not thinking of it before, but it has certainly eased one of the troublesome tasks that we face.
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