Presentation on theme: "Who Owns iControl? What is iControl? Why Do Retailers Need iControl? What Services does iControl Provide to Retailers? What are the Benefits of the iControl."— Presentation transcript:
Who Owns iControl? What is iControl? Why Do Retailers Need iControl? What Services does iControl Provide to Retailers? What are the Benefits of the iControl System for Publishers or Distributors? Why Would the Retailer Agree to Pay for Discrepancies? How do I Register to Participate in iControl if I’m a Publisher or Distributor? If I’m a Publisher or Distributor, How do I get Paid? What Does it Cost Publishers or Distributors to Participate? What is the Sales Verification/Discrepancy Reconciliation (SV/DR, or DCR) Process? How Do I know the SV/DR Process Won’t Be Eliminated? I have concerns About Third Party Involvement What Information Does iControl Send Me Automatically? What’s Available On Line? How Hard will it be to Reconcile Payments from iControl? If I have Questions or problems, Who Do I Contact? Frequently Asked Questions
Who Owns iControl? iControl is an affiliate of the Current Companies, which is primarily a distributor of newspapers (through affiliate NewsOne), magazines, books, and fresh flowers. Current Companies is a multi-national corporation providing services throughout the United States and to 40 countries. The origins of the company are in the distribution of newspapers. NewsOne, the company’s single-copy distribution affiliate, is the largest independently-owned newspaper wholesaler operating in the United States. For more information, please go to
What is iControl? iControl is an Accounts Payable Outsourcing and category analysis and support program designed exclusively for newspapers. The system itself consists of a giant database that processes information from thousands of stores for thousands of publications. It links retailers to newspapers and newspapers to their distributors. It tracks and analyzes sales, costs and profits. However, unlike other newspaper solutions where payment is based exclusively on what the stores scan (SBT), the iControl program is a hybrid program. The system is designed to accept and process information both from the retailer at the point of sale, and from publishers and distributors (their in/out records, as verified by stores), and automatically compare them for differences. Those differences, called discrepancies, are paid out as sales, while the system carefully analyzes results and trends to ensure honesty and integrity.
Why Do Retailers Need iControl? Primarily, iControl is an Accounts Payable Outsourcing Solution, saving the retailer the cost, time and effort of having to reconcile thousands of newspaper invoices for which they have little internal comparative data for loss prevention purposes. iControl also helps the retailer eliminates cash payouts, for which newspapers are the last recipient. Combined with the ability to correctly scan the right newspaper at the right store for the right price, and therefore book the sales, iControl brings an immediate tangible benefit to retailers of being able to clearly see what’s happening in their stores, from the micro to the macro level. A retailer with an iControl program knows who delivers to each store, what they bring in, what it costs them, and how it sells – in real time. Without process consolidation, major retailers can’t even apply newspaper sales to their financial statements, because they don’t have newspaper UPC properly set-up to recognize the sales. As a result, sales are scanned as miscellaneous. On paper, this results in the category appearing to lose the retailer money! Between thousands of invoices at corporate each month, and millions of dollars in cash payouts – all for a low margin category that up to this point has operated almost entirely unsupervised and in the shadows – a major national chain begins to lose sight of the value of newspapers, and begins to focus on how the business-case for carrying newspapers is weak. iControl helps take the hassle factor out, so retailers can again focus on the value newspapers do bring – loyal, more educated, and more affluent consumers.
Accounts Payable Item File Maintenance Vendor File Maintenance Centralization/Consolidation Data Warehousing Data Archiving Exception Reporting Growth & Development Fraud Prevention Function Outsourcing Data Management Analysis What Services Does iControl Provide the Retailer?
What are the Benefits of iControl for Publishers/Distributors? The primary benefit of using iControl for publishers and distributors is that the iControl program is not exclusively pay-on-scan. While POS data is captured and analyzed, iControl participants may continue submitting their own records of in/out. If there is a difference between the numbers, then provided the publisher/distributor has a stamped document from the store supporting the difference, payment is made for the numbers provided by the publisher/distributor. Our fully-automated discrepancy reconciliation process makes resolving discrepancies fair and simple. Simply pick up returns as you always have, get a store stamp on a document confirming your numbers, and send the details to iControl just as you would an invoice, by EDI, FTP, spreadsheet, phone or fax (charges apply to phone or fax). You do not need to point out differences between the POS and your numbers! The iControl system will automatically identify them and handle the process from start to finish. Once we identify a difference owed to you, payment for it is automatic. Other benefits include a spectacular on-line sales analysis system, included at no charge. iControl also sends daily sellout alerts detailing sellouts from the prior day.
Why Would the Retailer Be Willing to Pay For Discrepancies? The reason the retailer is willing to accept this process is because it is well-recognized that while SBT has great benefits, scanning is not 100% perfect, and newspaper are among the likeliest category in a store to suffer some lapses in scanning, both because of consumer habits and store associate habits. A procedural consolidation effort by the retailer should not equal harsh collective punishment to the vast majority of hard working and honest distributors delivering newspapers rain or shine. Moreover, collective punishment by SBT will ultimately hurt the retailer too – as it will lead to smaller service areas and fewer stores served. Even with the discrepancy process, an iControl program represents a vast improvement over today’s unchecked and unverified conditions. The goal of the retailer is to scan almost all of the newspapers it sells, ideally 90-95% or better. Part of the responsibility iControl has to the retailer is to closely monitor the differences and help improve scanning by identifying causes of non-scanning. iControl has many layers of analysis that seek to spot inconsistencies in the information provided. This process of analyzing the difference is called “flagging” as it seeks to flag anything that requires closer inspection or further proof. Further proof is the physical document stamped by the store. Not every flagging indicates we think someone is cheating! If you receive a request for a physical document, please don’t be offended. It is simply a checks and balance system to protect the retailer.
How Do I register to Participate? Registration is a 4-step process: 1)Register your publication or agency at 2)Select the stores you deliver to from a list of stores on the site 3)Identify the titles you deliver to each store (including UPC & Prices) 4)Set up the starting draw per store (auto-fill tool available) The starting draw is needed so that we know to activate the UPC at the correct price at that store. It is less crucial initially that the draws are exactly right. We will keep your draws updated during the program by extracting the draws from your weekly in/out sales verification file, and using them to re-populate your draws with the most recent data. You are always entitled to change your draws and no notice to us is neccesary. For step by step set-up instructions, go to the Set-Up instructions hyperlink at – bottom left side of the Home page
How Do I Get Paid? You can be paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The default payment is weekly. If you’d like another payment frequency, please us at There are 3 ways to be paid: 1) If you deliver but do not pick up returns, you will be paid for scanned (POS) sales only. You will receive a single check per week, detailing all sales, on a net 14 basis. 2) If you deliver and do pick up returns, we can pay you for POS sales every week (net 14) and upon receipt of your draw/returns data, we can pay you separately for discrepancy sales (DCR) 3) We can withhold paying you on POS sales until you have submitted your draw/returns data (DCR). Then, we can pay you both POS + DCR on one check. This will reduce reconciliation for your finance department. Anyone choosing option #3 will be paid at least once every 30 days. If no returns are submitted we will automatically issue payment for POS sales only.
What Does it Cost Publishers or Distributors to Participate? There is no cost to publishers or distributors to participate in the program. Participants who submit their discrepancy draw/returns records (DCR) manually, by either fax or phone, will be subject to a 50 cents per invoice processing and data entry fee. Paper invoices or phone calls may delay payment 7-14 additional days. (OPTIONAL) Participants who prefer to have their payment wired directly into their bank account as opposed to being paid by check, will be subject to a processing and transaction fee, presently $1.95.
What is the SV/DR Process? The SV/DR process, also known as DCR, is the manner by which publishers and distributors can submit information based on physical evidence from stores, and be paid for any differences between the POS and the discrepancy in full. To be able to claim SV/DR payments, you must: Set up every store you deliver in iControl – titles, pricing, initial base draw Pick up all returns from the store within 10 days of delivery Receive a store stamp on your return document, indicating store counted returns Submit your data to iControl by EDI, FTP, spreadsheet, on-line by data entry into our website, phone or fax (50 cent fee applies to phone or fax, per invoice) Once you send us your file, your work is done. Keep the physical documents from the stores on file for 8 weeks. We will occasionally ask for a hardcopy of specific documents for audit. If you cannot produce a document, there is a 3-strike rule: 1 st violation – verbal warning 2 nd violation – written warning 3 rd violation – 90 day suspension from filing SV/DR 4 th violation – Indefinite revocation of SV/DR privileges, subject to sole discretion of the retailer
How Do I Know the SV/DR Process Won’t Be Eliminated? iControl is committed to participating only in programs that do not collectively punish participants. However, you may lose SV/DR privileges if you cannot submit documents supporting claims when requested to do so (see also What is the SV/DR Process?)What is the SV/DR Process? In business, as long as two unrelated parties conduct business with each other, and short of absolute trust between the parties, reconciliation must always occur as a checks & balance: the retailer will always, rightfully, seek to assess its quality of execution and the accuracy of the invoice by referring to its receiving and cash registers records the supplier will always, rightfully, continue to seek to reconcile the payment to the physical inventory it finds in the store after making the delivery, and seek to be paid for the product consumed by the retailer – regardless of how it was consumed Newspapers are a unique product, delivered daily to thousands of outlets by thousands of loosely affiliated vendors, during non-receiving hours, and left unattended by doorfronts. Newspapers carry a low retail price, multiple UPC, and multiple costs and retail prices (even in the same geographical area). Newspapers require hands-on management! The reason why iControl is unique in its reconciliation solution is that it offers a platform that reconciles these extremely complicated, frequent (daily delivery) and low margin activities in a seamless process.
I have Concerns Over Third Party Involvement I prefer to work directly with the retailer iControl is an AP and data analysis system, not a category manager. You should keep working directly with the retailer – we are only here to help implement! I prefer to be paid by the retailer directly iControl was hired as an outsourcing firm for AP – the funds are always from the retailer. Outsourcing functions that don’t add value is something done widely. I’ve had bad experience with Pay on Scan (SBT) iControl is not SBT, it’s a hybrid program My contractors are used to being paying quickly (often by cash) The retailer is not obligated to pay cash. That being factored-in, iControl pays in days (versus 45+ days for overwhelmed retailer AP offices) Concern about the confidentiality of my data iControl offers confidentiality and non-compete agreements Concerned where this might go next; will participating speed up SBT? An industry-supported solution reduces the risks of SBT; if the industry resists every solution no matter how balanced and reasonable, retailers will kneejerk! OK… but why can’t the retailer just do this on its own?
Why Would A Retailer Outsource AP & Analysis? Complexity Perspective Opportunity Cost 6,300 stores (and rising) 1,200 newspapers 3,000+ UPC 1,900 distributors CVS Overall Sales $80B* Newspapers AP$34M $3M of $34M recognized % of total sale Shareholder ROI v. time required for %? It doesn’t pay to keep in- house or directly deal with * $80B includes March 2007 CareMark acquisition; 2006 sales $46B Case Study
What Information Does iControl Send Me? What’s on the Web? If you are an iControl registered participant, you will receive the following from us automatically, without any action required on your part: Daily Sell-out alerts and sales recap Weekly summary of sales, by store, according to POS (optional, info only) With every check, a remittance advice detailing by-store activity and payouts For payments made for discrepancies, clear identification on the document You may also access iControl Interactive Reporting and iControl Live to constantly monitor the goings-on with your account from all perspectives – draw, sales, payments, performance reporting, etc.
How Hard will it be to Reconcile Payments from iControl? We will be paying you for scan sales no matter what. If we find discrepancies that you are due payment for, we will pay you for those as well. If you send us your data weekly, your payment will reflect both sales by scan (POS) and sales by verification (SV/DR). If we receive the SV/DR file later than the 10 th day after the delivery week, payment for POS and SV/DR may come on separate check. This may be more cumbersome for some participants. We now offer a new feature! If you prefer that we hold the POS payment until we complete SV/DR, and always send you one combined check, please contact us at If you sign up for this option, we will mail you a check immediately upon reconciling a week’s POS and SV/DR. If you fail to submit an SV/DR file within 30 days, the prescribed time-limit, we will automatically issue payment for the POS sales for that time period.
If I Have Questions or Problems Who Do I contact? For the following questions or problems, please reach out as follows I need help setting up stores, titles or draws – A store or stores in my area are not keeping returns or refusing to sign – I have questions related to sending my weekly data – I have questions related to payments – You can also call us toll-free, 24/7, at Or By Mail: iControl Systems USA, LLC.