Y2K Brings up Numerous Computer Issues for List Firms

Unless computers have no function in your list business, addressing and correcting the Year 2000 problem should be your top priority. Any information that is tied to dates — billing, accounts receivable, recency calculations — will be jeopardized unless computers systems are reconfigured to read dates ending in 00 as 2000 instead of 1900.

“There are a great number of issues,” said Dick Remke, technology group leader for Acxiom/Direct Media who lectured on the subject at the recent Consumer Co-Op in Rye Brook, NY. “The accounting and credit authorization systems that deal with how current people are with their payments will have a significant impact on the flow of commerce in the list rental business. I think the service bureaus are well aware of the problem. Some small list managers could be unaware, but the awareness is starting to build.”

Hardware systems need to read dates properly so the software on top of them also works properly yet many older PCs and servers cannot handle the Y2K date change. Users should contact all their hardware and software vendors, ask them what equipment they have and what it will take to get it current. Partners, suppliers, processors and any company tied to your computer systems also should be reminded to validate their systems.

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