Fleet News

Fleets warned of year 2000 EDI meltdown

MORE than two thirds of fleets could have their communication and invoicing links with key suppliers thrown into chaos when the calendar ticks over from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000. The danger surrounds electronic data interchange (EDI), the system used by fleets to pass and receive service, maintenance and repair invoices and information to and from suppliers, including garages, fast-fit operators and leasing and fleet management companies.

The new fears surfaced this week at the annual meeting of FleetNet - the organisation under which the fleet rental and leasing industry has developed its standards for electronic trading and commerce. Delegates heard in no uncertain terms that year 2000 compliance - the need to ensure that time-based software and hardware continue to function when the 99 rolls over to 00 at one second past midnight 2000 - was a long way from being universally achieved.

Electronic commerce consultant John Jenkins, of JJ Associates, said: 'You need to act fast, because the clock is ticking. December 31, 1999 is a date which will not move. All Tradacoms users will have to do a lot of conversion work. Hopefully, vendors are already taking action, but it is up to the users to make sure it is happening.'

He claimed more than 80 per cent of UK businesses used EDI systems which would not support 2000 without the installation of new software. Jenkins recommended that all fleets involved in EDI - three quarters of the market, according to FleetNet estimates - should look at their system supports between trading partners in the supply chain, obtain assurance of year 2000 compliance from trading partners, and undertake compliance testing for all core transactions.

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