EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- In an effort to ensure its systems operate properly in the next millennium -- and to minimize liability should they fail -- Bristol Farms here is asking its technology vendors this week to sign a year 2000 compliance agreement.
"We are taking a systematic approach to determining where our software vendors and service providers are with regard to year 2000 compliance," said Ron Glickman, chief information officer at Bristol Farms. Letters are scheduled to go out this week to about 15 to 20 of its technology partners.
The document outlines Bristol Farms' criteria for compliance and asks vendors to indicate whether their technology currently meets those requirements, and if not, when the systems will be made compliant. On the outside, Glickman said, a June 30, 1998, deadline has been set for full compliance of all systems.
The retailer's agreement also asks for a written commitment from vendors that states they will bear full financial responsibility for fixing any year 2000 problems, and that Bristol Farms will be given high priority should corrective action be necessary.
Such year 2000 compliance agreements are not prevalent today, said Robert Hemphill, senior consultant at Retail Systems Consulting, Naples, Fla., and author of "The Millennium Crisis," a white paper released last month by the Food Marketing Institute, Washington.
Hemphill noted that establishing precisely what constitutes "year 2000 compliance" in a legal document is a slippery proposition, since computational errors can stem from numerous sources outside a vendor's domain.