FSC Director of Membership Services Scott L. Lowther told XBIZ that the deal was a yearlong process of negotiations and testing to be sure the software is exactly what its members need.
"The board attorneys wanted to be sure we didn't launch something that would be difficult or problematic for members," Lowther said. "We didn't want to give them something that wouldn't be useful, that wasn't complete or wasn't up to date, and wasn't compliant with the 2257 rules and regulations as we know them to be today."
Lowther said FSC members will get a $150 discount on the standard version of ZEI2257. Its enterprise version is available at a $300 discount.
Lowther said that the FSC has entered this nonexclusive agreement with ZEI to offer its members an easy and cost-effective way to maintain accurate 2257 records, and though ZEI may not be the only company offering efficient software, it's the one FSC knows the most about.
"This is the one we're comfortable with at the moment," Lowther said. "There may be others down the road as time goes on."
ZEI's DJ Batts said that the company supports FSC in its battle against 2257 regulation and, with ZEI2257, has fulfilled an industrywide need for excellent record-keeping software to help both small and large adult businesses.
"Our product meets that need," Batts said. "We offer this discount to FSC members as our way of supporting FSC’s members and FSC itself as it continues the good fight.”
Lowther said that though FSC does not agree with the Justice Department's most recent set of proposed rules and regulations, it recognizes that the industry must comply with the law until it is modified.
"Let’s face it," Lowther said. "FSC exists to protect and support its members and the industry. Litigation is one way as a means of last resort. Providing tools to help member businesses comply with legislation, especially burdensome laws like 2257, is another.”