The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) and 1SYNC, a leading Data Pool Solution, announced the successful conclusion of the PCATS Gateway – Powered by 1SYNC – Sponsored by NACS (Nationa lAssociation of Convenience Stores) pilot program. The pilot program began in February 2007 and concluded on April 13, 2007. Results of the pilot were announced today at NACStech 2007, held at the Opryland Hotel, Nashville, TN.
The PCATS Gateway is a secure communications pipeline enabling trading partners in the convenience and petroleum channel to synchronize an item’s price and promotion information using the standard PCATS-NAXML format in order to populate their Pricebook electronically. PCATS-NAXML has been designed by the PCATS EB2B Retail Working Group to be a low-cost, effective, and simple industry format for electronic business documents. “The objective for the pilot was to assist trading partners in achieving supply chain benefits associated with electronic pricebook synchronization, and the best way to achieve that was by partnering with PCATS with the sponsorship of NACS,” said Bob Noe, 1SYNC’s CEO. “We are extremely pleased that the positive results of the pilot confirm our expectations that the Gateway is a cost-effective method for convenience/petroleum retailers to synchronize data with their suppliers.” He concluded, “We believe that the PCATS Gateway will expand and accelerate the commercial value of data synchronization in the petroleum/convenience channel.”
The pilot consisted of five retailer participants ranging in store count from six stores to over 1,500 stores, and six supplier participants including three multi-national suppliers and three regional or local suppliers. Retailer participants included Clinard Oil, EZ-Mart Stores, Nice N’Easy, The Pantry, and Town and Country Food Stores. Supplier participants included Arctic Glacier Ice, Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (a division of Cadbury Schweppes plc [NYSE: CSG (ADR)]), Frito-Lay (a division of PepsiCo, Inc. [NYSE: PEP]), Panhandle Popcorn Co, and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO). CMi Solutions (CMI) and PDI were the solution providers who assisted their retail customers with connecting and integrating the transmitted data into the retailer’s pricebook.
Matt Paduano, VP Information, Nice N’ Easy Grocery Shoppes, Inc., stated that “The 1SYNC pilot project was something that the industry has been clamoring for years to be developed and is something that is long overdue for the convenience store industry. This process will allow even the smallest retailer and the smallest vendors to share electronic data without a huge investment in hardware, software, or technical expertise. The pilot went well with the two vendors that we tested with and it integrated into our system seamlessly.”
Jim Mock, President of Panhandle Popcorn, explained that “Panhandle Popcorn Co. is a small business and I was uncertain as to the complexity of the pilot program. However, I found the whole process to be informative and not as challenging as expected. This is the next best thing to keying in my information directly into my retailer’s system. For a small, regional company such as ours, the Gateway proved to be very easy to use.” He added, “We originally thought it would be a long time before we could participate in data synchronization, but the Gateway showed us that we can do it today.”
Suppliers of all sizes now have a viable solution that sends pricebook information to their trading partners quicker and more accurately than ever before. Pilot participants believe that the PCATS Gateway will lower costs because they won’t be required to build expensive solutions that have to be customized for each of their trading partners. These results validate that any Convenience Petroleum retailer can utilize a single industry standard message.
A whitepaper, written by Priscilla Jones, Marketing Analyst/Price Book Coordinator, Town and Country Food Stores, details the experiences of the PCATS Gateway pilot. To view the whitepaper, visit www.pcats.org, or contact John Hervey of PCATS. “PCATS is excited that the Pilot program achieved all of its objectives,” said John Hervey, Executive Director of PCATS. “We look forward to working with 1SYNC in the future and expect to have a rollout announcement for the industry soon.”
About the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS):
The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) was founded in
September 2003 to continue the development and maintenance for standards work initiated under the National Association of Convenience Stores’ (NACS) Technology Standards project. With over 160 retailer and supplier members, the group’s membership represents more than 22,000 convenience stores. Membership is open to any petroleum marketer, convenience store owner/operator, other retail channels, or any of their suppliers or vendors. For additional information regarding PCATS, please visit www.pcats.org
1SYNC™, a not-for-profit subsidiary of GS1 US™, offers a range of data synchronization services that eliminate costly data errors, increase supply chain efficiencies, and promote the advancement of next-generation technologies, such as the Electronic Product Code™ (EPC).
1SYNC is headquartered in Lawrenceville, New Jersey with offices in the U.S., Brazil, and UK. GS1 US, a member organization of GS1, is dedicated to the development and implementation of standards-based, global supply chain solutions. Visit www.1SYNC.org for more information.