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    New Technologies and Insights Unveiled

    PDI and McLane user conference attracts hundreds of retail and supplier customers.

    More than 400 retailers and 150 industry suppliers are gathered in Austin, Texas at the Industry Event for five days of learning and training on some of the newest technologies and support software from Professional Datasolutions Inc. (PDI) and McLane Company.

    The Industry Event -- a user conference intended to help retail customers improve business practices, and sales and profit results -- kicked off Sunday and concludes today. PDI and McLane unveiled and demonstrated cutting edge software upgrades and technologies including, McLane's new Smart Handheld Device.

    In beta tests with retail customers, the handheld ordering device reduced out of stocks and credits, and increased retail sales. "Ultimately it is reducing errors in ordering, which is good for all of us," said Elizabeth Jack, of McLane. The new device also will increase the speed to market of new items, improve order input quality and support retailer inventory management and suggested ordering (for more on this technology and Industry Event coverage, see the September 18 issue of Convenience Store News).

    McLane and PDI also hosted a Technology Showcase featuring new software and hardware technology from partner companies including Gilbarco/Veeder-Root, Dresser Wayne, Verifone and Radiant Systems, to name a few.

    Weaved into the conference were marketing and merchandising presentations to support improved in-store execution and best practices, including an overview of the future of retailing by Al Meyers of Retail Forward, and a session on retail demographic profiling from Steve Kent of Spectra. Gene Gerke and Dick Meyer of CSX also presented retail performance metrics from the first half of the year.

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