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    News from PCATS 2007 Winter Meetings

    The alliance reported an increase in membership, new committees, upcoming pilots and plans for NACStech 2007, at its annual Winter Meetings in New Orleans.

    NEW ORLEANS -- The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) held its 2007 Winter Meetings in New Orleans from Jan. 28-Feb. 1, where it announced its accomplishments for 2006, as well as its plans for 2007.

    With a new chairman, Devin Bates, CIO/CFO of Town and Country Food Stores, and a new vice-chairman, Jenny Bullard, CIO of Flash Foods Inc., PCATS is off to an ambitious start this year.

    Last year, the organization began work on an "Open for Business" pavilion for NACStech 2007 that will be the largest booth on the show floor -- 1,800 square feet, according to John Hervey, executive director at PCATS. There will be stations with flat screen monitors representing the forecourt, front office, back office, home office and more, displaying what standards have been developed and how they are affecting retailers. The booth currently has 16 sponsors.

    Additionally, PCATS formed new device integration working groups including security and HVAC, and the open-site architecture group will publish its first draft at this year's NACStech, Hervey reported at the PCATS General Assembly meeting on Wednesday morning at the conference. In addition, the POS/Back Office committee is working on version 4.0 of its standard.

    The organization is also working with NASPL (North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries) to launch a pilot using a PCATS/NASPL lottery invoice reconciliation standard. The Pantry and E-Z Mart stores will participate in the pilot along with five state lotteries, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma to prove the steps necessary for implementation and provide a way forward for all other lotteries, the organization reported. PCATS plans to have results available at NACStech 2007.

    In 2006, PCATS added 29 new members, and plans to continue adding members in 2007.

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