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    PCATS Report Highlights Benefits Based on Growing Implementation Base

    Electronic invoicing, data alignment standards proven to boost the bottom line, report says.

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) have released the results of a benchmarking study conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP that details the benefits and opportunities retailer and supplier executives may obtain from implementing electronic invoicing and item data alignment.

    The report, “Boost Your Bottom Line: Driving Business Value Through PCATS-NAXML EB2B,” is available in full or in executive summary formats and is designed to be a thought leadership position paper for executive decision makers. The benefits and opportunities documented in the report apply equally to convenience store retailers, regional chains and local retailers. Other retail channels, such as independent grocers and supermarket operators, will also find comparable opportunities for increased efficiencies from examination of the report findings.

    Korbin King, IS manager - merchandising support for 7-Eleven Inc. and a member of PCATS, led a PCATS Implementation Committee team to work with Deloitte to complete the report. King commented, “As chair of the PCATS EB2B business study committee, I am excited to share the good news contained in this new report. Convenience store retailers and their trading partners can benefit now from implementing PCATS standards to enable electronic commerce initiatives such as data alignment and invoicing. I believe that the results from this study will compel other companies to consider adopting PCATS standards in order to realize the same kinds of benefits articulated by the study participants.”

    “Since beginning our efforts to bring technology standards and improve efficiency for the industry in 1995, one of the key hurdles to implementation and acceptance by company leaders has been determining the return for them. This report lays out the benefits in a clear and concise terms and will be extremely helpful to executives as they make decisions about moving to electronic business processes,” said Teri Richman, senior vice president, research and public affairs for NACS.

    A key finding from the report reveals how the PCATS-NAXML EB2B standards can directly and positively impact both retailers and suppliers. Companies that have implemented PCATS EB2B standards are realizing the following strategic benefits today:

    o Improved store/back door check-in accuracy and efficiency
    o Increased allocation of store management time spent on product and customer analysis
    o Improved profitability due to higher quality pricebook data
    o Increased allocation of resources to customer service initiatives
    o Improved new product introduction and product assortment decisions due to a reduction in sales-buyer time focused on researching and resolving historical errors or data quality problems

    "The study confirmed significant hard dollar benefits are available to any c-store retailer or supplier, regardless of size, by implementing the PCATS eB2B standards,” said Dan Fitzgibbons, lead engagement principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “The PCATS standards were built to support the way the industry participants do business today, which reduces the implementation complexity that sometimes occurs in other e-commerce initiatives."

    This new report builds upon and expands findings from an original report in 2003 published by the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and NACS, detailing the results of the first limited pilot project between a retailer and three suppliers exchanging electronic invoice and item information.

    “It's been an exciting and very productive time for convenience store executives who took to heart the findings from the original GMA/NACS study and have now found new efficiencies and profitability through the use of PCATS standards,” said John Hervey, executive director of PCATS. Hervey continued, “When you look back at that first limited pilot project report in 2003 and see the growing number of retailers implementing PCATS standards and participating in this new expanded study, it's proof positive that there are real savings for the convenience marketing and petroleum industries and their suppliers.”

    The PCATS-NAXML standards are consensus-based, publicly available specifications designed to allow easy and inexpensive exchanges of electronic invoices, item data, and other supply chain information between suppliers and retailers. The PCATS-NAXML standards for electronic invoices and basic item alignment have been in production between retailers and suppliers for more than two years and have a growing community of users.

    Both the full report and executive summary are free and available through PCATS at www.pcats.org.


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