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    PDI's 20th Annual Idea Exchange Continues Tradition of Collaboration

    C-store technology supplier's customer conference format included multiple group sessions and networking opportunities.

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- PDI, a technology supplier to the convenience store industry, focused on customer collaboration at its 20th annual Idea Exchange May 20 and 21 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. The supplier's new conference format featured multiple interest group sessions and networking opportunities for attendees.

    "We wanted to duplicate the environment we've created within our online customer portal, PDI Connections," said Austin Skaggs, community manager for PDI. "This year, we have interest groups ranging from financials to technology, and the attendees decide the topics. I think it's one of the most customer-driven Idea Exchanges we've ever had, and I can't wait to see what new ideas come out of it."

    In addition to serving as a forum for customer feedback, this year's two-day conference focused on recent enhancements to PDI/Enterprise and new product development. During his presentation, PDI President Greg Gilkerson revealed the company's latest innovation: a new mobile reporting tool. PDI/Mobile Manager is designed for tablets and provides business intelligence such as key sales, inventory, and operation metrics.

    "The use of mobile technology is a growing consumer and business trend we can't ignore," Gilkerson said. "According to recent predictions, by 2014 the U.S. alone will be home to approximately 90 million tablet users. Today's c-store managers and supervisors need their information on the go, and PDI/Mobile Manager fulfills that expectation."

    PDI also demonstrated the enhanced lottery scanning technology to be included in the newest version of its PDI/Store Assistant handheld. The new feature fully automates the lottery inventory management process by enabling the handheld to read the game, book number, and ticket number with a single scan.  The 2012 PDI Idea Exchange attracted more than 100 retailers from across the country.

    PDI provides software, hardware and professional services to convenience retailers and wholesale petroleum marketers. Worldwide, approximately 330 companies and more than 28,000 retail locations rely on PDI's systems for retail automation, fuel and warehouse management, business intelligence, and financial management.   

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