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PCATS Sets Electronic Pricebook Priorities for C-Stores

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A new working group recently developed by members of the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) announced five key initiatives designed to promote the rapid implementation of the PCATS electronic business-to-business (EB2B) retail merchandise standards.

The new group, the PCATS DSD Data Alignment working group, will provide a direct communications conduit from retailers and direct-store-delivery (DSD) merchandise suppliers to back-office and pricebook technology vendors.

PCATS EB2B Retail Merchandise standards allow the electronic exchange of accurate item, price and promotion information between retailer and suppliers. According to Sheetz Inc. programming director Jim Wenner, chair of the PCATS EB2B Retail Committee, "The key to retailer use of the EB2B standards is the ability of back-office and pricebook software systems to receive and process the data now being made available by DSD merchandise suppliers."
The first priority identified in the Sept. 14 formative meeting of the DSD Data Alignment working group is to establish guidelines and use cases for how back-office and pricebook software systems will receive and process new-item introduction information electronically rather than through traditional paper communications.

The group also identified the following priorities to establish, including the base cost of items within the back-office and pricebook systems, an electronic relationship to accurately identify the correct routing of data, a high-level analysis of the DSD business process and sub-processes, supporting cases for the exchange of promotion setting and the actual exchange of promotional costs already defined by the PCATS EB2B Retail Merchandise standards.

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