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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) announced Mike Brown, general manager of the Retail Technology Group for Unified Western Grocers, will serve as vice chair of the PCATS EB2B Retail Committee.

PCATS EB2B standards were created to allow the electronic exchange of accurate item, price, and promotion information between merchandise suppliers and retailers. The PCATS EB2B Retail Committee is charged with maintaining and developing these standards.

Brown has been a technology leader in the retail grocery industry for the past 15 years. Starting in his family's independently operated supermarket in his teen years, he grew up in the business. Combining his love for retail and his love for computers, Brown took on a variety of retail technology roles within the Retail Technology group at United Grocers, Inc. After managing many successful programs, he led the Retail Technology group through the merger with Certified Grocers and became the general manager of the Retail Technology group for Unified Western Grocers. Brown has served in this role since the merger in 2000.

Brown has been instrumental in the development and marketing of multiple retail technology programs for independent retailers including: InterActive Ordering, ULINK (an in-store item management system), ReadyPay (an electronic payment system), Preferred POS systems, UWG / Retalix Connected Services, and many other successful programs that have added significant value to the independent retailer.

"The electronic business-to-business (EB2B) needs of the independent grocery, supermarket, and convenience store operator have reached a point of alignment, and it only makes sense for both of these retailing channels to work together with our common DSD merchandise vendors to enable electronic commerce for both channels," said PCATS executive director and CEO John Hervey. "Having Mike involved along with his retail technology expertise will help both channels make sure no gaps in the EB2B process are overlooked."

Brown said, "We’ve seen previous attempts to establish item, price, and promotion EB2B programs without much success. For the first time I think the simplicity of the PCATS standards, less reliance on large technology platforms to run the systems, and most importantly, the willingness of DSD suppliers to provide retailers with the data will ultimately make PCATS-based systems successful for the independent grocer, supermarket operator, and the convenience store industry."
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