FAQ: Conexxus

Why was Conexxus formed?

Conexxus’ foundation came from the NACS Technology Standards Project started in late 1995, when integration of the POS to back office and forecourt control systems was identified as a key barrier to adopting scanning and other innovations.  A core tenet of the founding group was that data exchange should no longer be a barrier to selecting “best in class” providers of technology, and that data exchange integrations was diverting industry capital from innovative work.

At the outset, NACS’ stated position was that standards did not fit its mission as a trade association, instead incubating the Technology Standards Project with the idea that an existing or new dedicated standards body would assume the ongoing role of creating and managing standards.  Several standards bodies were considered for this role, but it became evident that our industry characteristics and dynamic formats would not receive the priority our market deserved in broader-based standards bodies. Thus, PCATS was formed as a stand-alone standards entity dedicated to the needs of our industry.

In 2010, in light of the urgency of data security mandates and realization that technology was playing an ever increasing role in “regulating” society, PCATS expanded its roles and staffing to take on the added mission of being the industry’s technology thought leader.

In 2014, in recognition of the Vision and Mission of PCATS, the Board of Advisors undertook the task of rebranding PCATS.  After study of its core values, Vision and Mission, the Board decided upon Conexxus as the name and brand to carry the organization into the future.


Why did the name change?

The full name of the organization no longer encompassed the scope of the organization’s Mission and Vision.  The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards name locked the organization into its traditional role of creating standards and other work products for data exchange within the industry – a key foundation of our work today – but did not adequately represent the community and advocacy elements of our work.

Conexxus represents a unique name that encompasses all of our activities, but most importantly our dedication to building a community of expertise to solve tomorrow’s challenges as well as today.  Solve Forward is our tagline, and exemplifies our work for the industry.


How is Conexxus organized?

Conexxus is incorporated as a non-stock, membership based limited liability corporation in the state of Virginia.  Conexxus has non-profit 501 (c) (6) status from the IRS.  Conexxus is governed on a day to day basis by the Board of Advisors comprised of elected Committee Chairs comprised of both retailers and vendors.  Financial operations are governed by the Board of Directors, comprised of the Conexxus Executive Director plus seven members, four nominated by NACS and three by the Conexxus Board of Advisors.

Conexxus employs limited professional staff to support the work of volunteer members and operations of the organization.


Who may join Conexxus?

The Bylaws of Conexxus state that “any entity within the transportation energy or convenience retail industries or any of their suppliers or vendors may apply for membership in the appropriate Class in the Organization by submitting an application." Membership does not become active until payment is received and processed.  All memberships are voted upon by the Board of Advisors.


What are the Classes of membership?

There are three Classes of membership, and the benefits, rights and privileges vary by Class:

Gold Members:

  • Are eligible to serve on Boards of Advisors and Directors
  • Have full access to all committees and working groups
  • Have unlimited access to all standards and documents developed by the organization
  • Can influence standards created by other committees through right to ratify all standards by vote

Silver Members:

  • Are not eligible to serve on the Boards
  • Have rights to participate in all committees and work groups
  • Have rights to vote that a work product from their committee stand for membership vote, but cannot vote for passage of work product.
  • Have unlimited access to all standards and documents developed by the organization


What are the membership benefits of Conexxus?

All members enjoy the valuable benefit of community with industry experts and peers in pursuit of resolving technology challenges and innovations for their respective companies.  This community will, quite simply, improve your company’s bottom line and competitiveness in an increasingly changing technology world – whether you are a retailer or supplier to the industry.  Some of the ways Conexxus achieves this promise:

  • Reducing the custom nature of data exchange between enterprise systems, allowing resources to be applied to other value-added initiatives.
  • Reducing the cost barriers to “best of class” implementation of systems due to integration friction
  • Providing data exchange standards that automate trade and supply chain workflows
  • Works with other standards bodies (IFSF, ANSI X9, EMVCo and World Wide Web Consortium “W3C”) to create, where possible, global standards that comprehend our unique needs
  • Preparing “plug points” for the industry to rapidly adopt state-of-the-art technologies and denying adjacent competitors advantage due to our industry fragmentation.
  • Advocating to regulators – government or private – about the financial and systemic realities of our space; ensuring that we are treated fairly and with forethought on implement ability at all retailers
  • Education of unique and looming technology deadlines that will impact investment, risk and profitability
  • Providing guides that cut through the market-general language to target what needs to be done in our environment.
  • The furtive ideas that can only come from an active community of peers and experts!

Additionally, all Gold and Silver Members enjoy access to all standards, draft standards, guides, webinars and other intellectual property generated by Conexxus.  Members receive additional discounts to the Conexxus Annual Conference, where face-to-face standards work is forwarded and technology thought leadership presents key trends and considerations in consumer and retail technology.