PCATS Founding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           Contact: Jeff LenardOctober 3, 2003                                 (703) 518-4272[email protected] PCATS Formed, Continuing Development of Technology Standards Initiated by NACS Technology Standards Project ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards, (PCATS) has been founded to continue the development and maintenance of standards work initiated under the National Association of Convenience Stores' (NACS) Technology Standards Project.  Since 1995, hundreds of convenience store industry retailers and suppliers have donated their time and resources to the NACS Technology Standards Project -- one of the most significant undertakings in the history of NACS and the convenience store and petroleum marketing industry.  PCATS will develop and expand on work already completed by the NACS Technology Standards Project in the area of technology standards, including but not limited to movement towards ANSI/ISO accreditation.  "Technology standards are necessary to maintain the industry's competitive viability relative to other channels of trade by driving costs out of the supply chain, improving efficiencies and facilitating the execution of operational strategy," said PCATS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer John Hervey, who previously served as NACS' Chief Technology Officer. In 2001, Hervey was named one of the "Top 25 Chief Technology Officers" by CTO Magazine. NACS has already invested almost $5 million through its Technology Standards Project to get technology standards producing tangible results for retailers. With that effort now bearing fruit, with deliverables such as NAXML, NACS sought the establishment of a separate entity that would continue this effort at a high level, be self-sustaining and enjoy the support of both retailers and suppliers in creating, maintaining and facilitating the adoption of technology standards for the industry. At NACS' Board meetings in September it approved its commitment to support the continuation of these standards through PCATS. "The NACS Technology Standards Project has been very successful in developing or adopting technology standards in a number of important areas for both retailers and suppliers. However, from the beginning, NACS also has stated that it did not want to be a standards-setting or maintenance organization and that at some point the work developed would be turned over to one or more organizations for on-going support. PCATS addresses the overwhelming desire of both retailers and suppliers that the work remain within the petroleum convenience industry," Hervey noted. Although some related standards work has been completed at the project level by other organizations (UCC, IFSF, X9, etc.), none have addressed technology standards on the industry-wide scale and scope envisioned by PCATS, Hervey noted. He said that PCATS intends to work closely with these other organizations to avoid duplication of effort and to create global standards for the industry. PCATS may also seek to establish a certification/conformance/compliance program for its standards. "PCATS will seek implementation of these standards by the industry's retailers and suppliers," Hervey said. The NACS Technology Standards Project had focused on four key areas: electronic data interchange, common data communications between the back office and the point-of-sale terminal, electronic payment systems, and device interfaces with the point-of-sale terminal. PCATS has been incorporated as a non-stock, membership based, limited liability corporation in the state of Virginia. It will be seeking non-profit 501 (c) (6) status from the IRS. PCATS is now governed by an interim Board of Directors representing both the retailer and supplier communities within the industry, and already has more than two dozen retailer and supplier members. "The opportunity for our industry lies in becoming an efficient channel of trade -- taking costs out of our systems and infrastructure and driving additional value to the bottom line," noted Scott Hartman, NACS' vice chairman of research and development and president of Rutter's Farm Stores. Hartman also is serving as chairman of the interim Board of PCATS. "We encourage anyone interested in advancing our industry's critical interests in developing standards and procedures to take costs out of our channel to get involved. All retailers and suppliers are invited to become members of PCATS," he added. "Technology is the profit enabler. In my opinion, nothing is going to determine success or failure more quickly than how well a company integrates technology planning and implementation with its business plan - the two go hand in hand," noted Hervey. Complete information on PCATS, including a membership application, can be accessed at www.pcats.org.  -###- The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is an international trade association representing 1,900 retail and 1,700 supplier members. The U.S. convenience store industry, with over 132,400 stores across the country, posted more than $290 billion in total sales for 2002, with $181 billion in motor fuel sales.   Jeff LenardDirector, CommunicationsNational Association of Convenience Stores1600 Duke St., Alexandria, VA  22314-3436direct dial (703) 518-4272, fax (703) 836-4564 [email protected]; www.nacsonline.com