PDI, iControl Systems Announce Strategic Marketing Agreement

Join forces on pricebook synchronization solution for convenience retailers

DALLAS -- From the site of its 21st annual Idea Exchange conference in Dallas, Professional Datasolutions Inc. (PDI) and iControl Systems announced that the two companies are introducing a supplier portal solution. The portal will enable convenience retailers and their suppliers to exchange pricebook item, cost, promotion, invoice, inventory and shrink information seamlessly and in real time.

Plans include collaboration on forecasting and replenishment.

The PDI Supplier Portal is powered through Harmony by iControl. It builds on iControl's supply chain software-as-a-service (SaaS) collaboration solution, which presently provides more than 3,000 suppliers and 27,000 retail stores with similar services.

The PDI Supplier Portal is a one-to-many, many-to-one environment, allowing suppliers and retailers to streamline and simplify their Pricebook synchronization functions--leaving more time and resources available to growing sales.

"PDI is a highly respected leader in the convenience sector that has been providing world-class solutions and services to their customers for nearly 30 years," said iControl co-CEO Tal J. Zlotnitsky. "We are solving a problem that is widely recognized as a huge challenge to convenience store operators and their supply chain. In collaboration with PDI, we have the solution to solve this problem swiftly, profoundly and elegantly. We look forward to a highly successful relationship."

Greg Gilkerson, PDI president, said, "Automating the relationships between retailers and direct store delivery (DSD) suppliers is one of the last great hurdles to 'doing business electronically.' We are proud to work with iControl to deliver this powerful solution to our customers and eventually, the convenience store industry."

In addition to performing pricebook synchronization functions, the PDI Supplier Portal will handle regulated payments for alcohol purchases, allowing retailers and suppliers to transact business while maintaining full compliance with state and federal regulations. The SaaS technology also facilitates scan-based trading (SBT) which minimizes vendor check-in labor and uses data to collaboratively reduce shrink and increase sales by improving inventory stock positions.

Burtonsville, Md.-based iControl provides a SaaS information integration and decisions solutions and the human resources to support it. Its mission is to help retailers and suppliers share critical trading information through its platform, in a way that promotes fact-based, timely, data-driven decisions. Its solution and processes are designed to boost sales, reduce waste, promote efficiency, reward transparency and align performance metrics. More than 27,000 retail outlets take part in iControl's programs in all 50 states, 63 retail banners and more than 3,000 suppliers participating.

During the two-day conference, PDI also unveiled an addition to its core software offering. As the newest suite in PDI/Enterprise, PDI/Workforce will help supervisors improve productivity and efficiency through effective time and labor management. PDI/Time Clock, the first completed module in the suite, is already fully operational in several companies.

PDI/Workforce offers a sleek, web-based architecture that's unlike anything we've ever designed before," said PDI vice president of development Jim Wade. "Its simple yet powerful design not only streamlines the software deployment process but also provides intuitive controls that require minimal training for our customers. We spent the last several years developing this product, and we couldn't be more pleased with the final result."

This year's Idea Exchange attracted nearly 100 retailers and petroleum marketers from around the country. The conference concluded May 6.

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