Pricebook Priorities

PCATS DSD Data Alignment working group identifies initiatives

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A new working group recently developed by members of the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) has 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 DSD merchandise suppliers to back office and price book technology vendors.

The first priority identified [image-nocss] in the Sept. 14, 2005, formative meeting of the DSD Data Alignment working group is to establish guidelines and use cases for how backoffice 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:

Establish the base cost of items within the backoffice and pricebook systems. Establish an electronic relationship to accurately identify the correct routing of data. Establish a high-level analysis of the DSD business process and subprocesses. Establish supporting cases for the exchange of promotion setting and the actual exchange of promotional costs already defined by the PCATS EB2B Retail Merchandise standards.

PCATS EB2B Retail Merchandise standards allow the electronic exchange of accurate item, price and promotion information between retailer and suppliers. According to Jim Wenner, Sheetz Inc. programming director and chair of the PCATS EB2B Retail Committee, The key to retailer use of the EB2B standards is the ability of backoffice and pricebook software systems to receive and process the data now being made available by DSD merchandise suppliers.

PCATS, initated by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), is composed of more than 160 members representing major companies, both supplier and retailer, in the petroleum marketing and convenience industry. PCATS mission is to develop, maintain and help members implement a variety of technology standards.