PDI Conference Focuses on Enterprise Software

Networking proves profitable

Published in CSP Daily News

SAN ANTONIO -- More than 350 convenience store and petroleum industry leaders gathered in San Antonio this week for PDI's 2007 Users Conference & Training Seminar. The annual event is the industry's premier technology conference and provides hands-on training, seminars and networking opportunities.

And with the unveiling of the PDI/Enterprise system earlier this year, the classes offered held added relevance to the retailers as they discussed store automation, fuel, finance, point of sale and, of course, PDI/Enterprise, a leading software solution.[image-nocss]

Our primary goal is to train our customers on recent developments on software, and this year they specifically asked us to go deeper because the new PDI/Enterprise software is out and people are confident in moving ahead with their implementation of it, Greg Gilkerson, president of PDI, told CSP Daily News. So we had a lot of multi-part courses, instead of an hour and a half, they'd go a half day, for example.

After five years of development, the network-centric PDI/Enterprise already has more than 100 installations, automating companies from 10 to 2,000 stores. PDI/Enterprise is the only seamless software system to provide a complete and proven automation solution from the corporate financials to the store backoffice. Thus, many classes offered at this year's conference were centered on the details for maximizing the benefits of PDI/Enterprise.

Topics also included insider tips for using PDI/RMS, as well as other business and accounting strategies. All attending customers moved to the next level of doing business electronically.

But Gilkerson said there's another goal to the Users Conference, as well. The second thing we always look forward to is the relationship building. There's a tremendous amount of networking that goes on, he said. [These retailers] all use the same operating system and, therefore, they have the same needs and opportunities to utilize those products. When people can get together that use the same tools, that community really is powerful.

He added, We work really hard at building community both socially and in the training environment.

Billy Barrett, retail automation manager for Jackson's Food Stores, said, I come to the PDI Users Conference for several reasons. I find out about the latest PDI information. Also, the networking opportunities are very important. The conference gives me the opportunity to develop relationships with other customers, resulting in invitations to see how their operations work. I learned important information in my very first class, called my office, and it is already being implemented.

Dr. John Trent, an inspirational speaker, author and president and founder of The Center for Strong Families and StrongFamilies.com, served as the conference keynote and prayer breakfast speaker. He inspired attendees to use their natural strengths to the best of their abilities using entertaining exercises and audience participation.

Other PDI Users Conference highlights included Monday's Technology Showcase, an opportunity for attendees to discuss the latest in proven hardware and software technology with more than 15 industry-leading vendors. The always popular roundtable discussions gave attendees a chance to exchange ideas and best practices with their industry colleagues.

For more information on PDI, the PDI Users Conference & Training Seminar, or The Industry Event, please visit www.profdata.com or www.theindustryevent.com. The Industry Event is a joint technology conference featuring PDI and the McLane Co.

Temple, Texas-based PDI provides software, hardware and professional services to convenience retailers and wholesale petroleum marketers. Worldwide, over 300 companies and over 20,000 retail locations rely on PDI's systems for retail automation, fuel and warehouse management, business intelligence, financial reporting, and employee selection and training. A wholly owned subsidiary of McLane Co.,PDI continually enhances offerings to leverage new technologies and industry standards.