LAS VEGAS - NACStech, the convenience and fuel retailing industry€™s premier showplace for technology products and solutions, got underway in Las Vegas yesterday with an expanded NACS/CSNews CIO Roundtable program, the first of 16 educational sessions, the opening general session and a networking reception.
NACS President and CEO Hank Armour opened the general session by describing NACStech as the place "where business and technology meet." He added, "Technology solves problems and creates new opportunities for your business."
Armour also noted the one-year anniversary of the merger of PCATS, the industry€™s technology and standards group, with NACS. He also listed three reasons that fuel the continued need for standards, technology and advocacy in the industry:
- Mobile technology is changing the face of retail. Today, the industry serves 160 million customers a day. Mobile technology is critical to growing that customer count.
- Technology and advocacy continue to intersect. The need to be subject matter experts came forcefully to the forefront during the industry€™s successful push for swipe fee reform last year.
- Technology usage will become a more predictive measure of business success. Technology will determine your success at how you engage your customer, understand what they want and how you deliver it to them beyond their expectations.
This year€™s NACStech also featured the newly expanded NACS/CSNews CIO Roundtable. Top retail executives were treated to a two-part program. The first program focused on Technology Vision & Leadership with futurist Jared Weiner, who provided attendees with a quick overview of the major technology trends that will affect their workplace in the coming years. Gray Taylor, PCATS executive director and NACS payments consultant, moderated the panel discussion on data security and technology issues.
Part 2 of the roundtable featured CSNews Executive Editor Tammy Mastroberte, who presented an advance look at the Convenience Store News 2011 Technology Study. The annual research report shows how much the c-store industry is investing in technology, and where retailers are focusing their investment, as well as areas they plan to explore in the future.