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NACS Update

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Each year, NACS does not disappoint. Energy drinks and snacks were everywhere and attention-getting creativity abounded with folks like Monster having BMX riders perform on a bike ramp installed in their booth. On the technology side that is PEI, fuel automation was a major theme. Representatives from retailers across the US as well as Brazil, Chile, Honduras, China, and other countries were interested in the latest dispensers including Wayne's Ovation 2, which they announced at NACS. The new Ovation combines style and function, which generated significant buzz at the show. OPW was equally impressive as it showcased its ATGs and other forecourt hardware. Their recent acquisitions of Fiberlite and KPS were big moves in the market and retailers were eager to learn more. A relative newcomer to the US market, Leighton O'Brien, had one of the busiest booths at the show. They were featuring their line and tank testing services for both pre- and post-bury. With 90% of all new tank installations having some sort of leak, Leighton O'Brien's precision testing came across as a must-have service.

Not lost in the mix, fuel management automation continues to take center stage for retailers – particularly ones that are buffeted by a volatile wholesale fuel market or rising competition in their markets. Gaining an upper hand on volatility and competition means taking control over fuel management activities with automation. Greater automation ultimately translates into lower fuel costs and greater security of supply. With heterogeneity as the dominant model in terms of forecourt hardware across a network of sites, software is the unifying approach to gaining that control and achieving the level of cost-saving automation that companies like FuelQuest customer's Costco, 7-11, and Wawa have been able to achieve.

 

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