What’s Driving Innovation in the Convenience Industry?

Technology innovation is something that’s very near and dear to my heart. Since you’re reading this blog, I’ll assume that you’re interested in innovation as well. With the role I play at PDI, I virtually live and breathe innovation on a daily basis. That’s why I couldn’t be more excited about releasing the new “2023 Industry Innovators Report” from PDI. 

This is the inaugural version of our report, so I wanted to share some background on how it came together. It was an idea that sprung out of the first PDI Innovation Forum, where we hosted several of our customers and partners for a frank and revealing discussion about the state of technology innovation in the convenience retailer and fuel wholesaler industry. 

The goal was to identify areas where we’re lagging behind other industry sectors and pinpoint new areas of opportunity to innovate collectively on behalf of the entire industry. I like to refer to this as the “better together” approach where everyone who has a stake in the outcome can help influence the strategy and direction we take. 

With over 40 years of experience in the fuel and convenience retail industry, we understand that PDI plays a vital role across the entire technology ecosystem. We don’t take that role lightly, because our company’s success is tightly woven into that of the entire industry. We all thrive or struggle together. But I’m bullish on the idea that we all have a bright future in one of the most resilient industries on the planet. 

Solving 4 key industry challenges 

But let me get back to the report, since you’re probably wondering what it’s actually about. Mostly, it’s a way for us to communicate four key focus areas for our industry and how we’re working to solve those challenges: 

  1. Macroeconomic headwinds 
  1. Changing consumer shopping behaviors 
  1. The rise of cloud platforms, AI, and cybersecurity 
  1. The ongoing digital transformation of operations 

I won’t dive deeper into those areas now, because I plan to address them further in future blog posts. But this will give you a taste of the core challenges we face and the areas where we believe we can make some quick gains through technology innovation. 

In addition to encouraging you to download the report, I’d also like to thank all the people who made it possible. I want to give a huge shout-out to all the PDI customers and partners—as well as my PDI colleagues—who participated in the initial phase of the Innovation Forum. The input and feedback we received was invaluable. 

It turns out that this forum is a great way for us to assess where to invest in new solutions and how to prioritize our product roadmaps and overall business strategy. Our primary goal is to better serve our customers and partners while helping to simplify the industry’s technology ecosystem—whether that involves open APIs, more coordination with standards bodies, or integrating individual products into more cohesive solutions. 

We believe the only way to achieve this is by delivering the technology and data that empowers all of us to excel together. That approach will ultimately benefit the huge population of fuel and convenience shoppers around the globe. 

Amplifying innovation at PDI Users Conference 

We hope the first PDI Innovation Forum in late 2022 was the just one of many similar events to come. If you’d like to share your insights at the next forum, please consider joining our group. If you want to participate or have any questions, just let us know at innovation@pditechnologies.com

I’m also happy to note that we’re planning to host an Innovation Forum during the next PDI Users Conference this August in Denver, Colorado. If you’re going to attend, be sure to sign up soon, because UC 2023 registration is officially open! 

As we move forward, I hope to hear more of your ideas and exchange insights with you as we strive to make our industry truly “better together.” And I hope you’ll check out my future blog posts on innovation. 

In the meantime, please download the report here