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Logistics and wholesale experts meet at the LOMOSOFT / PDI User Conference

The first PDI / LOMOSOFT User Conference drew around 100 professionals from the oil and fuels industry to Offenbach, Germany, with attendants from four different continents. The presentation of the new D4G system was the highlight of the event.

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On its fifth edition, this was the first LOMOSOFT User Conference to take place after the German company was acquired by PDI, a leading American provider of solutions for the convenience retail and wholesale petroleum industries.

The combination of German and North American business acumen delivered an insightful, dynamic event that included a conference program, a dinner and training sessions the following day. The star moment of the day was the presentation of D4G – LOMOSOFT and PDI’s new logistics platform for oil companies and haulers.

The event began with PDI’s CEO Jimmy Frangis shedding some light over the company’s recent expansion campaign, including the recent purchase of TouchStar.

“The goals is to expand how we serve our customers and these acquisitions support that strategy,” said Frangis. “Logistics and wholesale are underserved industries where we see an opportunity for growth.”

A year and a half ago PDI embarked on a journey to offer a single, complete solution to the petroleum industry. In an effort to reach that goal the company carried out a number of acquisitions:  Intellifuel, KLS Data, Pinnacle ERP assets, DataMax, LOMOSOFT, Firestream, Telapoint, and only two weeks ago, TouchStar. With these acquisitions, PDI expands its logistics and wholesale capabilities while increasing its global reach.

With oil refined liquid fuels still accounting for 94% of all transport in the European Union, Jürgen Spanuth, previous owner of LOMOSOFT and now VP Managing Director of Logistics at PDI, appeased visitors’ concerns over the growth of alternative fuels. He also signalled at the optimization of processes as an efficient way of tackling low fuel margins.

“Process optimization in the logistics and wholesale department is a great way to counter low margins. These margins are also driving consolidation – large companies such as ExxonMobil are moving out,” explained Spanuth.

Another trend in the logistics sector identified during the event was the decentralization of planning by oil companies, which now prefer haulers to plan and execute the dispatching operations.

Peter Jackson, VP Retail Engineering at PDI, later spoke of the demographics and figures regarding the convenience store industry, revealing that a quarter (28%) of customers at service stations are under 29, and almost half (46%) of in-store sales are fresh food items. More worrying figures showed that only 20% of customers actually enjoy going into the store while 80% will stop shopping if they see a queue.

“Low margins on fuel sales will continue to reduce due to higher taxation making convenience more appealing,” said Jackson.

Danish entrepreneur and keynote speaker Rasmus Ankersen entertained the audience with his presentation on how to avoid complacency as a successful company.

The conference program ended with an overview of LOMOSOFT’s new logistics platform, D4G, carried out by Kurt Rodenburg, Director Business Development, and Piotr Zaniewski, Team Lead Software Development.

The successor of WinDMS looks to the future of fuel distribution with higher integration, multiplatform features, open source, flexibility, evolving towards microservices, cloud-friendly and with a huge focus on security.

Thomas Kockish, Global Functional Architect for Logistics at BP, explained that “as heavy users of WinDMS, the main objective of coming here was to learn about D4G. It was also very interesting to see how the products will come together (after the PDI acquisition).”

After a successful combined event between PDI and LOMOSOFT, the American company will review the format and see if they do the same with other acquired businesses. This was the first user conference organized by PDI outside the U.S. 

"The positive feedback we've received throughout the day informs us to continue doing regional conferences related to the different business we now own," conluded Jimmy Frangis in a statement to PetrolPlaza. 

*You can take a closer look at the event on PDI's Youtube 

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