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TMCNet:  Top Convenience Store Distributor Pine State Trading Saves Hundreds of Thousands In Hardware Costs By Deploying Android & iPhone Order Entry to One Thousand Retailers

[January 14, 2013]

Top Convenience Store Distributor Pine State Trading Saves Hundreds of Thousands In Hardware Costs By Deploying Android & iPhone Order Entry to One Thousand Retailers

CHICAGO, IL, Jan 14, 2013 ( via COMTEX) -- Enterprise app developer Ai2 today announced that Pine State Trading of Augusta, Maine would deploy Ai2's new smartphone order entry app at one thousand convenience stores in the Northeast United States. The app, called OrderShark(TM), is designed to replace Telxon and MSI devices with Androids and iPhones - a significant upgrade in sales technology, especially the communication protocol.

Pine State is one of North America's largest distributors of convenience items, food and beer. The company is a longtime user of Ai2's solutions for sales force automation and remote order entry. The BYOD aspect of OrderShark that allows retailers to use their personal smartphones is one that will save Pine State an estimated $500,000.

"This is the best technology innovation to hit the C-store industry in 20 years," said Keith Canning, managing partner of Pine State. "The Telxon communication issue is a significant problem for retailers in convenience store and grocery distribution. When orders aren't sent and received in an efficient way, it slows down our entire operation. OrderShark will help us on our mission to give them the best possible service. Best of all, we don't need to purchase and support a ton of hardware that's already obsolete." "We have such a great relationship with Pine State and it's an honor to help them take the next step as a company," said Douglas Katich, CEO for Ai2. "We're focused on giving our clients the technology that can facilitate major growth." Katich described early reaction to the technology as "very positive - a lot of wholesalers have been waiting for something like this." Using the smartphone's camera, OrderShark scans any barcode type from any angle using fast proprietary scanning technology that Ai2 developed. The app reads all existing UPC types as fast as a Telxon as well as QR codes. It handles all existing Telxon symbologies. Users in a retail environment can view, edit, retain and copy previous orders. The OrderShark system provides the status of all orders including confirmation that an order was received by the host - something older handhelds don't always provide. Orders are logged in the device for safekeeping and easy access. Orders are sent over WiFi or cellular networks. OrderShark supports international language sets for multilingual use.

Ai2 designed OrderShark to mirror a distributor's existing Telxon interface, which shortens a distributor's deployment time. A distributor or retailer need not purchase any new computer hardware. Users simply download OrderShark from the Apple or Android app store to their existing smartphones or iPod Touch units, enter a specifically assigned confirmation number and begin building their orders immediately.

Pine State Trading is a family-owned company based in Maine with more than 800 employees and annual sales approaching $1 billion. According to their website, they offer "a diversified sales, marketing, and logistics network" to serve their 5,000-plus customers. They serve most of the Northeastern United States and are "committed to investing in the people and the technology necessary to consistently deliver quality consumer products and services." For more information, visit

Ai2 was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in downtown Chicago. Their applications are used by more than 75,000 users each day to capture upwards of $75 billion in annual sales. More than 10,000 retail stores and more than 1,000 movie theaters use Ai2 solutions for their order entry needs. Ai2 improves the sales process for some of the world's largest distributors in foodservice, convenience store, grocery, beverage, hardware, medical, beauty products, jewelry and more. For more information about Ai2, visit

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