PROFILE

Art Suriano

Chief Executive Officer, The TSi Company
Art Suriano is a business development executive with expertise in retail sales consulting, business culture analysis, and process improvements. He is a forward-thinking business intelligence leader who knows what it takes to run a business and make it a success. Suriano has had an extremely successful and multi-faceted career path that has been anything but conventional. Suriano’s career has provided him skills as CEO, VP of Sales & Marketing, Patent Owner, Published Author, Award-Winning Composer/Arranger, and Public Speaker.

Suriano’s talent includes a keen eye for mining, analyzing, compiling, and presenting data that consistently boosts company value. His patented methodology known as LTraining® has put numerous businesses back on track fixing disconnect, improving performance, consistency, sales culture, sales, and customer satisfaction.

In addition, Suriano is the author of “The Ultimate Customer Experience...The Path to Victory for Any Business...Any Size...Any Time.” His leadership style is extremely creative, energetic, motivational, customer-focused, collaborative and ambitious.

Suriano began his career accepting work as a freelance composer. Soon he was scoring original compositions for television and radio for such programs as As The World Turns and Another World, and jingles/soundtracks for companies such as Subaru, Ford and more. From his success working for media directly as well as advertising agencies, Suriano soon figured out he could offer clients better and more effective creative campaigns for less than what they were paying. This led to founding his own company, PMI in the late 1980’s, which in time, became a full- service ad agency billing over $5 million annually, with local and regional clients.

From the success of his winning agency formula, a few years later, Suriano was offered an opportunity to offer his talent directly to broadcast companies such as WABC in New York and Kiss 108 in Boston. His assignment was helping underperforming clients get better results. Suriano would write and produce a new ad campaign that included custom commercials, and oftentimes, a custom jingle. It was during this period that his peers and clients coined him, “Mr. Fix It,” as every client he was handed began to see improvements in advertising results within 30 days.

Suriano’s passion for advertising continued, but as deregulation affected broadcast media and how they operated, he felt the need to move on and in 1994, founded the company he has today, The TSi Company. Starting out as an in-store marketing/advertising program for retailers, Suriano created an exciting program known as RadioPlusTM. Simply a better in-store music program, RadioPlusTM provided retailers with in-store commercials, complete with a custom client jingle, stations calls and personalities, making their in-store sound system appear as if it was the company’s own radio station. Soon, The TSi Company was signing local and regional retail clients who liked the idea of the added opportunities to build sales with customers through Suriano’s effective commercials and concepts.

By 1997, Suriano’s creative reputation was growing and clients were asking for his help in what was becoming a strong need: training. He began by creating and producing an in-store “before and after” hour radio program that quickly helped store associates learn about upcoming events, in-store promotions, customer service, and policies and procedures. Starting with Stern’s Department Stores, he was soon asked to expand the product to Macy’s, and other divisions after such as May Company divisions and other retail chains. Next, he turned his attention to part-time employees and created what eventually became his patented training method, LTraining®.

Today, LTraining® has been used by over 4 million trainees and consistently outperforms any other training method, scoring over 90% retention after a single session. LTraining® sessions have been created for every training topic necessary from orientation, POS and systems training, product training, sales training, customer service, and more.

As time progressed and Suriano recognized the strong results his training method was achieving, he realized that in order to get maximum impact for any business, he had to take it one step further. He began to look at the other areas of a business that, regardless of how effective his training was, would prevent a business from reaching its full potential.

Suriano met and spoke with clients and requested the opportunity to perform assessments, asking the right questions from top executives to the field and then comparing answers. Soon he found that every business was experiencing serious disconnect from the vision and objectives of the senior staff and what was actually taking place with lower level employees, especially the employees dealing with the customers. Soon he created his TSi 360TM, which became the footprint for helping clients increase sales, cut costs and improve customer satisfaction. Clients experienced over 15% increases in comparable store sales, saved millions of dollars that were being wasted, and saw increases in conversion of 7% annually. Moreover, clients saw long term growth quarter after quarter due to the improvements in performance and consistency.

Today, Suriano enjoys his role as Chief Executive Officer of The TSi Company which has expanded into a full-service company providing branding/marketing, training, communication skills and technology. He also provides his expertise as a consultant, teaching companies what they need to know to grow their business.

As the author of “The Ultimate Customer Experience”, Suriano follows the principles in his book that help clients achieve their goals. Furthermore, as a public speaker, Suriano has been asked to speak at various functions and events all over the world including the Intercoifure International event held in Australia.

Suriano is an accomplished composer/musician who won numerous awards through the decades for original scores for radio/television and corporate presentations. Today, he is under contract with two record labels in the UK as the songwriter/arranger for Circle of Faith, an up and coming Christian pop band.
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  • Posted on: 07/21/2017

    Will customers use an Amazon app to chat?

    Chatting today has become extremely popular and useful. My company has been using instant messaging for over 15 years and couldn’t survive without it. So for Amazon to get involved with their own chat app is smart and it can only become a valuable tool for them. I’m sure once developed, Amazon will expand it and include easy methods for users to not only chat but shop and order products at the same time. I see a pop-up asking a user a question while chatting with a friend. Then the user could see an item of interest and order it all with the click of their mouse.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2017

    Will Walmart’s innovation strategies pay off?

    I like the fact that Walmart continues to try a bit of everything. Technology is moving at high speed with new ideas and concepts almost every day. Where the human being will wind up in 10 to 20 years is a major concern because if there are no jobs how will people survive? If Walmart stands behind its message that their employees will still matter, that can help assure their employees of job protection, even if it is in a different role.Walmart can benefit if they can be the leaders of utilizing the best technology combined with the best services provided by humans. The retail store of the future will be much different than today with, as the article said, robots, drones, etc. but with humans still being part of the overall experience, Walmart stores will attract people that come to shop, and that is SO important.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2017

    Did Amazon just send Sears a life line with their Kenmore deal?

    I think this is a smart move for Sears. I don’t know if Sears will see big sales, but it begins a relationship between both companies with positive benefits that can lead to other opportunities as well. Today there are so many options of where and how to shop, and this provides consumers with another alternative. The press is good for Sears and partnering with Amazon may help Sears reach a different audience. Incorporating Amazon's Alexa technology is another good move, one that may also help Sears sell more product. So overall, I see this as a win-win.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2017

    Is the one-stop grocery shop coming to an end?

    In all retail industries, we are dealing with more choices than ever and more options for those choices. Grocery is no different. Through the years more supermarket chains have expanded into each other’s territory while new chains opened. Now today grocers are hit with huge competition. Their only solution is to focus on what makes them different, what will attract customers to their brand and offer the niche that’s right for them.I commend Wegmans for staying the course with their business because they provide excellent quality and service however that’s been their strategy all along. Other chains need to figure out what they can compete for best and find ways to satisfy customers to build loyalty. We can’t change the buying patterns of today but what we can do is find what works best for our business, stop chasing the competition and be the leaders in that niche. For many grocers, smaller stores stocked with the items their customers want will be the right solution.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2017

    Will facial recognition tech make for happier customers at Walmart?

    I am a strong supporter of technology and see great value in the convenience and accuracy it provides. However, I am not in favor of this concept. Why are retailers going out of their way claiming they want to provide better service and keep the customer loyal when all along they continue to reduce staff, staff training and wonder why the customer doesn’t give them good marks? Technology is a tool and it can do amazing things. But facial recognition to see if I’m not happy? What if while I'm paying for something at the check out I happen to be thinking about something completely unrelated to my purchase and I frown? Does the facial recognition now flag me as an unhappy customer? What if I happen to recognize a friend and smile while I’m completely frustrated with my in-store experience ... am I now a happy customer? I completely understand the technology's benefits, but the best customer service needs to be delivered by well-trained associates. It’s that simple. Keep investing in technology to replace that and I fear it will be money wasted and cause a lot of harm to the business and its level of customer satisfaction.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2017

    Will Dick’s price match keep it on top of the sporting goods category?

    Though I see some benefit in this, I am concerned that when all the focus is on the price, retailers may be doing themselves more harm than good. Price is important and today consumers can easily find the lowest cost for an item researching online. But if retailers are interested in building brand loyalty, price alone is not the answer. Incentives, service and other benefits do that. Brick-and-mortar chains have greater costs than e-commerce companies because of store expenses -- rent, employees, etc. When you get into a price war, I fear that Amazon and other e-commerce companies will have the advantage. I say it all the time; a successful business is one that doesn’t chase the competition but leads the way and has the competition chasing them. Dick's and all retailers need to focus more on the reasons customers should shop them and not their competitors. That starts with being creative and most importantly being different.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2017

    Can retail pay be made more equitable?

    Retail has many compensation challenges. For most retailers, the store associate pay is minimum wage and in most cases offers no commission. However, as times have changes living costs have increased. Today, salaries based on minimum wage makes it difficult to survive. I believe that in most retail organizations the executive compensation packages are too high, taking dollars away from investing in their stores. And at the bottom, the store associate salary is too low. I don’t think to increase the hourly pay is the solution and I am in favor of employment opportunities that focus on performance whether it be a commission or some other method. Incentives motivate employees and so does being rewarded for a job well done. Taking a few dollars away from the top and putting those dollars in at the store level would be a big win for all because investing in store employees, training and incentive programs will increase sales and customer satisfaction.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2017

    Is Best Buy’s latest Geek Squad service a blueprint for niche IoT?

    Many senior citizens like technology but have a high fear factor because they don’t know how to use it. Best Buy is smart to recognize that. I believe this will be very successful for them and no doubt other retailers will follow. If Best Buy markets it well and builds loyalty based on customer satisfaction, they can and most likely will own that niche.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2017

    Is online fulfillment from stores too complex for e-grocery?

    The article brings up good points. There is a definite need for supermarkets to offer online ordering and delivery services. Customers want it and grocers' competitors are providing it. However, as a user of this service with two supermarket chains, there are some problems. Items out-of-stock are one, receiving the wrong item is another and sometimes items such as fruit, vegetables or meat wind up in the garbage because of poor quality.There is a huge cost to providing this service with added staff, delivery drivers, delivery trucks and insurance. I feel today that some businesses are reacting too quickly to competition without thinking it through. The technology will improve and that will help control out-of-stock items, but grocers will also have to reduce errors like giving customers the wrong item as well as delivering poor quality items. Not only is this service costly for the supermarkets to provide, they lose out on impulse buying when customers do not come into their stores.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Are $3.00 generics a sound grocery e-tailing model?

    I can see this being successful as customers are always looking for bargains. Look at the success of dollar stores. However, it will come down to the individual customer’s choice of what they feel comfortable purchasing. Certainly buying a serving spoon for $3 is less of a risk than a food item. So I believe there will be a market for this concept. But as with anything only time will tell how successful as the retailer figures out what products work or do not and if they can "wow" the customers enough for consistent repeat purchases.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Can toys raise J.C. Penney’s game?

    I think this is a good move for J. C. Penney. They have been slowly bringing back what was once the traditional department store with many different categories and they’re doing it wisely in a modern way. The best attraction here will be the “play areas” allowing kids to try the toys. Interaction is the best way for the child to experience the toy. Parents already shopping in J. C. Penney will no doubt want their children to enjoy the opportunity which will make their time spent shopping longer and should increase their spend while in the store. Even if the toy department only adds incremental dollars to J. C. Penney's revenue, it may help the overall store business and customer satisfaction.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Is e-commerce a job builder or killer?

    I agree that many of the jobs provided by e-commerce companies are appealing to employees who might have worked or would be working in a retail store. One of the biggest complaints about retail store jobs is trying to get enough hours, so the fact the e-commerce companies are providing many full-time jobs with better pay and benefits makes them more attractive. But some employees like retail because they like the live interaction with customers, something e-commerce cannot offer. As brick-and-mortar continues to reinvent itself with fewer stores and more technology, the store associate jobs of the future may turn out to be a higher paid position granted to those who are qualified based on experience and talent working with customers.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2017

    Can retailers hope to compete this holiday season with standard digital marketing?

    I’m old-fashioned on this one, but to me it’s not as much of "where do I spend my ad money" but more of “what am I going to say with creativity."There are so many ads on TV and digital media and most of those ads are not effective. There's too much of the same "me-me" approach with nothing unique about how to attract the customer to watch and hopefully pay attention. Great campaigns are the ones that stand out, get people talking about them and most importantly responding. Once you create the right campaign, then you can decide on how to deliver it through broadcast media -- both TV and radio and absolutely digital. Also make sure that when the customer logs on to the company website there is representation there as well along with representation in-store. Campaigns need to be everywhere in every medium and every place a shopper will see them.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2017

    Will Walmart win back-to-school with click and collect services?

    The back-to-school shopping season continues to expand from at one time a few weeks before and after Labor Day to now about four months from July into October. That’s a long period, and shoppers focus on the essentials first and the secondary items later but all along they look for bargains and deals. Amazon has taken market share and Walmart is reacting wisely. The convenience of online grocery pickup and "pick up today" services will give them a competitive edge. Also, Walmart will remain competitive with their pricing which will provide them with a strong BTS season.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2017

    Should the Amazon/Whole Foods merger worry national brands?

    There are many unknowns yet with the Amazon takeover of Whole Foods. Is Amazon interested in reinventing Whole Foods? Are they interested in developing private label brands? Are they interested in providing the best home delivery services or some other use they can benefit from by having brick-and-mortar locations? Probably all of these. But CPG companies should be thinking now about how they can work with Amazon, possibly by offering Amazon exclusive products at a lower cost. The CPG companies are going to have to be careful not giving it all away to Amazon or run the risk of losing business to Amazon’s competitors. So proceed with caution and be ready on all fronts.

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