PROFILE

Steve Montgomery

President, b2b Solutions, LLC

Steve is president of b2b Solutions, a consultancy that specializes in working with retailers and suppliers in the convenience retail/petroleum marketing industry. He has over 30 years of experience in top management positions in both entrepreneurial and large corporate business environments within the convenience retail/petroleum marketing industry.

After beginning his career as one of its franchisees, Steve served as President and Member of the Board of Directors for Dairy Mart Corporation. He then held the positions of General Manager for C-Stores and Manager of Convenience Retail Strategies and Programs for Amoco Oil Company.

He led Amoco’s efforts to develop and roll out their state of the art Split Second concept and to consolidate their various direct retail operations into a single entity. While at Amoco, he was also a member of its Retail Systems Steering and Facility Design Coordination Committees.

Steve has been actively involved with the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) since 1976. He is the only person to have been elected to its Retailer Board and Supplier Board of Directors.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural and Food Economics from the University of Massachusetts, and a MBA in Marketing from W. New England University. He currently serves as member of its International Business Advisory Board.

Steve is a frequent contributor to articles on the convenience retail/petroleum marketing industry and is a frequent speaker at industry functions. He has worked with NACS as a Program Director and Program Moderator on topics ranging Foodservice to the Non-Traditional Competitors.

b2b Solutions retail clients have ranged from single store operators to large multinational firms. These include such companies as Chevron USA Products Company, Crescent Oil Company, Exxon Company, USA, LG-Caltex, Lekkerland (Switzerland) Ltd., Mobil Oil Corporation, Murphy Oil USA, NACS, Pride Convenience, Inc., and Shell Canada Products Limited. Supplier clients include Coca-Cola USA, Food Concepts, Inc., Harmonic Systems, Inc., Kraft Foods, MGC Communication, Inc., and Westec Interactive.

Other Links from Steve Montgomery:

b2b Solutions, LLC Web Site

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  • Posted on: 11/17/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – M&S vs. Sainsbury’s

    I enjoyed both, but found the Sainsbury's ad a little bit frantic with the quick scene changes. My vote is for M&S. It had a cohesive message that was easy to follow and enjoyable to watch. As Art noted, both would have to be dramatically shortened for the U.S. market. I believe the M&S ad would work better in a 30-second format.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2017

    Amazon Go still plans to transform convenience in retail stores

    This is another in a series of grand Amazon announcements. The next will be that they are beta testing in a non-specifically constructed store. Maybe a few years from now we hear about systems that will work well in larger formats with more shoppers, random weigh items — you know the places people shop and the things they buy.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2017

    Has Google solved the problem of long lines at grocery checkouts?

    Who hates standing in line the most? The customer with just a few items. They are faced with a regular checkout line with customers with heavily loaded carts or express checkout lines where many of the people have exceeded the 10- or 15-item limit.A great solution is to add more self-checkouts. True there are difficulties with random weight items and items without barcodes but getting the small purchases out of the regular lanes would be a help.And oh yeah, implement John’s idea: hire more checkers -- this from a former stock boy/checker in a supermarket.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2017

    Amazon scales back Fresh deliveries

    If consumers are willing to invest in the required home entry systems and trust Amazon to enter their homes, they may be willing to trust them to select their perishables and put them in the refrigerators and/or freezer.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2017

    Should Papa John’s drop its NFL sponsorship?

    Everyone has the right to voice their opinion (with some limitations). However, when you are a CEO you have to keep in mind that whatever regarding what is occurring in the world you say will likely offend someone and have an impact on your business. This simple lesson in one that many CEOs have yet to learn. As several have responded, they will seek alternatives to Papa John’s and others will support what Mr. Schnatter said.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Amazon undercuts rivals by adding discounts to marketplace seller prices

    There have been several comments about Amazon wanting to do what’s best for the consumer. Amazon is not a charity. It is doing what it believes is best for Amazon.What it is doing is good for the consumers in the short run but, as has been pointed out, it may not be in the long run. Without Amazon Web Services to provide profits it would be forced to change it pricing philosophy. Would that be better for consumers in the long run? I'm not sure.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Date-certain shipping is the new holiday imperative for retailers

    I believe consumers are more interested in the date the item will arrive than if it will be delivered by USPS, UPS or FedEx. However, I can foresee times when that information would be of value. For example, we know USPS will deliver by 1 p.m. most days while with FedEx and UPS it will be in the 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. range. Depending on the item it may be important to be there or not.I believe Shep said it best: The shipping option that meets the consumer’s need is the best one.
  • Posted on: 11/03/2017

    Was Amazon scamming or searching for its HQ2 location?

    Like those that came be for me, I believe Amazon had a short list. The sweepstakes was a way to generate publicity and wring out extra concessions from the chosen few. The process was, to quote Macbeth, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
  • Posted on: 11/02/2017

    Gillette’s odd promo delivers some very weird results

    This is an updated twist on their “give them the razor, sell them the blades” strategy. Yes the promotion may send a razor to the wrong person sometimes, but the cost is low and look at the publicity Gillette gets on the web when it does.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2017

    Consumers plan to get started early on Christmas shopping

    The shift to earlier shopping allows retailers to better plan their inventory adjustments and promotions. Their margins should increase as the earlier shopping and better inventory control will result in less last minute discounted merchandise. Over time this will educate customers not to wait until the last minute thinking that they will enjoy large discounts with a large selection of items from which to choice.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2017

    American Eagle invites college kids to do their laundry

    Definitely not part of the target audience but somehow washing my dirty laundry in a retail store is not very appealing. I realize the word has a very different connotation but I’ll stick with “don’t air your dirty laundry in public.”
  • Posted on: 10/23/2017

    Apple opens invisible hangout in Chicago

    The new Apple store will not only serve the local market, but will become a tourist attraction here in Chicago. Once people enter they are likely to buy and develop and/or reaffirm their relationship with Apple. Can you ask a location to do more?
  • Posted on: 10/23/2017

    Will same-day pay help hourly workers and their employers?

    Interesting concept. Unlike payday loans where the fee is charged to the borrower the employer pays the small service fee. As others have noted this doesn’t increase the employees’ income or teach them how they might better manage the income they are receiving.The article didn’t answer questions regarding the actual funds transfer process from employer to employee and the cost of doing so. That being said, if it can prove its ability to decrease turnover then it is something that retailers should at least investigate. It may not work for all but it does it appears to be a very low-cost retention method.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2017

    Should Kroger sell its c-stores?

    That answer depends on how you define "right." As David stated, if the purpose is to increase share price then it is likely the right decision although the impact may be limited. Currently the multiples for c-store are high and Kroger’s management stated this was a reason to explore the sale. It will be interesting to see what happen in that marketplace if 7-Eleven bondholders are able to negotiate a higher rate.Kroger’s 784 c-stores generate about $4 billion in sales (including fuel) or about 4 percent of Kroger’s total sales. Its loyalty program is highly rated partly because Kroger customers can earn up to $1 off fuel at its locations or 10 cents off at 4,000 Shell locations. The relationships with Shell would remain, but the purchaser of the Kroger c-store may find $1-off too rich.Each of Kroger c-store companies has a knowledgeable store management team. There has been some consolidation for BOH function but I doubt that selling these stores is going to have any significant impact on Kroger’s headcount or G&A.Is it the right thing to do? Time will tell.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2017

    Should Coach Inc. have changed its name?

    Let’s see. To start with there is a brand name of leather goods that is known across the world. That brand purchased other high-end brands with similar items to those that they sell. Now they think it’s a good idea to change the name to one that refers to a thick textile fabric with pictures or designs used as a wall hanging or furniture covering? I don’t think so.

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