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

  • Posted on: 07/29/2016

    Dollar General grows where Walmart closes

    The most interesting aspect of Dollar General's acquisition of the Walmart Express locations is its move into fuel. In late 2013 the company first tried retailing gasoline as a test in Alabama. Didn’t hear much about the test and any of the actions that followed. However, this acquisition definitely puts them in the fuel business.The acquisition of the Walmart Express sites is significant because it positions Dollar General to be an even more effective competitor to the c-store industry. Ironically, should they grow their fuel business, it helps them compete against Walmart.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2016

    How should commissions work in the era of omnichannel retailing?

    As everyone has already commented, the short answer is yes. The questions are how and how much. To even begin to accurately answer we first have to be able to track all the ways consumers make purchases and which impact element in the transaction impacts the purchase decision.Few retailers possess the information systems to capture that data to say nothing of the skills to analyze it. Those that figure that out will not only have happy customers, but happy employees — a winning combination.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2016

    Will Starbucks prosper or slide as CEO changes focus?

    We always hear about bench strength. Starbucks has it. The trick is allowing the bench to actually “play.” It is never easy to let go of the reins for a strong CEO.I remember being told the hardest part is to let your successor fail a little. They will need to learn from their own experience. Shultz staying active in the company does provide a safety net for the company and its investors.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2016

    Will Target take NYC by going small and flexible?

    Smaller formats for mass merchants run into trouble when they cannot fulfill the expectation of customers used to shopping in their larger formats. By customizing its mix to focus more on the needs of the local customer Target increases the chance of its smaller-format locations’ success.The supply chain issues for smaller formats for mass merchants and other large format retailers has been discussed before. It is difficult to adapt a supply chain built on truckload drops to service stores that require the same delivery frequency to remain in-stock, have fresh products, etc., but with smaller drops.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2016

    7-Eleven makes history with consumer drone delivery

    Doing something and making money at doing it are two very different things. I agree with the other members of the panel. Nice publicity stunt, but ...
  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    Do wine and beer make for a better shopping experience?

    Drinking and driving is a no-no because it can cause accidents. Drinking while shopping may cause damage to your wallet.I wonder what the reaction will be when someone has one too many in the store and then has a fender bender or worse in the parking lot?
  • Posted on: 07/15/2016

    What is Starbucks baking up with its latest investment?

    Size matters. It can be a good thing or not, depending. This is a lesson all businesses have learned. It is one thing to serve an exceptional handcrafted food item in a limited number of locations with a dedicated staff. It is quite another to try to replicate that in hundreds to say nothing of thousands of locations.In order to do the latter Starbucks will have to find a way to commercialize the product and thus, in all likelihood, remove some or most of what makes it artisanal. This does not mean that it won’t be good and something that finds commercial success, but it will not be the same as what the four locations serve today.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2016

    Do robots make sense for online delivery?

    Does anyone envision the impact of lots these little robots on the sidewalks in a busy city center? I was downtown in Chicago last Friday morning and the sidewalks hardly had enough space for the people on them.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2016

    Forget Prime Day – It’s Cow Appreciation Day

    Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day has already reached half of its goals. It has created a lot of publicity. I have seen several articles on it over the past few days.The second goal of driving traffic to its sites and hopefully gaining new customers can only be determined at the end of the promotion. However, my expectation is that they will report traffic increases. Will this result in longer term increased sales? That I am less sure of.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2016

    Are self-checkouts dooming impulse purchases?

    Is the issue the inherent physical plant issues that come with self-checkout, i.e., the lack of display space, etc. or the fact that Millennials are buying so few items that that is their method of choice? The first involves every self-checkout customer. The supermarkets knowingly traded lower labor costs for potential lost impulse sales.The other may solve itself. Millennials are likely in the self-checkout lane because they are buying just a few items (at least those of us behind them hope that is the case). Is that because they shop more often or the fact that so many of them are living at home and dependent on someone else to load the pantry? If the latter, then as they move out and start their own families they move from the self-checkout lanes to the regular ones. Issue solved.
  • Posted on: 07/07/2016

    Yes! McD’s McGriddles all-day, every day

    One conventional wisdom in the QSR world is, "own the morning own the day." The original thought was if you could get customers in for breakfast then you had a good chance of getting them back for lunch or dinner. With the expansion of McDonald’s breakfast menu into all parts of the day the thought appears to be that the way to own the day is to offer breakfast throughout the day.The article notes that McDonald’s sales are up so it appears to be working. Offering breakfast anytime does help McDonald's avoid the "no" vote when a group is considering where to go. There are many people who will buy one of their breakfast sandwiches but not eat a Big Mac.We heard a lot about the franchisees complaining about the impact on their operations and potentially about their profits as customers might trade down. I wonder if this is still an issue given the 6.2 percent sales increase in the first quarter.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2016

    Dollar stores — they have the meats

    Buying raw meats and poultry are a largely a function of faith in the seller and the brand. The consumer has to believe that both have properly handled the product throughout the supply chain to prevent all the various bad things that can happen.As Bob stated, it will only take one instance of someone getting ill and the investigation finding inadequate food safely procedures being followed for the consumer to lose that faith (at least for a while) and the trend to turn negative.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2016

    Should e-mails and other personal info be for sale?

    From a personal perspective the answer is yes. Even if I didn’t read the fine print, I gave company X my data for a reason. Perhaps I had to in order to get a delivery made to my home (which requires a phone number and emails for notifications), etc. However, I didn’t expect it to be sold for whatever reason.From a business perspective, it is an asset and has value. As such, it is something that can be used for the benefit of the company, its shareholders and/or creditors. A company going out of business may not care because they don’t have to worry about customer relationships anymore but that certainly doesn’t help all the remaining companies that depend on gathering customer data endear a lot of trust.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2016

    Will Kellogg’s cereal café snap, crackle or pop?

    Disclaimer: I like cold cereal as a breakfast and eat a number of Kellogg’s brands. However, I don’t think a cereal-only restaurant will be a hit, especially at $7.50 a serving. May help create more brand awareness but will not be successful as a restaurant concept.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2016

    Marc’s sends recipes via beacons

    Using beacons in this manner provides the customers something beyond a “buy this” message. I believe this might result in higher trial and, more importantly, sustained use. However, as with anything of this nature the retailers must be careful not to overload the customer with messages.

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