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: 10/16/2019

    Does Target need to address its associate morale problem?

    This situation is not good news for Target or its employees, and I’m sure other retailers who have significantly increased hourly wages are facing the same problems. The more significant issue is minimum wage jobs and how we, as a nation, are getting off track. Is it fair to be paying a store associate who is working hard $8 an hour when the top executive is making millions of dollars? Unfortunately, the answer is “yes,” but why? Because the system of the minimum wage was the understanding that these jobs were designed to be entry-level positions for those going out into the workforce for the first time. The jobs were to allow the new hire to gain some experience as they began their journey up the corporate ladder. And those jobs were also designed to help students earn some money while in school. Also, those jobs were to give the stay-at-home parents an opportunity to work a couple of hours while the kids were in school as well as retirees who wanted to do something to make themselves still feel useful. But today, we have too many individuals stuck in a system that only allows those individuals minimum wage jobs with no opportunity for advancement. That is what needs to change. We have to provide training for these people, and surely a company as big as Target should have a program for employee advancement that contains all the steps for those wanting the chance. Yes, they have the employee management trainee program, but it’s not enough. As we continue to advance with technology, those stuck in the minimum wage jobs are going to find it even more challenging to keep their jobs, and we need to address those issues now.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2019

    Will shoe swapping be the new shoe shopping?

    We’ve all heard the phrase, “I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.” Well, I guess that is no longer the case. However, although the idea appears novel, I don’t see it as being one that will be a huge success. It’s true that Rent The Runway has had some success, but clothes can be dry cleaned and shoes cannot. Some people are very rough on their shoes, and they can have odors caused by several foot issues. So while I see some people giving this a shot, I don’t see it as a service that will be used by a majority, and I doubt it will have much staying power.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2019

    Will Sam’s Club CEO lead Walmart’s U.S. business to greater success?

    One thing that has changed in the business world today is the length of executives keeping jobs. Many of them jump ship after only a few years, especially when they have had some success they can boast about for their next job. Mr. Foran has had tremendous success at Walmart and, after only five years, he is leaving. This concept seems to be the new norm. The problem with that is that it usually takes at least two years to learn the business, another year to try new ideas, another year to see results, so five years is not a long time at the helm. What I like about John Furner is his long relationship working for Walmart and working his way up to the top. Today that is very rare. When a top executive has gone through the ranks, they have a better understanding of what takes place in the lower levels, what works and what does not. I see Mr. Furner having great success. I commend Greg Foran for the success he had, and I would expect John Furner to keep in place what is working. Through his experience, I am sure even better things are to come.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2019

    Can retail ease automation’s impact on African American workers?

    Sad but true, but I don’t see businesses doing much to address the issue of how technology will impact the workforce. Why? Because it’s all about money, and much of the technology being developed is to replace humans with AI. It will become someone else’s problem when we once again lose jobs. However, our country went through this phase many times when machines replaced factory workers; machines replaced farmhands, and voice mail replaced phone operators. Unfortunately, people will feel the impact. Some of the employees who will lose their job will learn other trades and find work while many will not. What we do need is a well thought-out program that can train workers for services that will still be required, and that is something we need sooner than later. There are some programs out there funded by the government, but they are very limited in what they offer and who can qualify. If we use our heads, we can look forward to a future where a population that is still able to work, supported by technology, can adapt to a changing society and provide the services we will need.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2019

    Will becoming a UPS pickup/drop off point drive craft sales at Michaels?

    I think having UPS Access Point locations in Michaels is a brilliant idea. Today retailers need to find new ways to get customers in stores, and when you add convenience you have a winner. Customers needing to ship or pick up a package via UPS can take advantage of the opportunity of doing it at Michaels. There will be times when the Michaels location will be closer and more convenient for the customer than the nearest UPS store. And for Michaels, it will get those customers in their store. While there they may browse and pick up an item on impulse. So this is a big win for Michaels, UPS and of course the customer. With the competition we have today, retailers need to be creative and find unique methods for increasing traffic and although having UPS Access Point locations in stores won’t be a game-changer, it certainly will add traffic which means added sales.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2019

    Can Target’s chief merchandising officer turn Bed Bath & Beyond around?

    Mark Tritton taking over the helm at Bed, Bath & Beyond, is an excellent move for the company. Frankly, I can’t see how he could do any worse than past leadership. Bed, Bath & Beyond has many advantages and, for whatever reason, the company has never seen them. They clearly should be the leader in housewares with no other chain out there giving them a run for their money. Yet they continually fail. Why? I would say primarily because of the inconsistent in-store experience. There are times when one could probably sleep on the floor for a few hours, and no associate in the store would find them. In this day and age, when getting traffic in your store is a challenge, it is mind-boggling to me to see a chain like Bed, Bath & Beyond, which manages never to have their in-store staff there to help customers. I have seen clusters of associates yacking at the front of the store. I see them walk into the back room and never come out. But very rarely do I find store associates walking the floor looking to assist customers. Bed, Bath & Beyond, with the right leadership, can make their stores not only competitive but the leaders in housewares. Online they should have no problem competing, but it’s in the in-store business that I believe Bed, Bath & Beyond has the most significant opportunity to turn things around.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2019

    REI opens outdoor adventure gateway concept

    I see REI’s “experiences” store in New Hampshire as a smart plan, and I believe it will be hugely successful. Why? Many people love REI, and those people enjoy the outdoors. Here is an excellent opportunity for those customers to experience something different that will make them feel good about their outdoor activities, giving them ideas and support with what they enjoy. The fact the location is only 25,000 square feet means REI is most likely taking things slowly and testing results before going further. But I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next several years we see more REI experience stores opening all over the country and perhaps one's that are more significant in size. I always say that if you want to succeed in business, you have to be different from your competitors. This is a move that is different from REI’s competition.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2019

    Why is Target helping Toys “R” Us get back online?

    This strategy is not what one might expect, but I see this as a very positive opportunity. Target is a highly respected company, one that consumers love and trust. Toys "R" Us was a company that had a considerable audience spanning decades, with many customers having fond memories of shopping there when they were kids, as parents, and even as grandparents. Many people are supporting the comeback of Toys "R" Us. So Target helping with online fulfillment will get positive press and a great feeling from customers. Moreover, Target may have other plans with Toys "R" Us behind the scenes for future joint ventures, which could be anything from Toys "R" Us departments in the Target stores to further online involvement. The partnership between Target and Toys "R" Us is business, but "good" business where Target, Toys "R" Us and, most importantly, the customer will come out ahead.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2019

    Kroger makes unusual donation to prevent a food desert

    I commend Kroger for their role in finding a suitable replacement when they left Memphis’s Orange Mound neighborhood and donating their former building. However, I think it’s sad and frankly a bit stupid. Sure there is goodwill and a nice press they will get, but the real winner is Superlo Foods. If Kroger could donate a $500,000 building, it would have made more sense to develop a business model that could have kept them in their space and let them be the winners in the community. Consumers have such a bad taste about big business because of the concerns only being on profit. This was an opportunity for Kroger to go against the grain and help a small community shop their stores, and they blew it. Superlo Foods will continue to grow, and although most likely they’ll never be as big as Kroger, I guarantee that if a neighborhood ever has a Kroger and Superlo Foods, it will be Superlo Foods who will get the business. Profit is essential, but too much focus on short-term numbers can often hurt a business, instead of helping them long-term.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2019

    Should companies have to pay you to use your personal data?

    I agree with Andrew Yang in theory; however, it is not as easy as it sounds. The one thing companies need to do a better job of (and of course I’m sure they don’t want to) is letting customers know that data is being tracked and give them an easy opt out option. Today nothing is private and companies have gone way overboard with what they track, how they track, how they use the information, and how they share it. Unfortunately, tracking data has become such a large business with all kinds of disguises; it’s impossible to know who is recording a customer’s data, when, and how. Eventually there will most likely be some regulation, but even with that, tech companies providing services will find their ways around it. The best advice to everyone is to be careful with what they do online, be cautious of what surveys one responds to and be careful giving out personal information. It won’t stop you from being tracked, but it will cut down on how much information companies can get about an individual.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2019

    Zulily thinks it can beat Amazon and Walmart on price

    They say that history repeats itself, and that is no different in marketing. Years ago, companies would advertise the lowest price guaranteed and all you had to do was bring the newspaper ad into a competitor. Often they would match or beat the price. So this is not a new concept, but an old one with a different spin because it is online. The problem will be twofold: 1.) can Zulily continue to beat Amazon as it says 97 percent of the time and 2.) can they gain enough market share to go against the online giant? It’s hard to say, and only time will tell. I do see this as very risky for Zulily and I’m not sure if, in the long-term, this will be successful for them. Amazon has a significant market share, and often it is not the truth that matters as much as the perception. Customers perceive Amazon as the best place to shop for deals. So Zulily is going to have to get consumers beyond that type of thinking.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2019

    What is Amazon’s ultimate Alexa strategy?

    I think it is clear that Amazon sees tremendous potential with voice-activated technology. We’re getting closer every day to living like the Jetsons and like in the world of Star Trek. I see Amazon aspiring to be the leader of a company driven by technological conveniences. Apple has Siri, but Amazon is determined to take Alexa beyond what any other company is offering. Moreover, the public seems to be in favor of it as millions of consumers use Alexa every day for all kinds of things making their lives easier with fun and convenience. I see the trend continuing and, eventually, more companies following Amazon’s lead.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2019

    Do Carolinians have Wegmans on their minds?

    You can sum it up in one word: “experience.” When you shop at Wegmans, you have an experience like no other supermarket. From atmosphere to design, products, associates, you name it -- Wegmans does it like no other. Wegmans has remained successful because they put the customer first and understand their customer and they realize that it’s not smart to suck out every penny imaginable for personal profit. They invest heavily in their stores and their employees, and it makes a difference. They haven’t sold out to some private equity firm or gone public. They are family run and have no plans of changing that. In essence, they run their company the same way it was done back in the day when the name of the company was typically that of the family running the business -- like Macy’s, Gimbels and so many others. As long as Wegmans continues this philosophy, I see them only becoming even more successful.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2019

    Is Walmart’s CEO the right leader for Business Roundtable?

    Walmart has proven beyond any doubt that retailers can still be successful. They have done and continue to do many things right and, as a result, sales continue to increase. Not many other retailers can make the same claim. Too many retailers have failed because of continuing outdated practices and not investing in their business, particularly their stores or their employees. We many not agree with everything Doug McMillon says or does but if I were a retailer, I’d listen. Success comes to those who are committed to the long-term and not the short-term. Moreover, too many executives today are only interested in what is in it for them and not the company. That is hurting many businesses. Walmart has been able in many ways to continue the philosophy and principles of its founder Sam Walton, and that says a lot. Sorry Wall Street, I’m sure you do not agree.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2019

    Why do IT service outages keep happening at retail?

    A big part of the problem today is that there is less quality checking and testing on just about everything. When it comes to technology, we are in such a rush to get the newest version of software out long before all the bugs are ironed out. Apple’s recent release of iOS 13 is a clear example of that. Unfortunately it has become the new norm, and those working in IT are no different, often due to the pressure from above. When you look at the complexities involved in the day to day activity at a retail chain like Target, it’s a wonder there aren’t more outages. Technology is excellent and I, as most of us do, love the newest and greatest device, software, or app. However we all have to take a step back and try to be a bit patient. We need to accept the fact that either we give all the providers the time they need to make sure everything is working correctly without the bugs or, if we choose to demand everything as soon as possible, we understand that there are going to be problems.

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