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: 04/19/2018

    How will Amazon replace Whole Foods’ rewards program?

    Amazon apparently has a different vision for Whole Foods, and it will continue to integrate them into the Amazon way of doing business. Amazon Prime is a huge success, and I can see why they would want Whole Foods customers using it and not some other program. Since the takeover, Whole Foods has changed prices and the way it is doing business. I would expect to see more changes. No one should have thought Whole Foods would remain the way it was. That hardly ever happens when a company gets purchased. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon buys a second food chain and possibly a third, over the next few years and merges the chains together and at some point, expect the name to change from Whole Foods to Amazon Foods. Amazon is committed to being the most prominent brand it can be, and that is happening. There is nothing wrong with that ... many would say it's smart business. But for those that were loyal to a brand, it’s hard to accept the changes.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2018

    Starbucks to close shops for racial bias training

    The right training will definitely help, but it starts with the right culture and the understanding of equality and not to discriminate needs to be integrated into all the training, not just be a one-time program. The training needs to be reinforced going forward with additional refresher programs that also address those issues. Too many companies think training is a one-time program and everything should be fine. It’s not, it’s ongoing, and the values and principles of the company come from the culture. Starbucks has a good culture, but for this incident to have happened, there is room for improvement. Also, people learn by example so while Starbucks is training store associates, remember that leadership starts at the top, meaning everyone at the company needs to be part of this training and fully support the objectives.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2018

    Honoring women

    I think today there are many men afraid of what they should say when complimenting a woman for fear that it might be misinterpreted. That’s sad when a woman has done a great job and isn’t recognized for it. The solution begins with honesty. If a man wishes to praise a woman for her work, do it as if she were a man and not as if she might interpret it as being flirtatious. The more significant problem is when men and women work together at the same level. They spend several hours together, and perhaps the man is interested in her beyond her job, or the woman is interested in the man. Again, the solution, you need is to be honest. Men and also women need to stop playing games they sometimes play while at work which send mixed and wrong signals. So keep it simple and as I said, keep it honest. That’s my policy running my company and any involvement I have working with outside organizations. When in doubt, ask a legitimate question. You’ll be amazed at how much better things will be and how comfortablly you can continue a positive working relationship. If a woman should be promoted because she is right for the job, then it should happen, and if a male employee can’t handle it, he’s not right for your company. This is no different than when a man is promoted, and another co-worker gets jealous, causes trouble and needs to be terminated. So keep things fair, simple and always be honest.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2018

    Best Buy and Amazon expand their coopetition

    The adage, “if you can’t beat them join them” applies here and it’s smart. Best Buy has confidence in its ability to provide customers what Amazon cannot and the same with Amazon. Best Buy will maintain the in-store opportunity for customers to come and see for themselves what they wish to purchase. Amazon for the moment does not have that luxury. Hopefully, partnering with Best Buy will satisfy Amazon enough so that they don’t invest in opening their own appliance/consumer electronics stores. But without this alliance, there is a higher chance at some point Amazon would. I would expect to see more retailers partnering with Amazon because there are advantages for both parties an at least in the short term a chance to do more business.
  • Posted on: 04/17/2018

    Does Walmart need to keep Jet.com around?

    It makes sense that Walmart would want their brand to dominate in e-commerce. That said, if Jet.com has an advantage in the urban market and Walmart recognizes that, then for now, Jet.com will continue to penetrate that market until such time that Walmart can figure out how to take over that business as well. Brand recognition is essential, and Walmart knows that their name must always take the lead for them to maintain a strong presence in the marketplace. So eventually, I would see Jet.com going away as Walmart continues to take over their e-commerce business.
  • Posted on: 04/17/2018

    Has Google found a formula for undercutting Amazon’s product search advantage?

    There is no doubt that competition chasing after Amazon is getting stronger and those competing are gaining ground. As technology continues to advance, expect to see more companies getting into the voice activation shopping as well as price cutting, special offers, and services. It’s all about survival. Google’s new Shopping Action program is smart and will be attractive to retailers because it is much better to pay per sale than per click. I would expect to see the competition between the key players increase as we are just at the tip of the iceberg with where technology is taking us and what conveniences we will have.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2018

    Will electric vehicles prove a bane or a boon for c-stores and energy drinks?

    Long-term electric cars will be a bane and not a boon. It is true that eventually we will have battery packs capable of 500 miles. But that is not going to help the c-store business because drivers will not be pulling into c-stores for gas or to charge their car batteries. This is going to change the dynamics of the c-store. Today approximately 60 percent of customers who pull in for gas do not go into the c-store. Now take the gas station away and what happens to the company business? Will there be enough business to support the c-store? No. The other problem is c-store companies are continuing to open new stores at a rapid rate. In time, they will not be able to keep them open. Electric cars of the future will go greater distances and charge faster than they recharge today. Some companies are working on the self-charging technology with two batteries, one battery being charged from the other battery while that battery is also powering the car. This will change how we travel, where and why we stop, and no doubt change the entire c-store industry.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2018

    REI lifts the sustainability bar

    REI takes pride in its brand and has an audience who respects them. Taking a harder line on sustainability requirements for vendors is excellent and makes a strong statement. They will lose some vendors who can’t make the grade, but that too is fine. Overall, customers will respect their policies, and I would expect other retailers to take a similar position once they see REI achieving success. Someone always has to be first to take a stand before others can follow. REI is smart to realize that is apparently fine taking the lead.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2018

    Backstage shops star inside Macy’s

    Macy's continues to have a real identity problem. I no longer know who they are and who they strive to be as a department store. This move is another way of sending the public the wrong message. I get it that it’s all about sales and any time there is a discount opportunity, i.e., outlets or in this case a store outlet inside of a full price-store, it is going to bring sales. However, the damage long term is that more people will shop in the Backstage department than the rest of the store. Macy’s will then make the Backstage department larger and eventually convert some of their smaller stores to Backstage stores. So how does this help build the brand? When Macy’s finally becomes a full discount chain competing with all the other off-price chains, the trend will have changed as new full-price retailers will emerge. Then Macy’s will be kicking themselves because they lost the lead in that business and they will no longer be able to go back to being the great department store they once were.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2018

    Walmart slows push to add third-party sellers to its online marketplace

    I think Walmart is continuing to do many things right. If they are slowing down adding third-party sellers to their marketplace, they’re probably seeing that overcrowding their business with too many choices will not benefit the sellers they already have. It may be temporary as they figure out a strategy that will benefit everyone. I am not concerned about Walmart because they seem to have their pulse on precisely what they are doing. I especially like that when testing something they are quick to make adjustments to make sure customers are getting what they want.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2018

    What makes a successful retail CEO?

    I see two types of CEOs today. The first type is the person who is committed to the success of the company, puts themselves last for the good of the company, is a good listener, confident but is an inclusive leader and, most importantly, from top to bottom makes everyone feel part of the team, valued and appreciated. The second type of CEO which we see more of today is more about themselves first then the company. Their compensation is the most important, but they have no money to invest in this or that in their business. This type of person looks at the job as a term of “X” amount of years and, as long as the company can sustain moderate growth, they pat themselves on their back for their genius and leadership. How many of these CEOs have put companies in the red, in Chapter 11 or out of business entirely still walking out with their millions and soon landing their next job? This group is the group I see as the most significant problem in retail today. If you don’t have the genuine desire to do everything right and grow your business as well as letting those in your organization grow, you will not be the leader of tomorrow, and the company you run will never achieve its fullest potential. Family-run businesses like Wegmans where leadership is committed to the success of the company will always outshine public companies that have the CEO who came from here or there, puts in a few years and then goes someplace else.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2018

    Is Walmart building a tower of power with its expanding in-store pickup network?

    I think in some ways Walmart is missing the opportunity with their BOPIS program. Yes, the idea is to get the customer into the store, that’s smart because the hope is it will lead to impulse buying. However, if Walmart is going to make the experience unpleasant either by the location of the Pickup Tower or the inconvenience depending on the item, they are defeating the purpose. Walmart should consider an easy way for the customer to get to the Pickup Tower area and they should staff it with a friendly associate who can assist the customer. That associate should be quick to hand out a promotional flyer or coupons to the customer with “today only” specials encouraging the customer to shop. Merely using detached technology, one that does not enhance the in-store experience, has minimal benefit to the customer as well as Walmart and, unless improved, customers will not be encouraged to use it.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2018

    Retailers face criticism for failure to protect customer data

    There is no doubt that hackers are doing tremendous damage and things will only get worse unless all businesses start to address the predicament. The problem is so many businesses and retailers are too busy chasing after the next technology rather than taking a good hard look at where they presently are and how vulnerable their systems are to hackers. It’s quite unfortunate, and it is only when their business gets attacked and customers sue them and leave that they begin to take the matter seriously. That is stupid and quite sad. The problem is they don’t see the bang for their buck investing in security because they already have those customers and their primary interest is going after new ones. But without reliable security, it is only a matter of time before their systems get hacked and there is great damage. Retailers must take this problem seriously and protect their customers and ultimately their business.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2018

    Can MoviePass help revive America’s malls?

    MoviePass is a great idea, but I don’t know if long term it can be successful. The company is already losing money so that’s a concern and there’s no way to know if and when they can turn that around. As long as the customer gets a discount and MoviePass is making up the difference the loss will continue. True if customers keep the subscription and use it less that will help but even if the subscriber sees just one movie a month, there will be a loss. Unfortunately, what MoviePass has no control over is the quality of today’s films, which is the more significant problem. How many times have you walked out of a theater with the question, “What the heck was that?” Special effects too often replace what should have been a good script. Instead of seeing “This is a true story,” we often see “Inspired by a true story” so writers have the creative license to write plenty of fiction. To solve the problem, Hollywood needs to get back to making better films and not just the few a year we’ve become accustomed to but several. Once that happens, we will start to see a real increase in movie theater traffic.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2018

    Will micro-designers disrupt fast-fashion giants?

    Fashion has always been about looking unique and getting noticed because of what you wear. Here is an opportunity to take individuality to a higher level. I can see micro-designers having great success with the fashion-conscious crowd who wish to be different, knowing that what they’re wearing will not be mass produced. That said, technology will continue to change the apparel industry as we are becoming closer to custom-made clothing and eventually less off-the-rack items. Micro-designers will still have a place with their designs. However, as we rely more on a computer manufacturing custom-fitting apparel, I would expect that customers will be able to take more control of the design of what they wear by picking and choosing the fabric, color, patterns, etc. and in essence themselves becoming their own micro-designer. Only time will tell as technology progresses how this will turn out.

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