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: 05/23/2018

    Best Buy’s Geek Squad is now available by subscription

    “Technology is great when it works” is a phrase often heard these days. It is part of every discussion that includes a tech issue. We have become dependent on ever-increasingly complex technology for work and play, in all aspects of out daily life. Best Buy’s program is like having a life preserver you know is always there in case it is needed. It may never be but knowing it is there provides comfort. Perhaps more comfort than substance. In reading the list of services they are centered around installs, setup, backups, etc. rather than deeper dives on complex tech issues. I for one will continue to rely on the local company I have used. They can handle the really hard stuff. I see Best Buy’s program as tech support lite.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2018

    Will greater transparency drive a digital targeting backlash?

    Paula I wholeheartedly agree. Joseph Heller's Catch-22 quote “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you” certainly applies to today’s internet users.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Walmart drops Scan & Go tech – again

    Scan & Go is a transfer of work from a cashier to the customer. The customer supposedly gets a faster checkout and Walmart gets a lower cost of operation. As others have noted, with a few items the concept works well. With larger baskets, especially those with items sold by weight, the process becomes more complex. The by weight issue might be able to be addressed by weight generated bar codes, but then comes the bagging process. I am sure that many Walmart customers feel they have paid for someone else to perform those services and don’t want to be bothered with doing it themselves. At Sam’s there are two distinct differences. The customer base has a large mix of retailers buying for their stores. All Sam’s customers are also used to bagging it (or boxing it in Sam’s case), themselves. Will Walmart try it again? Of that there is no question.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Will Target Restock undercut Amazon’s Prime Pantry?

    I see Restock and the other recent changes Target has undertaken as attempts to meet the retail industry’s current standards. They are what is needed to play the retail game today but not what is needed to win. Will they help? Yes, but will they make a huge impact on Target’s relative position versus Walmart and Amazon? No.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2018

    7-Eleven Launches first augmented reality in-store experience

    At one time 7-Eleven and other c-store retailers sponsored 3-D movie broadcasts in local markets and sold the necessary glasses in their stores for viewers. In some cases it was a large financial success and in others it resulted in a financial loss. IMHO this will fall somewhere in between. 7-Eleven will gain some traffic, but I expect they will find that many people who will buy tickets to see the movie will not want to participate in the AR experience at their stores.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2018

    Etsy succeeds with its Amazon-opposite approach

    The answer lies in the definition of relatively. There is no question the business models are very different. One is definitely mass market and the other specialty. Could Amazon ever create a similar marketplace? Certainly, if it chose to do so. However, should it decide to enter a similar business IMHO it would simply buy Etsy or a similar company.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2018

    Shake Shack ends cashless experiment

    Many QSRs, c-stores and others have successfully implemented kiosk ordering. Other restaurants have gone cashless. Shake Shack's error was in testing both concepts at the same time. Of the two implementing kiosks is a less risky proposition for a QSR. The use of CSRs to help customers learn the ordering system learning that you can’t pay with cash after you have already come to their location and perhaps as one stated already ordered a meal, was a bridge too far for many of its customers.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2018

    New Brookstone concept brings makers to the mall

    Brookstone may find success with this concept in malls where traffic has declined but is still healthy. Opening one in a dying mall with not help Brookstone, the inventors or the mall.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2018

    Does Amazon need a robot?

    Ok – perhaps I am the only person that finds this a little creepy. I understand the value of the PR. It further signifies Amazon’s tech expertise but given all the issues surrounding the ability of these devises to listen, record, and analyze information, having one that can follow you around the house is a step too far for me.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2018

    Whole Foods to become a Prime perk for Amazon’s customers

    People won’t join Prime to save 20% at Whole Foods, but Prime members who also shop there will take advantage of the discount. This will not drive a growth in Prime membership or the number Whole Foods shoppers.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2018

    Walgreens tests lower prices, membership savings

    This sounds like a win for everyone except their competitors. Walgreens should gain new customers and additional loyalty for its current base. The $20 Walgreens Plus fee will provide a very quick return for its members especially those that do not belong to a health plan that covers prescriptions. It will be interesting to see if the SKU rationalization is limited to items other than their private labels.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2018

    Is $119 too much to pay for an Amazon Prime membership?

    The math is simple. Amazon would have to lose 20 percent of its Prime members before it net membership revenues would go down. That is not going to happen. Will some members leave? Certainly, but not anywhere near 20 percent.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2018

    Are Americans ready for a c-store that sells only healthy foods?

    This reminds me of the tale of Whole Foods and its selling of organics. It initially set them apart from other food retailers and made them the place to shop for them. However, over time other retailers began sourcing and selling organics and it became another category rather than a point of differentiation. I can foresee this being a niche business in select markets driven by local demographics, but not a major chain.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2018

    Walmart ditching khakis for jeans in dress code test

    Dave I agree. My first thought was this could make it even harder to identify their employees. We have become a jeans culture. Jeans and a variety of shirts will make the their employees fade into the crowd. Second thought was something I learned a long time ago -- empowerment without educations equals chaos. Unless Walmart is very careful with its definition of what is and is not acceptable upfront (I suggest visual aids), they will find themselves sending people home to change, etc. This could turn what is supposed to be a benefit into a pain.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2018

    Who will fill the retailing void left by Toys ‘R’ Us?

    Toys "R" Us sales will be fragmented across a wide number of retailers. This may benefit the retailers, but not the manufacturers and/or toy customers. Toy "R" Us was a place people looking for toys knew they could find a very large selection of items in one place. With its passing, that is no longer true. Yes, Walmart, Target and a few others may increase their selection of toys, but it will still be just another department and not their reason for being. That is also true for other retailers who now seek to expand their selection or enter the toy market.

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