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: 07/17/2019

    ‘World’s Smallest Restaurant’ opens to promote single-person meals

    Irma’s 1:1 restaurant should be view as a public relations gimmick to draw attention to their single person meals and not as a concept they intend to roll out. One may be the loneliest number but purchasing for meals for a single person does not have to be an onerous task. Being willing to prepare meals with the idea of having and eating leftovers will go a long way to solve the meal prep conundrum for a single diner.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2019

    Who owns customer service in an age of co-branding?

    I agree. The buck stops with whoever’s name is on the store. The customer bought the item in your store and has a reasonable expectation that you will take care of any issues that arise. As the retailer, that many not seem fair to you but as we have often stated, the consumer’s perception is the reality that retailers have to deal with.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2019

    Crate and Barrel takes the feed them and they will come approach

    I found it interesting that this story came out the same day as Progressive Grocer published an article titled “How Grocers Can Reap Benefits, Dodge Pitfalls of In-Store Restaurants.” The concept of using food to attract customers and encourage them to make purchases is not new nor are the issues and pitfalls that come with doing so. Restaurants have one of the highest failure rates for any business in the U.S. It remains to be seen if Crate and Barrel can pull it off. I will have to check it out the next time I am in Oakbrook.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2019

    Will meatless meat, CBD and cold brew coffee help food retailers differentiate?

    By far the hottest trend in the c-store industry is CBD products. Nothing comes close to the rapid profusion of products ranging from gummi bears to drinks. There are still many questions that need to be answered regarding the sales of these items but until they make therapeutic benefit claims, they are not subject to the FDA oversight. The FDA has held one public meeting and is likely to hold more. Until they determine what if any regulations they want to impose, CBD infused products will remain the hottest c-store trend.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2019

    Can mobile sensing tools boost worker productivity?

    Big Brother has arrived. I know of no one who would voluntarily submit to this type of monitoring nor would I ask them to.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2019

    How do consumers define cleanliness in grocery stores?

    Consumers also associated messy with dirty. The includes product displays on the aisle shelving, endcaps, refrigerated cases and especially produce and meat cases. There is little question that the expansion of prepared food offerings has raised the bar for the expectation of cleanliness. To paraphrase what we tell our c-store clients – supermarket clean is not equal to restaurant clean. Today’s supermarket shoppers expect restaurant clean.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2019

    Will autonomous vans help Walmart win the middle mile logistics race?

    There continues to be lots publicity about the use of autonomous vehicles handling delivery for one thing or another. At this point these are all really tests in hopes of being ready if, and when, the regulations catch up with the reality of these vehicles being on the road in any type of quantity. I expect this to be further down the road (no pun intended) than many.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2019

    Can Sam’s Club’s new app really cut tire shopping down to 5 minutes?

    The answer to that depends on the products being sold. Unlike like many purchases, the Sam’s tire app is not governed by fashion or other emotionally driven considerations. It is very likely to know more about what tires the car needs that the owner of the car. Add to this a knowledge clerk and you have a winning combination for both Sam’s and the purchaser.
  • Posted on: 06/17/2019

    Does self-checkout make sense for Costco?

    I shop at both Sam’s and Costco. Based on personal experience for someone with a relatively small number of purchases at Sam’s, the checkout process has definitely sped up with the introduction of self-checkout. I know of no reason the same would not be true for Costco.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2019

    How long before Amazon launches its fleet of drones?

    The short answer is no. A single drone making a home delivery is a novelty and poses limited risk. Having the air full of delivery drones poses several issues. It increases the likelihood that they have some sort of incident ranging from mechanical issues to trying to avoid crashing into each other or crashing into a building, a roofer, a hobbyist's drone or another kind of drone. Technology in the future will eliminate or greatly reduce the likelihood of this, but not in the near term.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2019

    Will a city’s ban on tobacco sales catch on across the nation?

    Beverly Hills (as do other legislative bodies) has the right to propose and pass legislation such as the tobacco ban. While nothing in the article mentions it, I assume the ban also includes other nicotine delivery systems such a vaping or as some refer to it today JUUling. I do expect that this type of legislation will pass in several communities but doubt it will become mainstream. Cities and state continue to rely on tobacco-based taxes as a source of their income. For example, Illinois's per-pack tax on cigarettes is $2.98 including a just passed a $1 per-pack increase.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2019

    What would Amazon do with Boost Mobile?

    Of all the reasons why Amazon might not want to buy Boost Mobile I believe the comment by Mr. Moffett may be the one that deters them from doing so. Amazon, Google and Facebook all face increasing scrutiny for a variety of reasons. Willingly entering an industry that already operates under a great deal of regulation would be the last thing any of them would want to do.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2019

    What if unwanted online purchases didn’t have to be returned?

    This seems to make sense when the item is something that cannot be resold or can only be sold at a price that exceeds the cost of processing the return and refurbishing. However, the cynic in me sees this policy being taken advantage of by people who use it to get free goods. There are several ways that this might be controlled just as they are in the brick-and-mortar world such as monitoring how many times a customer does this. Once the set limit is exceeded, it would require the item to be returned in order to get a refund.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2019

    Abercrombie & Fitch CEO says ‘stores matter’ – particularly the smaller ones

    As others have already stated, flagships have dual purposes. One is to sell product and the other is to create and reinforce brand and product awareness. What I didn’t see in the article was a strategy to move those flagships' customers to another smaller nearby location, or to move them to be ecommerce customers. While cutting cost always seems like a great idea, the unintended consequences of eliminating the flagships may mean an ultimate decline in awareness for both the brand and products.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2019

    Amazon to set small suppliers adrift

    Amazon and I assume to a lesser extent the small retailers, understood the relationship going in. Each party gained something. Amazon got a wider variety of products and the retailer access to more customers and a lower cost of getting their products to them. Amazon has realized that while its smaller retailers need it, it no longer needs all of them in the same way. As Phil indicates, they can still do business through Amazon but have to assume a greater role in the sales process. This too may have benefits for both. Amazon reduces its inventory carry and shipping cost and the retailer established a direct relationship with its customers.

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