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: 01/19/2022

    Are retailers’ returns concerns coming to a holiday head?

    As noted by the comments already made, there are a number of reasons for the increase in returns. As previously noted on RetailWire, one way to cut the cost of returns is determine who the abusers of the return policies are and address it.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    SCOTUS strikes down OSHA’s COVID vaccine/testing mandate

    Had the court ruled the opposite way it would have made it easier for retailers to require that all employees get vaccinated. They could have simply stated, the government is making us do this. The court’s ruling forces each company to make a decision for its employees and to live with the consequences of its decision.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Has ‘just-in-case’ replaced ‘just-in-time’ inventory management?

    Just-in-time inventory, albeit with some adjustments, is likely to return for most companies as we work our way out of the current supply chain bottlenecks. The lure of a higher return on inventory investment is just too great. The alternative is to build and/or acquire additional storage space along the supply chain all the way to the retailer. Companies are understandably hesitant to invest in something they may never need.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Are AI-powered customer service agents already human enough?

    AI is great for uninvolved issues, but when I say "agent" I want to speak to a person.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Are AI-powered customer service agents already human enough?

    Well said!
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 2022 be the year of text-to-shop?

    Text-to-shop will appeal to many people especially those that grew up texting to friends, family, etc. These individuals have never known a non-smartphone existence. While I do text when I have to, I try to avoid using my mobile phone for anything except for making calls. I cannot envision entering into a series of texts to buy something when I can order it on my PC using a keyboard. This way I can see larger images of the product, read reviews and complete the transaction much easier than on the small screens cellphones provide.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2022

    Will Americans turn to Walmart and Target to organize their lives?

    One of the likely New Year’s resolutions for many families is to get better organized. The past three years have increased the “stuff” they have in their homes, so the timing is right for both companies to focus on providing organizing solutions. Given Target’s broad selection, functionality, use of materials and its positioning in the market, I expect their line will prove to be a winner.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2022

    Walmart says it’s ready to deliver groceries inside 30 million American homes

    Walmart has found something that it appears many people want. My personal response is, no, it is not a service I would ever use. I do not want service people to be entering my home when I am not there, regardless of how well they are trained.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Omicron threatens to mess retail up

    Dealing with Covid is not new. Retailers and their customers have been dealing with it for 2 years. The biggest difference is the rate at which Omicron has and continues to spread, meaning while the health impact may be less, but far more people are impacted, adding to the staffing challenge. I believe most retailers are handling the challenges well given the issues they face. For many systems are in place to allow customer pickup, touchless payment, etc. I don’t see any one thing that will suddenly make a large impact. Retailers have to follow the follow the rules but the governing bodies and where they may think are not stringent enough impose their own.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2022

    Hy-Vee creates its own armed security squad to deter crime

    Armed guards are to deter potential shoplifters from entering the store rather than capture them after they have shoplifted. Unfortunately, it can deter customers for several reasons including their not wanting to be caught in a potential exchange of fire between the guard and a perpetrator. For that reason, retailers are reluctant to implement this except where shoplifting is way out of hand. The alternative for the retailer may be to close the location.
  • Posted on: 12/23/2021

    Is the online marketplace model to blame for the shoplifting spike?

    The incentive for the smash and grab thefts that have become far more common is to make money. To do that the thieves have to have a place to sell the goods. As most of the reported thefts involve high-end goods, selling them on the street corner or to a pawn shop isn’t going to work. They need third-third party e-commerce sites to monetize the goods they stole. Without these sites' active involvement in stopping stolen merchandise being sold on their marketplaces you can expect these thefts to continue.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2021

    Do farmers markets need to be reinvented for the digital age?

    Farmers markets are the epitome of experiential shopping. Customers get to interact with the people who grew the items they are buying. As Mr. Bennett pointed out, the actual farmers market experience combined with the use of the right technology does not diminish the importance of the farmers market for the farmer, but may shift some of its value from being a sales tool to a marketing one.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2021

    Is union’s victory at Starbucks a sign of things to come?

    Starbucks's comments include all the things they knew or now know were issues that they had failed to correct. A labor attorney once told me that employees don’t work for a union they vote against management. This appears to be a classic case where that was true. If Starbucks learns and addresses these issues elsewhere they will find less enthusiasm for unionization.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2021

    Will guilting consumers help reduce online’s high return rates?

    Retailers shamming their customers would definitely produce results, just not the ones the retailer wanted. I would expect the negative impact on that retailer’s sales would be proportionate the level of shaming employed. If a retailer wants to point out that there is a cost for returns, OK. But I doubt it will have a major impact on the number of items returned. Retailers have taught their customers what to expect and today the include free and easy returns. They should not expect that any changes to this will be welcomed by customers.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2021

    Commercials provide different takes on the true spirit of Christmas

    The SuperValu commercial embodies the spirit of Christmas. The little girl helps someone in need recover. This is a great theme at this time of year. At the beginning of the Bol.com commercial I immediately though of the movie Castaway. It showed the bonding of the little girl and her new friend. Then it took a very unexpected and negative turn when she discarded her friend for a new one by actually booting him to the curb. I understand the “hey we got you what you really wanted” element but this is not something that I would expect or want in a Christmas commercial.

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