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: 10/18/2021

    Can 24/7 supply chain operations save Christmas?

    Operating 24/7 can’t hurt, but whether it will save Christmas is questionable. The issue isn’t as simple as getting the containers off the ships and on to the docks. There is a large shortage of drivers to get the containers of goods to a rail hub where they can be loaded onto rail cars. There is also a shortage of drivers to move the containers when they need to be loaded on trucks to get them to a warehouse and again to go from the warehouse to the stores.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2021

    Just how casual will wardrobes become?

    There is no question that the increase in working from home during COVID-19 expanded the meaning of business casual. Casual Fridays became casual every day. That being said I don’t expect sweatpants to be accepted as office attire any time soon. I do expect that more formal clothing will still be de rigueur in some companies' offices and for certain special occasions.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2021

    Wawa goes big on self checkout tech

    Self-checkout will continue to grow if for no other reason then its impact on labor cost. Will there be potential for increased shrink? The answer is yes, but retailers will new ways to combat it.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

    Stores? Kroger don’t need no stinking stores

    While Kroger may not yet have brick-and-mortar stores in these areas, there are undoubtedly people in those markets who are familiar with the brand having moved there from areas where Kroger has stores. The question that arises is, is this is a long-term play or a way for Kroger to create more brand awareness and/or test market acceptance and, eventually, enter the market with brick-and-mortar locations?
  • Posted on: 10/12/2021

    Rather than compete, Walmart inks exclusive deal with Netflix

    This should be a winner for both companies. Netflix is the largest streaming service and Walmart the largest retailer. This means neither has any reason to attempt to complete with the other. I believe this is a case where one plus one will equal three.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2021

    Lunds & Byerlys gives associates Thanksgiving and Black Friday off

    For a grocery store, closing on Thanksgiving is likely to have minimal impact on their sales that week. Customers have done the food shopping in preparation for the holiday. Closing the day after might have some impact but as long as Black Friday kicks off the Christmas sales rush again the impact is far smaller than it would be for a normal Friday. That is not true for most general merchandise retailers. Black Friday remains a very large sales opportunity and customers expect these retailers not only to be open but to have items at a discount available for purchase.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2021

    Is working in retail a real job?

    Where can I go from here should not be a question an employee has to ask. Possible career paths should be part of the onboarding process. Employees should be informed when other employees are prompted, etc. to create and reinforce awareness of opportunity for advancement. Technology such as scheduling software should be employed to free up management to interact more often with their staff.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2021

    Will reducing seasonal hires pose a big risk for Target?

    Target's approach has benefits for both its employees and the company. The extra hours will help many secure access to the company’s health insurance which is likely one of its most sought after benefits (especially in these times) and an increase in their paycheck which is another. The company benefits from having employees who won’t require onboarding and training. Shoppers also will likely experience better customer service.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2021

    Who protects store associates when shoppers lash out?

    The customer is always right except when they aren’t. The types of behavior referenced in the article are examples of when the customer is wrong. Unfortunately, we live in a time when frustration and tensions are high. Little issues suddenly become big issues and bad behavior results. Whether you agree or disagree with mask mandates they are a frequent source of these types of instances between store staff and customers. The staff is doing what they have been told to do and they follow the mandate from the local or other government and/or their employer. The customer may feel it is their right not to follow the mask rules. Friction ensues and escalates. In some other cases such as those referenced in San Francisco the legal system has decreed that what was once illegal behavior is no longer going to be prosecuted, further emboldening certain people to steal.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2021

    Will Taco Bell lovers sign up for a taco a day?

    For Taco Bell lovers this will be a big hit. They will increase their visit frequency and as Georganne pointed out none are likely to leave without a drink. The impact on the profitability for the franchisees will be dependent on the basket margins.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2021

    What’s the ideal age to start a retail business?

    One of younger entrepreneurs’ advantages is the lack of fear of failure. Their disadvantage may be the lack of experience in the nuances of running a retail business. Middle-aged entrepreneurs have life experience, and perhaps some experience in retail, but likely have a greater awareness of what failure may mean.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2021

    Will Just Walk Out tech work for Whole Foods?

    I think many customers have already discovered the best way to avoid the checkout pain point is by ordering online and using delivery or pick up.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2021

    Higher wages can boost retailers’ bottom lines

    There has been a lot of focus lately on the difficulty in finding employees. Often overlooked is the reason the positions are open. Within limits higher wages address both the recruitment and retention issues with a net gain in overall labor costs. When evaluated, the impact of increased wages many companies don’t factor in is the true cost of turnover including the impact it has on customer service. I have said it before but if you want good people you have to treat them good.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2021

    Can 14 and 15-year-olds solve the labor shortage?

    Like many others, I started working at 14. The process taught me a great deal about working with the public, taking responsibility, etc. The issues are as Nikki pointed out they must be trained and their duties should be those that do not using any equipment that could be possible dangerous.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2021

    Should retailers give workers Labor Day off?

    I don’t foresee retailers closing on Labor Day. However I do believe that there are alternatives that make being open more palatable to the employees who work that day. Two that I think would rise to the top of employees' wish list are paying overtime or offering them a day of their choosing off.

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