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: 01/27/2021

    Will Walmart gain an unrivaled edge by automating its local grocery fulfillment?

    In this case is it's not all about the money, but logistics. One of the reasons Walmart purchased McLane several years ago was its logistics expertise. Walmart focuses on the cost side of the equation. After it has secured the lowest cost of goods it can from its suppliers, it works on what it can do internally. Its ability to move items from where they are purchased to where they are sold is one of its strengths. The LFCS concept is one more way it is augmenting that strength. I don’t foresee them replacing larger warehouses as the LFCS will act as another step in their internal supply chain.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2021

    Bud is latest major brand player to punt on Super Bowl spots

    Great move by Budweiser. The ads they pulled might be missed by some but the ads the sponsor regarding COVID-19 vaccination will saves lives.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2021

    What’s next for data privacy?

    If retailers want to increase the trust consumers have in their privacy practices, they should ask only for the data they really need. It is amazing what some of their apps asks for access to. No, you don’t need access to my contacts, photos, etc. etc. to determine how to customize your offers to me. When I see these types of lists, I don’t install the app.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2021

    Girl Scout cookie selling goes omnichannel

    Seems like a great plan but the impact on sales is unknown. For diehard fans of the cookies this will not impact their purchases. They will seek out the sites to make their purchases. However for those who bought them because a girl in the neighborhood came to the door to sell them it will likely mean they will not be buying them this year.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2021

    Should store associates deliver online orders?

    Managing the delivery process using your own employees is a damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenario. Using a third party means they represent your company to the customer for good or bad. Using your own employees means you are taking them out of the retail store so they are not available to service in-store customers, adding liability issues and it is not necessary a cheaper option. What the retailer gains is more control over the final step in the purchase process. My vote would be to use store staff that had been trained to specifically handle deliveries.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2021

    Retailers give customers refunds and tell them to keep items

    Glad to see your comment on abuse. My first thought was people will find a way to abuse this. Practice would be another version of buying a clothing item, leaving the tag on it and wearing and then returning it. I expect that there will be some who will share that they did this with their friends who will also try to game the system and secure an item or two for free.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2021

    Should your DNA data be used to sell products?

    The real risk I see is for the people who provide their DNA to a database for one purpose and then discover it is being used for commercial purposes or worse. I have never submitted, nor will I ever submit, my DNA to one of these databases.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2021

    Retailers call on Trump to end the national chaos he created

    What happened in Washington yesterday made the U.S. look like a third world country on the verge of declining into chaos. Perhaps the intentions of many of the participants were to peacefully show their displeasure at the results of the election which is their right. However what followed was not within their rights. Some will applaud the statements from the business community and others will take issue with them but everyone has the right to voice their thoughts on what occurred.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2021

    Have retailers solved their long line problems?

    Historically lines outside of stores were a staple of Black Friday and some other shopping occasions such as grand openings. They were not an issue when going to a Trader Joe’s or Target. With the onset of the pandemic capacity restrictions retailers quickly learned that they had to find ways to manage outside queuing. It quickly became a case of necessity being the mother of invention. The faster checkout process had started to gain momentum and there is no question that the issues that came with retailing in COVID-19 world quickened the pace of adoption and implementation. What is the right combination of line management, faster checkout and all the other tactics retailers have deployed will depend on the retailer.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2021

    Do retailers need to jump on the e-gift card bandwagon?

    Gift cards are a win/win/win. The giver only has to decide which retailer to buy the card from, making it a very easy purchase to execute with no worries that they picked the wrong item, color, size, etc. It's a win for the receiver in that they get to decide what they want rather than what someone wanted to give them. It is also a big win for the retailer. As other posts have pointed out, the card’s receiver generally spends more than the card’s value and then they also get any breakage that occurs.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2021

    Albertsons ditching in-house drivers to deliver online orders

    Albertsons undoubtedly did a cost analysis and determined that the savings made by shifting to a third-party delivery service outweighed the impact of any negative publicity it would generate and any impact it would have on customer perception of its delivery service. Would this have happened if the negotiations with the union had not been contentious? That is something we will never know.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2021

    Will Giant Food’s shelf labels with diversity call-outs drive sales?

    For some customers the labels may induce trial but to become a market basket stable the products will have to at least meet consumers’ expectations. It would be interesting to know how many of the 3,100+ items referenced in the article are new and how Giant determined and verified the minority business producing them.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2020

    Will the FAA’s new rules speed commercialization of drones?

    Amazon trucks or other delivery trucks can carry a significant number of items, with items of sizes and weights that I don’t see as practical for drones to carry. To replicate the carrying capacity we would have to have a large number of drones in our sky some of which would have to be larger than what most people would be comfortable seeing flying in their neighborhoods. I can foresee a time when there are articles about drone pollution in our sky, their negative impact on birds, etc.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2020

    Should retail CEOs be on social media?

    I was getting ready to write my comments and then scrolled down and saw there was no reason to. You nailed it. Social media can be your friend or foe and far too often CEOs and others have found it to be the latter.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2020

    Is free at-home pick-up of online returns practicable?

    Free was always a magical word in retailing. Then it was made even more magical by combining it with home and delivery. The phrase "free home delivery" went from being a winning strategy to a needed-to-play strategy for retailing in short order. Now Walmart has moved the goal line once again by combining free returns and home pickup. Will consumers love the concept? There's no question about it. The question is, can anyone make money with free fast delivery and free returns? I have serious doubts about it. While this program will be something that customers will love, will the accountants love it at the end of the quarter?

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