The National Advisory Group: Building Profits and Relationships

Only one more week to capitalize on early bird registration for the 2011 NAG Ideas Conference in Savannah, Ga.

There is more pressure than ever on convenience store chains to not only exceed customers’ expectations, but to stay ahead of the competition, navigate legislative issues and still be good corporate citizens in the communities they serve. This doesn’t even take into account managing operations, training employees and developing a strategy to grow the business.

Finding solutions for these challenging issues is the goal of the National Advisory Group (NAG). NAG is an association of small to mid-size chains and the executives that run them. This group convenes at an annual conference to exchange ideas with the motivation to improve their business performance and ultimately their bottom line.

The 2011 NAG Conference will be held from Sept. 10-13 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort in Savannah, Ga., and the group has put together an exciting, timely agenda specifically aimed at helping convenience store and petroleum marketers enhance retail profitability.

First and foremost, NAG is about networking, peer-to-peer idea sharing, and a program devoted to Building Profits and Relationships. NAG is built for the small to medium sized retailer in a “Top-To-Top” environment with a heavy emphasis on family-owned businesses and the unique challenges they face. The entire program has been designed by retailers….for retailers. It truly is a peer to peer organization. Here is a brief breakdown of this September’s meeting…

* Burning Issue #1: Strategic Positive Employee Relations. This session will focus on labor law regarding union organization, the changes in rules and regulations occurring within the NLRB and Department of Labor, establishing a strategy plan for maintaining positive employee relations and effective union organizing strategies and tactics. Even if you’re a “right to work” state, this session will provide ideas for how you interact with your front line managers and employees.

* Information Exchanges: C-store retailers will be put into small, non-competitive groups so they can share learn from their peers. Our goal here is to have operators provide and receive solutions that work, can be implemented immediately.

* Burning Issue #2: ADA Standards for Accessible Design. What you’ll learn here is how to conduct a field survey to determine your current compliance with ADA. How to identify ADA deficiencies and recommendations and strategies for correcting deficiencies and conducting follow up surveys.

* Burning Issue #3: Meeting the Demands of Fresh Foods. The FDA is requiring foodservice retailers to provide calorie and other nutritional information for standard menu items. But labeling is just one part of an effective food program that includes investing in proper foodservice equipment and training of employees. Dr. Jack Cushman, senior vice president of foodservice for Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes is one of the industry’s leading foodservice authorities, and will break down the steps operators must take when investing in foodservice.

* Burning Issue #4: Tobacco Compliance and the FDA. The aggressive stance the FDA is taking on tobacco control and regulations is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The future of cigarette retailing will depend largely on the retailers themselves. You’ll learn firsthand how to conduct training programs on how to handle FDA tobacco inspections.

* Store Tours. NAG’s tour of convenience stores will offer a unique look at operations in Savannah. Stops include Parker’s Markets, Flash Foods and Enmark Stations.

All this plus a consumer insights panel discussion with MSA focused on reviewing the buying habits of the important 18-34-year-old c-store shopper, a river boat cruise, golf outing and a guided tour of historic downtown Savannah are packed into this must-attend conference.

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