Why Networking Matters for Young Professionals

As the convenience store and petroleum industry continues to evolve, training the leaders of tomorrow is more important than ever. That’s the driving force behind the National Advisory Group’s (NAG) Young Executives Organization (YEO). This growing group of emerging industry leaders is keenly focused on education and networking with other next-generation executives who are facing

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A Fond Farewell

After more than 30 years in the convenience-store industry and a couple of more years writing about c-stores, a new opportunity awaits. By Fran Duskiewicz When I was deep in the middle of everything that was going on in the industry, I had little patience for those who I believed were coasting on past experiences

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Learning to Cope With Stress

How do we learn to deal with pressure on the job? It’s not easy, but developing certain tools can help. By Jim Callahan Really, when you get right down to it, stress is like any obstacle you either must master, learn to control or at the very least, come to terms with. Whether it’s learning

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Amazon and Whole Foods Unite

By Ed Collupy On Aug. 28, Amazon became the new owner of Whole Foods Market, and as quickly as the deal closed (just over two months), they’ve announced several initiatives that they began to execute immediately. Just after the June announcement, I reflected in a blog here about how I thought the physical and digital

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Why Networking Matters for Young Professionals

As the convenience store and petroleum industry continues to evolve, training the leaders of tomorrow is more important than ever. That’s the driving force behind the National Advisory Group’s (NAG) Young Executives Organization (YEO). This growing group of emerging industry leaders is keenly focused on education and networking with other next-generation executives who are facing

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Delivery Crunch Time

As more channels move into delivery, c-stores need to get in the game or get left behind. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor Sandwiched in between Gen X and Millennials, I’m what Dan Woodman, associate professor of Sociology at the University of Melbourne, has coined an ‘Xennial’—those born between 1977 and 1983, and the

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Do You Know These People?

By Bill Scott Are you ready to solve a mystery? Come on now! You might get something out of it; but at the least, you’ll have some fun. This is a puzzle to actually make you question whether or not you really know what’s going on in your business, OR, are you just falling for

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Establishing Supplier Guidelines

When it comes to supply contracts, retailers should always keep an eye out for their best interests. By Steve Sandman The last time I bought a house it was pretty clear that the world we live is entangled in contracts, agreements, understandings and any other sort of written document that either we or the other

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Fortify Your Company Foundation

Compensation, good hiring and leadership are important parts to building a solid retention program. By Linda McKenna Convenience store industry has always been a burning issue, but more so in the last few years. There are endless ideas to improve retention from welcome letters to bonuses. Many retailers have implemented different strategies yet still suffer

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Manage Your Inventory

By Bill Scott All of the things I’ve talked about so far are important. But none of them matter—unless you can get control of your inventory. I will never be able to understand why any sane individual would invest $250,000 to $1 million in a convenience store that returns only 2% profit. Maybe I’m just

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Gaining Operational Efficiency from BMS Insight

Enable intelligent apps with effective use of data. By Ron Chapek  As convenience stores continue to evolve to adapt to changing customer demands and infrastructure and facility requirements, operators are under increasing pressure to gain operational efficiencies. Of growing importance in this effort are the intelligent applications that allow operators to effectively use the data

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How Biodiesel Can Improve Your Bottom Line

By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc. Why is interest in biodiesel growing among convenience store operators? In past blog posts for CSD, I’ve touched on some of the reasons, including its performance benefits, its lower emissions and the increasing number of diesel-powered vehicles. But let’s be honest. If biodiesel didn’t make economic sense, c-store

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Celebrating Summer – Student Internships

It’s almost back to school time for many young people including students who had an internship experience this summer. Recently I’ve seen several posts on LinkedIn reveling the work interns did for the companies they’ve brought eyes & hands and more importantly minds & hearts to. For me, an internship is a two-way given and

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Sheetz Earns 2017 Chain of the Year Honors

With an unsurpassed commitment to foodservice and technology, a world-class distribution model and a total commitment to its vast employee base, Sheetz Inc. embodies the very best the convenience store industry has to offer. Over the past year, the 550-store chain was recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For,

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A Red, White and Blue Tradition

Fourth of July may be in the books, but there’s always an opportunity to display the flag. By Jim Callahan During a recent holiday, I placed two very small American flags in a lone planter on my front porch. After lunch, I headed out on a short shopping expedition. Passing many neighbors and many businesses,

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When Counting the Human Cost

In the middle of June, I traveled to central New York. I hadn’t been back since I relocated to Naples, Fla. more than a year ago. There were a number of reasons for the visit, most of them prosaic, but what was very much center of mind for me was checking on the feelings of

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Employee Recruiting: Are All Your Doors Open?

by Mel Kleiman, founder of Humetrics With unemployment at record lows, making your jobs easy to apply for has never been more important. When jobseekers have their choice of employers, most will take the path of least resistance. If you don’t have all of the “doors” that could gain entrance to your hiring system open,

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Why They Don’t Show Up for the Interview

Don’t forget your sales pitch when you plan your pre-screening interview questions. by Mel Kleiman, founder, Humetrics Below is the telephone pre-screen list one of my clients uses for frontline, hourly employees. Now, if you were the applicant and someone called you, asked you all those questions, and then invited you to come in for

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May-June 2017 Comparisons

Top seven items continue their reign for second month. By Bill Scott I was somewhat shocked when I first loaded the results from my research for May and June. Looking at the table, I first thought I had mistakenly loaded the same file from May to accumulate the June figures, as there were no changes

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Retail is Changing Faster Than the Speed of Thought

By Bill Scott IT’S A FACT! Everyone does not need a university degree. In fact, pushing our kids into colleges could be a huge mistake. Not only that. In some cases, higher education can backfire on you. Sometimes I think education focuses too much on the past, and the past doesn’t last as long as

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I HAVE A PLAN!

By Bill Scott “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu – The Art of War MY PLAN may not be as good as your plan. But at the least, it IS a plan. A plan established after four decades of

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NAG to Honor Friend, Mentor Bill Kent

Building relationships is a fundamental principle for succeeding in business. The convenience store industry is certainly no exception. Trust, appreciation, compassion and shared experiences are the backbone of countless industry friendships that span decades and, in some cases, generations of family leadership. These relationships are extremely important to the National Advisory Group (NAG) and our

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No Excuses for Poor Performance

Everybody makes mistakes. One of the important things to teach your workers is that not only do too many excuses erode the trust factor, they highlight a bigger issue when those employees refuse to own up to their mistakes. By Jim Callahan We’ve all heard the old saying: “You’re only as good as your weakest

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Leadership and Employee Relationships

The convenience store industry will always be a people business. For many years that meant putting the customer first, rightfully so it seemed since they were the ones spending money. But gradually over the past decade the top quartile convenience store chains realized the value they had in their people and that began a fundamental

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Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood

Pressing mandates involving tobacco products aren’t just playing at the federal and state levels anymore. Increasingly, local ordinances are having a direct impact on tobacco sales within the convenience store channel. By Mary Szarmach When Convenience Store Decisions asked me to write an article about state and local issues regarding tobacco products, I wasn’t quite

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