Roy's Blog

More Profits Through Smaller Sales

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I was in a convenience store in an economically depressed part of Houston recently.  It was well run store  – a wide variety of products stocked on the shelves, clean, and attentive customer service.  But you could tell from the outside of the store, the surrounding neighborhood, and the customers that walked through the door […]

Roy's Blog

Pot in the Workplace

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With the recent legalization by Colorado of the retail sale of marijuana and the upcoming legalization in the state of Washington, the question of pot in the work place is surfacing again.  The issue first came up with the approval of the sale of medical marijuana in the 1996 in the state of California.  The […]

Roy's Blog

How Healthy Should Food Be?

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I recently read an article called “How junk food can end obesity” by David Freedman (published in the July/August 2013 issue of the Atlantic magazine) that got me to thinking about what “healthy food” really means and how it relates to what has been called an obesity crisis currently affecting the United States. In his […]

Roy's Blog

Technology vs. Jobs

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The Economist magazine (January 18th edition) recently had a major article about whether new technology will replace workers.  We’ve all heard the stories and have seen the movies about robots and computers replacing humans in the work force.  In these scenarios, the displaced worker either becomes the billionaire owner of a tech start up or […]

Roy's Blog

Better Productivity Through Education

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Over my last few blog posts I’ve been musing on the technology revolution that is currently taking place and how it may affect jobs in the future.  To summarize my thoughts so far: technology is increasing worker productivity which means that fewer workers are needed to make the same amount of stuff.  Those workers who […]

Roy's Blog

Minimum or Living Wage?

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There is a lot of discussion going on at the moment about whether the minimum wage needs to be raised.  Currently the Federal minimum wage is $7.25.  Some states and cities have enacted their own minimum wage standards with the highest currently being $9.32 in the state of Washington and $10.74 in San Francisco, respectively. […]

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My Time with Mandela

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Okay – I will admit right up front that I have never met Nelson Mandela. As you no doubt know, Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013, after a long illness.  This week the memorial service for Mr. Mandela was held in South Africa.  Tens of thousands of people, including dozens of world leaders, […]

Roy's Blog

How to Compensate for Falling Gasoline Sales

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Recently, I mentioned that one of the trends in the convenience store industry is that total fuel sales are falling.  We are selling fewer gallons of gasoline each year.  This obviously has a huge impact on the revenue stream and profitability of a convenience store that sells fuel. As this trend continues, convenience store operators […]

Roy's Blog

Thanksgiving 2013

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It’s hard to believe that it is already Thanksgiving again.  It was about this time last year that I started down the tricky road of blogging.  Frankly, it is a lot more difficult than I had imagined.  Coming up with topics that are relevant and (hopefully) interesting can be daunting.  And timing and consistency is […]

Roy's Blog

A World Without Gasoline

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A common theme through most of the convenience store conferences that I have been to this year is that the total amount of gasoline being sold in the United States is on the decline.  This doesn’t seem to be temporary trend but, rather, the harbinger of the future of gasoline retailing. Analysts attribute the decline […]

Roy's Blog

Speed to Market

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As you may be aware, the FAA recently ruled that personal electronic devices such as e-readers, mp3 players, tablets, computers and smart phones could be left on during the take off and landing of aircraft instead of only being used above 10,000 feet.  Cell phones would have to be in “airplane mode” and laptop computers […]

Roy's Blog

So You Want to Run a Healthy Store?

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Over the last two posts I have been exploring the idea of convenience stores offering healthier alternatives to their customers.  The basic thought process is that 1) there is a growing trend in health conscious consumers due to either lifestyle decisions or the obesity crisis and 2) having healthy alternatives in our stores helps our […]

Roy's Blog

The Importance of Appearance

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As I am writing this post I am sitting in a downtown coffee shop.  I’ve been reading lately that the background noise at the typical coffee house is just the right level to promote creativity but not enough to be distracting.  Since I need all the help that I can get, I thought I would […]

Roy's Blog

The Retailer as Curator

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Think back to the last time that walked into a museum.  As you walked through the gallery you were surrounded by pieces of art or artifacts.  Just by looking around, you could tell that every item was selected for a particular place and reason.  It offers something special in the context of why the visitor […]

Roy's Blog

Customer Loyalty Goes Both Ways

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Almost every time I’ve been in a conversation and the subject of customer loyalty come up it inevitably focuses on making customers like us.  “We want a customer loyalty program so that our customers will come back to us and not go to our competition,” an industry executive told me a while ago. I admit, […]

Roy's Blog

When Bad Things Happen by Good People

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The biggest disappoint that I ever face is when someone betrays the trust that I have put in them.  It happens, not all the time, but occasionally, on a personal and business level. A large part of the issue is that I inherently believe in the goodness of people.  Everyone is honorable until they prove […]

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Remembering Margaret Thatcher

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As I write this I am on a plane returning from London.  I’ve spent the first part of the flight reading the British newspapers about the passing of Margaret Thatcher who died yesterday at the age of 87.  As I am sure most of you know, Mrs. Thatcher was the Conservative Prime Minister of Britain […]

Roy's Blog

The Worst of Times and the Best of Times

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We have recently been involved with the take over and operation of a ten store chain in the Midwest.  As usual, when we are involved in what we call a “distress” project, it is a very anxious time for the store employees.  Life suddenly becomes filled with uncertainties and anxieties.  Questions ranging from employment to […]

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Life on the Front Line

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In my last post I wrote about the stress and anxiety that store staff go through when CMSI is brought in to take over the management and operation of their stores.  At CMSI, we bend over backwards to make sure that the staff at our contract management sites have the most comprehensive support that can […]

Roy's Blog

Call in the Smoke Jumpers!

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It takes a special kind of person to work as a CMSI transition crew. What typically happens is that we get a call from a client saying that they have a retail operation (one site, ten sites, 250 sites) that is in trouble and they need our help to contract manage it until they can […]

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Social Media And The C-Store

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A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the NACS Leadership Forum in Miami.  I think the Forum is one of the best programs that NACS puts on as it brings retail leaders from the c-store industry together with suppliers in an atmosphere of thought provoking conversations and presentations.  Last year I […]

Roy's Blog

What is Leadership?

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In my last post I mentioned that I had attended the 2013 NACS Leadership Forum in Miami a couple of weeks ago.  In that blog I wrote about social media and some of the presentations I had seen at the Forum.  But I thought that today I would address a more basic questions that is […]

Roy's Blog

Looking Around the Corner

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My last post was about the ethical and moral obligations of retailers during natural disasters.  My view is that it is wrong to take advantage of the unfortunate situation of others to raise prices or gouge.  We have a responsibility to our customers to treat them fairly and with respect. This doesn’t mean that difficult […]

Roy's Blog

A Light In The Darkness

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The battering that that northeastern part of the United States has been taking over the last few months (Hurricane Sandy, the recent blizzards) have been sad to read about and devastating for many of the folks directly impacted.  People have died, homes have been lost, and property destroyed.  Frankly, it is so difficult to imagine […]

Roy's Blog

Welcome!

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It is my pleasure to post the initial entry on the CMSI blog.  We are a company that has been around for quite a while but are just now getting into blogging.  Since this is our first post, I thought is would be good to set out our initial hopes and dreams for our blog […]

Roy's Blog

Who are we?

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I want to take some time to talk about who we are and what we do.  I know that you can find out more about us in the Services tab at the top of the page but I thought it would be good to introduce ourselves in more informal way. Hi!  Our name is Convenience […]