Michelle Rios, President of Blue Tiger Leadership, LLC, Top 10 Admired Leaders of 2023

Rob Knight
Chief Executive Officer
Independent Buyers' Company

Michelle Rios, President of Blue Tiger Leadership, LLC

“Love serving your members”

Rob Knight, in keeping with his responsibilities as CEO, shares that the North Texas-based Independent Buyers' Company (I.B.C.) was created in 1993. Their Arlington, Texas, corporate headquarters employ 72 people and serve 22 states. They empower independent retailers with national buying power and top-notch service. They pre-negotiate programs for members. They provide rebate invoices, Exclusive Edge Member Deals, a newsletter, new programs, cooler planograms, and more.

I.B.C. management has decades of convenience store ownership, operations, sales management, and marketing experience. They have a tum-key buying office with a strong office team ready to work for their customers, which includes regional managers assigned and routed to visit their member's store, focused pricing on newsletter items, best-in-class supplier partnerships with store-specific planograms, and big chain benefits. They cherish serving their members and partners and find the convenience shop business simple. Suppliers ignore c-store operators with fewer than 50 stores. They give C-store owners the buying power of their 7,600+ locations since they know competing with huge chains is hard. Considering business is hard, they have great account managers and customer service. Members can reach corporate and field staff promptly, who can rapidly fix issues for members' businesses.

I.B.C. employees are committed to their members' achievements. Over 7,600+ members and 500+ years of experience help the I.B.C. familyaddress store, market, and industry concerns! Full-service cooperatives were first established by I.B.C. Communication, initiative, and providing industry services like their free back-office system, free delivery, printing, food service solutions, powerful decision-making tools, category management insights, new product platforms, point of sale, and merchandising materials are their strengths.

Their working style is also unique. National buying power and over l 00 programs make their program portfolio the strongest. Over 100 member-specific initiatives and services help independent convenience store operators grow and compete. Service includes national-brand soft drinks, milk, snacks, chips, ice cream, and electric. New products and programs enhance sales, business opportunities, and invoice pricing annually, and major vendors have program agreements.

For instance, the all-in-one back office software package easystorePRO streamlines c-stores' daily responsibilities and allows them to explore their business like never before. They also have an iOS or Android app, daily reports, real-time transaction data, scan data, multipacks, rebates, tobaccovendor reporting, fuel and item price updates, and automatic synchronization of l.B.C.

pricing and promotions with their POS.

They also have EasystorePRO, which is currently working on releasing EDI (Electronic Data Integration). Rob adds that Coke, Pepsi, KDP, and Frito-Lay grocery invoices will immediately sync and load into your system. I.B.C.'s easystoreMEDIA program is exclusive. He says all you need is a TV and I.B.C. equipment that fits behind it. Later, web-based promotions are loaded. Images are transmitted directly to your hub, which feeds. into your TV through wifi or Ethernet, displaying I.B.C. promos and store-specific promotions! In regard to this, Rob says:

"You think we ink when it comes to print... Bring your advertising into the digital world!"

Rob says 7,600+ members assist I.B.C. in handling four million-case brands. They negotiate to keep members competitive. The June 2022 Dallas/Fort Worth Newsletter says I.B.C.'s compliance enhances members' revenues. Managing POS and ordering from recognized vendors only improves store prices. Supporting all their programs can improve market bargaining. They want shoppers to use their more than 7,600+ locations nationally to keep them #1. Their members and businesses proudly fight the competition. The bimonthly newsletter includes clear pricing and communication, and text blasts remind members of important updates.

I.B.C.'s quarterly rebate program boosts top-selling profits. Sales and program mix can yield large quarterly rewards. Sales increase member rebates, allowing I.B.C. and members to collaborate on store-specific growth plans. Members receive quarterly refunds, bonuses, and an I.B.C. member site. For this, they have to call their corporate office or visit their contact page to become a member. Sign-ups for all programs boost profits. In their view, stores with more programs grow faster; utilize I.B.C.'s expertise, pricing, rebates, and promotions to grow. Their convenience store professionals will help your business.

Today's fast-paced convenience store market requires data, and I.B.C. knows data is essential. They collect, evaluate, and make judgments to beat the competition. I.B.C.'s data and tools can help you strategize.

They go spot-check! They give field salespeople pictures of projects and capture live execution photographs wherever they go. Real-time planogram and merchandising data are geo-stamped. PDF, PowerPoint, and shareable links allow viewing and sharing photos. Image recognition identifies brands, items, facings, and shelflevels.

Rob informs members about felonious assault insurance. According to him, 30,000 convenience store robberies occur annually. Don't be a statistic. He says "understanding the importance" is key. Store owners fear employee injury or death. Since workers' compensation rarely suffices, the program now covers medical costs and part of wages for fatalities. The program also pays $400,000. Felonious assault injuries are covered by $2,500 per month in the hospital and $385 per week. This program is for US convenience shop organizations. Independent Buyers' Company and Breeden Benefit Group created a felonious assault program. Families earned $15,000,000 or more. However, $400,000 helps with future costs, and quarterly rebate checks lower premiums. The program is opt-out!

Through a program called Blueyonder, they help members reach their potential by linking data, processes, and people with the top end-to-end supply chain platform for supply chain management, manufacturing planning, retail planning, store operations, and collaborative category management.

Efficiency automates demand projections, warehouse automation, and retail price changes, giving clients better data insights and personalized buying experiences. Predict and pivot with industry-leading AI and ML. Volt tags display POS in snack and cold vaults for eligible customers. IBC sends retailers vault and snack tags bimonthly. Since content moves products, Syndigo will provide product metadata, and their API and bespoke tools will maintain a reliable, consistent, accurate, and high-quality product database.

Free advertising dominates the I.B.C. Members can use Static clings on vault doors and front door windows can advertise I.B.C. products. Medium-to-large window posters work well on walls, windows, and ceilings. Members get free advertising posters. 15- to 20-foot spanners attract customers to storefronts. Custom posters from I.B.C. increase sales and client loyalty. Buy a Spanner Frame and advertise outside! I.B.C.'s Spanner Program offers complimentary frame inserts.

Based on CSP 2022 chain ranking would puts I.B.C. 7506 second nationwide, among 7 Eleven Inc., Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Casey's General Stores Inc., and the Great Houston Retail Association. I.B.C. creates successful region-specific marketing using decades of unique sales and customer data. Year-round promotions maximize customer and vendor prospects at your store. Each promotional cycle, they automatically create, print, package, and mail members' marketing materials. There are no interruptions, and they never miss top promotions. IE


Independent Buyers' Company


Rob Knight
Chief Executive Officer
Independent Buyers' Company


Independent Buyers' Company (I.B.C.) was founded in 1993 in North Texas. The management team at I.B.C. has decades of combined convenience store industry experience in ownership, operations, sales management and marketing. We have 49 employees serving 22 states with our Corporate Headquarters in Arlington, Texas.

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