Vending Ahoy! How to Spot a Quality Supplier
Quality is the prevailing current when it comes to finding a vending supplier. It’s easy to feel swamped by the ocean of companies around you – and even trickier to navigate slick marketing and wily salesmen in your quest for best service.
Especially when best service is a broad term that covers not just seductive, new-age systems and supplies but vital below-deck considerations – the less obvious, less glamorous but vital policies and practices that will keep your organisation operating at full and fair tilt.
So how do you steer your way to a quality supplier you can really trust? Look under the hatch for:
Approval by the Automatic Vending Association
The AVA is the trade body of the UK vending industry and its approval guarantees that a vending supplier operates to the highest standard.
Fast aftercare service
Check a supplier’s service response. Some might take days, others will take only a couple of hours.
Quality vending suppliers support the conservation of the Earth’s resources and a fair deal for those involved in the supply chain, from farmers to end users. Look for Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification, and involvement in ethnic support bodies such as The Point Foundation, a voluntary, non-profit organisation run from the UK and committed to specific projects in Africa and Rwanda.
Best-service suppliers help you to promote yourself by branding your paper cups/crockery with a design of your choice, e.g. company logo, corporate message, sponsorship.
Find out if finance agreements can be tailored to your requirements and budget, e.g. machines are supplied free of charge provided that minimum volumes are reached.
Make sure a supplier can transport and fit equipment into the space available, and within the agreed timescale. The system should also reflect its environment, from eye-catching and product-focused for general public areas or design-led and stylish for smart office complexes.
Always check that a supplier can supply monthly statements and invoicing to show usage and cash collection.
Investment in trends
Vending systems are becoming a go-to destination, so look out for forward-thinking suppliers that invest in the future as they open up new, more profitable promotional avenues for you.
Technology: Thanks to technology and automation vending machines have become exciting pieces of kit. They are easier to use with touchscreen technology, supported by interactive display screens irresistible to our digital natives (the Younger Generation as they used to be known). As they buy a drink, the advertising videos tempt them with top-brand favourites such as Mars, Nestlé, Haribo and Walkers. Good news for smaller companies that cannot afford expensive TV campaigns!
Cashless transactions: Card operated systems have arrived. These facilitate purchase by using services such as PayPal and Apple Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service by Apple Inc. that lets users make payments using an iPhone, Apple Watch or Mac. Note loaders also allow purchase when a user has no change.
Snacks: Choice knows no bounds as snacks become wider ranging and healthier. The Age of Permissable Indulgence is here, allowing consumers to have their cake and eat it by balancing it with salad, fresh fruit, grain bars, water, fruit juice etc.
Congratulations! Once you have these bases covered you have a quality, best-service vending supplier in sight. Celebrate with a noggin o’ grog!