Is Your Atlanta Vending Company Committed to the Industry?

“When you make a commitment to a relationship, you invest your attention and energy in it more profoundly because you now experience ownership of that relationship.”

 – Barbara de Angelis

When Barbara, a specialist in relationships and personal growth, made this statement she was referring to personal relationships. However, in many ways your career is a relationship; it’s something you invest in, foster, care about, and spend the majority of your day with. For a career to be successful, just like a relationship, it requires dedication, commitment.

It’s important as you choose an Atlanta vendor to choose one who is committed to the industry and doesn’t look at it as a fling on the side or a way to make some spare change. A lack of commitment will undoubtedly produce a lack of service.

So how can you tell if your vendor is dedicated to the field? Ask the following questions:

Do they have a fleet of trucks? – If yes, you are more likely to receive dependable service because one of those trucks should be in your zip code 5 days a week.

Do they operate out of a warehouse? In many ways a warehouse is like a home, a foundation for a vending company that keeps its fleet well fed with stocked shelves and the necessary tools to equip their drivers, including training and safety sessions.

Do they have dedicated technicians to field service calls?                                                  

Are they operating their system with advanced technology? – This could include credit card readers, energy savers, bill recyclers, vending management services, etc. A vendor who is passionate about the industry will be able to answer your questions on these topics and if they aren’t already implementing these services should have a clear cut plan to do so.

Are they members of NAMA (the National Automatic Merchandising Association)? NAMA is the world’s largest association serving the retail vending, OCS and food service industries. If your vendor is a member of this association they have access to a plethora of knowledge and training to increase the level of service they bring to you.

Are they willing to work with your company’s specific needs? Relationships are unique to the people in them, so should the relationship be between your company and your Atlanta Vending Service Provider. In other words, a plan-o-gram or fill schedule that worked for one company might not work for yours.

Relationships may be complicated but vending doesn’t have to be. Choose an Atlanta Vending Service who takes ownership of and pride in their industry and you’ll be glad you made the commitment.

Does your Atlanta Vending Service Use Advanced Technology?

The first recorded use of a vending machine dates back to 215BC when Hero of Alexandria, an engineer and mathematician, invented a machine to dispense holy water in Egyptian temples. His invention something like a game of Mouse Trap worked like this: when the coin was deposited, it fell upon a pan attached to a lever. The lever opened a valve which let some water flow out. The pan continued to tilt with the weight of the coin until it fell off, at which point a counterweight snapped the lever up and turned off the valve.

A thousand years down the road postcards were vending out of machines in London and in 1888 they made their first appearance in America on the platforms of NYC subways selling gum to travelers.

In 2012 you can get just about anything you want out of a vending machine: sodas, snacks, fresh food, deep dish pizza, medicine, makeup, magazines, toilet paper, lobsters, bikes, etc.

Like the products they vend, the technology the machines use has also evolved and with all the products available from these machines, today’s vendor in the Atlanta area needs much more than a pan and weight.

To make life more convenient for you and your employees/patrons it is important to pair yourself with the right Atlanta vendor who has embraced some if not all of the technologies listed below.

Debit/Credit Card Readers – Today’s society has a lot more payment options than Hero’s so much so that many of your employees may not even carry cash. Talk to your local vendor to see what options they offer in cashless vending and how these options can meet a growing need for your facility.

Bill Recyclers – Allow you to pay in larger bill denominations ($5, $10, even $20 bills) while receiving change in the same type of currency. For example, you want a bag of M&Ms but only have a $5 bill on you. Where before you might have turned away because you didn’t want a pocket full of nickels and dimes now machines can be equipped to give you your change in paper currency.

Guaranteed Product Delivery Systems – Infrared technology ensures that if a product is not vended you receive your money back, which equals happier employees and less angry messages to you as the middleman.                                                                             

Wireless Technology – Wireless technology allows your Atlanta vendor to know exactly what has sold in the machine and how much money is in the machine. How does this benefit you? It ensures that the product delivered is based on what you like, which in turn means no outdated products. Data as accurate as this also equates to very detailed commission reports.

In short, your company has undoubtedly made many advances with new technologies that have helped you run your business more efficiently. In choosing an Atlanta vendor who has done the same you pair yourself with someone who cares about your time, money, and overall employee morale.

The world has come a long way since 215BC so should your Atlanta Vending Service Provider.

Looking for a Well Organized Atlanta Vending Company?

All over the web you can find research and opinions on the reasons why being organized can positively affect your life, home and business. These articles include everything from habits of organized people, tips on how-to be organized and the benefits thereof. They suggest that organized people: stick with what works, ask for help, foresee and avoid problems.

And as a result their businesses usually are: more productive,  better focused on goals they want to achieve and they achieve them in a more economical and timely manner.

When choosing a vending company in Atlanta you want to pick one that is operated by organized people. Because if the things listed above are true of the people running the company they’ll be true of the company itself.

An organized Atlanta vendor will use the resources they have, schedule their routes to be as effective as possible, arrive as scheduled, provide you with fresh product, keep their machines and vehicles clean and be up to date with the latest the vending world has to offer both in product and technology.

How do you know if your Atlanta vendor is organized?

Ask to see their warehouse. It may take an hour of your day but it could save you the hours of frustration that come with pairing yourself to the wrong company.

During your visit here are some key things to look for:

Is food elevated off the ground? All food should be on shelves or pallets, never directly on the warehouse floor.

Do food and beverages have designated sections? Within those sections are products organized (chips with chips, all 12oz sodas with 12oz sodas and organized by bottler, etc.)?

A good way to test the organization process is to see if the vendor can quickly and efficiently find a particular product. Not sure what to ask for? Ask for your favorite snack.

If items aren’t organized the way you imagined but the product was still easily found ask why they chose their particular form of organization. Each company has their own system and although it may make sense to you for it to look one way they may have a very practical although less obvious reason for running things the way they do. If they don’t have an answer then be concerned.

Look for white boards, calendars, anything that would suggest a system of communication between office staff and field employees. You want to make sure there is a system in place to actively respond to your needs. Drivers won’t respond to empty calls and mechanics won’t fix broken machines if they don’t know there is an issue.

Is there an area for the drivers and team meetings? A vending company is only as good as the drivers they employee. Ask about their training process (both during initial hires and on the job). A team meeting area would suggest continued training in service and safety. This area should also have an area to sync route handhelds which is a good place to ask about the route organization software that your vendor uses.

Look for the presence of unwanted creatures (rats, roaches, etc.) Ask what measures they take to keep rodents and bugs out of their facility.

Are personal pets on the property? Although pets can improve workplace environment it is important that they never compromise the sanitation of your vendor’s warehouse.

When you pair yourself with an organized Atlanta vendor you pair yourself with a company who values your health, time and money. By having their “home” in order they are able to address your needs quickly because they have already taken care of their own.

Does Your Vending Service in the Atlanta Area Offer Micro Markets?

What do you get when you cross your grocery store’s self-checkout counter with your local convenience store?  A Micro Market.

Micro Markets are the latest and greatest from the vending industry, bringing the convenience store to your break room along with more options, healthier selections, bigger bulk items and overall happier employees.

This system of reach in coolers, freezers, mounted wall racks, cereal carousels and fresh fruit baskets is all run by a self-checkout kiosk specifically designed for the workplace.  On their break your employees can peruse the market, holding items before purchase* and once ready can simply scan each item’s designated UPC symbol at the kiosk.

*By eliminating the vending machine from the equation there is no longer anything separating you from the desired product, which means no more frustrated employees due to stuck product or outdated sales. Furthermore by being able to hold the product before purchase your employees can read all nutritional facts so that they are better able to choose a snack/meal that fits their lifestyle.

All payments are made via credit card or a designated Micro Market card (looks similar to a grocery store’s key chain version of a rewards card). The machine accepts cash but only as a way to upload money onto the Market card. The Market card then acts as a running balance with each purchase you make.

In addition to eliminating lost funds, the online data base provides a fully automated up to the minute inventory of your market.  This means that each time your driver is on sight they will know beforehand what was popular, what wasn’t and how to adjust your market accordingly. Because this system eliminates waste you’ll also be able to receive the freshest available product for your market.

Popular items for the market include: Gourmet Sandwiches, Wraps and Salads, Fruit and Vegetable Plates,Tacos and Burritos, Smoothies, Healthy Alternative Frozen Meals, Ice Cream

All markets are equipped with 24 hour surveillance (noted by on site signs).  Cameras are only directed at the market as a means to product your Atlanta vendor’s investment and are never used to spy on employees or invade their privacy. If large amounts of product do go missing, videos are reviewed and brought to your attention. However, in markets nationwide theft has been limited; some studies say fewer than 5%. In general, employees have responded positively and employers have looked at this system as a physical way to show their employees that they are trusted and respected contributors to the company.

For more information on how to get a Micro Market in your break room, along with the products and convenience they supply contact your local  Atlanta vendor today. You and your employees will be glad you did.