What Are You Waiting For?

Hey vending and OCS operators! You are doing it again … you are procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to nominate your best route drivers for the annual Automatic Merchandiser Route Driver of the Year award, sponsored by Kraft Vending & OCS.

How can you risk not getting your nominations in on time? The same thing happened last year and quite a few very disappointed operators discovered that our deadline date is, in fact, a deadline. Their nominations arrived after the cutoff, and no amount of begging helped their cause. (I hope you guys resubmitted your entries already.)

Why do you procrastinate?
From what I can see, we tend to be an industry of procrastinators. We’ve taken the “let’s see what the other guys do first” approach to the next level. For example, take a look at the implementation of new technology. Are you using DEX and your computer software to your best advantage, or are you waiting to see if it really works for your competitor down the street?

Where is all of today’s technology?
Cashless transaction capabilities will take our industry to the next level and beyond. Tests indicate that enabling cashless transactions at locations increases sales volume. Are you letting your competitor “work out the bugs” for you? Are you giving him time to present himself to your customers as the more savvy vending operation?

This issue of AM features a story on global positioning systems (GPS) and the cost saving advantages of installing one of the many varieties available. Has Mr. Bob Vendor across town been using a GPS system for the last year, thereby reducing his operating costs and responding more quickly to service calls?

How about something as simple as product category management? It’s been around for years, and there are still a great many operators who don’t implement this most basic of management tools.

Where are you with single-cup?
As for you OCS operators, I’m not letting you off the hook, either. All of you complain about losing sales to specialty coffee stores and c-stores, but are you doing everything you can to bring the specialty coffee experience to your customer locations? Are you offering state-of-the-art single-cup systems? I happen to know that many of you are not, simply out of fear of not making as much money when in fact, you are risking an opportunity to make a lot more.

Have your competitors submitted route driver nominations? Take a minute to think about what will happen when Mr. Bob Vendor’s best route driver wins the annual Route Driver of the Year Award. Their route driver — and their company — will be featured on the November cover of Automatic Merchandiser. Mr. Bob Vendor’s company will be profiled in the same issue. Mr. Bob Vendor will (because he is a savvy business man who took the time to nominate his drivers) get reprints of both articles to mail to his customers, prospects — and YOUR customers! His customers and prospects (and your customers?) will think that Bob Vendor is a great guy because he really cares about his employees and he must have an excellent company because he was profiled in Automatic Merchandiser and won a contest sponsored by Kraft Vending & OCS.

The deadline has been extended
It’s really that simple, isn’t it? Don’t you think you should get off your butt and nominate your route drivers? I’ll even extend the deadline for you — you have until August 26th! See Page 31 in this issue for more information.