It feels so good to be back!
Those were the words that were in my head as I drove into the office on my first day in the role of publisher for Automatic Merchandiser. This is my second “tour” with the publication. The first time around, I was a sales manager from 2004 to 2006. The time I spent on the book then has to be some of my best years with our company, Cygnus Business Media.
Not only was the staff of Automatic Merchandiser a great staff to work with, but the industry was a lot of fun and made up of some great people. Since I have been away from the book, I have remained with Cygnus in different roles throughout the years, but I have always kept tabs on what was happening in the world of vending. Once you get to experience this industry, it gets into your blood and you can’t get enough of it.
Fond memories began early
Let me explain. One of my fondest memories growing up was visiting my mom at her office on occasion. While it was always fun to see my mom in an office setting, my biggest treat was getting to go to the break room located just before the entrance to the manufacturing department. Along the wall was this huge bank of vending machines, with about every item available at that time. Yes, I do remember soda machines that vended soda by the cup. As a kid, the entire vending experience was fascinating to me.
When I attended college, our campus installed new technology that gave us the opportunity to purchase soda and snacks with a quick swipe of our college ID cards, which could be loaded with money. Talk about a convenience to a student who rarely carried cash or was always running late for class!
My college sorority got a soda machine that we used at the house. We purchased the soda and the profits were donated to a charity. I was in charge of filling the machine, and after I was shown how to do it, I spent quite a bit of time examining the insides of the machine, figuring out how it all worked. Not everyone gets to see “behind the scenes” of a vending machine.
New opportunities emerge
While the industry has seen quite a bit of change/consolidation/challenges over the years, vending still plays a vital role to consumers. Technologies to help you run your business are seeing continued improvement. Companies are introducing technologies that are designed to enhance the consumer’s vending experience.
Equipment manufacturers are incorporating these new benefits in their machines. Product manufacturers are still introducing new vendible products.
If you create the right vending experience for your customers, you will make a fan for life. I am an example of just such a customer.
This Buyer’s Guide is our annual directory to all of these different tools to help the industry propser. It is organized to make it easy for readers to find what equipment, technology and vendible product they are looking for.
I look forward to meeting you in the future and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a question or comment. You can reach me at: Monique.Terrazas@VendingMarketWatch.com.