Coke Profile: Craig Kushner, Monumental Vending, Beltsville, Md.

Monumental Vending was built on a foundation of continual process improvement and aggressive innovation. Founded in 1991 by David Gordon and Craig Kushner to service the DC/Maryland area, Monumental strives to be a world-class vending company that seeks out ways to improve on industry standards while increasing customer satisfaction.

Craig Kushner explained: “Vending companies need to be very responsive by providing products consumers want, when they want them and in a way that is convenient for them. We have found that technology is the solution for many of the issues we still face in this industry. This is particularly important as more consumers move away from cash.”

They value the use of technology to improve employee efficiency, engage customers in new ways and reduce equipment malfunctions. They were on the cutting edge with the use of handheld computers to electronically capture sales data and they have installed wireless phones in all of their vending machines to capitalize on real-time data. Monumental also uses dynamic scheduling and gravity-fed, pre-kitting systems for their warehouses that greatly improves their delivery efficiency. Improved payment methods is the next frontier in their ongoing evolution.

Monumental Vending's new technology includes machines that take credit cards or larger dollar bills so the company isn’t turning away customers who don’t have exact change. The company has also been experimenting with rewards promotions — of the buy nine, get one free variety, for example. Their goal is to engage consumers and improve their experience. They have found consumers to be very receptive.

Kushner believes cashless payment use with increase exponentially. "People will use technology more as they become more comfortable with it," he said. "As more equipment is converted and they see more cashless vending equipment in the market, the number of consumers using a credit card for their purchase will escalate quickly.”