Who are you?

Not too long ago, the term receptionist was perfectly acceptable. I’m sure many of you have one at your business. However, have you heard the term receptionist being changed to first impression specialist? We have a first impression specialist here at our office and I have to admit, it does make me laugh. You do have to give props to being unique and the name really fits — she’s the first person that any visitor to the office sees, that’s exactly what she does. I doubt that if someone from the outside referred to her as a receptionist, however, that she’d correct them or feel like that title wrongly described her profession.

What’s in a name?

Is it just me or does it seem that society in general has gotten tied up with job titles and defining exactly who we are and what we do? As we get ready to head out to the NAMA OneShow in Las Vegas this month, I can’t help but wonder who exactly are you? I’ve been hearing a lot of “newer” terms being thrown around in the industry that should define exactly who you are and what you do, so before I start throwing my two cents into the ring, I thought we’d ask you.

In a recent survey conducted by Automatic Merchandiser, we asked our operator subscribers which of these five terms best related to their business. Sixty-nine percent of you answered with vending. Then we had a tie with ten percent answering OCS and ten percent of you answering refreshment services. Eight percent answered with automatic merchandising and three percent of you answered with foodservice.

Vending still strong

Now, I think that the answer is pretty clear; we are vending. I’m sure that some of you will stop me and tell me, “Monique, you got it all wrong, I handle this and that, so my business is really X!” That’s fine, there will always be exceptions and I in no way mean to make you feel like you can’t identify with a specific segment of the industry, but my question to you is, would you be offended if someone referred to you as vending?

I did mention I was going to throw my two cents into the ring. Call me old fashioned, but I still find the term automatic merchandising a perfect way to define what our industry does. We display the products that we want our customers to buy (merchandising them) and they get the product “automatically,” either by using coins, paper money, a credit card, their cell phone or a fob. A person does not have to be physically there to handle the transaction.

If you’re headed out to the NAMA OneShow, and you really should be by the way, feel free to stop me and let me know what you think.