Bridging the Gap

One of the goals of a trade publication is to bridge the gap between the latest innovations in an industry and the day-to-day operations of running a business. There are usually announcements of the latest available products and upcoming trends in technology. Those have to be tempered with the practices and procedures vending operators are using today, not just what they might use tomorrow. To get a good balance, we asked some of the industry experts, including some long time vending owners, to share real solutions that will successfully get operators from point A to point B via a steady, successful bridge of profitability.

One leader is industry consultant Ben White, who is back in this issue to help operators understand their telemetry data and dig out the information that will increase profits. His article, How to find profits in telemetry data, appears on page 22.

If your operation hasn’t added telemetry yet, there’s still important information here including vending veteran Dominic Finelli’s article on merchandising at the point of sale. He covers some important basics for the beginning vendor on page 14.

Having a good Website is paramount in this age of computers, tablets and smartphones. That’s why we asked long-time vending Website designer Neil Swindale to give readers some Website basics. Read about building a better Website on page 34.

Expanding and bettering service

Better service starts with understanding customers. That’s why we reached out to Vicky Hudson, founder of a survey and market research company in St. Louis, Mo. about the importance of surveying customers. Her article is on page 18.

Last, but not least, is an extraordinary operation profile about a third generation company that’s been successful for three decades. J&J Vending, a Canteen franchise in the California San Francisco Bay area, expanded its business in 2009, and has thrived because of it. The success story is on page 38.

Being informed leads to better, smarter solutions. Operators don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but can learn from others and use that knowledge in their own organizations. It will build a stronger industry, and one with a positive future.