During the Dec. 13 to 14 European Vending Association (EVA) meeting vending industry leaders focused on strategies to bring renewed growth to the European vending industry.
“Value” was the buzz word at the general assembly: - Value for money for the EVA members illustrated by some of the lobbying actions 2012-2013, by Catherine Piana, EVA director general, and Erwin Wetzel, deputy director general, which covered a wide array of concerns, including tax receipts, coinage design, refrigerant gases, allergen labeling, and eco-design;
- Value of Information: the Market Intelligence plans of the EVA were outlined by Jan Marck Vrijlandt, the international operators representative, sitting on the EVA’s executive committee (Selecta);
- Value of Cooperation: the hard work carried out in 2012 to enhance cooperation between the EVA and its NA’s (National Associations) was summed up by Lucio Pinetti, EC member, and CONFIDA president. More specifically, he announced that the EC would be inviting an NA representative to attend future meetings. For the first six months, the representative would be Aris Kaschefi, the BDV director (Germany). Arnaud van Amerongen, the EVA president, closed the session by sharing a few thoughts:
- A widening of the EVA footprint was planned to reflect the fading boundaries between vending and Office Coffee Service (OCS). Joining forces with OCS or PoU (Poin of Use) would make the EVA more powerful and efficient.
- He applauded the efforts deployed by David Hoskin in publishing the 2010-2011 Market Report, which was an added value for Members, as part of the new membership benefits.
- He recommended that Members visit the EVA Members-Only pages, which are full of useful and relevant information.
- He announced that EurOps would be held in conjunction with the Vending Cruise in May 2013, and located in Palma de Mallorca. Participants would have the option of attending for the whole duration of the cruise or just flying in and out for the Conference.
The evening function took the delegates to Chalet Robinson, a quiet, wooded venue in the heart of Brussels, which was the opportune moment to network amongst peers and to exchange current views on the vending market.
The Workshop, themed “A European Strategy for Vending” opened with 3 presentations:
- David Hoskin, author of the EVA Market Survey 2010-2011, gave a short overview of his research findings. His main message was that whilst the data was rather flat, the market still had huge potential, in particular in the area of snack machines. He also stressed that small operators held the reins to the industry, as in most Western European countries, the market shares were held, in majority, by smaller companies.
- David Kirby, from PwC, then followed with a most engaging presentation on vending in the “new normal”, the impact of recessions and the solutions at hand for operators. Based on his wide experience with other industries, such as retail, and vending in other parts of the world, he made recommendations for growth strategies in 5 areas: proposition, pricing, purchasing, operational efficiency and merger and acquisition tactics.
- Rod O’Shea, from Intel, introduced the company’s view on the future of vending, and emphasized the simple but profound changes which would create the “new experience” for vending consumers: mobile interaction, social media integration, communication, interactivity and perception, connectivity, as well as the security and manageability challenges facing operators. He commented on a recent study carried out by Intel with consumers, regarding vending. In short, consumers felt that vending machines were useful, but called for a radical improvement in the vending experience. A variety of technological solutions existed to meet these expectations: touch-screens, advertising and loyalty, providing helpful information, personalization, etc. The participants then attended the 7 round tables, which were repeated 3 times each. The chairpersons then wrapped up their messages for the group.
Seven Messages To Shape Vending In Europe
1. Operators must fast forward their pace in innovation. Change is not happening quickly enough. Manufacturers must prove the business case for adopting the new technology and the industry has to increase the barrier to entry in order to increase professionalism in the industry.
Half-way to Vending 2020 by Arnaud van Amerongen, Managing Director, Aequator 2. The EVA is doing a pretty good job at lobbying the EU, but it has to do an even better job at positioning itself proactively. The Coin Design Handbook was a good example of positioning, and the EVA should consider a similar approach in its other areas of representation. It should also define a strategy for e-communication and social media use. Telling the good story of vending to stakeholders, Gillian White, Director & CMO, 24Vend
3. The industry must position itself better to create a perception of quality, and desire from the consumer. To this end, it must know the consumer better and engage with him/her. The EVA and NA’s had a wealth of effective tools available, and could maximize and optimize their use. EVA’s and NA’s role in promoting the image of vending by Catherine Piana, Director General, EVA
4. EVA’s and NA’s should emphasize their importance to the operators to show them that it is useful to turn up at Association events and make use of the information on tap. They are not only there in times of crisis! EVA’s and NA’s role in helping SME’s become more strategic and forward thinking, by Michael Maurer, Owner & Manager, Automaten Service Maurer GmbH, Essen and General Manager, CA Vending Group GmbH, Hamburg
5. The EVA is quick and efficient in lobbying, and crisis management, and could be even more successful if NA’s would report regularly to the EVA, maximizing on their
synergies. Your Association will only achieve what you want it to, by Brian Tustain, Executive Director, AVA
6. Associations have grown in importance, and whilst they have to keep the focus on lobbying, they also need to increase their support to businesses. The areas in which this should take place are: networking, training, best practice and the development of quality. It was also important to provide value for money and so encourage SME’s to participate.
The role of Vending Associations in growing the business nationally and internationally, by Lucio Pinetti, President of CONFIDA
7. Operators need to get more and better information from other industries, such as retail, logistics or automotive, in order to understand what kind of changes they should be implementing. In short, the Associations should help the vending industry by building a case for change. Great learnings were available for inspiration, and an “Operator Observatory” should be set up in order to keep a close watch on industry trends and to become proactive.
Out of the box, into the (vending) box by David Kirby, Assistant Director, Strategy, PriceWaterhouseCoopers In his closing remarks, Arnaud van Amerongen, the EVA President, warmly thanked and congratulated all Workshop Chairpersons and participants for a very inspirational workshop. He welcomed the fact that the National Vending Associations and the EVA had become more important, that CONFIDA’s dynamism was inspirational. All present should feel galvanized by the positive energy, which could only spell further growth and progress for the associations and industry alike.
All valuable input from the EVA members at the event will be taken on board in the EVA’s Business & Communication plan that will be issued next spring. Presentations will be available to all participants as of 20 December 2012.