Greensboro, N.C.-based USConnect announced the launch of a network encompassing 16,000 connected vending machines, micro markets and corporate dining facilities. After one year of systems development and building infrastructure, the USConnect network provides fully integrated, consumer centric vending, micro market and dining services focused on cashless fulfillment using bank issued credit/debit cards as well as the USConnect Card which features a loyalty program, reward program and charitable contributions, all riding on a hosted balances network providing no cost card services.
The USConnect organization also provides a dietitian directed healthy initiative, a sustainability project, key branded products, a national account program selling business based on services and consumer benefits, member sales training and sales support, corporate web branding and financial benchmarking services. USConnect is a geographically exclusive organization enabling a strong best practices program as well as development of shared services.
"I am launching USConnect to build a nationwide network of like-minded organizations to create a family of companies excelling together and building a business model that adds value, not one that erodes margin," Jeff Whitacre, CEO and founder of USConnect and CEO of Food Express/Atlanta Vending said in a prepared statement.
USConnect uses the services of Crane/Streamware, Cantaloupe Systems and the USG Co-op to provide an industry leading integrated technology platform and cost structure.
The initial 14 members of USConnect serve clients in 20 major markets with a plan to expand nationwide within 12 months. Whitacre added, "we have built a system that will enable vend operators to move rapidly, and affordably, into the future and guide and help them along the way to greater success. Vend operators who want to survive in the current industry landscape need to band together and create a premium national image based on transparency, optimized operations and providing enhanced consumer value."