Automatic Merchandiser is launching a new podcast series: Vending & OCS Nation

Feb. 14, 2023 and Automatic Merchandiser announce the launch of a new podcast series, produced by Endeavor Business Media and hosted by contributing editor Bob Tullio. Read a Q&A with Tullio and then listen to the trailer to learn more!

In advance of the official podcast launch in March, Automatic Merchandiser managing editor Molly Rogers had a chance to chat with Bob Tullio about the new podcast series.

MR  Why are you excited about the Vending & OCS Nation podcast?

BT – There are many reasons why I am excited about this podcast. I am excited because I believe there is a real need in our industry for a thoughtful podcast. As far as I know, among millions of podcasts out there in the digital world, this will be the one and only – at least for now – for the convenience services industry. That’s exciting. For me, doing this podcast is a labor of love for an industry that I care about.

MR – What is Vending & OCS Nation going to be about, specifically?

BT – The podcast is about people, trends, issues and products pertaining to vending, coffee service, micro markets, and pantry service – designed to make an operator’s business more profitable. It’s a great listen during a commute, when you are waiting in line for gas at Costco, waiting to board a flight – each podcast will be under 15 minutes, and they will be released twice a month.

MR  Will there be interviews, or are you just going to be talking to the audience?

BT  You know how much I like to talk, Molly, so sometimes, that will be the case. Sometimes, I will interview industry leaders, sometimes people from outside our industry who have something to share, or suppliers who have a product that is podcast worthy, but it has to be a product that will have a positive impact on an operator’s business. Often, we'll take a deeper dive into additional content from and Automatic Merchandiser.

MR – Can you give me an example of what someone from outside our industry might have to share?

BT – I believe it’s good to get a fresh perspective at times. One of the people I will be interviewing is an expert witness who has worked on some high-profile trials. The topic is about the importance of establishing credibility and the presentation. It’s entertaining content that will hit home with operators and their sales reps. I will also talk to facility managers to gain an understanding of what our customers are looking for today and how they make buying decisions.

I’ll talk to sales professionals who do multimillion-dollar deals, like the real estate broker who sold Madonna’s house. We can learn something from people who have reached that level of sales success, because they all started out with zero accounts, in the trenches. It’s so cool and valuable to hear their stories – how they managed to elevate themselves to a truly elite status.

MR – I know you have interviewed plenty of operators over the past five years. Will that also be a focus?

BT – One of the great pleasures of writing for and Automatic Merchandiser is the opportunity to interview operators, because they have so much to offer. We can learn from our industry leaders, and I will be talking to many industry rockstars. I can’t wait!

MR – What’s the topic planned for the first two podcasts to be released in March?

BT  Our first podcast offers three business development strategies built for 2023. Our second podcast will explore the impact of the “act your wage” movement and how operators and employees should approach this mentality.

MR – What makes you qualified to do a podcast for this industry?

BT – People tell me I can be amusing, so there’s that. Also, I love this industry. I was on the front line for 37 years. We had our share of struggles as an operator, had to reinvent our business more than once, and ultimately came out on top. I know firsthand how tough this business can be. Now, I want to do what I can to help operators be the best they can be.

MR – Would you say there is one overall objective you have in mind for the Vending & OCS Nation podcast?

BT – That’s easy. Every time an operator listens, I want them to take something away that's going to make their business more successful. One good takeaway every time.