Upcoming Trends in the World of Vending – 2018 NAMA Show

Image

In March National Vending team ventured out to sunny Las Vegas for the annual NAMA Show, a four day conference hosted by the National Automatic Merchandising Association for convenience service professionals. The NAMA show not only offers a place for the convenience industry’s biggest names to showcase new products but is also a place for industry players to learn about upcoming trends in the world of vending, office coffee and micro markets.

Talk of Technology

While walking the show floor, we couldn’t help but notice the amount of technology advances! From cashless payment services and telemetry, to changes in vending machines and vending products, the world of vending is advancing beyond basic refreshments and snacks.

More machines are adding a cashless payment system, but the advances don’t stop at credit card readers. Mobile apps and the ability to pay for items using your phone is a trend on the rise.

Micro Markets going MICRO

We also noticed advances in the world of micro markets. New nano markets offer the same convenience of a micro market but are better suited for those businesses or organizations with less than 250 people. Nano markets are simple and easy to use considering purchases can be made directly from the consumer’s phone or a small countertop kiosk.

Nutrition and Wellness

One of the underlying trends in vending, micro markets and pantry services is nutrition and wellness. These items are being requested by customers at a high rate and the demand will continue to rise. While most vendors have expanded healthy selections, those who make more of an effort to meet this demand will see an even greater increase in consumption.

Educational Classes

One of the biggest advantages to attending the NAMA Show is the educational classes exhibitors and attendees can experience. We had the pleasure of attending quite a few different classes over a variety of topics. One thing each class mentioned was how we need to be more receptive to change and look for ways to be more innovative in our industry. The educational classes are also a great way to meet with experienced industry leaders.

Evolving and Changing

When it comes to vending machine products, we have to consider the convenience people are looking for, the products people need and how vending machines can bridge the gap. Thinking outside the box with the products we vend and the way they vend can be pivotal in keeping the industry at the forefront of convenience.

During the opening session, Heidi Chico, NAMA Chair and President of the Wittern Group, invited NAMA show attendees to consider innovation and change. Staying competitive in the business has always meant evolving. How can vending evolve? Think beyond the break room vending machine and consider other scenarios where a vending machine would be ideal. Roughly 4 percent of the items stocked by a typical vending machine are non-food items.  The controlled dispensing of items like office and safety supplies help companies control costs. How can National Vending help your company save money?

Carla Balakgie, President and CEO of NAMA, leads the discussion between Political Analyst, Matthew Dowd and Acclaimed Thought Leader on Digital Transformation, Brian Solis.

Networking and Fun

One of our favorite parts of the NAMA show is being able to meet new people in the industry and form new partnerships. There’s something so nice about being able to shake someone’s hand you’ve talked with on the phone multiple times but have never met in person.

It’s not all work, there’s a little bit of play involved as well. There are social hours on the trade show floor.  Being in the city that never sleeps also allows for fun to overflow to restaurants and other entertainment venues, offering the chance to get to know your coworkers, vendors and distributors all in the course of a week.

Boost Employee Happiness with these Free Tips

EmployeeHappinessWP

Look around your office and take a guess at how many people are happy with their full-time job. According to a survey conducted and summarized by CBS Moneywatch, 51 percent of America’s 100 million full-time employees aren’t engaged at work which means a good chunk of the people you work with (or even you) aren’t really engaged in the work you do. But what can you or companies do to help employees reap the happiness others might get from their job? We’ve outlined a few simple ideas to help boost employee happiness, that won’t break the bank when it comes time to sort out the budget.

Use positive messaging:

Whoa innovative right? The words we choose in the workplace can play a huge role in employee happiness whether we realize it or not. Moving forward, consider using positive messaging with co-workers or employees. Become more personal, encouraging, passionate and empowering and see if you can tell a difference in the way people interact with you.

Express gratitude:

We were all taught to say thank you at a young age, but how many of us still keep that tradition alive when it comes to the work place? Even the smallest amount of recognition and thankfulness can go a long way when it comes to saying thank you to your employees.

Listen:

Employees like to feel heard so it’s up to the employer to stay receptive, and encourage feedback. Most employees tend to be happier when they are a part of the decision-making process and that their ideas are valued and respected.

Lead by example:

Practicing healthy habits and maintaining an optimistic attitude can help inspire happy employees. While not every day can be stress free and full of positivity in most cases how you view unpleasant situations that can trickle down to your employee’s perceptions.

Make small upgrades:

These upgrades could be as simple as updating your breakroom or switching to a vending management company that will not only help bring better snack options for your employees; but could also provide services you didn’t know employees would like.  The small change could result in a new selection of snacks and refreshments or even an office coffee system for your employees which in turn can boost productivity and happiness.

Encourage healthy work-life balance:

Work and life balance can play a key role in employee happiness. Employee’s need to feel their personal lives are valued just as much as their work life. Consider offering flexible hours, or allow employees to work from home when needed.

Why is employee happiness so important? Besides combating stress, happiness in the workplace can result in fewer aches and pains both physically and mentally. Happy employees also take fewer sick days than their unhappy co-workers and can help boost office morale.

How to Increase your Bottom Line with Office Vending

Increase Bottom Line, Increase , Money, Vending, Vending MachineThe office vending machine is a way for employees to get an afternoon snack or grab a quick bite to eat without having to leave the office. It can also serve as a way for your company to increase its bottom line. Our vending programs can actually pay you a commission, which is generally based on the vending machine sales.

You’ll save your employees time and money​

What employee doesn’t want the convenience of having a vending machine in their office? With more incentive to stay on site, your staff won’t have to leave in order to get something to eat or drink. This will lead to happier employees and increased productivity. A facility of 75 employees or more will generally support a vending machine at no cost to your company.

Increase productivity

Imagine being able to grab an energy drink or a bottle of water and feeling refreshed enough to finish your work on a timely basis? In most cases having a vending machine on site can help increase productivity and encourage employees to get more work done. This can increase motivation and help keep employees focused on the task at hand.

Fundraisers

Your office could also elect to donate the vending machine commission income to a favorite charity.  At the end of the year you can total how much money the company was able to donate and work towards increasing that amount.

Foot traffic

If your office has a lot of external foot traffic from the public, then a vending machine would benefit your visitors, too. By putting your vending machine in a location where others can access it, you’re reaching more people and increasing your commission income.

Vending Management Company

A vending management company specializes in companies with multiple locations, providing a customized vending program for each location. A vending management company, like National Vending, optimizes, collects and remits commission revenue, provides state-of-the-art equipment and technology, handles all service calls and coordinates transition of vending equipment. At National Vending we can be your single point-of-contact for all your vending needs. We can even provide other types of vending and refreshment needs for your company. Looking to add office coffee or a water filtration system? We can help!

If you would like to learn more about our national refreshment service programs, National Vending  can happy to help! Contact us today.

How to boost productivity with office coffee setup.

Coffee, ProductivityUpgrade your work productivity with a new office coffee setup.

We’ve all been there, it’s the early afternoon and you’re slumped over your desk trying to stay focused on the report due by the end of the day. Yet it feels impossible to keep your eyes open, so instead you walk to the nearest pot of coffee only to be disappointed by the selection. The lack of real creamer, coffee options and the two packets of sugar left won’t be enough to turn this nonproductive afternoon around.

Office coffee systems (OCS) have been a key dynamic in the work force but now most employers can’t get by with just a single pot of dark roast for the office. With more people finding an appreciation for specialty blend coffees or espresso drinks throughout the day, it makes sense why coffee systems are getting a reboot in the office. The introduction of the Keurig and single pot brewers has helped diversify coffee selections, especially when it comes to switching up the office coffee.

On average, 22 percent of employees will leave the office for coffee and tea for an average of 14-20 minutes a day. This can lead to a potential loss of productivity of more than $15,000 a year for an office of 50 people. Why not consider keeping your employees in house by upgrading your office coffee system?

How does coffee play into the productivity of your employees?

Coffee is a great way to jumpstart your mornings and help with those afternoon slumps. While caffeine in coffee doesn’t wake you up, it can block the main compound in your brain that makes you sleepy. Roughly 43 percent of workers experienced a positive effect on work productivity when drinking coffee, while 85 percent of employees believe quality coffee and tea can contribute to increased productivity and morale in the office.

When employers take the time to provide quality coffee options in the office, it helps save employees time, money and makes them feel appreciated. There is even a “perfect” time for a coffee break, which is around 2:15 in the afternoon.

Want to upgrade your system?

Looking to add an office coffee system or upgrade your current set up? Great! We at National Vending are able to provide the perfect blend of popular coffee brands, flavored coffees, teas, and condiments through office coffee makers or hot beverage vending machines to keep your office running without the hassle.

Why Being a WBE is Important

workplace-1245776_1920Established in 2002 and certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), National Vending supports the growth of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (MWBE) within the communities we service. But what does it mean to be a WBE?

For National Vending, it means things like supporting entrepreneurial growth and assisting clients in meeting diversity requirements. Statistics show that companies who embrace diversity are more profitable than companies who don’t. MWBE procurement has a direct and positive impact where corporations do business, which builds brand loyalty.

Tier I and II

Companies with supplier diversity programs are also interested in Tier 1 and Tier II supplier classifications. A Tier I supplier has a direct relationship with its client. To qualify under Tier II, a company’s direct supplier, like National Vending, contracts with other MWBEs and reports that spend back to the company.

“The reason diversity works is that on almost every measure, greater racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse workplace teams function more effectively than more homogenous teams. Members from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives avoid “groupthink,” whereas non-diverse teams get mired in it. …In short, the business case for diversity is overwhelming.” [1]

Tax Incentives

The federal government provides tax breaks for companies that utilize minority and women-owned businesses as suppliers.  A second tax incentive reduces tax liability to companies that use minority and women-owned businesses that supply labor or services to a project funded with federal or state grants or loans. State tax incentives may be available as well. Find out more at https://goo.gl/zG8rNa.

Short Stories and Insta-Art Vending Machines

artstory-vending-shutterstock_22434310

We have seen many stories of vending machines offering unique products around the world, but two interesting offerings we’ve seen lately are: short stories and insta-art!

A city in France got the world’s first short story vending machine. The machine has three numbered buttons: 1, 3, and 5 that refer to how many minutes the story will take to read. After choosing the length of the story, the machine will print a long ticket (the short story). Back in January, there were eight short story distributors in Grenoble in the French Alps. People can rent the short story vending machine for 500 euro. The short story machines offered 600 original stories and in the first moth, about 10,000 stories were printed. In the age of technology, the short stories provide a break from reading from screens. Many popular short stories are likely to be sold in vending machines. Hospitals, train stations, airports, amusement parks, museums, and cinemas have said they would be interested in having short story vending machines.

An Art-O-Mat, a retired and re-styled cigarette vending machine, is dispensing small pieces of art including jewelry, sculptures, paintings, and collages from over 400 artists from around the world. This machine is in the Downriver Council for the Arts (DCA) which is an old Masonic Temple in Wyandotte. There are similar vending machines in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and Australia that allow artists to share their work with a wider audience!

How cool is it that you can get short stories and original art from vending machines? Do you think these types of vending machines will become more popular?

artstory-1-shutterstock_466210838

8 Unique Vending Items around the World

People often think of vending machines to grab a quick snack or drink, but there are vending machines around the world that offer very unique items:

  • Live crabs – If you’re in China, you can grab a live crab from a vending machine. How crazy is in to get a live creature from a vending machine?
uniquevending-crab-shutterstock_101781700
  • Cooked pizza – Pizza machines in Europe and America are becoming more popular! In just 3 minutes, you can get a 9 inch fresh pizza from a pizza vending machine! How cool is that? A full meal on the go!
uniquevending-pizza-shutterstock_225746521-2
  • Cupcakes – You can enjoy a sweet treat from a vending machine in New York, LA, Chicago, Dallas, or Atlanta. Sprinkles Cupcakes started this trend and it’s likely to lead to more baked goods in vending machines!
uniquevending-cupcakes-shutterstock_354727520
  • French Fries – The Netherlands has a vending machine that dispenses fresh, hot french fries. Hotels offer fries to guests so they can grab a snack anytime of the day or night

uniquevending-frenchfries-shutterstock_171913943

  • Shoes – You never know when you might need a new pair of shoes! The Onitsuka Tiger machine in Carnaby Street, London is offering shoes so you no longer have to worry if you break a sole!
 uniquevending-shoes-shutterstock_273083519
  • Legos – Germany train stations are offering Legos in a vending machines. This is a fun way to get toys on the go!
uniquevending-legos-shutterstock_357497129
  • Flowers – An automated kiosk in Raleigh, NC offers fresh-cut arrangements. This is the perfect way to grab some last minute flowers for a loved one. The flowers even come with a vase and card!
uniquevending-flowers-shutterstock_75619798
  • Prescription Medications – MedBox has figured out how to dispense medication from a vending machine using security measures such as fingerprint samples. These machines are primarily used by pharmacies, assisted living facilities, doctors, and clinics to help manage sensitive drugs.

These are just a few of the many unique items offered in vending machines around the world. In the future, more items including alcohol are likely to be sold in vending machines. What’s the most unique item you’ve seen in a vending machine and what items would you want to purchase from a vending machine in the future?