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.

Celebrate National Candy Day with These Fun Facts

Candy has become an everyday treat readily accessible everywhere from checkout lines at the grocery store to vending machines at work so we’ve got a few fun facts listed below that you can share with your friends on November 4 for #NationalCandyDay!

The first form of candy to make its way to America was rock candy. As one of the simplest types of candy, it was a luxury only the wealthy could afford. The first American vending machine was introduced in 1888 and dispensed Tutti Fruity Gum, but that wasn’t even the beginning of America’s love affair with candy.

Chocolate started in 1847 in Britain when Joseph Fry and his son mixed cocoa powder and sugar to make a candy bar. After the idea traveled across the ocean in 1875, Henry Nestle decided to add milk to the concoction, making the chocolate taste less bitter. From there Milton Hershey had his eyes on chocolate-making machines he found at the Chicago World’s Fair. After already making caramel, he couldn’t resist the opportunity and one year later, the world got the first chocolate bar from Hershey.

After that, chocolate bars took off as a special treat! Starting with the Clark bar in 1916, Oh Henry! Bar in 1920, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in 1922, and Baby Ruth and Milky Way in 1923. With more and more chocolate delights being added to the industry, it makes sense why the United States consumes roughly $18.27 billion dollars’ worth a year.

We’ve got even more fun candy facts listed below! Be sure to tell us your favorite candy by leaving a comment or reach out to us on our Twitter and Facebook.

CandyInfographicWP

11 Fun Facts about Pumpkins for National Pumpkin Day

PumpkinDayWP02October is coming to a close and with it is National Pumpkin Day! But how much do we really know about these large gourds? We did the digging and came up with 11 fun facts about pumpkins that might surprise you!

  1. Pumpkins were considered a last resort food amongst the colonial settlers.
  2. They can be grown on every continent except Antarctica.
  3. The United States produces 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin each year, and 80 percent of the pumpkin crop is available in October.
  4. The largest pumpkin weighed in at 2,624 pounds and took home the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
  5. Every single part of a pumpkin is edible, even the stem.
  6. Morton, Illinois is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world due to Libby’s pumpkin processing plant, owned by Nestle Food Company. Libby’s cans more than 85 percent of the world’s pumpkin each year.
  7. Each pumpkin has about 500 seeds, which can be roasted to eat.
  8. The largest pumpkin pie weighed in 3,699 pounds and was 20 feet in diameter.
  9. There are more than 45 different varieties of pumpkins.
  10. The oldest pumpkin seeds date back 8,000 to 10,000 years.
  11. According to the American Pie Council, pumpkin pie is America’s second favorite kind of pie. Nineteen percent report preferring apple pie compared to the 13 percent who picked pumpkin.

Used Car Vending Machines?

Vending Solutions

Photo from FoxNews.com

An Atlanta-based car dealer, Carvana,has turned a few heads with the opening of their latest retail option. Consumers looking to purchase a certified used vehicle now have the option of browsing, selecting and paying for their new vehicle at a vending machine.

The new “machine” is located in Atlanta and achieves the main goal of Carvana by cutting out the dealership and salespeople. Carvana says that their people-less car selling translates to at least $1,500 of savings on each vehicle. The location features three separate bays, or garages, that hold a wide selection of cars that users can get access to in two different ways. First, if you use Carvana’s main service and purchase your vehicle online, you can pick it up at this new vending machine. Secondly, there are fully digital screens at each bay that will display the inventory currently available at that location. Purchasing a vehicle from this machine means you can drive away in your new vehicle without ever having to speak to a salesperson.

National Vending knows that the rise in self-service shopping is growing in popularity and vending services play an important role in creating physical retail and interaction locations for online businesses.

Bike Helmet Vending Machines to Debut in Boston

Vending Solutions

Source: www.bostonherald.com

Boston’s bike sharing service is adding a new service for their patrons in hopes of increasing rider safety and convenience. Most bike share riders do not carry a helmet around with them, especially if it is a spur of the moment decision to rent a bike. The HelmetHub service will provide riders a way to rent bike helmets and return them at the end of their ride at vending machines attached to the bike rental stations.

This new service is a good example of listening to customers’ needs and wants and finding ways to improve your service and product offering to meet those needs and wants. National Vending makes it easy for vending patrons to communicate their ideas and needs through improved technology, including QR codes. Adding QR codes to our vending services is one of the easy to use methods we can increase patron interaction and make the vending services in your facility stand out and succeed.

Vending Services Evolving With Demand

Vending ServicesToday marked the end of an era for a company that many of us welcomed into our homes over the past 20 years. It was officially announced that the video rental giant, Blockbuster, will be closing the doors of its 300 remaining retail locations and ending its video by mail service. A main reason for the end to the Blockbuster story is an ever-evolving industry that did not have a need for their services any more.

As a vending management company, National Vending works with facility managers and other professionals to ensure that your vending services keep on pace with the needs and demands of your vending patrons. Tailoring services, product offerings and utilizing new technology are all taken care of by National Vending, making the advantages of vending services at your location easy!

Chilling Beverages and Saving Energy

National Vending knows the importance of energy-efficient equipment for the environment and for business owners. Energy Star qualified beverage machines use 1,700 kWh per year less than regular machines which means that less energy is being used and more money is being saved in utility bills.

A new technology that is being developed in Europe as a collaborative effort to improve the sustainability of refrigerator units has a lot of people excited, even in the vending management industry! This new device is called the V-Tex and is able to chill drinks in 45 seconds. This solution is aimed at avoiding the need for refrigerating units that are constantly on and consuming energy in order to have drinks chilled for consumption at any given time. Now, beverages can be stored at room temperature and energy is only used briefly to chill them down before serving. This could lead to technology that changes how beverage vending machines store and distribute beverages and could make them even more energy efficient!

Check out the video below for more information.

Google Mobile Wallet for iPhones

Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular for retail stores, online shopping and even vending services! A popular application for mobile payments is Google’s Mobile Wallet, which enables users to use their phone in place of credit or debit cards when paying for products or services by using NFC chips, or Near Field Communication chips. These chips allow mobile devices to communicate with each other when they touch or are within a few inches of each other. For mobile payments, smartphones are typically touched to a pad that is also NFC-enabled and the devices communicate the payment information to each other.

Google recently released a new version of its Mobile Wallet app for iPhones; an app that was previously only available on Android devices. Apple iPhones do not have NFC chips so the app will not work exactly like the Android version, but through Gmail attachments and stored credit and debit card data, users can simplify online shopping and send money. iPhone users can now access loyalty programs and redeem offers by location using the application though.

National Vending sees a lot of potential in mobile payments and the use of mobile loyalty programs for vending solutions and already features QR code technology on many of its products to promote consumer interaction and feedback.

Vegas Time!

Today is the day! National Vending is spending its first day at this year’s Building Operating Management’s NFMT Vegas trade show! This event is packed full of educational sessions, training, a free exhibit hall, networking events and more and is a great opportunity for facilities management professionals to learn about new ideas and meet others in the industry.

National Vending is currently exhibiting new vending machine products and technology that will help improve customer service and interaction for vending machines as well as energy-saving machines. Vending services that include QR code technology are an easy and effective way for customers to give their feedback to a vending machine management company and take some of the stress off of facility managers by providing another way to gain insight on how machines are performing and what types of products should be stocked.

National Vending will also be highlighting Energy Star and ADA compliant equipment. Energy Star equipment utilizes technology that helps machines be more energy efficient, saving money on utility costs. These machines are also available to National Vending customers at no cost.

To find out more about the trade show, here is a link to their website and a quick video highlighting the events!

http://www.nfmt.com/vegas/

Personalizing Vending Products for Success

Like any retailer, vending services need to be tailored or personalized to meet the needs and wants of their markets. Since vending machine markets are strongly determined by their location, their product offering has to take into account what is around the machine. Factors that can determine what products your vending services offer can include, proximity to other food or beverage sources and what they have to offer, purpose of the room or space the machine is located within, and the preferences of the patrons that will be using your services.

There are many other factors that can determine which products will be successful and National Vending will work with you to figure these out and personalize product selections to each location. National Vending will even help you determine the preferences of your market through technologies such as QR codes that patrons can use to provide direct feedback and provide product selection preferences.

No matter what your vending services are, National Vending offers a single point of contact for all of them so that you can direct all of your questions, comments and suggestions to improve your vending operations to one place!