Cashless Payments Gaining Traction in Vending Industry

As you’re making purchases at the grocery store, buying gas from your local station or grabbing a snack from the vending machine, what payment method do you typically reach for? According to a survey conducted by Gallup, most Americans find themselves turning towards their credit cards or mobile payments. With 21 percent of people ages 23 – 54 using cash in their day-to-day lives that leave 79 percent of all transactions are cashless payments. More people are gaining confidence with cashless payment systems due to the ability to make payments quickly.

Technology advances now allow people to pay by swiping a card or using their phone, so the demand for innovation in basic services has increased. Vending machines and micro markets are offering more ways to pay for items.  Mobile pay and smartphone apps allow customers to prepay an account so funds are always on file for easy payment transactions.

A study conducted by Harris Interactive, a market research company, found that 66 percent of Americans believe smartphone payments will eventually replace credit card payments; 61 percent say the same for cash. Security is one of the biggest factors discouraging some consumers from making the switch to mobile payment.

Using credit cards or a mobile payment option at a vending machine can be new for some users, but it doesn’t have to compromise security. At National Vending, we assure PCI compliant equipment and payment systems that keep your information safe.

Does your vending machine have a credit card or mobile payment capability? Call National Vending for assistance in evaluating your technology and refreshment service program.

Update your Office and Breakroom with these Tips

Is your business looking to upgrade their office space or breakroom? These changes could play a bigger role in your office productivity, creativity and employee retention. Before you take the plunge, update your office and breakroom with these tips.

Get your employees’ ideas

It’s easier to get your employees excited for change when they play an active role in tossing out ideas. Ask everyone to come up with three changes they would like to see in the new workspace. Discuss the changes that will be happening and give an explanation for what they can expect. When everyone is on the same page, the transition can be a lot smoother and more exciting.

Include co-working spaces that encourage team work

Consider adding collaboration stations where your employees can gather and encourage them to move around throughout the day to experience new people and spaces inside your office. Create social working hours where employees can hear ideas from others and be inspired by their coworkers and office space. This also allows for managers with offices to step out and enjoy the collaboration in a casual setting.

Have adjustable desks and tables

Sitting can be detrimental to your employees’ health. Take the time with your office remodel to add in stand-up desks and collaboration areas. This can help decrease sedentary routines and shows you care about your employees’ health and well-being.

Consider switching up your refreshment solution

Consider a micro market or offer a new variety of coffee to perk up employees. These changes can be exciting and encourage employees to stay on site for lunch. Looking for a way to keep track of your office supplies? We can customize a controlled dispensing solution that reduces supply costs up to  40 percent. Who doesn’t like to save money? We have a solution for office supplies, IT supplies and more.

Offer up some fun and games

Add a place for your employees to have fun either during their break or after work. Games are a great way to encourage team building and can help spark creativity and problem solving. A common area with a pool table or ping-pong table can also encourage your employees to get to know their co-workers, which can build up your company culture.

No matter what changes your company is able to make, keep your employees engaged and excited by showing updates and allowing them to be a part of the process. Updating an office or breakroom is exciting and gives the company the chance to show their culture in a fun and personal way. What changes would you like to see in your breakroom or office space?

Update your Office and Breakroom with these Tips

 

Upcoming Trends in the World of Vending – 2018 NAMA Show

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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.

Four Reasons you Should Make the Switch to Filtered Water

FilteredWaterWhen most people consider their office vending machines, not many take the time to think about the other refreshment services available. These other refreshment services consist of office coffee and water filtration. Last year the average American used 167 water bottles but only recycled 38. Help cut down on waste by considering the switch to a filtered water program for your employees.

Employee Health

Consider making the switch to help improve your employees health. Access to filtered water, both hot and cold, can play a key role in increasing the amount of water consumed by your employees. Substituting water for high calorie beverages can play an important role in weight loss which in turn can decrease health issues and be a cost saving factor for your company. Get into the spirit by creating a burst your thirst challenge where the person that drinks the most water over a period of time can win a prize.

Increase productivity

It might sound crazy to think that water consumption and productivity can go hand in hand, but research has found that dehydration can be linked to cognitive changes which can result in less productivity. So the next time you feel that 2 o’clock slump coming along, grab a glass of filtered water and see if you can feel a difference.

It doesn’t cost that much

No seriously, it doesn’t cost that much to add filtered water to your company. In fact most employers would reap the benefits of adding filtered water just by seeing an increase in productivity around the office. The recommended eight glasses of water a day can result in Americans spending roughly $1,400 on bottled water.  Not quite convinced? Contact us and we’d be happy to run the numbers based on your location and size. We can also ensure you’re getting the most out of your office coffee system and vending as well, both can play an important part in your office productivity and employee happiness.

Save the Earth

One of the biggest benefits is the service your company would be doing to the environment. By switching to a filtered water solution, your company could help decrease the amount of water bottles that fill up landfills. Not only do plastic bottles take anywhere from 450 – 1000 years to decompose naturally but if they are incinerated, they can produce toxic fumes which are harmful to the environment. Encourage your employees to make the switch to filtered water and better yet, provide water bottles branded with your company logo.

Show your employees you care about the environment and their well-being by making the switch today. Not only can filtered water be great for those looking to cut back on their calorie intake, but it can help benefit your office coffee system as well.

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.

Why vending guarantee is important in your machine.

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Technological advances in vending machines have enabled consumers to purchase vended products using apps, debit and credit cards. We have also seen other advances inside the vending machines. We’ve all made trips to the vending machine to purchase a soda and chips only to have our selection fail to vend after we swipe our credit card. Frustrated, we think the machine charged our card so we make a call to the number on the machine looking for a refund. Or worse, someone shakes the machine in hopes of getting the product to drop, which can cause a lot of damage to the machine. But did you know up-to-date vending machines include a guaranteed vend delivery system?

Each vending machine has an infrared light sensor at the bottom of the machine. Each snack or drink passes through this infrared light as it is dispensed. If the snack or drink doesn’t break the beam of light, it will give the customer credit back to make another selection. This feature makes the customer experience more reliable and minimizes the need to call customer service or request a refund. Not sure if your machine has a guaranteed vend delivery system? Many machines will have a sticker indicating the presence of one; you may also see a message appear after selecting your product. If the machines is equipped with a guaranteed vend delivery system, a message typically pops up encouraging the consumer to make another selection or dispense a refund. Guaranteed vend delivery systems can take care of a problem before it starts. Who needs a frustrated customer?

Work resolutions to start your year off right.

WorkResolutions2018WPThe New Year is quickly approaching and while personal resolutions are always a great way to start they year fresh, it’s also a great time to consider work resolutions. Below we have a few ideas on how you can start the 2018 work year off on the right foot and achieve those resolutions throughout the year.

Step out of your comfort zone

We know change is scary, and stepping out of your comfort zone is just as frightening for some. But stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be leaping head first into something you’ve never done before. Maybe it’s as simple as asking a coworker for advice or help on a situation. Or attending an event you typically wouldn’t go to because you might not know anyone there. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating but as long as you are taking baby steps in the right direction, you’ll find your comfort zone expanding, which will allow for more personal growth.

Listen more than you talk

We all want to contribute to conversations at hand, but in some cases it can muddle the situation when people contribute ideas without thinking them through. Instead, take time to actually listen to what is being said or asked of you and then take time to formulate a response. A good rule of thumb is to wait a few seconds before replying to ensure you don’t interrupt the speaker, which also gives you time to form a thoughtful response. This tip might seem like a basic task but the next time you sit in a meeting, count how many times someone gets interrupted or answers get shouted out.

Learn something new

This resolution can go hand-in-hand with stepping out of your comfort zone but in the end you might pick up a new skill you never knew you had the ability to do. This can be a great way to open new doors in the work place and meet new people. Learning something new could be as simple as taking a class on leadership or attending a seminar in your field of work.

Be more organized

As soon as projects start to pile up, the system for organization can fall by the wayside leading to scrambling to finish projects or even missing deadlines. Setting up an organizational system that works for you can help you in those times when your work load is piling up. Set reminders to help you prioritize what needs to be completed first and take a few minutes each day to assess any new projects that reach your inbox.

Get inspired

No matter how long you have been in your industry, it can be easy to feel uninspired about the work you do. As you move into 2018, think about how you can get inspired about the work you do. Look towards clients who are happy with the work you provide or consider attending a conference in your area to help reignite the excitement for your industry.

Make Goals

Make a list of goals you want to accomplish during the year, whether it’s staying more organized like the resolution above or working harder to meet deadlines. Take the time to write them out, or set reminders in your work calendar.

Talk about your goals

Goals are pointless if nobody knows about them. Tell your boss, your coworkers and have the people around you help hold you accountable for everything you want to achieve. If you get half way through the year and feel like you’re straying away from your goals, do an assessment to see how you can get back on track. If you get to the end of the year and missed a goal, no worries, take time to assess why you might have fallen short or what prevented you from accomplishing that goal and work to make a change for the following year.

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.

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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.