MAKING VENDING SIMPLE
My name is Peter Adams, and I’ve spent 27 years working in the vending and office coffee industry. Until recently I ran one of the largest independent office coffee businesses in London and the South East (Select Drinks) as well as previously holding board level positions with large multi-nationals.
Having dealt with many thousands of customers over the years, it’s always struck me how complicated vending is made, when it should be one of the simplest things to organise for your business – you want to offer your staff and visitors quality hot drinks or a range of favourite and healthy snacks, and we want to provide them – so why does it feel so complicated?
That’s when I decided enough was enough and that the vending industry of which I’ve been part of for so many years was ready for disruption, ready for a new normal – Vending As A Service.
The Vending As A Service model is simple – you choose the equipment you want or need, from a very simple selection of machines, you pay a one-off move fee which covers the cost of us physically delivering and installing the equipment, and then you simply pay a cup cost from an openly-published tariff, depending on how much the machine is used every month. Simple!
THE TRADITIONAL WAY
Ever tried to speak to a vending company before - it goes something like this
(don't take our word for it, try it for yourself!);
Contact a vending company for a price or prices of suitable machines
Get told there is no price list because there are so many options, and a sales person will need to come and see you
Some time in the next fortnight spend an hour of your life you'll never get back, discussing what you want with a sales person
Wait for a proposal from the sales person, and possibly even have to chase it once or twice
Eventually receive a proposal for some machines, that do far more than you want or will ever need, for around the price of a small car!
Decide on the machine that looks like it will do the job, although you’ll never really know until you’ve already signed up for it for at least 3 years
Decide on how busy the machine will be, even though you won’t know until you’ve signed up for it for 3 years, and decide whether you want to clean the machine yourselves (even though it rarely happens and is the job no one will want) or whether you have to pay someone to come and clean it for you - and if you do how often should they come, and they'll charge an absolute fortune to do so
All that just for a simple cup of coffee at work - and don't even get us started on all the sneaky extra fees such as insurance, admin charges, filter replacement, and most recently re-commissioning fees as a result of the recent Coronavirus lockdown.
THE THREE COUNTIES WAY
The Three Counties way goes like this;
Go on our website or take a look at our brochure - if you need help send an email or pick up the phone to our owner (we don't have sales people)
Pick a machine from a very easy selection, depending on your budget and quality of drink you want to provide
Select the machine and agree to pay a nominal installation cost to cover the cost of physically moving and installing the machine
We’ll provide the machine, fill it, clean it and sanitise it as often as it needs doing, change the water filters, provide coin and contactless payment facilities if you want to charge for drinks, and cover any faults or issues with the machine - unless someone decides to be rough with it (it happens sometimes ☹)
If at any stage you want to change it for a different type of machine, no problem, just tell us. If we’re doing a great job we’ll ask you to tell others. If we’re not, please tell us and we’ll do everything we can to put it right. And if we don’t, or if you just don’t need the machine any more, we’ll take it away.
That’s it – no contracts, no small print, no sneaky clauses.
Welcome to the new normal.