When the time comes for you to switch vending suppliers or outsource vending for the first time, it can be a challenge to know which company is the best for you to partner with.
In this article, we share some key considerations that will help you make the best decision about your next vending machine supplier when buying vending machines.
An open, honest discussion of your requirements when buying a vending machine
You will have a very good feel for what your business needs, but often as a Facilities Manager or senior decision maker, you are juggling a huge amount of conflicting priorities and won’t necessarily have a comprehensive knowledge of all things vending machines, office coffee machines and water coolers.
Some vending operators will have very clear manufacturer and model preferences, determined by which will be easiest to operate, are the most profitable to sell and are most readily available to be installed. However, it’s important that you work with a vending supplier who will take time to visit your site, speak with you face to face and consider all the different options available before putting forward a proposed solution.
You are absolutely within your rights to ask prospective suppliers what other solutions they’ve considered and why they’ve decided this would be the right option – if you aren’t satisfied that they’ve genuinely considered the different options, you may find that the products being suggested suit the supplier, and are not the best solution for you.
The best vending companies in the industry will work on a consultative and collaborative basis, and ensure that you understand the demographics of the workforce, the practicalities of installing certain solutions, and will propose the right solution for you and your business. After all, you are most likely about to enter a multi-year vending supply contract, and you don’t want to be lumbered with a solution that doesn’t work for you.
Understanding core values and company culture
Ask your prospective vending suppliers for a copy of their mission statement and their core values, and delve as deep into how they embody those values, so that you can be comfortable the company takes culture seriously.
Communication and collaboration should be a core part of your chosen vending supplier’s ethos and you’ll want to know that their internal communication is great, that the entire business pulls in the same direction, and that they will truly value the business you’re going to give them.
The best vending companies will be confident in their approach to running their business and will have clear convictions about who they are, and who they aren’t, as a team. Their approach to operating their business should be well aligned with your own, as you’ll want to be on the same page with them when it comes to expectations and outcomes of your partnership.
Effective account management can be make or break for your vending machine purchase
We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve heard businesses tell us how they’ve not heard from their account manager for months or years, and that their queries and feedback has never been replied to or addressed. You invest a substantial amount of capital when you buy a vending machine, and it’s frustrating when you feel like you’ve been left in the dark, post-sale.
Whoever is liaising with you from each of the suppliers you’re considering, whether they’re Sales or a more senior member of the team, they should be able to provide you with case studies or put you in touch with customers who are delighted with the working relationship between parties. Vending suppliers who focus on delivering attentive, high quality account management are worth their weight in gold, and have great customer retention rates behind them.
It’s also important for you to be able to rely on your Account Manager to be proactive, providing data and analysis about your solution and how they can improve or enhance the offering you have. Vending companies have a wealth of information available through interconnected vending machines and should be regularly looking at ways to get more throughput from your solutions.
Having this proactive account management capability will make your vending experience pain-free, and you’ll have complete peace of mind.
Real experience and industry expertise are vital when looking to buy a vending machine
There’s a real mix of businesses in the vending market, ranging from the newly setup smaller outfits, and those that have been in the market for 60 years or more. It’s important you ask your vending supplier options about not just how long they’ve been operating as a business, but how experienced their operations, engineering and senior teams are in the vending industry.
Newer vending companies will be keen to get you on board as a client, and may offer more aggressively priced solutions in a bid to get your business, but can they offer the operational and technical support that you really need? Will you be left out of pocket or with broken/poorly maintained machines if they haven’t got the resource to send someone out to you quickly?
Having a team of vending experts who operate within well-established, tried and tested processes, offers a huge amount of value over those newer businesses or those without as much experience. You might be looking at a higher cost for management, maintenance or on your machine purchases, but this will be paid back in cost savings and faultless service throughout the contract duration.
In summary, selecting the right vending company when you’re looking to buy vending machines, can be difficult. There are many providers ranging from local to multinational, all offering different machines at different prices, but there are some common themes we’ve discussed in this article that will hold you in good stead when comparing any of these suppliers.
If you’re looking for a vending company that offers proactive account management, delivers the right solution for your business, and has more than 100 years of combined vending experience across the team, look no further than Connect Vending. Our expert team will take you through the process from start to finish, ensuring that you get everything you need to have a successful vending machine implementation.
Speak to us on 01865 341011 or contact us to arrange a callback.