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EDITORIAL: Vending As An Information Resource
Issue: Vol. 49, No.2, February 2009
When I joined VT in 1967, the vending industry had grown to a point at which it was not novel, but had not been around long enough for most people to have much of an idea what it was...by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Picking Up The Pieces (Again)
Issue: Vol. 49, No.1, January 2009
Year-end broadcast commentaries suggest that the present economic contraction is being regarded as the End of an Era. That period is said to have been characterized by increasingly frenzied consumer spending fueled by imprudent extension of credit by lenders, and overreliance on it by borrowers. On this analysis, the current crisis arose when, at last, the bills came due...by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Right Sizing, Right Timing
Issue: Vol. 49, No.1, January 2009

Welcome to the new VENDING TIMES: smaller in trim size and different in layout. But in most respects, it remains the same magazine providing in-depth and timely reporting on all aspects of the vending and coin-op industries. Readers will first notice a standard magazine size and cover art… by Nick Montano

Author: Nick Montano

EDITORIAL: The Special Interests Strike Again
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 12, December 2008
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution carried an opinion piece in its November 30 edition, authored by Richard Miniter of the Hudson Institute. Headlined “No dollar bill? Coin lobbyists will cost us all,” it accuses the vending industry, metal producers and the National Automatic Merchandising Association of lobbying Congress to eliminate the $1 bill, a move the author does not believe would benefit taxpayer/consumers. He charges that “their case blatantly misrepresents the facts” … by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Changing The Perspective
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 11, November 2008

 It often has been remarked that familiar things can take on a strange and wonderful appearance if we encounter them in an unexpected context in which we do not at first know what they are… By Tim Sanford

Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: The Codfish And The Hen, Revisited
Issue: Vol. 47, No.10, October 2007
One of our colleagues, who finds herself navigating through the contemporary world with three small children in tow, recently told us of an experience which we suspect is widely shared. It certainly is not novel; industry observers have been concerned about it for half a century or more… By Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Why Get Up In The Morning?
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 9, September 2008

NEW YORK CITY (Sept. 2008) — During a recent elevator ride, we overheard a fellow passenger remark to his companion, “This would be a great business, if we just didn’t have any customers!” We don’t know what line of work they were in, but the observation might be made by someone engaged in almost any commercial activity, from running an airline to operating vending equipment… by Tim Sanford

Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Forward To Basics
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 8, August 2008

NEW YORK CITY (AUGUST 2008) — The present economic situation may turn out to be a temporary aberration, like the “energy crises” of the mid-1970s and early ‘80s, or a symptom of an underlying structural change. It is too early to tell; temporary aberrations often look alarmingly permanent at the time. Whatever the outcome of this one may be, there is a consensus that the vending industry must make some fundamental changes… by Tim Sanford

Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: One Day At A Time
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 6, June 2008

Anyone following the news these days might be forgiven for concluding that no one is able to say, with certainty, just what is going on. Veteran commodities traders differ widely in their assessments of the role that speculation plays in keeping petroleum prices high despite falling demand, and on the worldwide runup in food cost… more by Tim Sanford

Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Fussin’, Feudin’ And Fightin’
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 5, May 2008

The National Automatic Merchandising Association’s board of directors has sent out a letter calling for operators to be reasonable in their expectations of a trade association’s ability to resolve business-relationship conflicts, specifically the antagonism that periodically builds between operators and bottlers. Apparently, there are vendors who want NAMA to seek repeal of the Soft Drink Interbrand Competition Act (1980) and generally become more adversarial toward soft drink bottlers. The board points out that a trade association cannot legally involve itself in competitive disputes within an industry, and explains that NAMA has done much to provide a forum and make its good offices available for dispute resolution....by TIM SANFORD

Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Evolution In Action
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 4, April 2008
As the workplace services industry confronts a situation in which energy prices are high, the value of the U.S. dollar is low, commodity prices are increasing and seem likely to continue doing so, and consumer confidence is down, longtime industry observers will be haunted by the sense of having been here before...by TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Staying On Course
Issue: Vol. 48, No.3, March 2008
The National Automatic Merchandising Association’s recent Coffee Service Education Summit was a solid success, attracting operators from all over the U.S. and a surprisingly diverse lot of suppliers and manufacturers. The interest shown in the new NAMA initiative can be seen as the fruit of an extended, ongoing process...By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: What Do Patrons Want?
Issue: Vol. 48, No.2, February 2008
We recently received the most intriguing telephone call of the new year, from a radio reporter following up on a story idea. He said that some of the newsroom staffers had been speaking with the route driver who fills their vending machines, and the driver told them that the current economic uncertainties and stresses were increasing his workload. With fuel prices high and concern with job security on the rise, people were not going out for lunch and snacks, he explained; they were buying these things from the vending machines. Thus, he was busier than he had been in a long time...By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Destination, Or Not
Issue: Vol. 47, No.11, November 2007
Putting out a magazine involves periodic late-night exertions. These often are the occasions for thought-provoking discussion, just as they were in college. This discourse is seldom so thought-provoking as to be memorable, but every now and then, a thought does detonate high in the air, and the flash illuminates a subject from a different angle …By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: The Codfish Doesn’t Cackle...
Issue: Vol. 47, No.10, October 2007
Those who have attended enough sales training seminars have heard a little verse explaining why, although the codfish lays 10,000 eggs and the “homely hen” lays one, we esteem the hen much more highly. The reason for this value perception is that “The codfish doesn’t cackle/To tell us what she’s done.”… By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: What Do They Want?
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 9, September 2007
There is almost universal agreement that successful selling starts by determining what the customer wants. This seems obvious, but as is so often the case, the Devil is in the details. Two aspects of the problem that seem to deserve more study are (1) How does one find out what the customer wants? And (2) Do customers really want what they say they want? ...By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Out Of Service, With A Smile
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 8, August 2007
Operators are very familiar with vicious circles. Those who have been around for awhile are accustomed to finding an attractive product that would sell well in vending machines, if it were available in a suitable package and portion size – and to being told by the supplier that there is no reason to make it that way, because it isn’t sold in vending...By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: The Executive Editor’s Desk
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 7, July 2007
The VENDING TIMES Buyers Guide and Directory issue is a unique reference work, in that it assembles timely information on vending, OCS, foodservice, music, games and bulk vending resources in a single publication...By NICHOLAS MONTANO
Author: Nick Montano

EDITORIAL: Enhancing The User Experience: Fun Follows Function
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 6, June 2007
A press release recently went past us, concerning a new vending machine design from somewhere in Western Europe. It delivers a snack at about waist height, so the patron does not have to bend over to retrieve it...By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: What’s In A Name?
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 5, May 2007
Just about every business, profession and craft has its own vocabulary. This can be annoying to those not initiated into its mysteries, who often denounce it as “jargon,” but it is an important aid to communication. The terms in such a vocabulary often are common words to which a specific meaning is assigned. It is possible to express a concept like “location” in standard English sentences, but it can take awhile. Those involved in vending, coffee service, coin-op amusements and music and contract foodservice all know what it means, so there is no need for circumlocution...By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Knowing The Territory
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 4, April 2007
Vending operators always have known that they must please two groups of customers. They must sell their services to one group, the location, before they can sell their products to the people who actually will consume them...By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Getting It Right
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 3, March 2007
It often is said, when someone complains about the annoyances of progress, “you can’t turn back the hands of time.” In one sense, this is unarguable; we travel through time in one direction only. But it has been pointed out that, when the clock is wrong, the only way to set it right is to adjust it. It also has been said, famously, that when you make an error in calculation, you must go back to that step and correct it, or you never will get the right answer. When you clearly are moving in the wrong direction, you change course...By TIM SANFORD
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Interests, General And Special
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 2, February 2007
As we listen to the news and try to establish the priorities we should assign to worrying about climate change, obesity, subsurface water depletion and the apparent international outbreak of bedbugs, we have been compelled to ponder a phenomenon about which we think too little has been said …by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL What Is At Stake?
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 1, January 2007
A recent news story details an exchange between critics of school cold-drink vending and an industry trade group. At issue is a report prepared for the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Public Health Advocacy Institute. It is said to be a multi-state analysis of school systems’ contracts with beverage companies...by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Time For A Closer Look
Issue: Vol. 46, No. 12, December 2006
The substantial consumer research project commissioned by the National Automatic Merchandising Association and conducted by Harris Interactive under the sponsorship of Masterfoods USA (see VT, November) produced findings that should give us all pause. In general, the majority of respondents agreed that vending is convenient and the machines are easy to use. However, a majority regard the selection of products available through vending equipment as limited and lacking in “fresh” and “healthy” items... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

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