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A Turn For The Better
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 11, November 2011
The best way to understand and learn is to do it in person, and in company. Let's call it Virtual Unreality... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Nonverbal Communication
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 10, October 2011
Back when full-line vending was still a new, a charge often leveled at it was that vending operators tended to be excellent technicians devoted to customer service, but they did not promote like retailers... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Pass The Word
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 9, September 2011
In vending, both the operator and the location have a real interest in satisfying customers and resolving problems. Too often, though, the people actually on the front line have not gotten the memo... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Let's Make Some Noise
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 8, August 2011
The vending industry has never had a more exciting story to tell, and enthusiastic operators committed to quality are the best people to tell it... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Interactivity Starts With Wish To Interact
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 6, June 2011
Unlike a refrigerator or a letterbox, a vending machine invites the user to do something, and the machine does something satisfying in return. This is as true of the simplest mechanical vender as it is of a touchscreen-equipped robotic retailer... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Something Old, Something New
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 5, May 2011
The National Automatic Merchandising Association's 2011 convention and exhibition offered very welcome relief from the gloom and doom of the past three or four years. Of course, there were a few negatives too... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Practical Applications: NAMA's Operator Perspectives
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 4, April 2011
The OneShow's novel Operator Perspectives consisted of half-hour sessions led by experienced operators. The attention-getting "37 Million Service Calls" by Bill Buckholz repays study... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

The Limits To Measurement
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 3, March 2011
Longtime participants in industry educational events will have noticed that certain slogans or catchphrases (often miscalled "mantras") find favor at different times. Few are new; most summarize an important truth. For some reason, some of them rise to the top of the collective mind, remain there awhile, and then subside... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Problems And Opportunities
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 2, February 2011
Some people always will find a reason to be dissatisfied. The best we can hope to do is to make sure that it's a silly one... Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Knowing What We Don't Know
Issue: Vol. 51, No. 1, January 2011
Is the operator is his own worst enemy? With the passage of time, we have come to recognize that this principle is not confined to operators... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

The Future Arrives, Again
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 12, December 2010
This month, we say farewell to 2010, and we do not think it will be missed. There has been some discussion recently about the supposed end of the 2008 recession but... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Face Time Is Time Well Spent
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 11, November 2010
This year has seen a number of changes in the trade show schedule to which we had become familiar... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Getting To Know Us
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 10, October 2010
There has been a good deal of talk about making better use of operator websites as sales tools, and more recently, about the possible role of "social media" in strengthening customer loyalty and encouraging people to visit the break area... Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

If It Bleeds, It Leads
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 9, September 2010
The Journal of School Health published an article linking children's health to vending machines that has been reported on rather widely in a manner that illustrates a prevailing mindset which is perverting public discourse... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Sell The Sizzle, Talk Up The Steak
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 8, August 2010
A recurrent theme in the industry conversation has been: "The operator is his own worst enemy." We've heard that charge leveled against everyone... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Rethinking Customer Relations
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 6, June 2010
It has been recognized for half a century that vending has a great many strengths, but its glaring weakness is its lack of human interaction... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Just Before The Dawn
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 5, May 2010
Anyone considering the history of the modern vending and office refreshments industry is likely to be struck by the correlation between economic difficulties and substantial advances in technology... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Questions To Ponder at OneShow
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 4, April 2010
As we look forward to the first NAMA OneShow, we can't help thinking back over more than four decades of industry expositions. Trade shows in general have suffered from the real contraction of the economy, and also from the illusion... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Vender Kicks Man: That’s News
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 3, March 2010
The colorful John J. ("Jimmy") Walker, who served as mayor of New York City on the eve of the Great Depression, was quoted as telling newspaper reporters investigating a scandal, "I don't care what you write about me, as long as you spell my name correctly." Mayor Walker was not the first nor the last to believe that any publicity is good publicity. We thought of that viewpoint while reading news reports on the National Automatic Merchandising Association's Innovation Summit in Washington, DC... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

The Elusive Butterfly Of Coolness
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 2, February 2010
More than a decade ago, the phrase "perception is reality" entered the language and gained prominence in the industry discourse. Like all such generalizations, this one is valuable because it allows us to look at things from a different direction. A product or service that is unsatisfactory will not survive for very long, if any alternative is available, no matter how much positive "buzz" its conceptual elegance may elicit when it's introduced. We bring this up because it bears directly on the use of "social networking" as a marketing tool... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Relating To The Public
Issue: Vol. 50, No.1, January 2010
The late Morris (Tiny) Weintraub, longtime publisher of VENDING TIMES, had a doctrine, or principle, for writing editorials. "Criticize the operators," he would say. Those who remember his "Tiny Talks" column will recall that he practiced what he preached. And we've come to recognize that this advice was good, for several reasons... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Hanging Together, Or Separately
Issue: Vol. 49, No.12, December 2009
...The “Affordable Health Care for America Act” passed by the House includes the requirement that chains of 20 or more restaurants post detailed nutritional and calorie content information on their menus--and equates operators of 20 or more vending machines with chain restaurants. Our concern is that some large enterprises have been known to favor anything that raises the cost of entry for prospective competitors, and so may be prepared to look the other way when unjust proposals like this one are made. We think this attitude is (at best) shortsighted... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Fighting Back: Affordable Health Care for America Act And Vending
Issue: Vol. 49, No.11, November 2009
Over the past several years, we have pointed out that the modern vending industry, which took shape in the waning years of the postwar economic boom, had to organize swiftly and effectively in order to avoid being strangled at birth. Vending machines as novelty gimmicks attracted little notice, but once they began to appear in large numbers, they immediately attracted the attention of people who had no idea who owned and operated them, but who observed that they had money inside, and wanted it. Some of those people were thieves; others were politicians. The latter were more dangerous... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Something For Everyone
Issue: Vol. 49, No.10, October 2009
Ever since the full-line vending business matured in the late 1960s, much of the industry’s ongoing conversation has concerned the need to persuade the public to purchase higher-priced merchandise from vending machines. This generally has been seen as a technical challenge... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Building Confidence
Issue: Vol. 49, No.9, September 2009
Responsible operators always have known that “downtime can kill you.” If a machine is not working, it will not sell anything. What is almost worse than that is the doubt sown in customers’ minds by equipment that’s out of order. This doubt impairs future sales... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

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