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Thank You To The Greatest Generation
Issue: Vol. 50, No. 2, February 2010
When I learned that Ben Ginsberg was closing down his publication, Vending and OCS, I felt nostalgic because it symbolized the end of an era. A colleague once told me that lamenting the end of a Golden Age is a sign that one is on the way out. Point taken. But what about all the lessons we can learn from the past? by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

You Go With What You’ve Got
Issue: Vol. 50, No.1, January 2010
We are, indeed, at the dawn of a new age; but we've been there for quite a while now. That age surely will redefine our industry, but we can't put off planning for long-term success while we wait for the dawn to break. Merely hoping for prosperity to return is not a strategy... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

Thankful For A Timely Wake-Up Call
Issue: Vol. 49, No.12, December 2009
As I write the last Upfront column of the year on the eve of Thanksgiving, I have been thinking about the things in life for which I am grateful. This is always worth doing, and more so when the going gets tough. Indeed, 2009 has been year filled with upheavals that riveted our attention... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

Be The Leaders, Not The Victims
Issue: Vol. 49, No.11, November 2009
I was in my local health food market last week, and had the chance to chat with the owner while he was ringing up my groceries. I was telling him how much I enjoy the fresh packaged sandwiches and salads his store provides, because I can take them with me to work for lunch during the week. "Not only are these items better for me," I said, "but they save me money, too." I went on to tell him that I had since been delighted to find the same "Healthy Korner" offerings available at the new Jet Blue terminal at Kennedy Airport, and I wondered why the company doesn't supply them for vending machines... Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

Face Time
Issue: Vol. 49, No.10, October 2009
Attending trade shows and conventions always reaffirms my belief that face-to-face interaction is a necessary part of doing business, both within your organization and outside of it... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

Keep It Real
Issue: Vol. 49, No.9, September 2009
If these difficult times have taught us anything, it’s that nobody is invincible and we all can benefit from giving and receiving a little dose of humanity... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

What's Next?
Issue: Vol. 49, No.8, August 2009
It feels like we've been talking about adapting to a new business climate for a long time now. New locations, new products and services to meet changing consumer demands and updated technology that provide tools for efficiency and to help us make sense of it all. I think we all agree that the future will hold a place for the vending, OCS and music and games industries... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

Stay The Course
Issue: Vol. 49, No.6, June 2009
A few months ago, VT ran an advertisement from a mergers and acquisition company encouraging operators to sell their businesses before it was too late. The message in the ad was to get out while you can, while your business still has value... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

History Repeating
Issue: Vol. 49, No.5, May 2009
The topic of location-owned equipment has surfaced once again, this time in the amusement and music segment, and – again – has aroused concern within the operator community. As we have free enterprise, this issue isn't ever going away... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: Reliable Sources, And A Place To Turn
Issue: Vol. 49, No.4, April 2009
Not too long ago I was watching one of my favorite talk shows, hosted by political satirist Bill Maher. The topic under discussion was the grim future of the newspaper. It seems that most young people now get their news on the Internet or read blogs to keep them in the know... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: Social Networking: What Does It Mean For Our Service Industries?
Issue: Vol. 49, No.3, March 2009
Recently, after I joined Facebook, one of my contemporaries informed me that he and I are part of "Generation X" while our twentysomething colleagues belong to "Generation Y." I mentioned this to a twentysomething friend and colleague, who responded by... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: Those Who Lie Dormant Are In For A Rude Awakening When The Skies Clear
Issue: Vol. 49, No.2, February 2009
I've got three questions for our industry's suppliers and manufacturers, during these difficult times: (1) Are you in or are you out? (2) Do you still believe in the business of automatic retailing and entertainment? And (3), do you still believe in marketing products and equipment in the vending and amusement channel? by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK: Necessity Is The Mother Of Reinvention
Issue: Vol. 49, No.1, January 2009

VENDING TIMES isn’t exactly launching a new publication, but we are reinventing ourselves to keep pace with an evolving industry. Our new slogan, “the industry is changing and we are, too” will be evident in all we do. Our redesign will be complemented by our well-respected coverage of the vending, coffee service, contract foodservice, music, games and bulk vending industries, and will deliver all the news to which you are accustomed… by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: Great Marketing Wins Elections, Drives Business
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 12, December 2008

What a remarkable year it has been! Now that the election is over, everyone must agree that Sen. Barack Obama ran a brilliant campaign, whether they like him or not. His winning strategy proved the value of smart marketing and demonstrated that boldness is one of the most important qualities for anyone trying to build brand awareness during uncertain times…by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: No Guts, No Glory!
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 11, November 2008

I am a strong believer in the expression “no guts, no glory,” but I am also a realist and know it hasn’t been easy for any of us. We are all keenly aware that every sector of the coin-operated business has been hit hard… By Alicia Lavay-Kertes

Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: Turn Obstacles Into Opportunities
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 10, October 2008
People who run trade magazines sometimes are invited to speak, as experts, with prospective suppliers about industry conditions and needs. So when a client recently asked me to address the major issues that have been affecting our industry, and offer suggestions on how we might turn these challenges into opportunities, I was very happy to do so... By Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: Go Create Yourself!
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 9, September 2008
NEW YORK CITY (Sept. 2008) — There’s an old story, familiar to anyone who has attended enough sales training seminars, about two competing shoe companies that each sent a salesman to a remote island. Upon their arrival, they found that the inhabitants all went barefoot all the time. One salesman called his home office and said, “This is a really lousy territory. Nobody here wears shoes.” The other one reported, “This is the greatest territory I’ve ever seen! Nobody here wears shoes!”… by Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: A Large Pie Means Everyone’s Slice Is Bigger!
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 8, August 2008

NEW YORK CITY (AUGUST 2008) — With the NAMA National Expo and the National Association of Convenience Stores shows coming up, I’ve been thinking about the similarities and differences between merchandise vending and convenience stores. I’ve often wondered why the two industries don’t cooperate more closely. A little history will explain my curiosity… by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: As Long As There Is Free Enterprise, Commissions Aren’t Going Away
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 6, June 2008

For vending, amusement and music operators, commissions are a major cost. Nearly all businesses grapple with pricing and cost containment. Commissions are a less widespread issue, but certainly not unique to us. Concessionaires confront a problem that is almost identical to ours… more by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: If We Believe In Our Businesses, We Have A Responsibility Beyond Our Own Self-interest To Defend And Preserve Them
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 5, May 2008

The rising cost of commodities has been on everyone’s mind lately. But when you’re the operator or merchant who is forced to implement price increases as a result, you are confronted with a whole slew of potential roadblocks....by:ALICIA LAVAY-KERTES

Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: Soundly Run Companies That Remain Confident And Invest In The Future Will Survive, And Will Have A Competitive Edge When The Sky Clears
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 4, April 2008
What is happening in the vending and amusement market? How can I strengthen my position in the industry? What is my strategic plan for next year? These are just a few of the questions I’ve heard asked by manufacturers, suppliers and operators alike, and it’s not surprising. The alarming economic environment magnifies the risks associated with running a business – even if there is considerable disagreement on whether the economy actually is slumping – and finding the right answers is a survival skill...by ALICIA LAVAY-KERTES
Author: Alicia Lavay

Up Front: We All Need To Make Ourselves Available To Newcomers And Encourage Their Participation
Issue: Vol. 48, No.3, March 2008
By the time you read this column, many of you will be on your way to the National Automatic Merchandising Association Spring Expo or the Amusement Showcase International; both are being held concurrently in Las Vegas at the end of March.  If you’ve never been to either of these events, now’s your chance to check out both shows for the price of one plane ticket...By Alicia Lavay-Kertes
Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: VT is Investing in the Future, and I Hope Everyone Reading this is Resolved to do the Same.
Issue: Vol. 48, No.2, February 2008
There has been a pervasive lack of confidence in the economy, even before the current recession talk began. However good business may have been, employers have put off rebuilding their staffs to pre-2001 levels. Our industry has not been immune from the effects...By ALICIA LAVAY-KERTES
Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: The Energy And Imagination That Characterize People Like Roger Folz Are Rare And Valuable Qualities
Issue: Vol. 48, No.1, January 2008
When I left for Christmas vacation in late December, our executive editor reminded me that I had forgotten to submit my Upfront column for the issue you are now reading. “Go away and relax,” he said. “Maybe you’ll be inspired to write something while you’re gone.”...By ALICIA LAVAY-KERTES
Author: Alicia Lavay

UPFRONT: We All Make Mistakes...But It’s What We Do To Recover That Matters
Issue: Vol. 47, No.12, December 2007

We all make mistakes. It is what we do to recover from those mistakes that leaves a lasting imprint in our customer’s minds ...By ALICIA LAVAY-KERTES

Author: Alicia Lavay

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