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Timely Information Improves Legislation
Issue: Vol. 57, No. 6, June 2017
The changeover of presidential administrations almost always is a good time to reexamine existing policies with an eye to improvement. The news media might be expected to keep us informed about proposals for doing this, but at present, most news outlets seem preoccupied by imputations of scandal and the arcane interpretation of tweets... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

A Circulating Dollar Coin Still Can Be Valuable
Issue: Vol. 57, No. 5, May 2017
Another dollar coin bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. There is reason to believe that it is now at least possible to do away with the $1 bill. Although the effect of replacing the bill with a coin would have been more dramatic three decades ago, it's still a good idea and well worth doing... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Workplace Refreshments Come Of Age
Issue: Vol. 57, No. 4, April 2017
A hot topic in workplace services today is enabling the location to provide food and beverages to its employees at no cost to them. The location's object is to create a workplace environment that will encourage personnel to stay on the premises... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Fresh-Food Programs Help Sell Vending And More
Issue: Vol. 57, No. 3, March 2017
The ability to produce excellent single-portion wrapped food items was a valuable marketing tool in the early days of full-line vending, half a century ago. It still is, and has become more valuable than ever for operators wanting to please today’s food-focused patrons with micromarkets and pantries... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

'Artificial Intelligence' In The Real World
Issue: Vol. 57, No. 2, February 2017
We are hearing a great deal about "artificial intelligence" these days. It's an attractive topic for speculation because it can mean a number of different things, and there really is no consensus on how to define "intelligence" in the first place... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Issue: Vol. 57, No. 1, January 2017
The vending industry has not done a particularly effective job of publicizing its employment prospects for young people with good interpersonal skills and a willingness to work... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

The Workplace Café: Strike While The Iron Is Hot
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 12, December 2016
The National Automatic Merchandising Association's 2016 Coffee, Tea & Water conference called attention to what the event's organizers call the "Workplace Café." This terminology has the advantage of highlighting its recreational purpose in a way that "breakroom" does not, and it encourages thinking about the purpose of providing professional refreshment services in a workplace... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Thinking About The Box
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 11, November 2016
One durable addition that management theorists have made to the language is the phrase "thinking outside the box." However, looking at the vending machine "box" more imaginatively may well suggest new ways to enhance profits without going outside the box... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

The Next Small Thing
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 10, October 2016
Those who attended the seminars conducted by industry market research pioneer Brad Bachtelle for the National Automatic Merchandising Association several years ago will recall his discussion of the great advantage possessed by operations that can implement changes quickly and smoothly... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

You Have To Start Somewhere
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 9, September 2016
It's easier than ever to enter the vending industry, but success calls for rethinking the old business model. Opportunity still knocks... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

NAMA Fly-In Promotes Understanding
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 8, August 2016
The National Automatic Merchandising Association's annual Fly-In outreach and advocacy program brings together people with an upbeat industry success story to tell and the lawmakers who need to hear and understand it... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Using The Technology You've Paid For
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 6, June 2016
Many things don't work right the first time, but through persistence become reliable, practical and useful. The remarkable speed at which technologies are improving today suggests that remembering a past failure can be valuable and positive if it leads us to reexamine it and consider whether it might work now... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Coffee Vending And The Upscale Market
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 5, May 2016
Full-size "bean-to-cup" hot beverage venders styled for public locations and offered "bundled" with branded products might work equally well in business-and-industry and institutional sites.A specialty coffee roaster today who seeks differentiation and understands online advertising might find upscale vending to be a highly visible solution... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Straws In The Wind: What To Look For At A NAMA OneShow
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 4, April 2016
NAMA's annual OneShow offers a once-a-year opportunity to see the latest developments in vending technology, products and marketing. These endeavors are driven by innovators' beliefs in the wants and needs of the contemporary market. For this reason, it has been fascinating to watch the intersection of improving capability and unpredictable changes in demand... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Relating To The Public: How Walter Reed Did It For Vending Operators
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 3, March 2016
Walter Reed, who served as public relations director for the National Automatic Merchandising Association from 1958 to 1989, tirelessly and meticulously assisted vending operators in building rapport with local news media, and in conducting their businesses in a way that communicated professionalism and cleanliness... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

A New Day Dawns For Vending
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 2, February 2016
The vending industry often has been accused of a lack of imagination, especially by innovators who need to get a new technology adopted quickly in order to cover its costs of development. The usual complaint was that "vending operators won't buy anything that doesn't have a coin slot in it." Some (like us) replied that a small business without a research-and-development budget partially funded by Defense Department contracts showed good sense by reserving its major capital investments for assets that generate revenues immediately... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

You Don't Need A Weatherman...
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2016
The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans published this month by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services have provoked a good deal of comment, none of which was particularly surprising. Sampling that commentary did, however, help us to connect two or three perceptions that we have been forming over the past several decades... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Something Old, Something New
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 12, December 2015
The 2015 Coffee, Tea & Water conference offered abundant food for thought. As the approach of the new year prompts reflections on past events and those that may lie in store for us in the future, we might consider the question of price sensitivity in workplace refreshment service... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Micromarkets: Old Answers Updated For New Questions
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 11, November 2015
The advent of the micromarket either takes the full-line vending revolution to the next step, or constitutes a second revolution of its own. In either case, the concept of small, flexible self-checkout "grab and go" foodservice facilities has aroused curiosity and stimulated experimentation to a degree perhaps not seen for four decades... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Let's Get It Right The First Time: Vending And Digital Advertising
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 10, October 2015
As touchscreen interfaces proliferate on networked vending machines, the age-old dream of using vending machines as advertising media has reawakened. This time, it very well may work, but it will need to be seen in context and implemented in ways that customers will find at least useful and at best, enjoyable... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

'I Can Do That,' But Should You?
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 9, September 2015
A question that continually arises in this (and many other) industries is whether a new kind of enterprise is compatible with vending, coffee service, contract foodservice or music and amusements... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

By The People, For The People
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 8, August 2015
We recently took part in the National Automatic Merchandising Association's first "Fly-In" in Washington, DC. The experience led us to reflect on the current impatience with contemporary politics that sometimes seems to dominate news and opinion forums... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

We Did It Before And We Can Do It Again
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 6, June 2015
Much has been written about the opportunities to interact more closely with patrons offered by new technology. That surely is worth doing, and we think it is best done in conjunction with the proven customer-relations techniques developed by the vending industry on its five-decade journey from a novelty to the retailing mainstream... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Let's Go On With The Show
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 5, May 2015
We were very pleased by this year's National Automatic Merchandising Association annual trade show, now called OneShow. The presence of 75 first-time exhibitors suggests that the workplace refreshments industry is attracting attention once again. That is a very positive development, fueled by the growing recognition that vending machines -- and micromarkets -- are excellent media for interacting with the public, and also have moved into the vanguard of the Internet of Things... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Collecting The Dividend
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 4, April 2015
It might be worthwhile to assemble a history of engineering concepts which did not catch on when first applied to existing technology, but became triumphantly successful when the state of the art advanced or the market changed. Vending offers many examples of this... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

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