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Unified Strategies Group And Vend Marketing Institute Join Forces

Posted On: 5/4/2011

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL -- Two of the industry's top buying and marketing cooperatives are uniting. Members of the Vend Marketing Institute, based in Louisville, KY, will join Arlington Heights, IL-based Unified Strategies Group. VMI has 17 operator members. The membership transition is expected to conclude on July 1.

In turn, USG has launched a technology-oriented subsidiary. USG Connectivity will initially be comprised of the operating companies joining from VMI. Its focus will be compliance-based programming shaped by spiral data and consumer needs, and technology best practices focusing on telemetry and micro-markets.

USG Connectivity will be open to USG members who have begun the transformation to telemetry deployment, and to those who are willing to make a long-term commitment to a business model built on telemetry and cashless vending. VMI will operate as a holding company for existing proprietary brands and consumer marketing initiatives. | SEE STORY

USG Connectivity will take a place alongside USG's existing subsidiaries, Dynamic Purchasing Group LLC and Unified Vending Management LLC as instruments to drive profitability and growth for the company's independent operator owners. DPG is a purchasing group for USG members who adhere to high-level purchase volume targets and/or machine facing commitments. UVM is a vend management company focused on securing national and regional business for its USG participants.

VMI executive director Chris Stave will facilitate the transition. USG management will remain unchanged; Brian Faley and Marc Robertshaw are co-CEOs.

USG was formed in July 2009 with the merger of the Vendors Purchasing Council and the Better Vendors. At the time, the combined organization represented more than 720 members in 49 states, purchasing over $1.5 billion in products for vending services.

Members of VMI, established in 2003, collectively generate about $470 million in annual revenue, primarily from about 75,000 vending machines located in over 17,000 locations, along more than 200 manual foodservice sites and several hundred mobile catering trucks.