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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

Knowing When To Say Nay
Issue: Vol. 49, No.8, August 2009
One of the more durable modern myths is that pioneers always have had to overcome a horde of "naysayers," know-it-alls who said that the thing could not be done and sticks-in-the-mud who said that it shouldn't be… by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Vending Industry's Directory Reaches Readers
Issue: Vol. 49, No.7, July 2009
Vending TimesThe 2009 VENDING TIMES Buyers Guide and Directory showcases resources that are in demand by the full-line vending, OCS, foodservice, music, games and bulk vending trades in a single publication. It is unique in its scope, representing the vast number of manufacturers and suppliers that serve a vibrant sales and service industry comprised of merchandise vending and coin machine operators of all kinds...by Nick Montano
Author: Nick Montano

Standing Out
Issue: Vol. 49, No.6, June 2009
A recurrent theme in the industry dialogue is the value to a vending or coffee service operation of differentiating itself from its competitors. Operators recognized, half a century ago, that clean trucks, well-groomed uniformed personnel and an attractive building conveyed an impression of professionalism not only to clients, but to prospects, too... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

Respect
Issue: Vol. 49, No.5, May 2009
We recently received an email from an operator who reported that the bank with which he does business had begun running advertisements with the message that saving can mean something more than buying lunch from the vending machine. He was, naturally enough, annoyed at having his profession treated with contempt... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: First Things First
Issue: Vol. 49, No.4, April 2009
The vending industry today is on the threshold of a new era. In fact, it has been on that threshold for more than a decade. There seems to be a certain impatience, in some circles, over our apparent unwillingness to move forward... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

EDITORIAL: Be There Or Be Square
Issue: Vol. 40, No. 11 / August 25, 2000 - September 24, 2000
The upcoming NAMA Spring Expo in Las Vegas will be the last in an annual series of conventions dating back to 1960. We think it is essential that everyone attend who possibly can do so. Not only will it provide short-term benefits to the registrants, but it can also be important to the long-term health of the industry as a whole... by Tim Sanford
Author: Tim Sanford

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

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