When entering any awards, the applicant will talk about company growth, expansion and recent success stories. Unfortunately, the events of 2020, which are still ongoing, makes our application somewhat different. We believe Excel Vending is a deserving winner of the Year’s Best Operator because of our actions throughout 2020 and 2021:-
- Protecting and supporting our staff and their jobs.
- Ensure we support our customers
- Adapt to new ways of working – staff and clients
- Supporting our community
In unprecedented times, Excel Vending entered the initial lockdown in March 2020 with a great deal of uncertainty. No company prepares for the level of disruption we have all experienced; in such circumstances core values play a vital part in responding. Twenty-seven years of experience, dedication to customer service, and our commitment to our staff alongside our willingness to support the community have contributed to our resilience.
In the initial period of the lockdown, Excel Vending took all the necessary steps to ensure the staff’s safety by moving to a remote working operation wherever possible. However, many of our customers are classed as key worker status, which meant they needed to have their vending operations as usual. Excel is delighted to have provided vending services to all customers who have required us to be there.
We knew this was important to customers, many of whom had closed down traditional catering facilities such as staff kitchens and canteens. These key workers required vending operations more than ever. Hence, we provided all operating customers with adequate vending services. Today, we continue to provide these services in every location where customers are continuing to operate.
Like many, Excel Vending experienced stock with Best Before that could no longer be used in vending machines. Unwilling to let this stock go to waste, Excel Vending entered into an enriching partnership. Glasgow Community Food Group aims to bring together organisations in the private, public and third sectors to develop a flourishing food system in Glasgow. They identified a short-term need to connect the food supply chain with community organisations to enable food products distribution during the recent pandemic.
Excel Vending was delighted to donate large volumes of stock taken back from vending machines and out of our warehouses. We have also made similar donations to Kilbryde Hospice and St Andrew’s Hospice.
This year we have seen just how important our people are to the company. We need to make sure their hard work and loyalty are adequately rewarded. We are delighted to have recently been re-accredited as a Living Wage employer. At Excel, the Living Wage is an excellent starting point. Accreditation ensures everyone in the business, regardless of their responsibilities, experience or abilities, is paid a fair hourly rate. We are proud to be a Living Wage Employer, and we will continue to be committed to it in our efforts to ensure the health and wellbeing of the whole team.
We accept that our staff are critical to our success. We will continue to invest in personal development and to develop new talent throughout the business.
The environment is also important to Excel Vending. During 2020 we continued to champion Reverse Vending. Our early adoption and support of a Deposit Return Scheme are now paying dividends. The Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will become law in Scotland on the 1st of July 2022. From that date, retailers will be required to charge 20p deposit on all sales of PET plastic bottles and tin cans. The deposit is then refunded when the item is returned for recycling. Our Reverse Vending technology investment puts Excel Vending at the forefront of delivering a successful DRS programme in Scotland.
Over the last year, we have also been a major sponsor of the Glasgow Cup Movement in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful. This was an important initiative to encourage users to recycle paper cups. Working with our partners, we provided free recycling boxes in commercial properties that enabled the easy collection of paper cups for recycling.
We are committed to delivering the highest vending standards and are the first independent vending company in Scotland to hold ISO45001, ISO14001, ISO9001 Safe Contractor and CHAS Health & Safety Assessment Scheme.
We are proud of the level of engagement we achieve with our customers and the various campaigns we run to support our vending clients. For example, we recently commissioned an animated video to demonstrate the often overlooked hygiene benefits in vending. It shows the number of potentially hazardous touchpoints when conventionally making a cup of tea compared to using a vending machine. Such was the video’s success that many other vending companies also used it with their online campaigns.
We were more than happy to share our content because we appreciate that all other vending companies are enduring similar Excel Vending challenges. This year, more than most, we have truly appreciated the benefits of active membership in the Automatic Vending
Association (AVA) and Associated Vending Services (AVS). We pride ourselves in a long association with both organisations. Finally, communication is a critical element of success. We have always strived to create a good and transparent flow of information to our clients and our online communities. We have continued to grow our online communities and publish relevant content regularly.
While others may have reduced spending during the current crisis we used this point to invest in our website. The new website focusses on the overriding ethos of the company – We Care. The primary purpose of redesigning the website was to impart clear information about the business, our services and what we offer. However, the ‘We Care’ theme that runs through the site reinforces our commitment to our people, our quality standards, the environment, the local community and our customers. We are proud of what we have achieved in the last 27 years, and in particular, the past very challenging year.