Category: Best Overall Operator
Name of Operator: Excel Vending Limited
Company Name: Excel Vending Limited
Applicant Name: Jane MacDonald
Company: Excel Vending
Excel Vending celebrated their 25th anniversary this year. 2018 has seen new initiatives, numerous contract wins and ambitious expansion plans.
Excel has used the anniversary to demonstrate to our clients that they matter and that we are committed to Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. We give something back through projects such as the Point Foundation and contributing to local charities.
Embracing new technology is not new to Excel…
Excel has always been an early adopter of emerging technology. For example; our vending machine inventory is market leading technology, interactive touch screens, cashless/telemetry, energy efficient machines, display advertising and an app launch planned. We are consistently one of the market leaders.
Excel reviews route schedules & live tracking of vehicles. Our technology monitors driver behaviour which we use to improve our carbon footprint. We have invested over £250,000 in a new fleet of Euro 6 vehicles which has reduced emissions by two thirds. We minimise our environmental impact whilst delivering our products to our vending and coffee machines when the customer needs them.
Efficiency is driven by a robust planned maintenance programme delivered by our seven full-time service engineers supported by an excellent working relationship with all manufacturers.
Developing the people…
Our people are critical to our success. Excel has always been committed to personal development and we actively encourage our people to progress through the business. For example one of our Finance Assistants joined the business in 2016, a development programme will see him complete his AAT studies and promoted as a result.
Our engineering team undertakes City & Guilds training on top of the AVA and manufacturer training. Operators receive training via Bluestorm Development on how to exceed customer expectations and our Team leaders are all promoted from within Excel.
We take the approach that we are only as good as our people and we want them to be as ambitious as we are. This relationship is symbiotic; we invest in the development of staff and they invest their commitment back to Excel. The success of this approach is evident in the long service of our staff and the levels of customer satisfaction they deliver.
Excellence in Customer Service…
Achieving high levels of Customer Service is the cornerstone of the last 25 years; we always put the customer first and were delighted when a customer stated Excel was “a customer service organisation that happens to provide vending solutions”.
Our numerous awards for customer service demonstrates our excellence, not only amongst our peers in the industry but also within the wider business community. Recent examples:
- Winners “Excellence in Customer Service” 2018 award from the Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards.
- Finalists Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2017
- Winners “Business of the Year” at the Glasgow Awards 2017.
Our Customer Relationship Manager, Ian, regularly visits our customers and our Customer Care Ambassador, Sean, proactively seeks feedback through Surveymonkey where our customers consistently score us Excellent or Very Good. Any sub excellent feedback is investigated to ensure our customers are delighted with our service.
Communication is key…
Consistent excellent customer service is down to our ability to communicate effectively with our clients and their customers. Effective communication is not ‘talking at’ our customers but a genuine conversation. Customers are our greatest source of referral business. Understanding customer needs is the foundation of Excel’s success
We have been active on social media since 2013, blogging on Linkedin and have a relevant and engaged online community of 6,500 Facebook and 3,500 Twitter followers. Our channels offer manufacturer, supplier, AVA and AVS news as well as original content and competitions to help partners bring new products to market. We use social channels to highlight important or challenging topics such as healthy eating or environmental issues.
Our track record in communication awards confirms the impact of our customer engagement. These are just the recent awards where our exceptional levels of communication have been recognised:
- Winner in the “Excellence in Communications” Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2016
- Finalists in the “Excellence in Communications” Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2017
- Winners of the British Chambers Awards “Best Use of Social Media” 2018
View our activity on: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Meeting challenges head on…
Having consulted with NHS Scotland Healthy Living for a number of years, we are proud of our record in supplying healthy snacking choices and development of our protein range. This has helped set the standard and has resulted in our NHS customers renewing their contracts.
Another challenging topic relates to the disposal of plastic bottles and cans. Excel continues to champion the serious environmental issues caused by plastic and we have embraced this challenge. We are the only vending operator involved in the ‘have you got the bottle’ campaign. We are stakeholders with Zero Waste Scotland and member of Circular Glasgow.
We have invested in equipment that can provide measurable solutions. Excel are the sole distributor of the RVM equipment. We identified the problem and actively sought a viable solution resulting in MSPs, leading retailers and other influential parties visiting our office. Our Reverse Vending Machines have been featured on the BBC and national media.
Reverse Vending Machines enable the collection, sorting and crushing of used bottles and cans in order that they can be recycled. This investment has also led to the launch of a dedicated website raising awareness of Reverse Vending and Deposit Return Schemes.
Excel are currently designing a paper and plastic cup reverse vending machine. We are looking forward to working with Keep Scotland Beautiful on environmental projects particularly those linked to the challenge of recycling single use cups. We are also conducting a trial with a plastic cup manufacturer to allow them to establish how best to recover and use the material, thus developing a circular solution.
We believe that in our 25th year Excel Vending’s approach is unique and that we are at the forefront of our industry. We are innovators and would be a deserving winner of the Vendies 2018.