Category: Best Overall Operator
Name of Operator: Express Vending
Company Name: Express Vending
Applicant Name: Matt Sayers
Company: Express Vending
Express are worthy of winning the Vendies 2018 ‘Best Overall Operator Award’ for our ongoing efforts to innovate, modernise and enhance the perception of refreshments in the workplace. Express aims to achieve excellence in its approach to business and is actively disrupting the vending industry through a pioneering use of technology, revolutionary products and highly-skilled people. The key to success at Express is, and always has been the recruitment, development and retention of great people who look after our customers. Our customers then in turn look after our business. A core philosophy of the business
A significant, recent innovation in the product range is the ‘Express HUB’, which launched in late 2016. The HUB is a revolutionary refreshment solution, designed to drive employee engagement and employee wellbeing. Innovative in both technology and composition, The HUB is changing the way UK businesses address food and drink in the workplace. The HUB is an unmanned retail space (or Micro Market), complete with café-style furniture and self-pay kiosks. This sits at the centre of customer organisations, creating collaborative and engaging spaces for colleagues to enjoy. Employees have access to an unlimited and ever-evolving range of meals, snacks and beverages including; heat-and-eat, fresh wraps and salads, sushi, protein bars, fresh fruit, smoothies and granola bars to name a few examples. With many HUBs now in operation, from a business standpoint we are seeing the impact of our newest solution, which is actively driving an uplift in transactions, units sold, revenue and product-line choice. Most significantly, we are tracking high levels of customer satisfaction with our customers. HUB customer Solly Wilson from Kubota UK says “The feedback from staff has been very good. From the day of its official opening, as soon as we cut the ribbon it’s been well used by all employees. There is a buzz in the area, which is appreciated by all in the business.”
In June 2018, Express took the HUB to the Facilities Show at London’s ExCel centre. This has been an extremely valuable activity, enabling us to demonstrate a full-scale, working solution for customers and prospects to experience. A fantastic selection of images from our stand have been provided as supporting documentation. Looking to the future, Express has exciting plans for the HUB, including innovations with kiosk technology, mobile applications and product-lines. Several exciting announcements are still under wraps so watch this space!
Another significant business development is found in the overhaul of our warehouse and the introduction of ‘Lightspeed’ for replenishment operations. With common pain points of keeping machines fully-stocked, wastage, time taken and other inefficiencies, Express decided to do things differently. We now operate with a ‘pre-picking’ system, which enables us to take exactly the right amount of stock to the right customer sites. In turn, we can now replenish a machine just before it sells out, work faster and across more sites, reducing visits, footsteps, stock wastage and picking errors. Stock is kept in an optimum, temperature-controlled environment, rather than spending unnecessary time in a van while contributing unnecessary fuel consumption and emissions! From this business change, we have seen the following key results:
* Significant % increase in vends
* Significant % reduction in site visits
* Time to fill a machine reduced by half
* Warehouse picking rates doubled
* Picking errors reduced significantly
Our year on year on year growth and performance within the industry has been gratefully acclaimed by the Vendies, JobCrowd and recently the London Stock Exchange, who named Express as one of Britain’s Top 1000 Inspirational Companies. We believe these awards are a result of the ‘strive for excellence’ culture that exists within the business. Each team member, from our Retail Merchandisers to our Account Managers demonstrate a passion for delivering a service that is superior to anything else in the market. This can be summarised in the following few hero stats from our customer service team:
* We respond to 96% of machine callouts within 4-hours
* We have less than 3 machines ‘out of order’ per day against a base of over 7,000
* We fix 92% of our machines on the first visit
* 97% of replacement parts are delivered next day
* 99.96% machine uptime
While being dependable when things do break-down, we have a finely tuned planned preventative maintenance (PPM) program in place, ensuring continuous high-quality products and a reduction in unscheduled machine downtime. The goal of our PPM program is to establish consistent best practices which improve the performance and safety of equipment on client-sites. Through consistent, planned equipment maintenance, we are improving machine lifespan and limiting disruption to customers. A key factor in our performance in the service area is that all Express engineers are fully-trained and certified on every machine we sell, eliminating the need to work to supplier timelines.
In the retail space, we set ourselves apart by carrying out in-depth consumer research at customer sites to ensure we are always providing the best personalised solution. We spend time observing behaviour at each location to better understand consumption habits. We then ask what people eat and drink at work, where they get this from and how they feel about Express products. By tailoring machines to individual sites, we ensure machines are ‘their’ machine, not ‘the’ machine. To our knowledge, no other supplier is taking this level of care to ensure their consumers can purchase all their favourite brands while at work.
We take great pride in offering a wide range of low calorie, sustainable and high protein products. Express has a dedicated retail team who constantly monitor consumer trends across both vending and hospitality in general. This ensures we stay ahead of the competition and can always offer the most desirable brands. All of this has led us to the point where we are vending over 30 million products per year with a 98% customer retention rate!