Express are worth of winning the Vendies 2020 “Best Overall Operator” as we approach workplace refreshments completely differently. Our company mission is:
“To provide outstanding refreshment services every day to businesses to create an inspiring work environment for their people”.
Express has been successful in striving towards this mission and standing out amongst competitors by:
– Becoming leaders in innovation
– Investing in people by providing ongoing personal development and training
– Having 99% of the machine portfolio serviced in house by Express trained engineers providing customers with industry leading response times
– Offering a full site refreshment solution
Innovation and Technology
Express focuses on providing clients with full site solutions, supplying all products and services clients require in the modern workplace. With workplaces changing for the growing millennial generation, in the last 3 years Express has adopted products and services that stand out from the traditional vending suppliers, to appeal to customers who have critical concerns such as employee engagement and staff retention. Two main products that fall into this are the Express HUB (MicroMarket) and Starbucks on the go (workplace).
The Express HUB is a revolutionary workplace refreshment solution, with a target market of medium to larger businesses who are concerned with employee engagement, productivity, wellbeing and retention. The Express HUB is a 24/7 unmanned, self-serve solution providing employees with access to quality food and drink from over 1000+ product lines including heat-and-eat, fresh wraps, salads, sushi, protein bars, fresh fruit, smoothies and granola bars to name a few. Innovative self-service kiosk technology with cashless payment systems and fingerprint access account options allows for speedy purchases on site increasing staff productivity. Express were the first in the UK to bring the concept to the market and have been successful in scaling the portfolio from 0 HUB sites to over 100 HUB sites in just 3 years.
Working alongside the HUB is Starbucks on the go (workplace) which is centred around brand as a driver for consumers, creating a great place to work and looking after employees by providing quality drinks in the workplace without the need to leave site.
We are experiencing high levels of satisfaction across our customers. HUB customer Daisy Evans from The Home Office Tring says, “There is always a large gathering at the HUB and it certainly seems to be helping us create an exciting business environment for our members. It has also played a key role in the recruitment and retainment of members, as it’s a unique service, which sets us apart from other competitors.”
Alongside the HUB and Starbucks concepts Express have revolutionised internal processes with technology such as Lightspeed, a pick-to-light system that allows for high speed order processing, VOD (visit on demand) and 3D augmented reality for planning of customer installations. These innovations have streamlined processes, allowed for growth and reduced carbon footprint.
Learning and development
One of Express’s four core values is ‘Personal Development’ and we strive for this throughout the business. For the past 6 years we have run an award-winning graduate academy which involves an initial 3-month training programme with enthusiastic and determined individuals, before they are injected into the sales and retail management teams. The training doesn’t end there though, we encourage everyone in our business to strive for excellence, so we continue to run training development plans throughout the year.
Alongside new starters we also upskill our staff across all departments. Our engineering team are regularly trained on our machine portfolio so that 99% of our machines can be serviced in-house. We are also proud to say that we send our staff on external training qualifications for sectors such as HR, Accountancy and Marketing.
Express have an account management department solely responsible for managing our existing customer base, working closely with clients to build strong relationships with key stakeholders within the business. This ensures Express are consistently meeting with customer demands on a day-to-day basis and allowing plans for future growth with the customer.
Demanding KPI’s are set for regular contact between the client and a dedicated account manager. Meetings are conducted by reviewing performance, consulting on specific trends within their account, as well as new innovations in the marketplace. These combined allows Express to work cohesively with the customer to increase staff-level engagement in the solution, which has a direct impact on revenue with existing machines.
One example of working closely with our clients to provide great customer service, was with a high-profile Distribution Centre just outside of London. Express typically deals with Facilities Managers on a day-to-day level and encouraged the customer’s Property Director involvement as well. They were able to advise on plans for growth expected from their business. Express worked with the customer on an 18-month project, consulting exclusively on a new and innovative refreshment solution at their new centre, which employs 400+ staff. Not only did this help to strengthen the relationship at the existing site, but it also grew Express’ machine base and increased revenue through the customer’s new sister site.
Development of consumer range
One way that Express work with clients on a consumer level around product range is through Survey Monkey feedback. This process allows staff to share with us what products they want to buy and any specific dietary requirements. Our product list is continuously developed to provide seasonality, trending products, and a wide offering of healthier product choices. We make sure there are vegan and gluten free items available and encourage healthier options by providing fresh fruit in most HUB sites. All of our fresh food items are labelled with the food industry standard traffic light system, allowing consumers the option to inspect ingredients before purchasing having the option of healthier choices.
One of Express’ missions for sustainability is around food wastage. We have partnered with DENs (a local homeless charity) to make weekly donations of fresh food product from our head office, which they then distribute to those in need (in January 2020 we donated 187 units). Express have also recently partnered with Olio a company that sends volunteers to our customer sites to collect products before they expire, and redistribute amongst local communities using an app. We also, where possible, swap single use plastic bottles for cans only in our HUB fridges and vending machines.
As well as working with our clients to achieve their sustainability missions, we have launched schemes internally through our CSR committee. These include:
– Cup recycling scheme
– Reusable cups and mugs to reduce paper cup usage
– Recycling of machine parts
– Reducing single use plastics
– Telemetry data and VOD to reduce our carbon footprint
Preventative maintenance programme
While having industry leading call-out times when machines do break down, we also have an ever-evolving planned preventative maintenance (PPM) programme, to ensure our clients continue to receive high quality products with reduced machine downtime. Our PPM programme includes regular filter changes to prevent limescale build up, hygienic sanitisation on all hot drinks and water machines, and annual boiler inspections on fresh milk coffee machines to ensure optimum performance. We also work with larger client sites to rotate machines on a bi-annually basis, so that higher usage and lower usage machines are swapped around to avoid potential breakdowns.