Rob Little, one of God’s ‘bigger blokes’, doesn’t look like the kind of man you’d expect to get all misty-eyed over business. If he were, though, Selecta’s recent implementation of the Vendman system would surely have had him reaching for his hankie…
It’s not an altogether complimentary analogy, but it’s illuminating anyway to think of the Vendman team as ‘anglers’; of their customers as ‘fish’, (hooked these past 18 years), and of Selecta – until now, at any rate – as ‘the one that got away’; that magnificent specimen, never quite hooked, despite 14 years of trying. It’s enough to make a grown man choke, the moment when that longed-for fish is landed at last.
‘We are proud to number Selecta amongst our customers’ Rob said, ‘and proud to have worked so closely and so well with them. Over the past year, we’ve spent a lot of time together to ensure that the system we implemented best matched their needs and that, at the same time, will enable them to manage new information requirements as they emerge in the future. Ensuring that the new system was seamlessly introduced throughout the UK and Ireland was a Big Ask, and delivering it required a real joint effort.’
Due to the sheer size of Selecta’s machine park, it was always going to be a ‘Big Ask’. The company services 20,000 vending machines across the UK and Ireland and technically maintains 15,000 more. Selecta has more than 3,500 customers, from blue-chips to start ups, serviced by 550 merchandisers that keep machines filled and flawless, plus 150 engineers that keep them working flat out. As Masterchef’s Greg Wallace might say, ‘vending doesn’t get any tougher than this.’
The Vendman system is now an integral part of Selecta’s ‘Insight’ offer, an all-encompassing management system that enables the company to manage the delivery of its service effectively and to provide the best possible vending solution to its clients and consumers. Through Insight, Selecta is improving its ‘offer’ on a number of levels. For instance, by streamlining visits to machines, Selecta ensures that resources are employed more effectively, maximizing sales whilst reducing merchandiser miles, so reducing Selecta’s carbon footprint.
The benefits don’t end there: Selecta’s Insight, with the additional capabilities of Vendman, will help the company’s Category Management professionals to develop a richer understanding of consumer requirements to create specific vending channels to address evolving needs.
What the future holds, we’ll have to wait and see. For the moment, though, both parties can reflect on a job well done. ‘Vendman has been fully supportive and have really helped to make the roll out of the Vendman system across our business a smooth process’, said Claire Byford, Head of PMO, Selecta UK and Ireland. ‘It’s been a pleasure to work with the whole team.’
For Rob Little, it’s as though this latest chapter in Vendman’s success has inspired him to put on the waders one more time and head to foreign waters to cast his line. 300,000 UK machines are now ‘powered’ by Vendman: that’s a huge proportion of the UK machine park and any angler looking for more ‘big fish’ is going to need a passport…
‘Working with Selecta at last, after fourteen years of trying and hoping, has definitely put a spring in my step’, Rob agreed. It’s also put a twinkle in his eye…
Europe, watch out!