East Midlands Vending MD Nicola Hill reflects on a very successful first year of trading.
Celebrating our first anniversary on 1st April 2022 felt odd to say the least. It feels like East Midlands Vending has been established for so much longer.
Rak Ladva, Simon Barnett and I launched our business with a customer base of zero, and although the sceptics said ‘it’s a lovely dream, but it’s not realistic to build a base from the ground up’, many of our suppliers and supporters never doubted us for a second. They were quick to recognise our experience and commitment to filling the gap that existed in the East Midlands for a provider of vending and micro markets that offered impeccable customer service.
Every milestone at East Midlands Vending has been celebrated along the way and we’ve taken nothing for granted, from our very first customer to our first van; moving to larger premises (and outgrowing them!); to launching our first two MicroMarkets in the past few weeks. We surpassed our first target – 100 operated machines – in the summer of 2021, so what a year…
We’ve kept it simple. We employ the best local people to look after our customers, and we support them to deliver exceptional service standards, consistently.
We all know how buoyant our industry is right now, particularly for local and regional businesses, who are quick to respond, quick to deliver and flexible enough to react promptly to change. It’s great to see that the leasing of equipment is so strong just now; this shows our customers have genuine confidence for the future.
The growth and momentum of our business has far exceeded even our Biggest Dreams, so what next for East Midlands Vending? As with all growing businesses, above all else, finding the right people is key. We employ nice people who really care; after all, you can’t train people to be nice. Like everyone else, we’re facing some challenges right now, with the rise in fuel and energy costs, supply chain issues and people trying to establish a ‘new normal’ post COVID. Having said that, we now have a strong base and we are recruiting again this month, to further cement our customer response.
Innovation is what customers demand and this is proving to be one of our strengths. We are very proud to be 100% contactless payments, and our move to SB Soft’s Vendmanager software this year will streamline our operation further. We’ll continue to listen and be led by our customers, building bespoke workplace refreshment solutions that work for them.
A year ago, On 23rd March 2021, when I joined some of my ex-colleagues at East Midlands Vending, I wrote that ‘a new chapter in my life has begun, and I have a feeling that it’s going to be a real page turner…’ (You can still read that account on Planet Vending, HERE – Ed)
That’s proved to be spot on. At East Midlands Vending, there’s never a dull moment.