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Hervé Donneaud’s Reasons to be Cheerful – Part Three

Evoca’s UK Managing Director believes the Evoca Group is on the brink of a golden age of unprecedented success. In a series of articles exclusive to Planet Vending, he tells us why…

In Reasons to be Cheerful – Part Three, Hervé Donneaud discusses the ‘sheer breadth’ of the product range and how Evoca Group is embracing digital communications

Hervé Donneaud
Hervé Donneaud

 In my previous article I referred to the fact that visitors to Kingswinford have been surprised to discover the extent of our product range. They have discovered that we’re not ‘just’ a vending machine company’!

It’s true. These days, we have a very strong portfolio that embraces everything an operator could possibly require, with solutions for vending, bean-to-cup, coffee pods, fresh-milk, fully-automatic machines and top-quality professional equipment, including ‘traditional’ espresso machines.

During the epidemic, we came to appreciate that the world would never be quite the same again, and one of our responses to this in the UK was to retain an external digital marketing agency to make digital communications work for us. We realised that with fewer ‘boots on the ground’, physically knocking on the doors of potential customers, or even cold calling them on the phone, was no longer an option for us. We had to find an alternative route, a better route.

We’re eighteen months into that relationship now and believe me, we’re still on a learning curve. It’s much more complex and multi-faceted than I imagined! I think the digital world is new to most of us in senior positions in business. We’re having to learn a new language with new terminology and we’re having to learn how the different cogs gear together.

Hervé Donneaud

Having said that, digital has delivered a number of very exciting benefits for us already and it’s become an established part of our strategy. We’ve learned that there’s a lot in digital communications for us, so long as we harness it properly.

It’s a key lesson – ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. The pandemic was the catalyst that led to us reconsidering entirely the way in which we approach the market. We couldn’t visit customers and we had to shed staff. That was either going to be a fatal blow, or a wake-up call for us to think differently, so ‘think differently’ is exactly what we did. We moved onwards and upwards.

Hervé Donneaud
Necta Festival

The portfolio of products we offer is in my opinion fantastic. We’re a great machine manufacturer. We have a very wide range of equipment that is competitively priced and that’s important. We offer excellent value for money. We’re also launching new machines and new solutions year in, year out.  Recently, there’s been the ‘Magic’ coffee machine by Saeco; the ground-breaking new Festival vending machine from Necta; two great new Gaggia machines in La Dea and La Solare and not least, the Maestro Direct Selection, with which Necta has raised the bar again.

It takes a lot of effort from all of us to learn about the capabilities of new machines, new technology and of course the new distribution channels that our innovations have opened up to us.

‘How do we go to market?’, ‘where is its place in the range? It’s a really challenging intellectual exercise and that’s the beauty of working for a manufacturer like Evoca, which has been pushing really, really hard to add depth to its portfolio.

In the near future, we’ll be sharing details of our plan to bolster the support we offer our distributors so like us, they too can expand into new sectors and new geographies – for instance, the lucrative High Street segment. Some distributors are investigating new business opportunities with national chains and large coffee shops. We feel we can help our distributors to win this new business with the sheer breadth of our range – but one of the things you learn about foodservice on Day One is that they need a very, very strong direct service organisation behind them to succeed. So that is exactly what we’re going to provide them with. When it comes to HoReCa, you have to have not only the products, but also you have to have the service.

At around 50%, HoReCa is now an important slice of our business, That level of success needs a new level of commitment, and a new level of commitment is exactly what we’re about to demonstrate.

Watch this space.

NEXT TIME Hervé Donneaud discusses changes in workplace expectations and the crucial operational roles played by telemetry and management software.

Read parts ONE and TWO






About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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