No Frills As NIVO Salutes Its Winners

Ian Reynolds-Young enjoys exclusive access to NIVO’s annual Supplier Awards ceremony.

PICTURED: Special Recognition Award Winner Richard Brinsley with NIVO CEO Graham Kingaby

This past week has seen two events in vending that are viewed by their participants as crucial to continuing success. One of them, Vendman’s ‘Centres of Excellence Symposium’, was elaborate and lavish. The other, the NIVO Awards Ceremony, was not…

Set in a cramped meeting room in a grey, nondescript industrial estate within earshot of the M62, the contrast with the lush pastures surrounding Vendman’s gathering in lovely Langho could hardly have been more marked, but today’s visitors to NIVO HQ have come to receive awards that are so important to them that you suspect each and every one would have accepted an invitation to the bottom of a mine shaft.

Pensive: Kevin Reed and Michael Levi.

It’s NIVO’s job to be frugal, to represent its members to maximum effect with the minimum possible outlay and the last thing CEO Graham Kingaby is about to do is apologise for the surroundings or even for the awards themselves. (A bottle of champagne and a certificate). ‘As usual’, Graham tells us, ‘no expense had been incurred’, before going on to explain the lengths to which the office has gone, in order to source the cheapest possible champagne for each winner.

‘As usual’, Graham tells us, ‘no expense had been incurred.’

Next, he explained the voting process. ‘We’ve been sending the survey out to our members for last seven years and OK, they need a bit of a chase-up, but we do get a good response’, he said. ‘Apart from getting them to vote, though, we put the members under no pressure.

In’t chippie!

‘Sometimes I’m surprised at the responses’, Graham admitted, ‘but almost three-hundred companies voted. I sometimes wish there were some alternative winners and there have been winners in the past which, with my LTT hat on, I wouldn’t have voted for.’

So that’s telling them. Graham then proceeds to inform his winners that next year, the goal posts are being moved in a deliberate attempt to unseat them. ‘Originally we set conditions’, he reminds his audience. ‘For example, if delivery was great and admin was rubbish, points would be deducted. We stopped doing that but now thanks to improved technology, we can do it again but this time, more effectively.’

So watch out.

Graham closes his remarks with a call to arms: ‘Use these awards’, he entreats his listeners. ‘Your peers have voted for you and that needs to be acknowledged. I hope you take advantage of the marketing opportunities.’

Formalities completed, pictures taken, and we’re off – to the chippie. ‘The Mermaid’ down the road is our destination and over fried haddock, chips, mushy peas, tea and bread & butter, there’s a lot of horseplay midst much laughter and general bonhomie.

It was my second privileged ‘insider’ look at the vending industry in a week and although ‘round two’ was the polar opposite of ‘round one’, the same fundamental philosophy, of sharing best practice to provide better services, ran through each event like ‘Blackpool’ runs through rock. The NIVO Supplier Awards ceremony was itself the epitome of NIVO’s philosophy. It was dutiful, it was workmanlike; it had at its heart the welfare of its members; there was no BS and certainly no frills. But there were also four delighted, albeit humble winners, who wouldn’t have it any other way.

No wonder nearly 300 UK vending companies are NIVO members…

*PV would like to thank NIVO for its kind invitation.



Congratulations to:

  • Supplier of the Year, Equipment: Coffetek.
  • Supplier of the Year, Consumables: Automatic Retailing.
  • Supplier of the Year, Business Services: Siemens Financial Services.
  • Special Recognition Award: Richard Brinsley, MD, Westomatic.


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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