James (SBS), Trevor Bullock - MD Hallmark, Martin (SBS)

SB Software’s Case History of Partnering Hallmark Vending is a Real Eye-Opener

Hallmark Vending.
If I’ve learned anything from a lifetime of working in PR it’s that, when it comes to persuading potential customers to understand  what a product or service could add to their businesses, few things are more effective than a well-written case history.

One of the things they teach on creative writing courses is ‘show, don’t tell’. In PR, a press release that factually covers the features and benefits of an offer and imagines how this will benefit their clients, is an example of the ‘tell’ technique. On the other hand, a case history shows how, in real life, the adoption of a new ‘whatever-it-is’ has made a specific business operate more effectively and ultimately, more profitably.

So whenever a case history drops into the editor@planet-vending.com in box, it grabs my attention; because potentially, it may be of interest to you, dear reader.

A recent e-mail from SB Software, the esteemed purveyors of Vendmanager and Coffeemanager, was a case in point. It contained a link to a case history – hosted on their web site – concerning their ongoing relationship with Hallmark Vending, the long-established doyen of south-coast vending companies. It’s an extraordinary document in terms of both its insight and its scope, but that’s not all: Hallmark allowed SB Software access to five – count ’em – members of staff, whose working lives have been fundamentally improved by the adoption of SB Software’s technology.

‘…rarely are we offered the kind of insight that only ‘coal face’ users can provide, but it’s here in spades.’

In addition to the Managing Director, we hear from the Operating Manager, the Accounts Officer; an Operations Support Officer; a Merchandiser (Operator); and the Commercial Manager. Each provides a unique perspective in terms of the benefits Vendmanager brings their particular roles in the business and this is a breath of fresh air: Many’s the time we read the testimonies of business owners who extol the virtues of ‘X’ or ‘Y’: rarely are we offered the kind of insight that only ‘coal face’ users can provide, but it’s here in spades.

One quote, from David Sturton, Operating Manager, caught my eye: it recalled the ‘lightbulb moment’ during SBS training ‘when all our people just got it.’ The staff at Hallmark Vending are genuinely on board…

Hallmark Vending
David Sturton -Operating Manager Hallmark Vending

At the heart of the new, data-driven culture at Hallmark is their Company Scorecard, which features front and centre at the weekly Operations Review meeting, held every Friday at 07.30.

The scorecard tracks each individual’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) over time, as revealed by Vendmanager data, and the meeting brings together core team members drawn from key parts of the business: operations, technical, installations and engineering. Nothing fosters the kind of ‘we’re in this together’ spirit quite like a bit of friendly competition. Without access to data, this element of team building wouldn’t be possible. As one manager at SB Software said, ‘Vendmanager provides the data that fuels Trevor’s engine!’

The ‘Trevor’ referred to is, of course, Hallmark MD Trevor Bullock and as his staff happily discuss the present, he is eyeing the future: ‘It is extremely rare to be able to work with a company that does as much as SB Software to help clients use more and more of their products and services better and better – to extract more and more benefit from it’, he said.

Hallmark Vending
Trevor Bullock – MD Hallmark Vending

Trevor is referring to an SB Software customer service that’s based on the creation of a Functional Priority List – or FPL, for short. Every SB Software customer has its own FPL. It’s like a roadmap for growth, in which the adoption of additional functionality is signposted and timetabled, and an SB Software Technical Account Manager is appointed to ensure transitions are seamless for all concerned – not to mention painless… It’s easy to wax lyrical about ‘partnership’, to ‘tell’ about it; but this relationship shows what ‘partnership’ means in the real world, and that’s quite the eye-opener…

‘SB Software don’t just sell you a system.’

‘SB Software don’t just sell you a system’, Trevor said, ‘they work with you to increase the number of features you can use, with the additional benefits you’ll derive from each, and the hard commercial returns that can be leveraged for your business.’

*You can read the full case history yourself, HERE

For more on SB Software on Planet Vending click HERE

About the author

Yvonne Reynolds-Young

Planet Vending’s MD and Publisher is Yvonne Reynolds-Young. An island of corporate common sense surrounded by oceans of creative madness, Yvonne is the person to call if your intention is to make something happen. (She controls all the diaries and all the money, FYI). She’s also our Social Media Queen, single-handedly responsible for building PVs presence on LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter and thereby driving record volumes of traffic onto the site.

‘Customer service is my responsibility and it’s my job to make sure we’re always ahead of deadlines’ she says. ‘My background in big business means I speak the same language as our corporate clients and understand the particular pressures they face when working in the vending arena.’

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