Refreshments, Online Ordering, Convenience, Vending Operators, OCS Operators

Refreshment Trends: Key Takeaways from NAMA 2024 Conference

The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) 2024 Conference occurred in Dallas. It was full of exciting changes and innovations in the vending and food service industry. Of course, Supply Wizards had to go and get in on all of the action. We noted several key refreshment trends at the event. These are set to change the landscape of convenience food options in the break room. Here’s what we learned, and how we can help improve your vending services this year.

Ready-Made Food

One of the ideas that stood out was the big increase in ready-made food options. In past years, convenience wasn’t a major consideration, but now it is a top priority for busy workers. This shift has led to an increase in the variety of easy-to-prepare meals available. For example, Tyson showed off a variety of ready-to-go foods beyond just chicken sandwiches. This is to meet the growing need for easy and quick options. So what does this mean? We should give consumers more choices. And who doesn’t want more to pick from? Having more ready-made food will make the break room experience better.

New and Improved Tech

New technologies were a top highlight at the conference. It makes sense as the world becomes even more advanced and online. Companies like Roboburger and Farmers Fridge shared new smart vending solutions. These new models use automation to deliver fresh, high-quality meals on demand. Roboburger, for instance, can quickly make hot hamburgers or breakfast sandwiches. And it does this in just four minutes. It is perfect for places like airports, colleges, office break rooms, and hotels. These advancements are key trends that will change how people use vending machines. It’s a new world, and we must adapt!

Supply Wizards, Automation, Increase Sales, Customer Convenience, B2B Enterprise Solutions

Health and Wellness

Another key trend was the focus on healthy snacks. There were many high-protein options. Things like yogurt bars, beef jerky, and energy drinks can cater to the growing demand for healthier food. There were fewer sugary treats, too. That means there is a clear shift to healthier choices. This is a response to what consumers want, and we have to move forward with them. So, think about putting healthy snacks in your vending machines. You can also put fresh food in your micro-markets.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. We offer online ordering and snack delivery. It makes getting healthy snacks easy for vending operators everywhere.

Fun Food Concepts

NAMA also showcased new and creative food ideas. They got creative with things that could change the market. Companies like Magic Cotton Candy presented unique and exciting snack options. This hints at a trend towards unconventional yet tasty food choices. These novel food concepts are refreshment trends that promise to attract and delight consumers. It’s great for people who are looking for something different.

The NAMA 2024 Conference gave a clear view of the future of convenience food. As the industry continues to change, we must stay flexible and proactive. This is needed to keep up with demand, but there’s good news. Supply Wizards can help.

We are excited to use these points to drive innovation and success in the ever-evolving vending and food service world. Contact us today to learn more!

Refreshments, Online Ordering, Convenience, Vending Operators, OCS Operators

How to Pick the Best Refreshments for Your Customers’ Break Rooms

As a Vending and OCS operator you know how hard it can be to select refreshments for your clients. There are many different tastes and preferences, so how can you know they’ll love the snacks and beverages you select for their break room?

Vending and OCS Operators often ask us, “What refreshments should I stock in my client’s break room?” And we understand the value of knowing your customer. That’s why we’ve dedicated this blog to factors you should consider when selecting the office coffee, snacks, beverages, and other essentials to meet your customers’ needs.

Survey Your Clients

Yes, it can be as simple as asking your customers what they want! You can survey your customers to get their thoughts about refreshments and products they want in the break room. Whether it’s coffee and tea, tasty snacks, ready-to-eat meals, or sundries, you should be prepared to deliver the products your clients want most.

Follow the Data

Again, it’s important to study and know your client. So, do your research and follow the data! For example, you might notice that your clients have Millennial and Gen Z employees. Those customers may want energy drinks, cold brew, protein bars, Kombucha, plant-based options, and other trendy snacks. On the other hand, teams with Generation X employees might want hot coffee and tea, flavored water, and tasty juices. In other words, optimize your product mix based on workplace demographics.

Consider Dietary Needs and Preferences

Now more than ever, people have specific diets, restrictions, and preferences. Make sure to stock a variety of refreshments in the break room. Consider gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, organic, protein, and keto-friendly refreshment options. Your customers will appreciate it!

Supply Wizards, Automation, Increase Sales, Customer Convenience, B2B Enterprise Solutions

Choose Healthy Refreshments

If you’re looking for ways to support your client’s employees health and wellness goals, start with the break room. You can help your clients keep their staff energized and engaged by  providing healthy refreshments, such as salads, raw nuts, and sugar-free snacks. Your clients will appreciate that you are partnering with them to keep their team thriving. After all, healthy and happy employees mean fewer sick days, reduced healthcare costs, and a more productive workspace. It’s a win for everyone!

Benefits of Office Refreshments

There are so many reasons to offer tasty refreshments at work. Not only does it give employees a place to wind down between tasks. But it’s also convenient on busy days. A great break room can help retain employees and also recruit new talent. Plus, it gives your customers a place to connect and collaborate outside of a meeting room. This can boost overall company morale and happiness.

How We Can Help!

By offering products through Supply Wizards’ online ordering platform, you can make it easy for your customers to find refreshments they love and discover new snacks and beverages. Not only that, but clients can see your digital promotional banner on their personalized online ordering system. You can use this banner to promote new and popular products to the client. In short, our online ordering platform is a WIN for the client because it offers them convenience. It’s a WIN for your business because you can increase product sales.

Ready to learn more? Contact us today to get started. We can’t wait to work with you!

Online Ordering, Convenience, Vending Operators, OCS Operators, Technology

A Step-by-Step Guide to Vending & OCS Operators Transitioning Customers to Online Ordering

You already know the importance of having modern conveniences. However, you also want an easy change for your customers. One big shift among vending and OCS Operators is moving their customers to online ordering platforms. But it’s not always easy to make the change. So, let’s talk about some of the things you can do to make the process easier — for both you and your customers! Below, we will answer all the questions you might be asking.

Will the customer be OK with it?

Before making the switch, talk to your customers. Ask them about their comfort levels with online ordering. Then, provide any assistance where it is needed. Some customers may readily embrace the change, while others may need more guidance. They need to know you have their back — and their breakroom!

Will I lose sales?

It’s natural to consider the state of your sales. But with the right approach, online ordering can increase sales. Yes, it’s true! It’s common to see an increase of 20-25% in sales. By using a platform that features popular brands and new products and is easy to use, you can gain new loyal customers and increase sales.  Plus, automated reminders can also help with consistent orders.

How do I do it?

Supply Wizards, Automation, Increase Sales, Customer Convenience, Enterprise Solutions

Moving customers to an online ordering platform involves a structured approach:

  • Determine which customers to invite and inform them about the new change.
  • Give them information that is customized to their needs.
  • Set up a delivery schedule to keep it going.
  • Send an introductory email providing the customers their unique login credentials and basic instructions.
  • Follow up to make sure they have a positive experience.
  • Address any concerns along the way.

Working with Supply Wizards makes the switch even easier. We handle adding customers, products, product images, and customized lists to the platform as well as helping with introductory emails and support.

Benefits of Online Ordering

Online ordering has many benefits for both operators and customers. For one, it makes ordering office coffee products, office pantry refreshments and water filtration supplies easy.  It also helps you offer a wide range of products to your customers. The best part? It’s super convenient to manage office coffee orders, and more any time, anywhere. With the right platform, you can improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.

Why Work With Us?

At Supply Wizards, we understand the challenge of moving from a traditional service to online ordering. But our platform is made to simplify business operations for Vending and OCS Operators like you. With customizable flyers, automated reminders, and full support, we will make sure you have a smooth transition. And we’ll do this while maximizing your sales potential. Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn more!

Products and Equipment, Online Ordering, Convenience, Vending Operators, OCS Operators, Technology

Game-Changing Products and Equipment for Vending and OCS Operators in 2024

In the ever-changing world of convenience services, Vending and Office Coffee Service (OCS) operators are always looking for new ideas to make their businesses better. That’s why we recently attended a webinar about the “Products and Equipment that will be game changers in 2024.” So, we want to share the key points we learned.

If you want to stand out from other convenience service operators, this blog is for you. Let’s explore the most important lessons that can make your business better this year.

Think Outside the Box

The idea of a “game-changer” is about being different. In a world full of common snacks and drinks, you need to think: What makes us special? It’s time to change things up and be curious. Think about what fueled your early business success. Beyond the standard bean-to-cup offerings, think about creating memorable experiences for your customers. You can do this through events, promotions (i.e. ice cream Fridays), and shared moments. This is a great way to make a happy workplace for your customers.

Always Put Customers First

The modern customer wants more than just the usual snacks and drinks. They also want products and equipment, as well as a custom shopping experience. You can deliver great break room services with fun promotions and personalized touches. This will make a big difference. It can even help retain clients and keep them happy in the long run. Think about their needs and offer solutions before they even ask about it. This will change your role from a vendor to a trusted partner. As a result, you can strengthen the relationship. It’s the small things that make an impact!

Tap into the Hospitality Industry

Supply Wizards, Automation, Increase Sales, Customer Convenience, Enterprise Solutions

Some workplaces are turning into hospitality environments. For good reason, too. It’s important to take care of your team at work. And operators need to follow that trend by offering the best products and equipment. How can you do this? You can give your customers personalized experiences with your break room services, products, and equipment. They will find this valuable, and they will keep your services to make their team members happy.

Find inspiration in the World of Retail

Winning in unattended retail at work means gaining more shoppers. This is why elevating impulse buying in today’s convenience services landscape is important. The bottom line is that if an idea works in retail, then it might work in the workplace too.

Put the Products on Display

Make it easy for customers to purchase refreshments by putting the best snacks on display. Shoppers will love a display of ice cream, gummies, candy, and more. Put them near the kiosk or other product categories to increase sales. And guess what? Displays and signs inspired unplanned purchases for 46% of in-store shoppers. Product selection is important, and you should have a retail approach to sales in the workplace.

Here are some other ideas: Use power brands, such as M&Ms and Snickers, as signposts to increase noticeability. This will make it easy for shoppers to see their go-to snacks, and make them want to buy them. Illuminate certain products at checkout.  In fact, sales of products lit up at checkout went up 20%.  In short, create a  welcoming shopping experience with unique ideas and make pricing irrelevant to your clients.

Order Products and Supplies Online

In today’s world, making things convenient for clients is critical to your business. Beyond product selection and placement, you’ll need to make it easy for your office coffee and pantry delivery customers to buy products from you. If you’re not offering an online ordering system, your clients will find someone who does. Streamline your business with an intuitive online ordering platform where clients can order snacks, beverages, fresh food, sundries, and essential supplies for the workplace. Reach out to us to see how we can help.

Ready to learn more? Contact us today to get started!

Pricing, online ordering, Convenience, Vending Operators, OCS Operators

Why Online Ordering Doesn’t Encourage More Price Shopping

Supply Wizards has become an integral part of Vending & OCS Operators businesses for many years.  And one worry we sometimes hear from these operators is that our online ordering platform shows their product pricing to customers. Therefore, they think that customers might compare prices with places like Amazon, Costco, or Staples. Well, we’re here to set the record straight.

In this blog, we’ll share why you don’t need to worry about showing product prices to customers.

Making the Shift to Ordering Online: Staying in the Game

If you’re still using old-school methods like calling, emailing, or faxing to take orders, you might be falling behind your competitors. These days, customers expect to be able to order refreshments, office supplies, sundries and more online, and it’s a big part of how businesses work now.

Understanding the Customer Journey

Operators, there is no need to worry! Why? Because your customers choose to work with you because of the service you provide. That includes equipment, maintenance, specialized product selection, and convenient delivery. Your sales team negotiates service terms, equipment, and pricing with your customers as usual. Once you and the customer come to an agreement, you invite them to online ordering with Supply Wizards so that day-to-day, ordering from you is super quick and convenient for them. That means that customers who use online ordering have already said “yes” to your proposal for product, pricing, equipment, and maintenance when they signed up. Importantly, they can see additional products that you have to offer that you may not have discussed during your initial conversations. While pricing is an important factor for customers, they’ve agreed to the pricing they will see once they log in to their custom site, and price comparisons with big stores like Amazon or Costco don’t happen any more frequently than they do presently.

Why Pricing Matters

It’s important to know that your customers, like office managers or HR professionals, want to know how much things cost. The Supply Wizards online ordering platform not only shows prices but also helps customers stick to their budgets. Being able to set different prices in the Supply Wizards online ordering platform for different customers is a great feature for customizing the service. Plus, it’s all confidential. This means each customer gets a unique deal that works for them.

Supply Wizards, Automation, Increase Sales, Customer Convenience, Enterprise Solutions

Clear Pricing Makes Ordering Simple

Customers already saw the prices when they signed up, whether they were buying snacks, coffee, hotel pantry supplies, water services, or other refreshments. Now, they can get everything they need in one place. In other words, they don’t have to check out at different places like Amazon, Costco, or Staples. This makes the office manager’s job easier, and gives them more time to focus on their primary job.

Putting Customers First

In a world with lots of choices, the main reason a customer might leave is if they’re not getting good service. Offering consistent, reliable service alongside a genuine commitment to their satisfaction builds trust. When customers feel valued and understood, they not only return but also become advocates, spreading the word about their exceptional experiences, becoming the lifeblood of sustained success for your business. So, it’s important to give your customers a good experience with every interaction. In short,  combining the Supply Wizard online ordering technology with a stellar customer experience will set you apart from your competitors.

In the end, prices are just a small part of what makes customers happy. The good news? Our online ordering system not only keeps up with the latest tech trends but it also gives tools to stand out while offering an awesome experience for customers. Using this technology isn’t just moving forward. It’s a big step in making sure that your break room services are ready for the future.

If you’re ready to delight your customers with a robust online ordering system, contact Supply Wizards for more information. Your customers will love it and your business will thrive.

Supply Wizards, NAMA, Vending Operators, OCS Operators, Online Ordering

Top 3 Takeaways from the NAMA Coffee Tea & Water Conference

There is a lot to learn about break rooms. So, we were happy to go to the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) Coffee Tea & Water Conference in Indianapolis. After all, these drinks are an important part of every epic break room. And choosing the best refreshment options has the power to improve the employee experience.

The meeting was full of knowledge, networking, and valuable lessons. We loved the keynote session about experience-driven workplaces. It had a lot of good info about employees going back to work. And that means the need for office coffee, office pantry, and water filtration services in the office. Therefore, it’s important to wow clients with great customer service and products. In this growing market, these things matter.

Keep reading for our key takeaways from the NAMA Coffee Tea and Water conference.

Workers Are Coming Back

During and after COVID-19, many workers got used to working from home. Well, that’s changing. In fact, John Boccuzzi, Jr., the Keynote Speaker at CTW, found that 59.1% of workers are going back to the office full-time. What does this mean? It means that Vending and OCS operators can be corporate office superheroes! Now more than ever, you can step up your game by offering coffee and office pantry services. You can do this by using the right technology and delivering the best customer experience.

Every Vending and OCS Operator should offer an easy process. It’s convenient for customers to order coffee and pantry products online, as it makes it easy to restock the break room. Gone are the days of taking orders over the phone or email. Instead, you should offer your customers a user-friendly online ordering platform. That’s where we come in!

Offer Unique and Authentic Interactions

Automation, Increase Sales, Customer Convenience, Vending Operators, OCS Operators, Online Ordering, Enterprise Solutions, NAMA

Today’s marketplace is competitive. Therefore, you’ve got to stand out. How can you do this? Well, you can start by offering unique and authentic experiences. You should make every interaction with your customer count. Help your customers solve their “pain points” and make their jobs easier. As a Vending and OCS operator, you have one chance to make a good first impression! How you work with the client matters.

As a Vending and OCS operator, your focus should be on making the entire transaction a customer-centric one. Most of these people are looking for customer service and convenience in the process. For example, you can offer special deals to your customers. Trust us, they’re going to love it!

According to NAMA, technology matters

One of the main things we learned at NAMA is that technology plays a crucial role in your break room. Technology is being used to improve every aspect of the convenience services industry. This includes the production, distribution, and consumption. The result? An increase in online ordering. According to the Automatic Merchandiser’s 2022 State of the Industry Report, many operators have reported that business is improving even more in 2023. They also found that employers are willing to pay more for convenience services as incentives for workers returning to the office. And that’s where online ordering comes in.

If you’re still taking office coffee orders through emails or phone calls, you should consider upgrading to an online ordering system. Offering your customers the convenience of online ordering can give you a leg up from your competitors. You can even stand out by giving deals and promoting products online.

In addition, an online ordering system helps you grow revenue by doing the upselling for you with automated features. Customers will also more reliably place orders. If you don’t offer them an easy-to-use online ordering system, they might find someone who will. In other words, the time is now!

If you’re ready to delight your customers with a robust online ordering system, contact Supply Wizards for more information. Your customers will love it and your business will thrive.