Introducing: Evoke 5 Vending Machine

U-Select-It has been an industry leader in developing new technologies and applications in the vending world for over 80 years. In that time, we’ve consistently sought out ways to improve the visibility, convenience, and profitability of our vending systems, leading us to our newest machine, the Evoke 5. There are four specific areas we set out to improve from previous iterations; we have been able to make multiple advances within each area to bring our vending machine distributors and their customers a modern buying experience.

  1. Accessibility. The Evoke 5 vending machine does more than simply accept input and dispense a product. We’ve incorporated improved ergonomics, to make the purchasing process more fluid and comfortable, while at the same time adjusting both the product delivery and coin return areas for ease of access. While the Evoke series has always been ADA compliant, we wanted to go above and beyond to ensure that all our customers can easily make purchases with the Evoke 5 machines.
  2. Technology. It is in this area that the entire industry has seen the most development in the past five years, and the Evoke 5 takes all that progress and streamlines benefits for customers. The iVend Guaranteed Delivery system makes certain that consumers receive their products. We’ve added an optional full-color touch screen interface, in addition to a shopping cart sales mode that allows buyers to select multiple products in one transaction, combined with payment system versatility. On the back end, for vending machine distributors, we have included an expandable control system and intuitive service mode as well as wifi, bluetooth, and cellular modem communication systems.
  3. Serviceability. The Evoke 5 is designed to be easy to service and maintain, with few overly complicated elements. With separate product and control system areas, as well as straightforward access for restocking, pricing, and maintenance, the entire front panel opens via a 90-degree lock with a four point latch system strong enough to deter criminal activity.
  4. Aesthetic Design. The final area we specifically wanted to improve with the Evoke 5 was the visual experience for customers. We intensified the potential for branding with an LED backlit logo panel option that can, in turn, be complemented with changeable user interface lighting access. The display window is now 15% larger, and we’ve included stylish leg covers.

There is no one advancement that stands out in the Evoke 5, as we made every effort to include multiple developments in each area our vending machine distributors and customers told us were vital to the buying and maintenance processes. The Evoke 5 vending machine is a capstone to years of vending technology development. Please visit our website today to learn more about the Evoke 5, or look for updates on our blog.

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What’s New in Vending for 2017?

Looking back at our predictions from this time last year, we foresaw increases in cash-free, more connected, and fresher vending options. How have these changes impacted vending machine distributors? Will these trends continue to progress, or will the pendulum swing in another direction entirely in 2017?

Overall, consumers are becoming more confident and comfortable utilizing vending machines for healthier snacking, expecting smooth, error-free transactions, and effortlessly accepting vending machines as product and service providers in a variety of non-food related fields. This opens the door for some fascinating future developments in the world of vending, moving the industry from a past perception of being the last resort for a quick, low-nutrient snack to a role as a desirable and high-end food service, complete with upscale payments options.

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Vending Machine Trend: Healthy Offerings

It’s no surprise that modern vending customers are demanding different choices in their snacks than previous years or decades; every industry goes through peaks and valleys of interests. However, where vending machines had been historically seen as a source of less nutritionally or gastronomically fulfilling options, current vending machine distributors are seeing a dramatic shift towards fresh, healthy, and nourishing treats.  But what are the specifics of these new, more beneficial, offerings and what does that mean in regards to vending machine distributors?

For a vending machine distributor, it is important to understand that, while mints and gums–and even a few sweet snacks–should always be offered, more and more buyers are looking for foods that at the very least purport to be healthy. At the same time, the definition of healthful continues to broaden based on each consumer’s individual needs and concerns, allowing for vending machine distributors to carry a wide array of beneficial and attractive offerings.

U-Select-It has been involved in the manufacturing and distribution of vending machine products for over 85 years. Our website and our blog offer more helpful information for current or potential vending machine distributors looking to increase or improve their sales.

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Micro Markets–Micro Profits?

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Micro markets have been the buzzword of the year in vending and small business circles. They offer many conveniences over traditional storefronts, to be sure, as well as the shiny veneer of any new sales modality. However, does the operational reality actually reflect the tremendous profitability that has been touted? U-Select-It looks at the facts.

The truth is that, like any business, micro markets come with their own set of hidden costs. These unexpected costs eat away at profits, turning what seemed like a golden opportunity into a money pit.

In the end, micro markets have their own advantages. For most owners, however, those advantages are far outweighed by the higher operating costs and lower profits when compared to traditional vending options from an established and successful vending machine distributor like U-Select-It.

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Vending Vernacular: Quick Guide

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Every industry has its own special language, made up of a combination of acronyms, slang, and esoteric terms that can seem like gibberish to a novice or outsider. Some terms, as soon as they’re explained, are so obvious you wonder how you didn’t realize what they meant while other terms are extremely obscure or counterintuitive. U-Select-It wants all industry professionals, both experienced and newcomers, to have access to this type of knowledge. Here are the top acronyms and terms every vendor needs to know.

There are a great many other terms you need to know as a vending machine distributor or retailer, just as in any other specialized industry, but these are the most commonly misunderstood pieces of vocabulary any new vending machine client needs to be familiar with. For further educational information from U-Select-It to help grow your vending business, visit our blog!

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What Exactly Is a Micro Market?

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There is a lot of discussion in the industry about Micro Markets. We’ve been covering the benefits and disadvantages of micro markets on our blog for some time now, but the question is still looming amongst even the eldest professionals.

Micro Markets are not convenience stores, nor should they be considered one. The offerings of these markets are more limited to a targeted market, consumers, and employees. The types of products offered at a micro market are usually higher-end products, which could carry a low turnover rate, as perishable food becomes expired and has to be trashed. This is an obstacle facing many micro markets today.

Aside from being wasteful, disposing of perishable goods is a burden on financially strapped operators. According to the United Nations Environment Program, only a low percentage of all food waste is composted: much of it ends up in landfills, and represents a large part of municipal solid waste. Methane emissions from landfills represents one of the largest sources of GHG emissions from the waste sector. More and more people are turning to more environmentally friendly ways of distributing foods, while the sentiment to create smaller markets is understood, it is down to the local municipal level to create food distribution centers that are affordable, a key differentiator in micro markets, which are far more specialized and expensive.

The higher costs of the goods sold at micro markets cancels out a large portion of the population that simply cannot afford to buy the specialized perishable goods sold at the micro markets, this in turn can create a substantial amount of waste, and ultimately isn’t helping the greater good.

As easy to operate as they are to maintain, our combination vending machines are ideal for all types of establishments, both large and small. From waiting rooms too break areas, our products provide the best in refreshment when it is needed most.

As a leading expert, and with over 80 years experience as a vending machine distributor, we are here to help you! For more information about some of the exciting new vending options available, visit our website or blog!

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Finding The Most Profitable Locations For Vending Machines

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The fundamentals of business tell us that maximizing profit stems directly from maximizing value for your customer. Value can be delivered in a myriad of ways, location being one of them. You want to make sure your vending machines are in a location that are able to drive value for your customer, therefore driving profit for your business.

Location will vary on each business owner, and the nature of your business. Whether you are supplying vending machines for a school, a gym, a emergency medical facility, or gas station, location is relevant across all channels. Here we have 3 tips, with supporting questions to ask yourself, to help you determine where to place your vending machines to maximize profits:

Define your goals

How much do you want to sell each month from your vending machines?

What types of products do you want to sell?

Are you selling what your customer demands?

Create a strategy

Define who is your target market.

What type of daily activities does your customer engage in while on your premises?

Where does the most foot traffic happen?

Are your machines accessible to everyone?

Analyze your results

Test different locations for your vending machines.

Compare results of 3 month periods.

Where were your vending machines performing the best?

Based on the results of your location scouting, nurture the results. If you noticed that your machines are performing better when they are placed in a shadier spot out of direct sunlight, nurture that finding by placing more vending machines in easily accessible yet comfortable spots for people. If you noticed that the machines placed by picnic tables perform better than machines without seating, nurture those findings by making the seating areas more accessible.

Ultimately, testing what is best for your particular location is critical to maximizing the value for your customer, and ultimately maximizing your bottom line. As a leading expert, and with over 80 years experience as a vending machine distributor, we are here to help you! For more information about some of the exciting new vending options available, visit our website or blog!

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2016 Allied Member Of The Year: U-Select-It Chairman Art Wittern

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This year, the National Automatic Merchandising Association has chosen Art Wittern, Chairman of U-Select-It, a premier vending machine distributor,  as Allied Member of the Year. The award ceremony was held at the NAMA Industry Awards in April. What did it take to be honored as Member of the Year?

Art Wittern embodies all the best qualities in any industry, and the vending machine distributor field is fortunate to have his energy and knowledge at hand. For all the latest news about Art Wittern and U-Select-It, visit our blog. See the video here!

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The Benefits of Traditional Vending over Micro Markets

‘Micro market’ seems to be the buzzword on everyone’s lips. They are increasingly being seen alongside more familiar vending setups. However, micro markets have significant drawbacks as compared to traditional vending, which are often overlooked by inexperienced vending machine distributors. These disadvantages can mean significant market and financial losses.

The major developments in traditional vending machines, allowing for fresh, varied, and exciting product offerings all far outweigh the perceived benefits and increased costs of micro markets. For more information about some of the exciting new vending options available, visit our website or blog!

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Pepsi’s Food for Good Initiative – Pilot Vending Machine

 

Thanks to a collaboration between PepsiCo’s Food for Good and vending machine distributor, U-Select-It (USI), fighting to end child hunger just got a bit more feasible. With the help of Food for Good, this new initiative will be placing USI’s vending machines in Texas to provide balanced meals to children in low income families who might not be getting all the meals they should be eating.

It may seem odd, but vending machines stock more than snacks or energy drink, with USI teaming up with Food for Good the result will be life changing for struggling families. Working hand in hand with the Texas Hunger Initiative, Share our Strength, and Valley Nature Center, USI’s and Food for Good’s program can help a hungry child receive free breakfast and lunch. The vending machine will dispense a healthy meal via a code that can be inputted into these machines. If a family is a part of any public school district and qualifies for the free breakfast and lunch programs then they also qualify to take part in the Food for Good initiative.

With every Food for Good machine having the capability to feed up to 144 children a day, this amazing program has the ability to change lives for the better. U-Select-It’s vending machines are class-leading machines backed by over 30 years experience in the industry.

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