And just like that, 2018 is almost over. In similar fashion to 2017, 16 and all those before, another year has whizzed by in the blink of an eye. This year has seen new vending machine additions, charitable updates and special days and between each and everyone, 2018 has been a fantastic year for both the company and the vending industry. One that we can all be proud of.
I first posted this because it showed the progression of the vending industry. Not just for technology, not even for products, but for our community. Installed in Nottingham, this unique vending machine stocked key items such as water, fresh fruit and toothpaste, and allowed simple access for those on the streets. It showed that vending machines can be more than a source of refreshment. They’re also a source for survival.
I’ve often been told that Coinadrink’s party nights are always great occasions, but I’d never had the taste of one myself until January 27th2018. The National Motor Cycle Museum was home to a great night celebrating our 55thbirthday, action packed with great food, live entertainment and terrific company. We also managed to raise £5500, split between both Acorns Children’s Hospice and Just Small Change, from a dedicated prize draw and auction.
Coinadrink has always been committed to delivering the very best the industry has to offer, such is the emphasis we place on innovation. We saw a great opportunity with the ICON to offer a dynamic hot drinks machine that served an extensive and authentic coffee style drinks menu to larger workplaces. Since its introduction, we have recorded high demand for the ICON and it’s proved to be an excellent hot drinks machine.
Towards the end of every year we always send out our customer care surveys in order to gain an idea as to what our customers think about the service we provide. We generally do better each year and we were delighted to say that 2017 continued the trend. 98% of customers said they were happy with our service plan and 99% said they would recommend us if asked by a colleague: excellent news! We look forward to seeing the results from 2018…
Our Micro Market was introduced in 2013 and it has been refreshing workforces up and down the region ever since. We regard the Micro Market as the revolution in workplace refreshments thanks to an extensive product line and advanced technology. It all helps towards improving both the wellbeing and productivity of your employees. April 2018 saw us introduce our own in the showroom, for staff to use whenever we like!
Whilst we have our name tied to a number of charities, we are always more than happy to support additional organisations if the opportunity arises. That’s exactly what we did at the start of July, when we supported Emma Dodd in her quest to raise money for Dementia UK through a coffee morning at the Essington Community Centre. Emma then ran the Great North Run in September.
The website you’re currently on was dramatically refreshed in July, with an improved design, updated content and more efficient navigation tools. Drop down menus and a dedicated search button made exploring the site a breeze, whilst we made is easier to explore how vending can work for you with exclusive pages designed for each industry. We also made it easier for you to get in touch with us, and ensured every aspect of the site is easy to edit on the fly.
The Kalea is the sister of the Karisma, an advanced tabletop that produces authentic beverages with the help of fresh coffee beans and fresh milk. Whilst the two are very similar in the ways that matter, the Kalea caters to smaller workplaces with a lower cup capacity, whilst the taller dispense area means it can accommodate larger cups. Just like the Karisma, though, it’s stunning, and the drinks produced rival the coffee shop.
We love exhibitions and the Midlands Business Network Expo was another opportunity to display our premium range of services to visitors. Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire hosted the occasion, a very prestigious host indeed. We took the Flavia 500 down the M6 with us, as it best emphasises the simplicity of vending in the workplace. It was a great day filled with lots of interest in our services, and we already can’t wait for the next one.
As we said back in September, it’s not every day you’re selected as a finalist in the Black Country Chamber awards is it? We entered the ‘Customer Commitment’ category in June, which we believed would be perfect to show just how much we do for the customer, from our industry leading response time to our bespoke management systems. We were thrilled to hear that the Chamber agreed. The Wolverhampton Racecourse hosted a great evening in November and whilst we didn’t win, we were delighted to get the initial recognition.
The Macmillan Coffee Morning rolled round again and employees at Coinadrink once again excelled themselves. A delicious spread of cakes and bakes were on display, making for a fantastic morning. In the process, we managed to raise an excellent £80 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Well done all!
As if being a finalist in the Black Country Chamber Awards wasn’t enough, we were also highly commended by The Vendies for our two competition entries: ‘Best Regional Operator’ and Best Regional Website’. The former meant we successfully identified the emphasis we place on customer service, whilst the latter showed how we benefit the customer through our new website. It was a fantastic effort from the whole team.
October saw another new arrival: the Merchant Media snack machine. The Merchant introduced a range of features that identify the future of vending, such as a QR code that holds key information to make the whole service process much more efficient than ever before. A shopping cart function means you can pay for numerous items at once whilst Apple and Google Pay make payment a doddle.
The shopping phenomenon, famous all over the world, came to Express Refreshments in November. We teamed up with our Micro Market customers to donate 10p per sale to their chosen charities, ranging from Focus to the James Hopkins Trust. The promotion, running from the 23rdto the 30thNovember, proved very successful and collectively we managed to raise over £240!
Just Small Change is another chosen charity that we have been supporting for a while, alongside Acorns Children’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support. This month we received an update from Peter and Jane Donaghue, the couple who founded the organisation, to say our help was boosting the lives of many people across Africa. They also informed us of a new scheme called Table Banking, where members pay in and provide loans to each other.
It’s certainly been a very busy and successful 2018 and we’re hopeful of an equally successful 2019. From everyone at Coinadrink, a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you all!