Making Over Vending Machines for Modern Customers

As a vending supplier, Cromer Food Services of Anderson, S.C., has been dedicated to stocking machines in South Carolina and the surrounding area for more than 25 years.  The company prides itself on superior customer service and using the latest in vending technology, including wireless inventory systems, to set itself apart from other vending companies.

In recent years, President Brent Cromer started to notice a trend in how people spend their money.  His vending machines were missing a critical and emerging business opportunity from people who carry plastic in their wallets instead of paper. Cromer’s suspicions were correct; it turned out that cash point-of-sales transactions were falling. That trend is expected to continue according to Javelin Strategy and Research, which reports that point-of-sale purchases made with cash are expected to drop to 23 percent of total sales by 2017.

With this information in hand, Cromer knew he needed to act. Cromer worked with Verizon Wireless to install wireless card swipes on his vending machines. Sales on the cashless machines rose by as much as 22 percent, helping the company capture the market they had been missing.

“We made vending machines accessible to people’s evolving lifestyles; it’s about having a customer service ethic,” said Cromer.

He then placed handheld scanners into the hands of his employees to help efficiently manage inventory levels and commissions records.

“Better inventory management has freed up 50 percent of our trucks so they can now carry additional products to help drive revenue,” said Cromer.

Cromer and his team were recently named the second place winner of the 2013 Wireless Innovation Technology Awards in the Carolinas and received a $5,000 prize. The annual program recognizes small- to mid-sized organizations that use Verizon Wireless solutions to mobilize and innovate their business processes.