The Vending Service Chain
A number of different elements in the vending machine service chain play a part in providing a typical vending service:
- Vending operators
- Operators (merchandisers)
- Field service engineers
- Machine and service providers
- Machine manufacturers
- Product suppliers
- Finance houses or leasing companies
Vending operators will source and site machines for you and provide a service/maintenance contract for cleaning, filling and cash collecting, as well as any necessary maintenance. Vending operators who are AVA members will have AVA Quality Assured status and run their businesses in accordance with the AVA’s Quality System.
These companies clean and fill the machines.
Field service engineers
Engineers maintain and repair the machines.
Machine and service providers
This category of business distribute machines but do not operate them, although they do offer a maintenance and repair service.
Manufacturers design and build vending machines. There is a strong manufacturing base in the UK. However some machines are imported, chiefly from other EU countries and the USA. Machine manufacturers usually sell only to vending operators or distributors, although some are known to sell direct to vending users.
Confectionery, snack manufacturers and in-cup businesses (ingredients ready packed in the cup) supply the machines that vend their products. The individual site owner would normally take responsibility for filling and cleaning the machines, while maintenance is normally provided by the product supplier.
Finance houses or leasing companies
Finance houses (sometimes referred to as leasing companies) provide the finance for the purchases of many vending machines. You are advised to deal only with reputable organisations. Please ensure that you use a leasing company who belongs to the FLA who monitor the Finance & Lease industry.