By Jane MacDonald, managing director at Excel Vending

In times of crisis, it is always wonderful to see how people come together to help each other. Since lockdown restrictions have been put in place we can see that countless new “groups” have been formed with the one common goal of helping each other through this horrible episode.

It’s a time when you truly appreciate the value of your networks. Family and friends, of course, play an enormous part in supporting us all but our business networks are also important! The impact of this dreadful virus could never have been anticipated. All of this is new and no-one has any experience to call on when making the kind of decisions we are being forced to make daily in our businesses.

I have long been a member of the AVA (Automatic Vending Association) and of AVS (Associated Vending Services) and I have to say that I believe it’s enormously helpful that our members are able to talk about the current issues amongst themselves and to share individual experiences and advice with each other.

During my conversations, I have heard what fellow members in the vending industry are doing to support their customers. Like Excel Vending, other Vending Operators, throughout the UK, are working hard to maintain stock levels in vending machines at key industry sites including the NHS. At a time when the demands placed on those key workers are stretched it is vital to be able to provide them with fresh food, tea/coffee, cold drinks and snacks at their place of work.

Many vending companies, large and small are providing these services daily and (if I may say) in an industry that is sometimes in the firing line for ‘negative press’, I am extremely proud of the effort being shown by all my team at Excel Vending and of the vending industry as a whole.

It is also lovely to hear that many of the vending operators and suppliers are also making donations to our fantastic NHS in appreciation of the wonderful work that the NHS is doing for us all.

Please remember that the Automatic Vending Association are holding regular Webinars with Question and Answer sessions on the impact of the Coronavirus crisis – contact: David Llewellyn at moc.ava-ehtnull@nyllewelL.divaD for details.

AVS (Automatic Vending Services) has a very active and useful Facebook Group

There is a virtual Coffee morning held every Wednesday at 11 am – contact: Kennedy Proctor at moc.ava-ehtnull@retcorP.ydenneK for details.

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