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Connect Vending is a grass roots independent regional hot drink, vending and fresh food supplier. Founded in 1996 by Stuart Coutts, Connect Vending has had exponential growth over the last 20 years. Connect Vending is recognised as an industry leading, innovative operator throughout the traditional vending market. Its operations have national reach through a pre vetted network of carefully selected AVA member vending businesses. This ensures consistent quality in delivering all its services. Connect Vending’s main operated base stretches from Birmingham, through central England including a significant presence in London. Connect has been recognised as the ‘Best Vending Business’ by the industry itself.
Connect Vending believes that achieving this success comes from a mixture of values and sound business principles. Collaboration and innovation are at the centre of what Connect Vending is about.
Innovation is a fundamental part of Connect Vending, being one of the first vending operators to capitalise on services such as an automated notification systems (whereby customers are notified when their engineer is scheduled to attend and kept up to date with progress). This allowed Connect to dramatically improve customer service by ensuring its clients are kept up to date when it matters most - a critical part of delivering “simply amazing” service.
A further example of Connects’ ability to respond to changing market conditions and innovate, was the development of its fresh food offering. Deli Café is Connect Vending’s brand of 24/7 food service systems that allows end users such as staff to purchase products on a trust basis, using a self-service check out till. Similar to high street supermarket stores, but in the comfort of their own workplace break out area. This innovative solution has a number of key benefits, most important of which is being able to offer a wide range, day and night in a dramatically reduced space and budget.
It is innovation such as this that allows Connect to meet the growing demand for round the clock access to healthy foods. The food options range from wraps, salads, egg pots, a wide range of gluten free sandwiches, vegetarian options and much more. The efficiencies built in to the service also ensure it is a more cost effective way of delivering a service that meets these needs - a critical factor in times when budgets are tight.
Collaboration is one of the corner stone philosophies used by Connect to work with customers and colleagues alike. This translates directly to the way in which Connect approaches the market.
It is widely known the NHS has to contend with the consequences and huge financial impact of obesity and tooth decay in the UK today. Sugary drinks, in particular, are a disproportionately large contributing factor to the issue of health and wellbeing in the general public and workplace (including NHS staff themselves). Connect Vending understands the CQUIN health and wellbeing initiative and respects its efforts to help support a healthier community. Connect Vending stands ready to implement a disciplined and focused strategy to dramatically reduce the consumption of sugary drinks through a combination of replacement (with healthier alternatives) and disincentive (through differentiated pricing). At time of writing Connect Vending’s standard product range is already 88% CQUIN compliant. It is straightforward to supplement this range with additional healthy alternatives to ensure 100% compliance.
Looking more deeply at the subject of healthy alternatives Connect will only stock Granulated Skimmed Milk and Hot Chocolate products that are HVO free. HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) is a major factor in the build up of fat deposits in the blood vessels. Connect is constantly searching for lower sugar, fat and salt levels in products and it’s “healthy” range now represents 34% of all products sold across all markets. There are a wide range of attractive alternative drinks and Snacks that will ensure customers remain satisfied whilst sugar consumption reduces.
“Connect Vending has approached the scheme with enthusiasm” Marketing Director Elyas Coutts explains “working to ensure a positive influence in providing the NHS and its stakeholders with better consumer choices is a challenge we relish. As an avid triathlete I recognise the opportunity to support the public in a scheme that could help the health and wellbeing of our consumers at the NHS”. As a result of this Connect is developing a specific product portfolio for its numerous NHS clients such as west Hampstead’s Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust.
Connect has used both market research resources and a huge bank of data from its existing operations to use in providing an offering that is CQUIN compliant whilst being attractive to its end users. For buyers looking of ways to meet the criteria Connect would delighted to share its findings with you. To get in touch simply go to our website to understand more about what Connect is doing to work towards a healthier future.
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