Canadian Vending

Features Business Operations
CAMA connection: May June 2009

Time To Conquer

May 1, 2009
By Kim Lockie


“Professional operators, who vend anything, anytime, anywhere while, at the same time, keeping their machines full, clean and working, following CAMA’s Ethics and Standards.”

“Professional operators, who vend anything, anytime, anywhere while, at the same time, keeping their machines full, clean and working, following CAMA’s Ethics and Standards.”

This is a long phrase and I would like you to read it five times.

No, you won’t get a wish, but it may make you some money. I think the saying covers exactly what operators have been all about since the very beginning – when the first vending machine distributed Holy water.


The vending business has changed over the years, and will continue to do so at a very rapid pace. As a result, the survivors will be those companies that adapt to change, keep up and forge ahead.

How do we accomplish this?

By following two simple rules, or words: “Integrity and Reliability.” Not only do good business practices lead to success, they also separate the good from the bad.

The perception of vending all too often is not very positive, and we – the operators – are the only people that can change this. If you follow the two simple rules, with the long-winded phrase in mind, then I believe you cannot do anything but get ahead and profit. This will also bring our industry up a few notches.

Vending is a great medium through which we sell products; and we prove it over and over again. Live up to what you say and be accountable for your business decisions. If you follow this, then maybe we can get back to the days of a handshake is a deal done, good or bad. We will still have the paper-pushers who have to draw up contracts to make their money in life, but that would be just a formality after the deal is done.

This would make a difference to all operator-supplier relationships as well as customer-operator relationships. It would be a win-win for everyone and the industry as a whole.

CAMA is working for you in this area – with a goal to create a better understanding of our industry and the professional standards that we follow. We also want to build CAMA membership and provide members with the tools that will help them to better serve their customers.

A stronger membership base and better recognition will bring other opportunities. When a contract comes up for bid, we want customers to consider CAMA members first with the knowledge that they pledge to uphold a code of professional ethics and standards. The customer would come to expect and receive the desired service just by dealing with CAMA members.

The CAMA mission statement has recently been revised to read: “To Advance and Promote the Vending and Office Coffee Service Industries in Canada.” We also have a vision, which is to elevate professionalism and leadership in the provision of vending and office coffee services.

Overall, CAMA is focusing on becoming widely known as a professional organization with professional members headed in a positive direction. This is where you come in; I need you to remain members and invite others to join our organization as well. Numbers matter. If we get more members and we follow the two simple rules, then we will truly become the voice of vending in Canada.

A lot of changes are coming around the corner and we have to take these as opportunities, look at them in a positive way and think outside the box. Always stay ahead of those who refuse to keep up with changes.

I want this old quote to disappear or not make sense to people: “You can expect change in everything except a vending machine.”

Let’s go and conquer the world

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