Economic roller coaster
By Cam Wood
The current fears over an economic recession south of the border, and
its peripheral effects on the Canadian manufacturing sector, are valid;
yet roll into our cultural psyche with a double edge.
The current fears over an economic recession south of the border, and its peripheral effects on the Canadian manufacturing sector, are valid; yet roll into our cultural psyche with a double edge.
The stock markets – and fear-mongering media – react with great heaves and swells as they forecast doom and gloom on Monday, and announce record corporate profits Wednesday. Somewhat like the amusement park roller coaster, it seems like a never-ending circle of screaming in terror, met with brief moments of joyful laughter.
However fickle the dubious partnership between the investing community and daily newspapers may be, the average consumer sits somewhat in the shadows with questions and concerns over what it will mean on a personal level for the first few months of the year.
For one, most of them bear traditional concerns over slowdowns in the economy. In the past such fears have meant less consumer activity. Individuals simply will not spend as they cocoon themselves against the uncertainty. Big-ticket items will simply wait, as will certain luxuries.
However, for the vending industry, there may be some legitimate avenues of opportunity – even while on the surface we may see a reduction in traffic at our existing locations.
Industries that are looking to weather the recessionary storm will no doubt be looking for ways to shutter their losses by a reduction in staffing, service or overhead. For those industries, vending offers a solution that may be overlooked, or dismissed, in more lucrative times.
Our services provide an outreach with little financial risk to them, while allowing some facilities to meet the needs of their employees. And for the employees, who may be keeping a tighter grip on their wallets, vending solutions can be more reasonable and accessible than other avenues.
For locations where productivity levels are now under an even more powerful microscope, those OCS offerings might appear more attractive than the neighbourhood drive-through.
The vending industry has never been one short on ideas or solutions. From the origins of vending holy water in ancient Rome, to the automated merchandising phenomenon of downtown Tokyo, ours has been a business that has recognized the need to implement situational solutions where a need exists.
For our consumers and locations, the economic bleakness is worrisome. We all know people who are affected by shutdowns, layoffs and restructuring. But, despite our compassion for those going through this stage, we must also consider our own businesses and livelihoods.
There is an opportunity to make a positive impact on your bottom line in these troubled times. It may simply boil down to the courage to recognize where opportunity can arise from fear.