AVA Live: On the Road’: RBC Group, based in the outback of Old Dalby, Leicestershire, became the first company to host a series of meetings called ‘AVA Live: On the Road’
Armed with compasses and emergency rations just in case they got lost in the winding country lanes, AVA Members arrived to a guided tour of RBC facilities. There were a few surprised faces: the extent of the RBC operation has been something of a secret until recently. The company re-models over 10,000 machines annually, and the massed ranks of High Street branded coffee machines going through the process provided an impressive spectacle.
However, it was when talk at ‘AVA Live: On the Road’ turned to the future that eyebrows were well and truly raised. RBC is in the final stages of its preparations to enter the vending market as machine manufacturers. A metalworking facility is being planned, with the assistance of an industry stalwart (watch this space), in which machines will be manufactured. Technology – described by one delegate as ‘absolutely mind-blowing – will be at the core of the new machines. Goodbye motherboards!
‘AVA Live: On the Road’ took place in a building that is the prototype of a brand-new concept in unattended retail that will be up and running next year. Called UR To-Go, the plan is to provide an ‘airport lounge’ experience for motorists whose electric cars are charging. RBC believes they have four firm orders for UR To-Go this week alone. What’s more, site visits from some of the biggest UK players are booked before Christmas. Exciting times: it’s no wonder RBC boss, Welshman Derek Edwards, is enthusiastic.’
‘I’m new to the vending industry so I have no preconceptions regarding what can or can’t be done’, he said. ‘I’ve heard people say things like ‘ah, but that’s not how it works in the vending industry’ and I take that as a challenge. It seems to me that a lot of things are done in a certain way because they’ve always been done that way.’
On top of the RBC content, ‘AVA Live: On the Road’ also had a packed agenda that addressed a wide range of topics. Rob Gormley from Nestlé Professional gave an interesting talk presenting the results of some extensive Nestlé Insight research on the future of the workplace, The AVA’s Kennedy Procter gave an update on the new Futures group, providing an outline of current and future projects.
Martin Colston gave a presentation called ‘Opportunities for the Future’, aided by data harvested from the AVA’s annual census and David Llewellyn updated guests on the lobbying activity currently been carried by the AVA and its Committees.
The next ‘AVA Live: On the Road’ will be held at Britvic Retail Centre in on Thursday 19th March 2020.
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