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The Interview: Coinadrink

Borg & Overström are passionate about supporting and empowering our partners to achieve more, and this is why we so value getting to know them. This week, we took some time to talk to Roger Williams, who is the Managing Director at Coinadrink.

 

Q : What journey has your business taken to get to where it is today?

A : Coinadrink began its journey in February 1962, and over the following 55 years we have experienced all of the usual ups and downs of growing a business from scratch. There have been heart stopping moments along the way, yet we learned one big lesson early on: to have a well-diversified customer base, and never let one customer have more than 1% of our business.

Coinadrink have remained fiercely independent and ensured we always offer our customers the most appropriate solution to their ever-changing needs.

We have evolved from operating only hot drink machines, to offering snacks, fresh food, cans, and bottles. We added water offerings in 1991, and in recent years have moved into the office coffee market. Now, we have branched into online refreshments through our Refreshment Shop. Another of our concepts, Express Refreshments, was responsible for the UK’s first Micro Market.

Underpinning this, is a 100% commitment to the highest standard of customer service, and staff development. We pay our staff the most we can afford, not the least we can get away with. This is vital, as is making sure they have the appropriate level of on-going training.

Q : What is your brand mission?

A : “To provide superior quality refreshment services that customers love and recommend to peers, that potential customers desire to offer their staff and employees are proud to be a part of.”

Q : How do you provide excellent customer service?

A : Coinadrink have a strict pledge for quality, and everything we do and provide is enveloped by a customer-centric approach. Customer service is the only way that customers can engage with a business, so you should ensure you have this area spot on.

Every employee is personally trained by us in order to adhere to such demands. Our friendly and helpful team of operators regularly visit locations around the region to maintain machines, and this is overseen by our quality control department, who check that standards are met and the machines are functioning as they should.

Our service-related personnel are on call 363 days a year, and this is helped by all our engineers being field based. Coinadrink minimise downtime as much as possible by aiming to be with the customer within two hours of the them initially reporting the fault, though our keen eye for innovation means that we can often go one better.

Bespoke methods inform us of a potential fault in a customers’ machine, so we are often made aware of the issue before they are. It’s not uncommon for us to turn up at a customers’ workplace before they’ve contacted us. The close relationship between us and our customers extends to their refreshments, and we know exactly what is proving popular in their machine. This means our operators can load the required products onto their vans prior to visiting their location.

Q : What has been your biggest success to date?

A : Our biggest success to date has, without doubt, been the loyalty of our staff, particularly the long serving ones. There have been ‘hairy moments’ over the years, as you’d expect in any business, but we have always stuck together.

Without our staff, we would be ’dead in the water’, and we are fortunate to have so many great people here. Over the years, Coinadrink has quickly developed into a family business, whereby every staff member enjoys working for us, and we now have a ‘long service club’ for people that have been with us for over 25 years. Their hard work and loyalty has never gone unnoticed by the company, and we always look to reward them by paying what we can afford, as opposed to what we can get away with. We are strong believers that happy staff equals happy customers, and we are incredibly proud of our staffs’ commitment to Coinadrink Ltd.

Q : Who are your business inspirations and heroes, and why?

A : I, personally, have two guys who have inspired me, one from a long time ago.

The first is Sir Ernest Shackleton, who is widely known as one of the most inspirational leaders of the twentieth century. Whilst he never achieved his personal dream of being the first to reach the South Pole, his reputation as a leader is based on a greater success: the survival and safe return of all his team members, whilst overcoming almost unimaginable odds. Shackleton’s name lives on as a synonym for courage, bravery, and most of all, leadership. Everybody should read the account of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition to understand what leadership is about.

The second inspiration to me, is Michael O’Leary, who has transformed the airline industry worldwide. In the process, he has reduced the cost of air travel, enabling all of us to travel the world at affordable prices. He has made enemies along the way, but is a hero to millions of travellers -  me being one of them. He is the ultimate ‘disrupter’.

Q : Where do you see Coinadrink going within the next 5 years?

A : There are three things people will always do whatever the state of the economy: eat, drink, and be entertained. We aim to be present in two of these segments.

We would expect the traditional vending machine to continue its long-term decline, but be replaced by smaller, high-tech machines. This is rather like the way desktop work stations have replaced the old mainframe computers.  

Millenials are the most tech savvy generation ever, and we must have services that meet their expectations. In many respects, we are travelling down the right path, and many of our machines can now be equipped with contactless and mobile payment systems. This is something we are keen to progress further, with the implementation of ordering directly from your smartphone.

Self-service is increasingly becoming an acceptable way of delivering a service, particularly to millennials and business people who lead very active lives. The convenience of self-service arrives through it’s time-saving approach, and our innovative Micro Markets take advantage.

The consumer is moving to a more quality based need, rather than something simply ‘hot and wet’. The latter has characterised the vending channel in recent years, but new technology is now delivering a product that you want to utilise repeatedly. 

Q : What led you to work with Borg and Overstrom?

A : Coinadrink understands the importance of hydration in the workplace.

Aquatek, our dedicated water division, was developed in 1991, as a response to the high demand for bottled and point of use coolers. The simplicity of having ice cold water a short walk from your desk has revolutionised the productivity of staff around the region, and Borg & Overstrom adds quality to our dynamic range of offerings.

Borg & Overstrom prove that hydration can be stylish, as well as refreshing, and the b5 cooler and u1 tap are proving very popular with our customers. The Borg & Overstrom machines elevate the image of their business, making the right impression every time, with their ever demanding clients. This is becoming a key demand in today’s working world.

Q : What is your favourite Borg and Overstrom product, and why?

A : The Borg & Overstrom provide products to suit a variety of businesses, yet quality is a key ingredient in all of them, which is why it’s difficult to pick a favourite!

We have supplied our staff with a b5 water dispenser in our reception area, and this has generated a very favourable reaction. The elegant design is paired with ease of use, and it leaves our staff going back to their desks feeling focused, refreshed, and invigorated. This is what we want our customers to feel, as the consequences of dehydration are too severe to ignore, and we’re pleased we have premium products from Borg & Overstrom that we can offer.


Thank you for talking to us, Roger. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership into the future.