GREENSBORO, NC - USConnect has attained a critical goal, expanding its coverage to 100 metropolitan areas in the United States. The organization is a consortium of more than 40 affiliated independent vending and foodservice operations committed to providing fresh foods, consistent service, and state-of-the-art technology and promotions.
USConnect chief executive Jeff Whitacre of Food Express (Greensboro, NC) emphasized that geographic scope is crucial. “The affiliate coverage area is vital for USConnect’s success,” he explained. “We want to provide a consistent, employee-focused, connected level of service for national accounts.”
USConnect′s national account program is effective because employers recognize the value of providing vending, foodservice and micromarkets as an extension of their employee benefits, Whitacre noted.
The USConnect family of affiliates provides employee services through a network of vending machines, foodservice facilities, and micromarkets, while delivering cashless convenience, loyalty and promotional services by means of its proprietary USConnect OneCard. This payment medium also makes possible instant refunds to customers and detailed reporting to manufacturers.
Jeffrey Lee, general manager of Kinney Amusement & Vending (Springfield, MO), a newly affiliated company, explained the organization’s value to operators. “We are an independent, family-owned business guided by our family values for three generations,” he said. “We are looking to compete in a market of giants who do not hold the same values. USConnect has given us the competitive advantage we need by allowing us to connect with other businesses that share the same values while still allowing us to maintain our independence.”
USConnect has been conducting regional sales and operational seminars to educate its affiliates on the services provided. Seminars are scheduled for Cincinnati, Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, and San Diego.
Affiliated operations, which now cover 32 states, are screened and invited to go through a membership review that includes verification or audit of quality and service standards, internal systems and controls, financial records and the firm’s ability to accept wireless telemetry and cashless payment technologies.
USConnect plans to complete its affiliate network expansion by mid-2016, Whitacre reported.