The European Vending Association Technical Forum, held in Rome November 9, gathered 124 participants from 20 countries. Attendees included vending operators and suppliers of equipment and solutions. Conference sessions focused on legislation, standards, payment, and operators' wish list for equipment.
"Operators presented many issues to their suppliers in the afternoon session, and invited their suppliers to visit their businesses to improve their understanding of the challenges they face on a daily basis," said EVA Director-General Catherine Piana. "This is exactly the kind of initiative which the EVA is proud to support. More dialog and cooperation can only benefit all parties concerned and help create a bigger, more successful, vending industry."
Wish List for Vending OEMs
Independent operators from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the United Kingdom presented their wish-list for an improved vending environment, and particularly equipment. Often-used words, according to the EVA: easy, reliable, attractive, clever, standardized, and automatic. Safety and theft control issues were also of concern. They further appealed to the industry to provide for a more plug and play vending environment.
A session focused on EU legislation opened with a presentation by Marco Baron (of FAS), Chairman-designate of the EVA Technical Committee, who explained current and upcoming EU legislation affecting vending. Paolo Cortini (of N&W) outlined how leading EU manufacturer had implemented eco-design requirements to meet the EuP Directive, and Laurent Le Guevel (of Sara Lee) illustrated the challenges raised by legislation on WEEE and RoHS. It was clear that the Technical Committee agenda in the coming years will include energy efficiency and refrigerants, as well as guidance documents for operators on CE marking and a number of directive revisions.
Standards & Innovation
Dr. Kasavana, professor in Hospitality Business with U.S.-based vending association NAMA, chaired a session on standards and Innovations, including a review of the ins and outs of EVA-DTS and MDB-ICP. Markus Egger of Selecta demonstrated how standardization can be an essential element in vending operators' efforts to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Ken McDonald (of MEI Conlux) and Alessandro Ratti (of Vesiel) described how vending standards jointly developed by EVA and NAMA can serve as gateways to effectively implement innovative technologies in the area of payment management and remote machine management. The session concluded that the Standards Committee should develop guidance to compliance and recommend self-declaration of compliance to the EVA and NAMA standards.
Standards & Innovation
The chairman of the WVA COIN GROUP, Klaus Meyer-Steffens, introduced a session about the future of payment and predicted that coin-oriented vending was not likely to change significantly anytime soon. Jim Birch, EVA Cashless Committee chairman, compared cashless vending with Cinderella, saying it had "lots of potential but major drawbacks before finally making it to the ball." He took the opportunity to call upon the industry to comment on the soon-to-be finalized Cashless Vending Specification issue 1.3.
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