What's Inside

What's Inside
Microtronic Components

Monday, December 27, 2010

Keep Momentum Going into the New Year

 A smart plan will allow you to carry the year-end momentum into January
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. Nonprofits are making pitches for donations. Service businesses are offering special gift packages. Yes, the holidays are here, signaling a frenetic end to another year.

When the calendar year changes, don't step off the gas and coast into 2011. Instead, continue your November/December momentum into January -- and beyond -- with some simple planning that will help you get the New Year started on the right foot.

Try a New Promotion or Program
Business-to-consumer companies are most likely to feel a momentum drain in January. Given the pace of the holidays, it's expected that there will be some slowdown, but that doesn't mean things have to come to a screeching halt. Build a First-of-the-Year promotion to help drive post-holiday sales, such as "Come in for the first time in 2011 and get 10% off your purchase."
If you don't have one already, January is a great time to launch a loyalty program for your most fervent customers -- the very customers that are subscribed to your email newsletter. Give them a reason to continue receiving your newsletter and open it when it arrives in their inbox.

Forecasting For the Future
Business-to-business organizations can use the calendar transition to reignite clients for the year ahead and get the creative juices flowing. Depending on your business, you might provide your clients with an overall outlook and forecast for the New Year based on your expertise. Offer marketing tips that will help get clients' January started off on the right foot.

It's also a good time to offer a promotion or discount for clients and prospects to come in for a consultation that will help them plan for the year ahead. Remember that businesses are spending money during the holidays as well, so a discount can be helpful in spurring them to spend additional money with you.

Continue To Say Thanks
Similarly, nonprofits and fundraisers can get a jump on January by using a newsletter to recap the year gone by; thank donors, volunteers, and supporters for their help; and begin telling your readers about your goals for the year ahead, and how they can play a role in your organization's success. Make sure to give a calendar of events coming in the new year, so people can pencil them in on their fresh 2011 calendars.
No matter what your line of business, the end of December through the first couple weeks in January is the perfect time to thank your customers for their business. No sales pitch needed, just a simple thank you for their support.

Make the Most of Your Downtime
This might seem like a lot to do, and you probably want to have a little downtime this month to relax and enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Fortunately, you can relax if you do a little planning and developing now.

You can write end-of-the-year and January newsletter content now, build the newsletters, and schedule them to go out automatically during the coming weeks and month. By building a schedule of newsletters and having the content ready to go now, you can roll out your campaign while you're taking the time to relax.
This scheduling also puts you in a good habit for the year to come. In January, you can build a master schedule for the year so you're not scrambling to come up with content or ideas at the last minute. Knowing in advance what you want to send out will give you time to develop and write content that best serves your audience. The plan does not have to be detailed; just a simple list of topics for each month can be enough.
Whether this was a good or bad year for you, start the next one off right. January is a great time to start the master planning process for your entire email newsletter program. Doing so will help you keep your momentum rolling right into 2011.

(source: Constant Contact)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

3 Marketing Principles in Vending

Marketing Principle 1: Understanding Your Audience

Position yourselves to new customers as an all in one small business refreshment solution that can handle email marketing, customer relationship management, and much more.

Marketing Principle 2: Comparing the Competition

Websites, videos, social media posts, and blog posts are all acceptable forms of keeping your customers up to date.

Marketing Principle 3: Making Yourself Stand Out

Just like any good story, or marketing effort, there needs to a beginning, middle, and an end.  As with any good story, you must know how to get personal and be authentic, over providing relevant and valuable information, to show how your company can made a measurable difference. A business success story, experience, and message is what is wanted to communicate to potential new customers.
Use these three marketing principles when you write your post to speak directly to the your customers and potential customers. When you are crafting your next marketing message, remember the principles here that work:
  1. Understand your target market and their pain points
  2. Be aware of your competition, but don’t obsess over what they do
  3. Make your marketing message stand out by focusing on the results, not features

Monday, October 4, 2010

Check your Value Meter

"Have you considered how your values may be affecting your ability to reach your goals? Often times when you are struggling or finding roadblocks towards reaching your goals, one or more of your values are in conflict or not being honored. You may also find that a goal you have is not in alignment with your values. If this is the case, perhaps the goal needs to be changed or made more true to what is meaningful to you. 
Take a moment to review your personal values. List any values you currently consider important to who you are and then list any ways these values are not being honored by others or in conflict with what you are currently trying to do. While goals and achieving them are something to look forward to … values bring richness to your life and make achieving your goals more meaningful. Bring your goals and values back into alignment and you will once again see satisfying progress."  Sherre DeMao

Synergized Quote of the Week
“Values are principles and ideas that bring meaning to life.”- Laura Schlessinger

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Great New Cashless Ideas!

One of the greatest ideas in Cashless Vending recently came out of Europe! How would you like to have your customers spending more to earn prizes? That’s what some are doing and enjoying great success, along with exceptional customer loyalty! These operators are using the Microtronic Cashless system that will give a Bonus point for each purchase over $1.00. Then they have a USI Mercado 2000 (small 2 wide snack machine) with prizes and prize vouchers. The prizes can only be redeemed with the Bonus points they have accumulated – so the more they spend the better their chance to win items such as, “a mini vacation”, “USB Flash Drive” and “Gift Cards”, just to name a few of the many options. These bonus points are used very similarly to Credit Card points.

A great way to attract new customers is with Cashless Vending – the offer of convenience, speed and drastically reduced service calls, make many business owners very mindful of the limited amount of time their employees have at breaks and lunch. When they also offer a Credit Card Loading Station – it’s a Win/Win. The employees can pre-load their Microtronic smart chip media using a Credit Card or Debit Card at a preset amount (typically $10.50) that will greatly reduce the processing fees that the operator must pay. Just think Credit Card option with only one unit and one set of fees! Some are even making all the Vending machines totally cashless while using the Credit Card/Cash Loading Station. The operator gets their money in advance – “pre-paid” before any product is purchased!

Another very unique opportunity arises when an operator offers discounts to their customers. One operator offers a 25% discount on their food machines after 2:00 pm on Fridays. This is drastically cutting down the stales before the weekend! Another operator offers a 10% discount at the Coffee machine every day after 2:00 pm because that is when the coffee sales drop off. Operators are using the Microtronic Cashless system in multiple ways with both discounts and bonus points that suit their individual goals and generating lifelong customers.

Did you know that some employers still want to give their employees special “perks”? We have quite a number of companies that are giving their full time employees $60 each month to spend only at the vending machines while part time employees receive $30. These amounts are added at the Microtronic Reader on the vending machine each month automatically!

Microtronic offers so many varieties of customer loyalty and satisfaction. The above are just a few! Keep thinking outside the box and you’ll be amazed at what great things can happen in your business! Cashless is more than just Credit Cards.

Contact: Terri Starnes-Bryant, President, Microtronic US, LLC, 1-800-879-3586

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Practice Golden Rule Selling

To improve your sales performance, adopt the Golden Rule mentality. The Golden Rule says to, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It also says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." The Golden Rule mentality in sales, says simply, "Sell unto others as you would have them sell unto you."

Different Strokes For Different Folks
What does this mean? Aren't there all kinds of different personalities that require different approaches and techniques? Well, yes and no. Practicing the golden rule in selling simply means that you sell to other people the way you would like to be sold to. You sell with the same honesty, integrity, understanding, empathy and thoughtfulness that you would like someone else to use in selling to you.

Seek First to Understand
If you would like a salesperson to take the time to thoroughly understand you and your situation before making a recommendation, you practice the same thing with your customers. If you would like a salesperson to give you honest information and to help you make an intelligent buying decision, you practice the same with your customer. If you would like a salesperson to be thoroughly knowledgeable about the strengths or weaknesses of his or her product or service, and that of his or her competitors, then you do the same with your product or service and your competitors.

Care About Your Customers
Perhaps the most important part of golden rule selling is the emotional component embraced in the word, "caring." Top sales professionals care about their customers. They care about themselves, their companies, their products and services, and they really care about helping their customers to make good buying decisions. If you think about the very best salespeople you know, you will recognize that they are caring individuals.

They Don't Care How Much You Know
If you think about your very best customers, you will recall that these are invariably people you care about, and who care about you. When you think about the people you buy from, you will recall that they seem to care about you more than the average. In every part of your business life, you will find that the significant people all have the denominator of caring as part of their character and their personalities.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, resolve today to sell to your customers with the same honesty, empathy and understanding that you would like them to use in selling to you.

Second, take time to genuinely care about your customers, their individual needs and their unique situations. Make people feel important and they will make you feel important.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Understanding the Why in Life by Dr. Bernie Siegel

Many years ago my great grandfather told me of the persecution he experienced in Russia, which led him to come to this country. He siad the Cossacks would pursue him at night, when he was out teaching, and slash him with their sabers. One night he was on the hill above his village with his rabbi, the Baal Shem Tov. As they looked down they could see the Cossacks riding down and killing their Jewish brethren. They might have felt the same had they seen their loved ones being taken away to become slaves in a foreign land.

My great grandfather heard the rabbi say, "I wish I were God."

He asked, "Do you want to be God so you can change the bad into the good?"

"No, I wouldn't change anything. I want to be God so I can understand."

Remember our present problems are not new to mankind. Ninety percent of the natives of South America died when the explorers brought infectious diseases to their continent, and forty percent of Europeans died during plagues of the past. Man made wars and holocausts have taken millions of lives and with today's destructive weapons we are more of a threat to each other than are infectious diseases, which we can learn to resist. The question is not whether there will be difficulties and threats to our existence, but how will we deal with them and what can we learn from them.

When I was a young boy, several of my friends became seriously ill and one was hit by a car while bicycling to my house. When they all died I asked my father, "Why did God make a world where terrible things happen? Why didn't God make a world free of diseases, accidents and problems?"

He said, "To learn lessons." I didn't like that answer and I asked my rabbi, teacher and others. They said things like, "God knows", "Why not?". "Who knows?", "That's life", "To bring you closer to God." Some were honest enough to just say, "I don't know." This didn't leave me feeling satisfied or enlightened. When I told my mother what they said she answered, "Nature contains the wisdom you seek. Perhaps a walk in the woods would help you to find out why. Go and ask the old lady on the hill that some call a witch. She is wise in the ways of the world."

As I walked up the hill I saw a holly tree had fallen onto the path. As I tried to pull it aside the sharp leaves cut my hands. So I put on gloves and was able to move it and clear the path. A little further along the path I heard a noise in the bushes and saw a duck caught in the plastic from a six pack. I went over and freed the duck and watched him fly off. None of this seemed enlightening.

Further up the hill I saw five boys lying in a tangled heap in the snow. I asked them if they were playing a game and warned them the cold weather could lead to frostbite if they didn't move. They said they were not playing but were so tangled they didn't know which part belonged to whom and were afraid they'd break something if they moved. I removed one of the boy's shoes, took a stick and jabbed it into his foot.

He yelled, "Ow."

I said, "That's your foot now move it." I continued to jab until all the boys were separated...but still no enlightenment.

As I reached the top of the hill, in front of the old woman's cabin I saw a deer sprawled on the ice of a frozen pond. She kept slipping and sliding and couldn't stand up. I went out, calmed her and then helped her off the ice by holding her up and guiding her to the shore. I expected her to run away, but instead of running away she and several other deer followed me to the house. I wasn't sure why they were following me so I ran toward the house. When I reached the porch and felt safe I turned and the deer and I looked into each others eyes before I went into the house.

I told the woman why I had come and she said, "I have been watching you walk up the hill and I think you have your answer."

"What answer?"

"Many things happened on your walk to teach you the lessons you need to learn. One is that emotional and physical pain are necessary or we cannot protect ourselves and our bodies. Think of why you put on gloves and how you helped those boys. Pain helps us to know and define ourselves and respond to our needs and the needs of our loved ones. You did what made sense. You helped those in front of you by doing what they needed when they needed it.

"The deer followed you to thank you for being compassionate in their time of trouble. Their eyes said it all. What you have learned is that we are here to continue God's work. If God had made a perfect world it would be a magic trick, not creation, with no meaning or place for us to learn and create. Mankind is not yet ready for a perfect world. We do not know how to appreciate perfection. Creation is work. We are the ones who will have to create the world you are hoping for. A world where evil is to not respond to the person with the disease or pain, whether is be emotional or physical. God has given us work to do. We will still grieve when we experience losses but we will also use our pain to help us know ourselves and respond to the needs of others. That is our work as our Creator intended it to be. Life is a series of beginnings, not endings, just as graduations are not terminations, but commencements. Creation is an ongoing process and when we create a perfect world where love and compassion are shared by all, suffering will cease."

Let me tell you about people who have been my teachers. The first, a teenager sexually abused by his parents who now has AIDS. When he was about to commit suicide by jumping in front of a subway train I asked him why he didn't kill his parents instead. He said, "I never wanted to be like them." Love has sustained him and he is alive today.

How do we turn our afflictions into blessings? How do we use them to help us complete ourselves and our work and understand the place for love, tolerance and kindness? How can we learn as Jacob did from his experience of wrestling with an angel? Justice and mercy must be a part of how we treat those who hurt us, because when you understand you can forgive, and when you can forgive you do not hate, and when you do not hate you are capable of loving, and love is the most powerful weapon known to man. It is not an accident that we say; kill with kindness, love thine enemies and torment with tenderness.

If we are going to eliminate war we must love our children more than we hate our enemies. When we raise a generation of children with compassion and when parents let their children know they are loved, we will have a planet made up of the family of man where our differences are used for recognition and not persecution. We are all here to learn what it is to hurt and be hurt and only then will we be perfect enough to love and be loved. Someday we will all come to understand that in love's service only the wounded soldier can serve.

In closing, let me say that we are all the same color inside and members of one family. To paraphrase Rabbi Carlebach, "let us hope that some day all the Cains will realize what they have done, and ask for forgiveness of the Abels they have killed. In that moment we will all rise and become one family accepting that we are here to love and be loved."

Monday, July 12, 2010

As I sit here on this rainy Monday afternoon, processing orders is a great thing! I am truly blessed to have such great customers and coworkers! Couldn't make it without them!

I am so excited about the "Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom" book that is finally in my hands! It is truly a work of art and great stories of encouragement and overcoming obstacles....life's many challenges and glorious accomplishments! In the back of the book is a two page spread to add someone's own picture and fearless story!

Heading to Dallas this week for the eWomenNetwork International Conference - nervous and excited!! I've never been in the spotlight to this magnitude, but so grateful for this new journey. Being a Fearless Woman in this book has empowered me to step out of my comfort zone and face my foes head on. I can do great things fearlessly! We all can...Be Fearless!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The GPS of Happiness...by Debbie Hoffman Adair

This is to be my updated mantra....

To be happy. Who upon this earth doesn't want that simple statement to be true? To be happy. Who among us are truly happy? Can happiness be found through someone else or with a large bank account? What is it... to be happy?

It all started 24 years ago, on my 30th birthday as I arrived at a major crossroad in my life. I was so miserable, I wanted to die. Having two small children meant that checking out was not an option for me. But neither was staying where I was - miserable, filled with fear and self-loathing. I had no other choice - I had to find a way out of my crippling depression. I wanted to be happy. Truly happy.

And so the journey began, and what an adventure it has been. Not only did I learn how to be happy, it became my life's work. To help others see the possibilities in their own lives, to help them find the tools for self-empowerment that leads to happiness, this is what I try to practice in my day to day life. This is the foundation of my writing and speaking career.

Does empowerment and happiness go hand in hand? I think so. I eventually realized my life was miserable because I had no hope and felt powerless over everything.

I had to pick up the tools for my own empowerment... once I had them in place, there was no stopping me. Happy? You bet. But being happy doesn't mean you aren't presented with problems and difficult challenges; it doesn't mean your life is perfect and you have access to everything your heart desires. The very nature of life is seen in the metaphor of a pendulum... up and down, good and bad, right and wrong, cold and hot... and yes, happy and sad. Happiness has little to do with your bank account or having someone else, "make you happy." It has everything to do with learning how to deal with, and accept, this zany pendulum known as life. Eventually you begin to see and have faith that everything will work out... that the Universe actually knows what It is doing - even if it's beyond our intellect to comprehend this at any given moment.

So, what is my favorite tool on my happiness tool belt? A little thing I call my GPS.

We all have one, our own little guidance system. It comes factory direct and is built into every vintage and late-model human being. It's there even if you don't see it... and the closest thing we get for a manual is our own conscience.

My life's navigational tool is simple: G.P.S. = God / Positivity / Service.

God: Connect with your higher power, and you will be amazed at the clarity and joy you will feel. Note, I am not here to bring you to Jesus, I am not saying Buddha or Zen is the right or only way. Your concept of God only has to resonate with you. Trusting in God or a higher-power (however you acknowledge He, She or It), and asking for guidance is one of the best ways I know to bring about positive change and thus create happiness. We have a favorite quote around our home - God is a better Dreamer than we are. I am a big dreamer, lots of idea, but I have learned that my imagination is no match to Gods will. I have learned to put him in the driver seat and buckle my seat belt because when you let go and Let God, wondrous things begin to happen. I have learned that whatever the Universe wants me to do if far bigger than I can imagine, and if I trust the Universe, the journey will be awesome and fulfilling.

Positivity: As a former Negaholic, I can attest to the power of positive thinking. A positive person is not someone who resembles Mary Sunshine or Pollyanna, no. A positive person is someone who sees the world as it truly is (the good, the bad and the ugly), but makes a conscious choice to focus on what is good. A negative person (speaking from experience), doesn't see the world as it is, they only see the bad, or what is wrong.

Negative people see problems, positive people see solutions. Negative people can never see their own flaws, only the flaws of others. They feel it is their duty to point out your defects so you can work on yourself. But in reality, we all tend to have the flaws we point out in others. We can't change a character defect that we're not aware of... to say anything of actually comprehending that defect. This is precisely what keeps negative people in a negative spiral.

Look for the bad in everything and the bad will come to you - but look for the good, and that will come your way as well. Positivity is an essential key ingredient of happiness.

Service: Ask yourself how you can you be of service to the world. It doesn't have to be something grand, something simple will do. Hold the door for someone, pick up a piece of trash on the street, pay for the drivers toll behind you. Little things count. However, if you are in a position to do more - go for it.

I wake up each morning, asking for my assignment from the Universe - how can I be of service today? "Please Universe, let me be an instrument of hope for you today." And when I am given the opportunity to help others, and follow through, I receive the gift of happiness.

So, what about you? Are you still pursuing happiness? Do you feel empowered? I promise, if you use the GPS of life, you will not only feel empowered and happy, you will, in fact, be changing the world for the better...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bringing Cashless Vending Into Focus, by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 6, June 2010, Posted On: 6/21/2010

Bringing Cashless Vending Into Focus

Alicia Lavay-Kertes
National Automatic Merchandising Association, NAMA, Bank of America, cashless vending, vending, vending business, vending machine, coin machine operator, vendor, vending news, bulk vending, coin-op, coin-op games, coin-op news, Vending Times, Alicia Lavay

The industry is talking about the National Automatic Merchandising Association's new Cashless Solutions program. For readers who are not familiar with NAMA's newly formed relationship with Bank of America Merchant Services, you can read more about it elsewhere in this issue.

If you are aware of it but are still confused, I have a sneaking suspicion that you're not alone. Don't get me wrong. I truly believe that this is a real game-changer, just what we need to revitalize the industry. We have recognized for years that offering patrons the ability to pay with their debit or credit cards can overcome much of their resistance to $1-plus vend prices. And we have known that alert use of today's technology can allow us to devote more attention to spending patterns and better meet patrons' desires, while learning more about those patrons. So why isn't everyone doing it? Because it costs money. Perhaps worse, it involves a great many parts, and it's not easy to see how they fit together.

The good news is that NAMA has been able to negotiate attractive processing rates with BAMS for the new Cashless Solutions program. Those who have been on the fence, wondering whether (or when) to adapt or purchase new vending equipment, now see several paths that they can follow. Access to the details gives shape to the imagination; people can envision the steps involved in getting from here to there.

For this reason, suppliers should be aware that a great many operators now will be drafting plans, even if only in broad outline, and those plans will include hardware and software preferences. Now is the time to make themselves and their products visible and desirable.

To understand the opportunity, we need to understand the choices. The NAMA program is a good place to start, because it is detailed and transparent. It is an excellent source of questions to ask prospective service providers.

When I took a step back, I recognized that my confusion largely was caused by the number of participants involved in a cashless transaction. NAMA does a good job of explaining this. In broad outline, there are four, including the cardholder. Completing the transaction involves looking to see whether the card is valid, then sending the charge to an acquiring (or merchant bank) for settlement and to an issuing bank, which issued the card and bills the cardholder. This basic structure predates wireless networks and even the networked merchant terminals used in retail stores. Underlying it was (and is) a supervisory body - a "card association" or something that does the same things - to establish and enforce rules, and to route transaction data to the cardholder's bank.

Automated transaction processing at high speed has slashed the cost of doing all this. It has made accepting cards attractive to retailers selling lower-price merchandise. For that to happen, though, more components had to evolve. These include a secure wide-area communications medium or channel (in vending, almost always a wireless network), a "payment gateway" to receive the transaction request, retrieve the data and generate reports, and a "payment processor" to receive data from the "gateway" and route it through the card association to the acquiring bank.

This complexity makes it hard to tell who is doing what, and to whom; but it does encourage competition and so widen choice, spur progress and keep costs down. Variety offers operators the ability to choose, or assemble, a program that meets their needs most closely.

This point isn't often made, but I think it should be. If one giant organization controlled every part the system, including the communications medium, and allowed no competition, it would have little reason to improve and it could charge what the traffic would bear. As it is, we have a fruitful mix of competition and cooperation that has expanded the playing field.

Another point worth making is that every advance in vending payment has imposed a cost, but also has increased sales volume and made it possible to sell a wider variety of merchandise. The ability to offer major credit and bank debit card acceptance can strengthen the appeal of "closed" (hosted internal) cashless systems in the many locations that can benefit from them. This is good for operators, suppliers and locations alike. It broadens the range of available options that operators can adapt to their locations' needs.

And, unlike coin changers and bill validators, cashless terminals give vending access to a new world of retail promotional opportunities. They represent another step (and it is a big one) in vending's long journey toward the retailing mainstream.

Operators now can, and should, study their particular situations carefully, evaluate their options, and adopt the new technology they need when they need it.

The worst thing to do would be to ignore opportunity when it knocks. We cannot let the world pass us by.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Terri Starnes-Bryant, My Fearless Story...........

I am native of High Point, NC and a lifelong resident. I attended Ledford Senior High School and upon graduation, attended Western Carolina University where my selected major was Graphic Design. After three semesters at WCU, I transferred to Guilford Technical Community College and took courses in Accounting, Art and Photography. Due to life struggles, I was never able to attain a college degree, but that didn’t stop my drive for success.

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I was determined to make it in the business world one way or another. I attempted many business ventures, only to be stopped by financial limitations or family issues, but knew entrepreneurship had to be in my future someday.

I married my first husband, secretly, at 17 years old in South Carolina while at WCU. We were married for three years before we told our family and that was after we had a full blown wedding with gown, pictures, cake and all the works. Not until I was pregnant with my first daughter did I finally tell my mother how long we had actually been married. Quite a shock is an understatement.

Within nine months of giving birth to our daughter, I was pregnant with our son. Someone told me it was harder to conceive the second time around – WRONG, but anyway, we were on the roller coaster of life. My first husband was overwhelmed and turned to drugs and alcohol – I was blind to it for awhile but really had no idea until he lost his job. That was the turning point in our marriage and I left. Within one month, he took his life. He was only 29 years old and the kids were five and three.

I tried hanging wallpaper for a living, which was great for a while, and then I tried a pet sitting service, which bombed. My closest success was a courier service where I did really well until my best customer told me I had to be available 24/7. With two small kids, there was just no way to make it work. I even flipped a few houses on my own, where I was nicknamed “Terri Tool Time” – I thoroughly love working with tools. I had various jobs from bank teller to graphic designer, to finally coming to work for my future husband. I actually had to beg for the job. It’s one of those stories that you tell your kids when they start looking for a job – keep going back until they throw you out the door – well he didn’t throw me out and gave me a chance to prove myself. I offered to work for two weeks without pay just to show I could do the job. I started in the warehouse where I learned to drive a tow motor. I cleaned, filed, stacked, stocked, answered the phone, you name it, I did it. We obviously started dating and through some trials and tribulations, we finally got married.

He had two young daughters and I had a daughter and son. We weren’t exactly the “Brady Bunch”, but we tried. I previously had a tubal ligation after my son was born, but we decided to try to have a child together, so I had a reverse tubal and it worked – another daughter. Our attempt at raising the most dysfunctional family I had ever encountered turned totally upside down. Once the older kids were in their teens, we went through everything from teenage pregnancy to drug abuse to alcohol abuse to shooting BB guns at passing cars. It was horrible and I was the weak, too lenient parent who had a real hard time with discipline, so my kids paid the price and I had a stress Heart Attack at age 45. They were in and out of drug rehab and/or jail multiple times, still addicts, but now clean, prayerfully for good! We now have three beautiful grandchildren and starting to make life seem promising and exciting again.

My husband sold his company due to the economic downturns and we have made major life adjustments. Our home of 16 years burned to the ground due to a chimney fire. Our whole world was falling around us. While this was happening, I was able to attain U.S. distributorship of Microtronic, a technology product out of Switzerland and finally had my own company! I tried it on my own, but eventually partnered with a great businessman and it is quickly becoming successful! The future holds many great mysteries and adventures and I can hardly wait! My being featured in the book, "Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom" is truly a whole new chapter in my life!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Welcome to the Fearless Women Revolution!

Hello to All my wonderful, Family, Friends and Colleagues. . . . I have been selected to be in the below referenced book . . .which is amazing!! And terrifying!! Please read the Press Release context and my comments and picture at the bottom and let me know if you have any ideas.

Welcome to the Fearless Women Revolution!

In her extraordinary photography book, Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom, internationally acclaimed author and photographer Mary Ann Halpin has brought together 40 female entrepreneurs from across the country to celebrate their courage and strength in having worked through their fears to achieve great personal and professional success. With the release date of June 22, 2010 the launch of Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom will be celebrated throughout summer to culminate in a national event in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Chicago, Calgary, Toronto and many more.

After the publication of her book, Fearless Women, Midlife Portraits, Mary Ann was inundated with letters from women all over the country who wanted to experience the empowerment of their own personal portraits. This desire prompted the idea of Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom. This fine-art coffee table book of 40 women each holding a sword of courage, reveals the stories of how they have transformed their challenges into triumphs. The book represents women who have overcome childhood trauma, physical and emotional illness, and near financial devastation. These courageous women are mirrors and examples for us all. Their stories show us that in order to create conscious change within, we must face our fears and walk through them.

Following each story is a Fearless Wisdom quote that imparts a heartfelt belief and a soul-inspiring gift. The back of the book holds a dedication page for a fearless friend, sister or mother to place their picture and share their own fearless experience.

The women adorned on the pages of this book will use its promotion as a vehicle to raise awareness and support for their most impassioned cause and beloved charity. An annual “Fearless Women Day” is being created in honor of the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being ratified, which gave women the right to vote. On this day, August 26th, 2010, selected women from all over the country and Canada, will be given a Fearless Women - Susan B. Anthony Award to celebrate her fearless contribution to the world. The ultimate goal of the award is not only to honor the selected fearless woman, but also to support her dream and help her gain closer access to her goals.

About Mary Ann Halpin
Mary Ann passionately focuses her lens on women's issues. Her first book, Pregnant Goddesshood: A Celebration of Life, has garnered national attention for its powerful images. However, controversial at the time, Mary Ann portrayed pregnant women as radiant and beautiful beings and encouraged them to embrace and celebrate their pregnant bodies with a commemorative portrait. Her photography book blazed the trail and inspired photographers to create maternity portraits that are continuously popular with expectant moms today. Images from Pregnant Goddesshood have been featured in LIFE magazine. Mary Ann has appeared on television shows such as The View, Inside Edition, Extra, and A Baby Story where the book sparked heated national discussion. As a leader in her field, she has been featured on the hit reality show “Starting Over” where she can be seen generously mentoring a young photographer who tragically lost her mother on 9/11.

Her second publication, Fearless Women: Midlife Portraits, contains compelling black and white portraits of women holding swords who have dared to approach aging with passion and fearlessness. This book features celebrities such as Joni Mitchell, Cybill Shepherd, Erin Brockovich, and many other extraordinary women.

Continuing with the “Fearless” theme, Mary Ann has served as a speaker on the “Fearless Women Panel” at eWomenNetwork International Business Convention in Dallas 2008-2009. After photographing over 130 women at the conference, she was inspired to create Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom.

With 25,000 members strong, the groundswell of the revolution has already begun and is taking America by storm. The women featured in the book hail from cities such as: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, High Point, Austin, Nashville, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Kansas City, Seattle, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago, Boulder, Calgary and Toronto. They are all eager to share their stories.

We invite you to be a part of the revolution!

. . .I am the only woman in North Carolina and we are all looking for ideas to promote the book and I, for the “Fearless Women Day” in North Carolina. If any of you have ideas or media contacts throughout North Carolina (as well as the United States and/or Canada), I/we would be greatly appreciative. We have a few great ideas and have approached ABC’s Good Morning America, who is very interested, but this revolution needs to also be in every major (and minor) city throughout, to celebrate women (mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends, etc.). We need ideas for the nominees for the “Fearless Women Day” in each city that wants to be involved - and especially in North Carolina! We are obviously trying to raise funds for our individual charity through book sales. I will have 75 books with my picture on the cover for $30 each, but have unlimited access of books with Pam, our “cover girl” above. I am still trying to connect with my chosen charity to see if they are interested in being involved, but if there are any suggestions, I am somewhat open. I welcome all feedback and information. Please feel free to share this email if you have contacts that may be interested in a project such as this. I am also looking for Bookstore(s) that may want to participate in our promotion(with Pam on the cover). Please also contact me to find out if your city is planning to be involved. Thank you for your time and attention!

Fearlessly yours,

Preorder your autographed copy by Mary Ann Halpin

Terri Starnes-Bryant


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Full Benefits of TRUE Cashless Vending

Microtronic has many features in Cashless/Prepaid Vending that other systems do not currently offer. Typically operators, as well as some members of NAMA, view “Cashless” as Credit Card acceptance only. We must strongly disagree, as Cashless has many more aspects than simply Credit Card acceptance.

Microtronic Cashless Systems offers a “Cashless” Smart Chip technology that is virtually contactless with no moving parts and is MDB Level 3 compatible. Our system integrates the capability of loading value at the Vending Machine or at our dedicated Loading Station. We also offer the options of Payroll Deduction and Credit Card Loading. With our Credit Card Loading feature, the operator decides how much the “swipe” is going to be. If the charge is $10.00 from the Credit Card, loaded to our media, the percentage rate drops to 2.5% and the operator has that money before any vend has been made. Bonus loading is another feature that many operators are using. To increase the preloading of money to the media, for example, an operator can give a 10% bonus for $5, $10 or $20 loads.

Microtronic offers “Electronic Tokens” which can be used as traditional Tokens that are given out by an operator today. Tokens can be given on a daily basis to purchase isotonic drinks only. Tokens can be “earned” for purchases, such as “Healthy Choice” items, where they build until reaching a level to purchase a “free” Token available item. The Tokens can also be “Virtual Money”, in the scenario of giving a set amount to each employee, on a weekly or monthly basis, as an employee bonus, with any leftover balance disappearing at the end of the period or continuing to build.

Cash money or Virtual Money can be added directly at the Vending Machine on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or set date automatically using the Microtronic system. We also have 4 different price categories available within any given environment. One group can pay full price, while another group gets a 10% discount or penny increment discount, etc. We also have operators that offer a discount when using the Microtronic media versus cash to increase loading.

Microtronic offers a “Bonus” feature that some operators are using today. For instance, a Bonus point can be given on all selections in a Food machine, while there can be one or two rows of prepackaged condiment kits in a Snack machine that can “free” vend with the Bonus point. This drastically cuts down on condiments walking out of the break room or being used for meals brought in.

These are just a few of the features of the Microtronic Cashless System. Contact us for many additional options.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Microtronic Press Release

Microtronic Press Release in Vending Market Watch yesterday. We have partnered with C-Secure for machine monitoring and vehicle and asset tracking. We have also partnered with Fountain Bob for cashless fountain vending to cut down on the losses with self serve applications.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom

Photographer Mary Ann Halpin gathered 40 extraordinary women entrepreneurs to create the book, "Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom" to be released in June, 2010. I am very honored to be one of those women. The portraits and stories of these courageous women have transformed their life-challenges into life-triumphs. Visit: www.maryannhalpin.com for more information.

Mary Ann’s vision is global: she shares: "Dedicated to contribution in the world, each woman in this book will use the opportunity as a vehicle to raise awareness and fundraiser for each of their causes and charities." We will also begin a "Fearless Women Day" that will be held on August 26, 2010 in honor of Susan B. Anthony. This date will be the 90th anniversary of the ratification to give women the right to vote. Many women will be honored around the country on that day.

My story:
I want to help educate people about Drug Addiction and the affects on the individuals and especially their families. As a person who has been affected by Drug Addiction within my family, my “cause” is to become a spokeswoman for Mother's Against Addiction, to help people understand the affects on the family members and where they can go for help. It is very hurtful to watch someone you love go through their battle, as others in the family turn against the addict. The misunderstanding of "why" and the blame game causes deep emotional damage. Support organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are there for the addict. I will be fundraising and giving proceeds from my book sales to start a foundation to help educate the affected families. My website is under construction, but will be up soon: www.mothersagainstaddiction.org.

I am honored to still have my family members who have been tortured by their addiction. The fact that we will be able to share this fearless movement that Mary Ann Halpin has created in the Fearless Women book and through others, help thousands more. Thank you Mary Ann, for beginning this project and being our guide and voice. Blessings often present themselves in mysterious ways and this book, "Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom" is a blessing.

I would appreciate any advice or help that can be given to us...media, contacts, ideas..! Thank you.

Programming Yourself for Success

Your mission statement is always written in the present tense, as though you have already become the person that you have described. It is always positive rather than negative. And it is always personal.

Program Yourself Correctly

Your subconscious mind can only accept your mission statement as a set of commands when you phrase it in the present, positive and personal tenses. "I am an exceptional salesperson," is a perfect example. After every sales call, you should quickly reread your mission statement and ask yourself if your recent behavior was more like the person you want to be, or less? As a top sales performer, you are always comparing your sales activities against a high standard and adjusting your activities upward. You're continually striving to be better. Every day in every way, you are deliberately working to become more like the ideal person you have envisioned.

Determine Your Mission Statement

Your goal is that, a year from today, when one of your customers has lunch with one of your prospects, and your prospect asks your customer to describe you in detail as a salesperson, your customer will recite your business mission statement voluntarily. The way you have treated your customer will have been so exemplary that your customer will describe you in the most glowing of terms.

Compare Yourself Against Yourself

Once you have developed a mission statement like this, you can read it, review it, edit it, and upgrade it regularly. You can add additional qualities to it and more clearly define the qualities you've already listed. It becomes your personal credo, your philosophy of life, your statement of beliefs and a guide to your behavior in all your interactions with others. Each day, you can evaluate your behaviors and compare them against the standard that you have set in this statement.

Shape Your Own Personality

Over time, a remarkable thing will happen. As you read and review your personal mission statement, you will find yourself, almost unconsciously, shaping your words and conforming your behaviors so that you are more and more like the ideal person you have defined. People will notice the change in you almost immediately. Over time, you will find that you are actually creating within yourself the kind of character and personality that you most admire in others. You will have become the molder and the shaper of your own personal destiny. After you have applied the ABC Method to your list, you will now be completely organized and ready to get more important things done faster.

Action Exercises

First, imagine that one of your customers was going to meet with one of your prospects. What would you want him to say about you? How could you behave with your customer to assure that he says these things?

Second, talk to yourself positively all the time. Feed your mind with positive messages that describe your goals and the person you want to be.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Do the Opposite of Before

Sometimes doing exactly the opposite of what you have been doing up till now can turn out to be the perfect solution. The natural tendency for a person, when they find themselves in a hole, is to dig deeper. In many cases, the solution is to go and dig somewhere else. Remember, the first law of holes is, "When you find yourself in one, stop digging."

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Four P's of Persuasion

Perception Is Everything
There are four "Ps" that will enhance your ability to persuade others in both your work and personal life. They are power, positioning, performance, and politeness. And they are all based on perception.

Develop Personal Power
The first "P" is power. The more power and influence that a person perceives that you have, whether real or not, the more likely it is that that person will be persuaded by you to do the things you want them to do. For example, if you appear to be a senior executive, or a wealthy person, people will be much more likely to help you and serve you than they would be if you were perceived to be a lower level employee.

Shape Their Thinking About You

The second "P" is positioning. This refers to the way that other people think about you and talk about you when you are not there. Your positioning in the mind and heart of other people largely determines how open they are to being influenced by you.

In everything you do involving other people, you are shaping and influencing their perceptions of you and your positioning in their minds. Think about how you could change the things you say and do so that people think about you in such a way that they are more open to your requests and to helping you achieve your goals.

Be Good At What You Do
The third "P" is performance. This refers to your level of competence and expertise in your area. A person who is highly respected for his or her ability to get results is far more persuasive and influential than a person who only does an average job.

Commit to Excellence

The perception that people have of your performance capabilities exerts an inordinate influence on how they think and feel about you. You should commit yourself to being the very best in your field. Sometimes, a reputation for being excellent at what you do can be so powerful that it alone can make you an extremely persuasive individual in all of your interactions with the people around you. They will accept your advice, be open to your influence and agree with your requests.

Treat People Politely
The fourth "P" of persuasion power is politeness. People do things for two reasons, because they want to and because they have to. When you treat people with kindness, courtesy and respect, you make them want to do things for you. They are motivated to go out of their way to help you solve your problems and accomplish your goals.

Being nice to other people satisfies one of the deepest of all subconscious needs, the need to feel important and respected. Whenever you convey this to another person in your conversation, your attitude and your treatment of that person, he or she will be wide open to being persuaded and influenced by you in almost anything you need.

Perception Is Reality

Again, perception is everything. The perception of an individual is his or her reality. People act on the basis of their perceptions of you. If you change their perceptions, you change the way they think and feel about you, and you change the things that they will do for you.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, think continually about the impression you want to make on others and then make sure that everything you do or say is consistent with that perception.

Second, be nice to people. Practice the Golden Rule in your interactions with others. Always be polite and make others feel important.

The more people like you, the more open they are to being influenced by you.

Check out Paying with Your PHONE!!


Study Indicates Price Discounts Will Help Improve Nutrition Habits

Price discounts could be a more effective way to prompt healthy food choices than nutrition education, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, as reported in foodnavigator-usa.com.

Check out the entire article and if you want information about how you can do it within a vending machine - contact Microtronic! We can do it by item when using our cashless system. The great thing is - it's Prepaid - you get your money in advance and can offer so many things that add great Customer Loyalty!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Keys Principles for Great Success

Get Better Results than Ever Before
There are several principles of military strategy that you can apply to your business, every single day. These can help you to think better and get better results than ever before.

Do the Unexpected

One really helpful military principle that can be applied to business is the Principle of Surprise. The principle of surprise says, "do the unexpected!" In sales and marketing, this means to be continually seeking ways to out-flank or upset your competition.

Friday, April 2, 2010

German Research on Chocolate - Good News

German researchers found that those who ate the most chocolate (an average of 7.5 grams, or 0.3 ounces, a day) had lower blood pressure and were 39 percent less likely to have a heart attack than those who ate the least amount of chocolate (an average of 1.7 grams, or 0.06 ounces, a day), according to heathday.com

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Microtronic Cashless Vending - Benefit #1

Happy Hour Feature:

With Microtronic Cashless system's specialized programming, products can be discounted using the "Happy Hour" feature. "Happy Hour" can be at any time an operator chooses, whether everyday at a given time, or one day a week, a month, or a year. This feature can be driven to an exact time frame within any 24 hour period.

For example, this feature in a manufacturing environment can encourage purchases out of the food machine, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on a Friday afternoon with discounts. Another option is Coffee machine discounts during a time period when sales typically drop off, say 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. During that "Happy Hour" a specific selection, or the entire machine could give a 10 cent discount.

Another possibility is to offer a special to employees getting to work early - "Happy Hour" is then - one free cup of coffee from 7:35 am to 7:59 am or for a discounted price.

There are so many possibilities with the Microtronic Happy Hour feature. Check out www.MicrotronicUS.com for more details. More Benefits to come!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

H1N1 Bacteria can live on Money up to 3 Days!

Do you realize how many GERMS are on Bills and Coins?

Money is one of the dirtiest things we as humans come in contact with. Many people handle money throughout the day. These people may or may not be sanitary people, and the amount of germs on a person's hands varies from person to person. A person rarely thinks about what is on their hands when they hand someone a dollar bill. Perhaps they were cooking and touched raw meat, or they were cleaning their house or going to the bathroom and forgot to wash their hands. Whatever the case, money is very very dirty and you should have knowledge of exactly what kind of bacteria is on your money and how to avoid getting sick from handling dirty money. Even illegal drug residue can exist on money for a long period of time.

Sick people handle money all the time. They transmit germs to the money by coughing on the money, or wiping their nose and then touching the money. You can get sick from handling the money immediately after touching it. A cashiers job is particularly dangerous and they have to wash their hands constantly to avoid getting sick from the bacteria on money. There can be millions of germs on money at any given point. You have to remember how small bacteria is and that the paper really acts as a magnet for them.

So how can you keep yourself safe from dirty money? The answer is easy, wash your hands. Washing your hands with antibacterial soap will kill most of the germs you get from handling money. The problem is many people forget to wash their hands from time to time. Some people obsessively wash their hands over and over, which is not good either. Just wash at times your hands will get near your mouth, like before or after you go to the bathroom and especially wash your hands when you are sick to prevent the spread of germs. All types of germs are on money like the germs that cause staph infection, strep throat, pneumonia and especially H1N1 for a long as 3 days.

Coins also can hold germs on them but not as many as paper money. Paper money is by far the best way for germs to be transferred from person to person. People that are elderly or young or with comprised immune systems should be especially careful when handling money. These people are more susceptible to infection the healthy adults. Money is very dirty and filled with many different types of bacteria and microscopic bugs, so keep that in mind when handling it.

Just remember that the Microtronic Cashless System can help prevent many workplace illnesses by limiting the amount of cash that is handled! This is another selling point to customers to go Cashless!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Be a Sales Superstar

This is a wonderful time to be alive and working in the profession of selling. Regardless of the ups and downs of the economy or temporary changes in your industry, there have never been more opportunities for you to achieve more of your goals-and enjoy a higher standard of living-than exist today by selling more of your products and services in the marketplace.

Commit to Excellence

Ambitious people have one remarkable characteristic in sales. They dream big dreams. They have high aspirations. They see themselves as capable of being the best in their fields. They know that the top 20 percent of salespeople make 80 percent of the sales, and they are determined to be among that top group.

Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are, and always have been, the greatest enemies of success and happiness. For this reason, top salespeople work continually to confront the fears that hold most salespeople back. The two major fears that stand as the greatest obstacle on your road to success are the fear of failure, or loss, and the fear of criticism, or rejection. These are the major enemies to be overcome.

Put Your Whole Heart into Your Selling
Selling has often been called a transfer of enthusiasm. The more enthusiastic and convinced you are about what you are selling, the more contagious this enthusiasm will be and the more your customers will sense it and act on it. Human beings are primarily emotional in everything they so and say. This is why caring is a critical element in successful selling.

Position Yourself as a Real Professional
Top salespeople see themselves as consultants rather than salespeople. They see themselves as advisors, helpers, counselors, and friends to their clients and customers. They see themselves as problem solvers more than anything else.

Dedicate Yourself to Continuous Learning

To earn more, you must learn more. You are "maxed out" today at your current level of knowledge and skill. You cannot get more or better results by simply working harder using your present abilities. If you want to earn more in the future, you must learn and apply new methods and techniques. Remember the old saying: "The more you do of what you're doing, the more you'll get of what you're getting."

Action Exercise

Develop an action plan for personal and professional development. Prepare a "training schedule" for yourself exactly as if you were training for a marathon or a big competition.

Remember: The harder you work - the luckier you get!

NEW Microtronic Website

I am so excited about the new look and feel of the website. There is so much more information than we have ever had in the past.

One of the great features is the "Learning" page that has various presentations about the different applications that the Microtronic system can do.

We are working on some exciting new projects and hopefully we'll have everything at the NAMA OneShow! I believe this will be the best show ever!

Check out the site and contact me with any feedback that you have to offer! Let's go cashless with Microtronic!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

MicrotronicUS: Ashtonishing Growth in Use of Prepaid Debit Cards

MicrotronicUS: Ashtonishing Growth in Use of Prepaid Debit Cards

Ashtonishing Growth in Use of Prepaid Debit Cards

I don't know if anyone follows the Payments news, other than those in the business, but there is one article I must insist that Vending operators read: http://www.getdebit.com/debit-news/730/astonishing-growth-in-the-use-of-prepaid-debit-cards/. It is a great article that explains some the recent research and growth of Prepaid cards, both from major Credit Card companies and "Closed Loop" or individual store cards. The growth on these are astounding!

Microtronic can offer this same "Loyalty/Prepaid Card" program for an Operator or their Customer. What a great way to say "We value your business and want to offer something special in return!" Every consumer, or for that matter, person in the world wants to be valued and appreciated. Loyalty cards for vending can offer, discounts, bonuses (one free with ten), happy hours, freebies, etc. There are so many options with the Microtronic system. And to have a "captive" audience that will use the vending machines daily - what a better way for them to spread the word to friends about the great new service their Vending company is giving. Word of mouth is one of the greatest tools we have - let's use it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Basics of Cashless Vending - Lesson 1

When a Vending operator thinks of Cashless, it seems their first thought is "Credit Card", which is a common misconception. Cashless is so multifaceted that it is or, can be confusing.

Everyone knows that Credit Cards pose a much larger "beast" with lots of needs (fees). It needs a Cellular link ($), it needs monthly fees ($), it needs processing fees ($) and it needs lots and lots of users, with higher merchandise prices to give a good return on investment.

Pre-paid or Loyalty programs, as some like to call them, are much less "needy". The card reader is about the same price, but the beauty of Pre-paid is, it's PRE-PAID - you get your money in advance!! Before any item is sold, you already have money in the bank! With Microtronic, our media (cards, keys, stickers, etc) can be loaded directly at a Vending machine. We also offer a Loading Station that can accept Bills and/or Credit Cards.

Microtronic offers the best of both worlds if someone really feels that they must provide the addition of Credit Card Loading. With Microtronic - an operator can have ONE (1) or maybe two (2) Credit Card/Cash Loading stations in an account, as opposed to a Credit Card Reader on each and every machine, paying all those fees. Our system only requires one or two Credit Card fees and you still get your money in advance - before the purchase has been made!! Plus with our Credit Card loading system - YOU decide how much the customer is going to load to the Microtronic media. It could be $10, $15 or even $20, which brings your "processing fees" down to 2.50 % - not 5% or 6% for each and every transaction.

Think about it - FEES or Money in the BANK!! 1-800-879-3586. You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Taking New Business by Storm

This has been a truly exciting week. Since the Podcast on Automatic Merchandiser with Elliot Maras, editor, we have been bombarded with email and information requests! It seems that once the Vending Industry understands the real meaning of "Cashless", more players are wanting to be in the arena.

Cashless has always been viewed as Credit Card and "Pre-paid" has been left out in the cold. "Pre-paid" means the vending operator gets their money UP FRONT - before the customer has ever purchased anything!! What a concept! This means that the expense of the Microtronic Reader is virtually paid for within a month!

There was obviously not enough time to really talk about all the benefits of Cashless vending on the short Podcast, but I will try to answer as many questions as I can, either here or direct email - just stay tuned!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I would like to thank everyone for the emails and calls regarding the Podcast with Automatic Merchandiser and Elliot Maras. It was great to be able to give vending operators a different perspective on "Cashless" vending.

We have decided to start offering Webinars to more fully explain "Cashless" vending. I will keep you posted on when the first one will be given. It would be great for anyone wanting more information to check out Microtronic on Facebook or LinkedIn. These are two great formats for FREE networking.

Thanks again!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cashless Podcast with Automatic Merchandiser

VMW Podcast: Microtronic US President Clarifies Distinction Between Prepaid Cashless And Open Cashless Vending

Terri Starnes-Bryant, president of Microtronic US, claims there is a difference between open cashless systems and prepaid, closed loop systems that vending operators should consider when contemplating adding cashless capability to vending machines. Bryant explains her position on prepaid cashless in response to comments by vending operator Dominic Finelli, who claimed in a previous podcast interview that cashless vending is not an economical alternative for operators at the present time.

Listen to the podcast on VMW's Audio Connect at www.vendingmarketwatch.com/podcast.

Editor's Insight: This marks the first response to the vending technology podcasts that aired on www.vendingmarketwatch from Dec. 17, 2009 to Jan. 7, 2010 with veteran vending operator Dominic Finelli, owner of Custom Vending in Beltsville, Md.

Finelli questioned numerous benefits that vending technology providers claim to offer during the podcast interviews. Automatic Merchandiser invited technology advocates a chance to respond to Finelli's statements.

Other technology advocates will be responding to Finelli's claims. 01-25-10 by Elliot Maras

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Why Cashless Vending Increases Sales Volume

So this is blogging! Watched Julie & Julia last night and now wondering what the heck - give it a try.

My company is Microtronic Electronic Systems. We are a Cashless Technology provider, mostly for the vending industry. Our system is based on a "Smart Chip" that has read/write capabilities. Almost like a Gift Card, but for in-house locations. By in-house, I mean a location where you have the same audience day in and day out for the most part. We specialize in factories, office buildings, prisons, schools, etc. You get the picture.

The headquarters is in Switzerland, but in High Point, NC for North and South America and Australia. We have been in cashless technology for 20+ years, with mass experience and a top provider throughout Europe - basically not the new kid on the block.

Our challenge is getting the mindset of Vending Operators that Cashless involves more than Credit Cards. Operators typically think "we have to have Credit Cards", but the costs are prohibitive for any return on investment. We offer a Credit Card loading station that will allow a consumer to use their Credit Card to add value to the Microtronic Media in increments set by the Operator, ex: $10, $15, $20, which brings the fees down to 2.75% or less. And this option costs much less than having a Credit Card reader at every machine. With this said, sales typically increase by 15% due to the convenience of not having to feed money into a machine or fumbling for change.

We have quite a variety with our "media", such as, Cards (can be ID Badges), Keys, Stickers, Fobs, Watches, Wristbands, to name just a few.

Okay, so much for the introduction - let's see where this takes us!!