Automatic Merchandiser

OCT 2011

Automatic Merchandiser serves the business management, marketing, technology and product information needs of its readers including vending operators, coffee service operators, product brokers, and product and equipment distributors in print.

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W AT E R P U R I F I C AT I O N could potentially get past the fi lter," Sutera said. Using this fi lter would ensure protection even if a boil water alert were announced. Sutera also touts how green the cartridge is compared to other mod- els on the market. It's a small, effi - cient fi lter with a lifetime warranty. The inner cartridges, which are the parts that get replaced, are able to be incinerated instead of just thrown away. The sediment cartridge is made of spun polypropylene, which makes it less expensive and tougher than brittle ceramic fi lters. "And we manufacture the products in the U.S.," added Sutera. Many operators have turned water service into a premium water pro- gram, according to Everpure's Nelson. Operators are charging for cleaning, sanitizing, changing fi lters, etc. Nelson suggests operators charge to upgrade fi lters too. Everpure offers an ultrafi lter technology that has a membrane made of millions of piano wire looking straws. It's certifi ed by the National Sanitation Foundation as a purifi er, so it reduces bacteria and viruses. It is hard for reverse osmosis manufacturers to get the virus-elimi- nation certifi cation, although Nelson admits that it does eliminate them. "So operators can upsell virus protec- tion even to customers with reverse osmosis systems," he said. Most operators lease a water fi ltra- tion system to the location and charge them a rental fee per month. "It's a good revenue model," added Nelson. Nelson sees fi xed pressure water reducing valves as the next trend in new technology for the water industry. "Insurance claims (after a water leak) are going up and up," said Nelson. Especially in high rise buildings where the water pressure is likely to fl uctuate, there is a possibility of the pressure breaking a fi lter or split- ting a line. Nelson remembers when those claims were to clean carpets or fi x baseboards, but now water can 18 How to break into water service Cliff Rosen, president of KoolTek, tells operators to do the following homework to add water fi ltration: • Call the water municipal- ity and get a report on the water. • Determine the water's use: brewers or drinking water. • Determine three price point presentations, including fi ltration and frequency of fi lter changes. To assist operators in educat- ing customers, Rosen offers information sheets, fl yers and data from NSF International, an accredited, third-party cer- tifi cation body that tests and certifi es products to verify they meet public health and safety standards. damage expensive servers or high- end copy machines. "We're going to work at NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association) to focus on best practices, and the potential for liability," said Nelson. "I know pressure regulators are going to be a required part of any installation going into a high rise." BOTTLELESS OFFERS AN OPTION There's an opportunity for new bottleless water coolers, which save the end user money, hassle and still provide top quality drinking water, according to Bob Cooper, co-owner of ZeeCooper & Co., LLC. "It's much more cost effective versus bottled water coolers," he said. It also allows the operator to guarantee certain fi ltration standards. Units that allow multiple fi lters give operators diverse choices. Cooper noted fi lters can be chosen based Automatic Merchandiser VendingMarketWatch.com October 2011 on their rating; how fi ne a particu- late they fi lter; and what the fi lters remove, such as chlorine taste, odors, and particulates such as lime scale or parasites like giardia cysts and crypto- sporidium. Besides the savings in 5-gallon bottle fees, delivery fees and the storage problems, going bottleless can actually make water free to loca- tions. According to Cooper, some offi ces don't pay for water usage. This means a plumbed-in water cooler will only cost the location for service and fi lters. Coupled with the fact that the connection processes for coolers have become easier to perform, offering a bottleless water cooler makes a perfect add-on ser- vice for operators. Because many operators already look at water as an add-on, Cooper sees the price of the cooler units as important. He's found the price dif- ference between an inexpensive and expensive model tends to be its "bells and whistles." "The big one is a digital read out," said Cooper. The digital read out shows the end user what the temperature of the water in the cooler is. While this is a nice feature, opera- tors have an increase in service calls when the end user sees minor temper- ature changes. Cooper had an operator who didn't want the digital read out because it was too much information. Customers would call him for service anytime the numbers didn't seem right, regardless of whether the water was still cold or not. Water fi lter technology has come a long way. Many customers want the peace of mind that comes with a water service program. For more information, contact: Apiqe, 203-226-2717, www.apiqe.com Everpure, LLC, 630-307-3000, www.everpure.com Hydro Life Inc., 800-626-7130, www.hydrolife.com KoolTek, 877-Kool-Tek, www.kooltekcoolers.com Omnipure Filter Co., 800-398-0833, www.omnipure.com Pure1 Systems, 978-975-1800, www.pure1.com ZeeCooper & Company, LLC, 443-404-5462, www.zeecooper.com

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