As technology changes the industry, the specific roles in operation will change as well. This session will examine the impact of technology on the convenience services workforce and advise operators on how to best position their workforce for success. Discussion will include historical and emerging job descriptions of managers, drivers, service technicians, warehouse personnel, and money room counters, tips on best practices for modernizing your company to create a value-add for you and your workforce, and how to best prepare for and capitalize on the resulting changes.
Director of Business Development
Chris Stave is Parlevel Systems director of business development, where he helps operators adopt technology to navigate the path to better operational efficiency, improved margins and sustainable growth. After 25 years of focus on the OCS and coffee roasting industry, Stave worked for a regional vending operator and then became the co-founder and executive director of the Vend Marketing Institute (VMI). VMI, a nationwide, member owned, coalition of operators, worked on purchasing, merchandising and technology initiatives. VMI merged with Unified Strategies Group (USG) in 2011 and Stave became the Vice President of Technology and Innovation for USG. During his years at VMI and USG, Stave was a pioneer and advocate for vending technology, presented dozens of seminars and encouraged many operators to transition from the traditional vending model to today’s connected business model.
Business Development and Customer Services
Michael Ray is the COO at Healthy Generation Vending in Humble, Texas. Healthy Generation is a company dedicated to changing the landscape of convenience services with cutting-edge technology and a focus on more nutritious options for today’s consumer. With 20 years of experience, Michael is a seasoned leader in the industry. Healthy Generation may be a small family-owned company, but it’s one of the fastest-growing full-service convenience companies in the Houston area, due to a hands-on approach to customer satisfaction and a technologically savvy business model. Michael has his Bachelor of Business from Baylor University.
Eric Leal is the COO for Leal’s Snacks in Waco, Texas. He started fresh from graduating with his BBA from Texas A&M University performing data entry, warehouse work, and part time route driving. Over time he spearheaded multiple projects to drive efficiencies and overall growth for the company which included investing in the latest technology, diving headfirst into micro markets, and assembling a team of passionate employees that take ownership. Eric serves on the board of the Texas Merchandising and Vending Association.
Leal’s Snacks has been serving central Texas since 2008, when it combined the talents of two smaller vending operations into a single entity.
Leal’s Snacks is committed to the vision that micro markets and office coffee are the future of convenience services yet customer service is still king. They believe their success is strictly contingent upon having and retaining a team of competent and driven employees that love their job. This in turn translates to the customer getting the absolute best service possible. Fresh food is packed through partnerships with Leal’s Mexican Restaurant, a 26 year strong Waco staple, and a local skilled chef with his own cult following. Fun fact: “Leal” means “loyal” in Spanish.