AMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable An interview with John Whitwell of Buffalo Rock
John has been buying AMS equipment for 8+ years and comments on the quality, customer appreciation from the factory and factory reps and the versatility of their machines.
“The reason I use them is they are really dependable. We use very few parts on them over the past 10 years.”
“The brand new machine that’s coming out this year; we just got a few in. The appearance of the machine is just unbelievable compared to what it used to be. The numbers are lit up, everything looks great, compared to what it used to look like.”
AMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable “Again, I couldn’t praise more about the durability and dependability of these machines compared to what we used to deal with… good product.”
“One other plus about the AMS refrigerated machines, the 35 and 39 inch machines, is they use the same parts. Besides the shelf being wider, I don’t have to carry duel parts.”
AMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable Tom: This is Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show, and I’m here with John Whitwell, who is the market equipment manager for Buffalo Rock. Today we’re going to talk about AMS equipment. So thanks for being here, John.
John: Thank you.
Tom: Now with buying AMS equipment, what do you think about the quality, the warranty, and customer appreciation from the factory and factory reps of their five wide snack machines?
John: I really enjoy using the AMS. I think we started back about eight or nine years ago, and I pretty much exclusively use AMS. I toured their facility. I’ve watched from the metal coming in to the end product. I’ve met Roy Steeley, the owner of that company, all the people that work there.
John: But the biggest factor, the reason I use them, is they’re really dependable. We use very few parts on ’em over all the last ten years. And then the sales rep that I have, Tim Paul, is really knowledgeable on the equipment, and if I need him here today, he’ll come today, if he’s in the country. There are times he’ll be in Puerto Rico.
John: But generally we have a great relationship, they do a great job, and that’s one thing that I never got out of some of the other manufacturers.
Tom: Now you buy both the snack machines and the refrigerated machines, is that right?
John: That’s right.
Tom: AMS is the only manufacturer that makes a 35″ four wide, refrigerated vendor. Do you use a lot of those?
John: Well when we first started purchasing them, we bought only the refrigerated, and that’s because the refrigeration unit was, actually, the expense was only a few hundred dollars more, and we lease them back to ourselves, so that’s a big savings. And they also make a food … I don’t know if you knew that, but they make a food machine, a 35 and a 39, and that’s all I use on food as well. I use their AMS 39 and 35s.
Tom: What types of food do you dispense from the refrigerated food machines?
John: We do everything from the big sandwiches, to some of the platters, like wing platters. You can just about configure it any way you want. And, of course, that’s pretty much set through our corporate office, how they want the machines set. But we can pretty much sell anything through ’em. And we sell a lot of different things.
Tom: AMS is the only company that makes an ETL approved, high security, outdoor vendor. Do you use a lot of those?
John: We use them in the schools.
Tom: Okay. What configuration of snack machine do you buy from AMS? Single helix or dual helix? Regular fluorescent light or LED light? Gum-
John: Well, everything that’s coming to us now is the dual helix, and LED, and, of course, they’re all ADA approved. Actually the brand new machine that’s coming out this year, we just got a few in, and the appearance of the machine is just unbelievable compared to what it used to be. The numbers are lit up, everything looks great compared to what it used to look like.
John: To me, again, I couldn’t praise more about the durability and the dependability of these machines compared to what we used to deal with. Just a good product.
Tom: What do you think about the new epoch look on the machines now?
John: That’s what I was saying, the new look, to me, is just unbeliev … you know where it extrudes out and it just looks way better than the other ones. It’s a little bit more. Again, to me, as long as they work, that’s bet … you can have the best looking machine out there with all the bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t work, it’s not dependable and you’re going back to it, and you’re putting money in it as far as parts trying to make it work, then it’s no good unless it’s dependable. I think these things work great.
Tom: Do you use any of the healthy vend machines?
John: I don’t think we’ve gotten into that, I think there might be a few selections in there that they’ll code healthy vend, as far as whether it be a … I ain’t gonna say a chip because I can’t, I don’t think they are, but I know that the full line vending team does recognize, they’ll put something on there, I’ve seen it before, it says, “Healthy vend,” or something that’s on there. Is that what you’re talking about?
Tom: Yeah. Overall, which company, in your viewpoint, makes the best refrigerated vendor?
John: Again, to me, because I use AMS and I wouldn’t have stayed with them if I didn’t like it, but it’s not hard to change out the refrigeration unit if it’s bad. After a couple times, if you ever had to do it, pretty simple. So we stay with them, we really enjoy that machine. My guys’ll like it. Simple to use, that’s the biggest thing. Simple to work on.
John: One other plus about this machine, and again, I hadn’t … I’m not in touch with what the other ones do because I hadn’t given over the last ten years probably haven’t given them a whole lot of opportunity to come in here, because I get such good service out of the people from AMS, but the parts I use in an AMS 35 are the same parts that go in a AMS 39. Besides that shelf being wider, everything else is the same, so I don’t have to carry dual parts, and that’s a plus in itself.
Tom: That’s great. Now is there anything you’d like to tell us about Buffalo Rock?
John: We’ve been in business for a pretty good while, over a hundred years. I don’t know what, it was a hundred years a few years ago so I don’t know the dead on number. But I think it’s a great place to work for. I think we all is … because we have divisions all over Alabama and Georgia, and Mike Bunt is the CME, corporate marketing equipment, guy in Birmingham. We all work well together. And if we need things from each other, it’s just a phone call or an email away. We meet quarterly, and just a great place to work.
Tom: Alright, well, you’ve been listening toAMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable at the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales. More Vending Business Blogs USA TECHNOLOGIES ePORT G9