Okay folks, March is just around the corner and — can you believe it? — we will soon be through the first quarter of 2012. Yikes.
The new diet plans are on the sidelines and the treadmill is going to need a good dusting soon unless you are using it for a clothes hamper (I know a guy that does this … really). Before I look down and realize it is December, I want to make a list of to-dos or "points of focus" for 2012.
ATMIA! This is the Super Bowl for many of us in the industry. As you know, it is usually much more than just a chance to see what is new and who is wearing a different logo on their shirt this year! There is a wealth of information at your fingertips with the breakout sessions and the vendor booths. As we all know, margins are getting thinner, legislation is becoming more prevalent, and there is a lot of chatter about how the industry will fare over the next few years. If you care about your future, make the investment to attend — if not this year, then definitely in 2013!
ADA, PCI and — dare I say — EMV? It is nice to see that there has been a lot of information released over the last couple of months on what to expect with the latest mandates. The ADA deadline is, oh, so close and many distributors are scrambling to get their remaining units upgraded. Once the date is reached, get ready to see how long it will take for a flurry of legal action against owners of machines that were not upgraded. Unfortunately, we’ve had to endure some unscrupulous opportunists who have taken to scraping off fee notice stickers and the ensuing legal activity that usually follows. Let us hope we do not see the same with ADA. However, machines that have not been updated are at risk and rightly so. Stay informed by perusing ATM Marketplace, ATMIA, and manufacturer websites for the latest updates on what is happening. One thing I have learned over the last few years is that the mandates seem to be coming on at a more rapid pace. Stay informed, be prepared and get ready. There will be something in the wings.
New machines in the field. With many of the updates mentioned above, many distributors have upgraded their fleets to newer units and technology. Make sure you take advantage of the latest and greatest! Are you running wireless communications? When will remote DES key loading be implemented? Should you invest in additional security items, machine wraps or signage? As they say, "It’s all about the money." Make sure you are getting the most out of your investment.
Purge those warehouses and get rid of a few things. One of the most interesting things I see in my travels is the abundance of old parts sitting on the sidelines collecting dust. Some of these items can be refurbished and utilized for field repair, or even bartered for something more current or relevant. A number of organizations out there may have an interest in your old stuff. Unfortunately, coming upon old ATM parts won’t give you the same satisfaction as finding an extremely rare car in a barn. Nevertheless, do not underestimate the potential value of what you might be sitting on. Take some time to look at what you have. Yes, some of it probably needs to be thrown away. However, don’t forget to look around and see if someone is interested. You just never know what someone might want.
Invest in your future. It is great to see the many the distributors and business owners who make up our industry, from the single owner/operator up to the publicly traded organizations with thousands of employees. No matter the size, each business must continue to groom the next generation. Whether the topic is competition, expansion, or just the impact of time, make sure you are doing your part to pass on knowledge to those who will take the reigns next.
As the commercial says, "Stay thirsty my friends." Keep pushing, keep striving, keep going!
Dan Swain is Vice President and General Manager of ATMGurus, a parts, repair, and training provider for all popular retail ATM brands. With over $10 million in stocked ATM parts, and repairs performed on site by dedicated bench technicians, ATMGurus offers the fastest turn times in the business.