[vendtalk] Rebates Build Profit

Kevan Worley kevanworley at blindmerchants.org
Fri May 3 19:59:15 UTC 2013

Greetings friends and colleagues,

We are happy to welcome a new rebate opportunity to the Randolph-Sheppard market. Over the past several months, it is my understanding that over 300 blind vendors have signed up and have begun receiving some excellent rebate return from a company called AmeriSource. This relationship between the National Association of Blind Merchants and AmeriSource, as well as the relationship between this nation's blind vendor community and AmeriSource, has shown suppliers and distributors that the blind buying group has even more potential than they ever realized. NABM President Nicky Gacos has worked tirelessly over two decades to get manufacturers and distributors to understand the buying group power within Randolph-Sheppard. Mr. John Gordon, NABM Board Member has also brought his energy and expertise to this work. Kathy Ungaro, a consultant for AmeriSource has thoughtfully articulated the importance of building a large cooperative of blind vendors in order to reap higher rebates from the maximum amount of suppliers and distributors. Over several years, a number of efforts have been made to make it possible for blind vendors to benefit from a third party entity which would have a commitment to our program and reliably collect the necessary data from distributors in order to make rebates feasible. AmeriSource was the first to do it well. Now we welcome a new partner into the marketplace. As I review both programs, it seems clear to me that the new Randolph-Sheppard Service Association (RSA) rebate cooperative will usually meet, and likely more often than not exceed, the rebate dollars distributed to blind vendors currently distributed by AmeriSource. This is not endorsement by me. It is simply my analysis after having visited with a number of experts in this field. Moreover, and this I think is critical and extremely significant, the RSA Buying Group has relationships which will allow all blind vendors to receive rebates on beverages. RSA has contributed training dollars to national conferences. They are the only rebate association which is contributing sponsorship dollars to the upcoming BLAST. It seems clear to President Gacos and myself that they are reliable, and they bring a commitment of service and accountability. Their credibility within the vending community, including the largest vend operators such as Canteen, Sodexo and many others, is astonishing. It is an extraordinarily impressive organization with governance based on real integrity. Although I have only a few beverage machines under Randolph-Sheppard, I have decided to align myself with the new RSA Buying Group. I think the proof will be in the pudding. How will we know unless hundreds of us sign up immediately? Again, Ms. Ungaro and her client AmeriSource have done our community a great service. They were pioneers and champions. However, whether or not the AmeriSource approach continues to pioneer, only time will tell. The thing about business is that successful businesses are built step by step, one opportunity seized at a time. I would suggest that we seize the rebates offered by the provider which has credibility, accountability, and is able to parlay their vast network into increased rebates for almost every blind vendor in our community. After all, that has been our goal since the very beginning.

At your service,

[cid:image001.jpg at 01CDBCF2.C07B8380]

Kevan Worley
Executive Director
National Association of Blind Merchants
kevanworley at blindmerchants.org<mailto:kevanworley at blindmerchants.org>

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