[VendTalk] Postal Service and National Vending

Nightingale, Noel Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Thu Jan 17 21:41:29 UTC 2019

From: ncsab_members at ncsab.org [mailto:ncsab_members at ncsab.org] On Behalf Of Glisson, Curtis (Rehab)
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2019 1:08 PM
To: ncsab_members at ncsab.org; bep_state_directors at ncsab.org
Cc: Catriona Macdonald; Gordon, John
Subject: [NCSAB Members] Postal Service and National Vending

Dear BEP Directors and NCSAB Members,

We are writing to you as the co-chairs of the NCSAB Randolph-Sheppard Committee to notify you of an important opportunity for Randolph-Sheppard vendors.

About 9 years ago, the US Postal Service contracted with National Vending to identify companies that could provide food service on USPS properties.  Under the contract, when a vending operation or cafeteria in a postal facility becomes available, National Vending is required to notify the SLA first. National Vending uses NCSAB's directory of SLA staff, located on the NCSAB website, for contact names and email addresses.  This is yet another reason why it is so important to keep that directory up to date when you have staffing changes at your agency!

When National Vending notifies an SLA of an available facility, the SLA has 30 days to respond requesting additional information and/or expressing interest (or lack thereof) in managing the facility.   If National Vending does not hear back from the SLA within 30 days, it will identify another vendor to provide the services.  When National Vending secures another vendor, it receives a 3% commission on sales in that location.  No commissions are required if the SLA places a blind entrepreneur in a USPS facility under the Randolph-Sheppard priority.

We recently held a conference call with National Vending to make sure that SLAs are being notified of food service opportunities.  National Vending is eager to work with SLAs to ensure that blind entrepreneurs have the first option to provide services to Postal employees.  We have established a practice that when National Vending notifies an SLA of one or more available facilities in the state, NCSAB Randolph-Sheppard Committee co-chairs and staff will be copied on the message.  We will follow up with the SLA once by email to ensure that the opportunity was seen and didn't fall through the cracks.

One very important note:  USPS and National Vending are in the process of converting some cafeterias that are no longer economic to other services such as micro markets.  If you are not interested in a cafeteria in a particular location because it is uneconomic, but would potentially be interested in a micro market, snack bar, or vending opportunity in that facility, it is important that you respond to National Vending's offer of the cafeteria.  In your reply, please indicate that you are not interested in the cafeteria but would potentially be interested in another type of vending opportunity at that facility such as a micro market or snack bar.   This does not commit you to providing services if the facility is converted to another format, but preserves the SLA's right of first refusal in the event that the format is changed.

If you have a state-wide agreement with the Postal Service, none of this should change the way your state-wide agreement currently operates.

The Randolph-Sheppard Committee is excited about the potential new opportunities for blind entrepreneurs that may be created by the conversion of cafeterias on Postal Service properties.    We appreciate the partnership of the USPS and National Vending in recognizing and taking these steps to honor the Randolph-Sheppard priority.  Thank you for all you do to maximize business opportunities for our vendors!

Curtis Glisson and John Gordon, co-chairs, NCSAB Randolph Sheppard Committee

cc:  Catriona Macdonald, NCSAB Policy Advisor

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