Marty Luepker2
Vending Times March 2007


CRANE COACH: S&B's Marty Luepker (left) will help educate new crane operators during two-day training sessions to be held at the company's St. Louis, MO facility.

Check out the full Vending Times Article printed last March just below.


S&B Candy And Toy Co. Plans 'Crane Camp'

For Bulk Vending Operators 

ST. LOUIS, MO - S&B Candy and Toy Company, a leading manufacturer of cranes and merchandise, is helping new crane operators learn the ropes with the launch of an educational program. The firm said it will fly customers who purchase five or more cranes to its headquarters here for an intensive two-day training course and will also cover the cost of hotel accommodations.

Topics in the course include locating, set-up, merchandising and repair. Unofficially called "Crane Camp," the handson training session is intended to help new crane operators maximize profits and reduce down time.

"We're not like other manufactures that just ship the cranes and don't follow up," said S&B president Brian Riggles. "I want to help folks do it right. It's not hard to operate cranes, but people can get frustrated at first if they don't have somebody to talk to."

According to Riggles, many of S&B's customers have been in the bulk vending business for years or even generations, but are reluctant to move into electronic equipment such as cranes. The Crane Camp is intended to help them overcome this reluctance by providing a firm knowledge base in the basics.

The training course, explained Riggles, is part of the firm's ongoing commitment to customer support, which also includes a 24-hour service hotline. "Do you realize that most of the money in this business is made nights and weekends?" he asked. "I set up the hotline so that if one of my customers is stuck at a location and the place is swamped with customers, they have a tech to call."

According to S&B's Marty Luepker, the training sessions provide valuable education in crane basics, perticularly for busy operators. "Some bulk vending operators do have a reluctance to get into cranes. Many are fairly overwhelmed by the number of locations they have and the amount of time they have," said Luepker. "They have a lot on their plates, and 10 times the locations that most crane operators have. But my advice is that it's not complicated. Let's just talk throught it."

Luepker explained that cranes include four major components: a power supply, coin acceptors, a circuit board and the moving parts in the machine head. "You don't have to repair your circuit board if it breaks," he said. "You just remove it and send it to us. We provide advance replacement, so the operator will have a new circuit board in his hands before we receive the broken board."

As Luepker recalled, one of his best customers was a librarian from Missouri. "I went out and taught her how to set up the machines, do receipts for her route and some of the bookkeeping. And she was quite successful," he said. "So, I can teach almost anyone."

Information on Crane Camp can be had by calling S&B at (800) 773-0531.