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There’s one week left until the 2013 NFL season begins, which means there’s only one week left for millions of Fantasy Football players to congregate with their leagues and participate in a ‘Draft Day.’ On this day, owners will choose NFL players they hope will form the perfect Fantasy Team, in order to win a cash prize (and sometimes just a friendly bet).
I, along with many reading this blog, have already begun research to determine who the ‘sleepers’ are, who’s injured, who’s hot, who will provide the best defense and which kicker will bring in the most points to better my odds for success. As I ponder these and many other strategies for how I’ll fill out my own roster, it struck me that drafting a FF team is much like picking the perfect Payment System package (i.e., team) for a vending machine- decisions, decisions, decisions.
Before positions are filled, leagues and rules are set. Some vending operations, like some fantasy leagues, are family run. Family vending businesses and leagues both encourage younger generations and relatives to get involved, learn the ‘game,’ and make the venture fun, competitive, and lucrative for the participating parties.
Whether the leagues are family run or with another formed group, they can also be,
- Auction leagues, (owners bid on players with a ‘team salary cap’ where you must fill a team with a set operating income)
- Keeper leagues, (owners may keep one or a few of their best players for additional seasons, if they believe they will continue to perform),
both of which, can be likened to strategies for acquiring Payment System assets each business year.
Rules for keeping score are also set, similar to how business goals and ROI are mapped out
- PPR (points per reception)
- Standard rule (a set number of points for certain accomplishments i.e., TD= 6 points)
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Once leagues and rules are identified, owners can start to plan their roster. To find guidance on the best players for the job one can:
- Ask industry experts
- Use studies and statistics
- Do research on performance- past and preseason
- Learn from others’ experiences
The same can be said for choosing what Payment System mix is best for a particular vending machine location. There are often multiple manufacturers that offer the similar products, all with unique features, benefits, and price-points.
Here’s how I see a successful team coming together on the field and in the machine:
(The Bill Validator= Running Back) –This should be your biggest workhorse. This position requires a reliable asset able to perform all the basic functions in the machine or in the case of football, on the field. Because cash is still king you need a validator that will look out for fraudulent notes (like a RB who’s willing to block), has fast acceptance (can rush it down field for a TD) and can take all kinds of note qualities (like catching a bad QB pass and turning it into positive yardage).
(A Bill Recycler= Quarterback) -The QB, is key to a good offense (making an easy sale at the machine) and gives you the ability to get the ball down the field no matter if you’re passing a long ball (accepting $20s, without depleting the change in your tubes), giving a well orchestrated handoff (recycling $1s and $5s back to a customer) or adjusting for on coming threat on the field (troubleshooting machine issues with a set of codes at the machine).
(Cashless Bezels=Defense)- A compliment to a good offense is a good defense. And in the payment game you want to take whatever the consumer has to pay with, so you can score $. If they don’t have cash, you want the option that your defense (cashless bezel) can take their payment no matter if its contactless, magnetic swipe, mobile payment, or even coupon.
(The Telemeter = Wide receiver) – In this football position you want someone who can easily change direction, receive signals, split the defense, and is an investment for the future. For Payment Systems, think 2G, 3G, CDMA, WAN, Dual IP addresses and APN (access point networks) to support cashless and telemetry in the same device, and future proofed for technologies like new consumer engagement applications. Fill this position when you know the direction you plan to go with
(VMS= Tight end) – Like a Vending Management System, a strong, competent, Tight End can really be a priceless asset to your team. Using a top draft pick (all your budget) to fill this position might not be wise. Instead, start with a player who can get the basic job done (like cash accountability) and as the season progresses, scout which TE’s are available to grow with your team goals (i.e., move you to the next phase of the Technology Roadmap).
(Coin Manager =Kicker) This last position’s importance is often overlooked but is the one who helps manage the game by scoring field goals to keep the game close (taking whatever change the consumer can scrounge up), making an extra point (optimizing payout mix), or holding that perfectly lined up ball for the punter (determining the optimal float).
A Winning Formula
Like a Fantasy team, if the assets (Payment Systems) you’ve drafted aren’t performing in the field the way you want them to, there is always the option to make adjustments midseason and improve your odds of success. By continuing to research the league, rules, and tools available to you’ll find the way to meet your financial goals.
Tell us, do you have a winning Payment System formula for the vending machine and Fantasy Football team?