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By: Dan Sippl, RSVA President
(Vendorscope Summer 2010)

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It is becoming increasingly clear that we must change our way of doing business to maintain our Randolph-Sheppard program nationally for ourselves, as well as future generations.  So many issues are driving this factor home presently that if we are not willing to change now, then we are probably part of the problem. 

Our present economic decline, as well as health maintenance concerns are issues that we must take heed of immediately.  The economy has severely impacted everyone’s bottom line.  As vendors, we can address this in various ways by focusing on our customer service.  Customer service is a broad term that can consume a lot of our time, from responding to service calls, changing product offerings, handling refunds in a pleasant and professional manner, offering well known and easily recognizable products, and ensuring that employees project a positive personality and attitude toward fulfilling the customer’s needs.  These are all easy issues to consider for correcting our declining sales. 

Branching out away from government buildings and into the private sector is a real challenge.  However, this is a very practical measure to address through the recent efforts of your RSVA team.  This, coupled with your support of work that the RSVA committees will and have put together in partnerships with more and more members of the corporate sector will allow us to develop an esprit décor with other disability groups, legislators and government agencies.

The health maintenance concerns facing our country undoubtedly will have a serious impact on our way of doing business.  As you know, Congress has mandated many things that will impact what and how we offer products in our vending machines, snack bars and cafeterias.  As your newly elected RSVA President, I am advocating a need to support RSVA in our efforts to monitor and have a significant influence on how the final regulations come forth through the coming legislative months.  This is a monumental task, but a very necessary one to ensure that we change in the right direction for our bottom line and the future of our Randolph-Sheppard program.

As this is a brief overview, I am requesting that you stay tuned to RSVA and plan to attend the Sagebrush Conference in Las Vegas the week of February 5 – 12, 2011 at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (The Conference will start the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday.)

Finally, if we are going to have an impact on how we change, we need to get seriously involved.  Your legislators, both State and Federal, are home for session breaks. We need to be out there in droves to meet with them, to allow them to become acquainted with us so that we can explain our program on both Federal and State levels.  Our legislative liaisons are an important part of our legislative agenda; however, no one can do it better than you!  Remember, even though there are many groups out there seeking government funding, if we are not at the table, we could likely be the menu.

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