With machines in 20,000 UK businesses, including being the vendor of choice for big brands and prestigious sporting venues, rijo42 have an impressive and fast-growing client base.
We chat to Lynn Heathcote, sole director of the Bolton-based specialist coffee and vending business, about why service is king and how they’re embracing a customer finance solution that gives their customers a more flexible way to ‘enjoy the real spirit of coffee’.
Can you tell us about what rijo42 does?
We started out in 1989 as KwikDrinx Ltd, specialising in the pre-packed ‘in-cup’ hot drinks systems that were very popular at that time. As the industry evolved so too did our company, replacing simple convenience with a need for a more superior vending solution. Businesses now demand the perfect combination of technology, quality, design and of course, a great cup of coffee to delight their customers at the push of a button.
We changed our brand name to rijo42 in 2007 and we’ve since grown to become the UK’s leading provider of commercial coffee machines, coffee beans and coffee ingredients. We have customers of all sizes, from small businesses with single machine requirements, to blue-chip companies, with large scale roll outs across multiple sites.
We’re a business built on delivering first class service and reliability. Customers can enjoy both on-site and in-house demonstrations of any of the 30 machine options, though 85% of businesses will opt for our Brasil machine – we’ve even shipped them to the States!
Our team of 70 is built up of sales, technical and customer service, and we’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We resolve 98% of any fault calls over the phone, without the need for a technician call out and that’s all down to the Swiss-build quality of the machines and the technology and materials involved – that is what sets us apart.
What do you feel are the advantages of using finance for your business?
We’ve promoted finance to our customers for many years. Not only does it give them the option to spread what can be a significant outlay into more manageable repayments, especially for businesses investing in multiple machines, it also makes it much simpler for businesses to upgrade their machines.
It’s really a myth that finance is only suitable for small businesses, it can often be a sensible solution for much larger companies in helping to manage cash flow. We certainly see a real mix of businesses opting to spread the cost and we’ve been really pleased with the Technology Leasing Solution through the LDF Partner Programme in offering a simple finance solution to our customers.
Where do you hope the business will be in three years’ time?
rijo42 will celebrate our 30th anniversary in business next year, a huge milestone that we’re very proud of. Most our employees have been with us for many years and we value that a lot, in fact, if you joined us less than 10 years ago… you’re still technically new!
We have plans to focus on recruitment, specifically with a view to grow our sales and account management teams.
We’re currently installing around 30 machines a week nationwide, and demand is ever increasing. Connected to our planned recruitment drive, we are also planning to move to larger offices in the next 12 months to help us accommodate our growing workforce, we’ve got lots to look forward to!