BUSINESS FIZZING: Michael Watson increased the turnover of his two-day-a-week vending machine business by 170%, seen here stocking up Stockland for Christmas.
BUSINESS FIZZING: Michael Watson increased the turnover of his two-day-a-week vending machine business by 170%, seen here stocking up Stockland for Christmas. Mike Richards GLA151113COKE

Vending machine business booms thanks to Curtis Island

MICHAEL Watson has increased his business' turnover by nearly 170%, turning a two-day-a-week business into one of Queensland's largest vending routes.

He said filling vending machines was simple, but it was the relationships he had with existing and prospective customers that were important to business growth.

M&J Watson Logistics Group, owned by Michael and his wife Janet, spotted an opportunity when the local Coca-Cola Amatil vending machine business became available.

It started with a small number of machines in the Gladstone region, which stretches west to Biloela, Moura and Cracow.

But his route now includes a number of days each week ensuring the machines are filled and operational for the 9000-strong Bechtel workforce across the LNG projects on Curtis Island.

Some of his biggest customers also include Stockland, Boyne Smelter Limited, and a healthy choice range of drinks in machines at Gladstone Hospital - but the growth plans for his business don't stop there.

"I want to build to become Queensland's largest vending route here at peak," he said.

To meet demand, Michael has needed to employ additional staff and purchase an additional delivery vehicle, and CCA has expanded warehouse capacity in Gladstone in support of his growth.

He acknowledged the business would be affected when the construction phase ends on Curtis Island, "but with the amount of stuff going on around town I'm hoping I can capitalise on that".

"The driving factor is that I'm helping the locally based CCA representative to identify where more machines are needed," he said.

"I think we have the market fairly well untapped...it's always a buzz when I get extra machines placed."



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