The IOA – celebrating 25 years of independence at EAG 2016
EAG international is always an important event in the calendar for members of the Independent Operators Association but the 2016 show will mark a very important milestone for IOA Members. In January 2016 the Association will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
Chairman Paul Langham explains: “Looking at the size and reach of today’s IOA, it’s difficult to believe that it all started with a conversation between our two founder members, Frank Hodgkinson and John Powell at an ATE expo back in the early nineties.”
Today the IOA is a nationwide group of 14 owner- managed operating businesses, dedicated to optimising the machine income of its customers. With 25,000 machines under their management and a client portfolio which includes Greene King, Wetherspoon, McMullen and Punch Taverns, the IOA’s members have a very strong presence in the UK’s amusement and gaming machine market. Interestingly, in addition to gaming and amusement machines, a number of clients also turn to the IOA for ancillary equipment such as icemakers and electronic tills. Very much an innovator, the IOA has many ‘firsts’ under its belt, including the siting of the very first digital jukebox.
Paul Langham is in no doubt as to the reasons for the IOA’s success: “Our members deliver the very best returns to our clients and we consistently out-perform our competitors. This is achieved through hard work, product knowledge and a passion for the industry; there is no mystery and no smoke and mirrors,” revealed Paul
With a national reach re-enforced with local knowledge and owner-management, it’s easy to see why the IOA has become the operator of choice for national and regional pub retailers alike. The local structure is overlaid with centralised account management and performance reporting via AMDEX machine management software. As a major purchaser of machines, the IOA works closely with manufacturers and has its own test team which meets weekly to decide on machine injection
“On the occasion of our 25th Anniversary, I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to our customers and all the members of our amazing staff whose dedication has made the IOA what it is today. We’ve many long-serving people and our team is second to none,” thanked Paul.
All of the IOA’s member companies will be at EAG 2016, to meet customers, manufacturers and the various industry groups gathering at the show.
On the evening of Tuesday 12th January, the IOA will mark its 25 years by hosting an informal dinner, for customers and friend s from within the industry at a restaurant close to ExCel.