Over 60 Years of Innovation and Change
James R. McNutt, Sr. founded Standard Change-Makers, Inc. in 1955 as an affiliate of the Nik-O-Lok Company, the world's largest manufacturer of coin-operated locks. Mr. McNutt's grandfather, Charles Van Cleave, founded Nik-O-Lok in 1910. Both companies operated out of the same facilities, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1965, Standard Change-Makers became a separate corporation, and eventually Nik-O-Lok became a division of Standard Change-Makers, Inc. Both companies are still in full operation, still family-owned and still a privately held corporation.
The Early Years
In the beginning, having seen a need in the vending industry, Jim McNutt, Sr. began with a simple mechanically operated coin changer that would return either five nickels or two dimes and a nickel for a quarter. The original machine sold for a retail price of $89.50! There have certainly been many innovations and technological improvements incorporated since the early mechanical designs!
1955 - In our early years, manufacturing operated in an upstairs room of the Nik-O-Lok Company, located at 422 East New York Street, in downtown Indianapolis.
1956 - One year later, "technology" broke through with the introduction of a new series of coin changers. Among the technological advances was allowing the machine to change the well-circulated half-dollar coin. These changers were very popular in the Vending industry, because vending machines could not yet accept such large coins.
It was about this same time that Coin Laundry stores began to emerge on the national scene. With the company's line of tough and dependable changers, Standard was able to supply machines that would help to insure these new store's profitability -- the ability to convert silver dollars, half-dollars and quarters into coins they could use in the washers, dryers and soap dispensers. Standard Change-Makers also established a presence in Canada, to address the same issues in the Canadian Vending and Laundry industries.
Change Machine Innovation
1964 - Standard Change-Makers introduced the acceptance of $1 bills into their U.S. Change Machines. This innovation was quite revolutionary for the times. Using bill acceptors (also called validators) manufactured by outside companies, Standard Change-Makers continued to address the needs of the Vending and Coin Laundry industries, and also began to branch out into the growing Self-Serve Carwash market. The ability to convert $1 bills – which were steadily becoming more popular than the silver dollar coin - gave Standard a competitive advantage in the Changer industry. Also that year, additional manufacturing space was leased a short distance away to alleviate the overcrowding.
1978 was the year $5.00 bill acceptance was introduced into the company's changer line.
1987 was again a revolutionary year for Standard. Management felt that in order to better serve their customers, the company must have more control over the constant engineering changes associated with dollar bill acceptors. Standard was proud to introduce their own "System 500" Bill Acceptor. The System 500 offered $1, $5, $10, and $20 bill acceptance - truly a first! When the System 500 acceptor was first introduced, most industry analysts questioned who would ever want to get change for a $20 bill?
Growth and Expansion
By 1988, Standard was busting at the seams once again, and they opted to lease an additional 17,000 square foot building next door, leaving the company's operations in three different buildings. It wasn't entirely the most efficient way to operate, but there was room to move.
In 1991, then-Vice President Jim McNutt, Jr. led the efforts to build a new facility designed exclusively for the company's needs. Culminating in early 1992 with a modern 67,000 square foot building to house all of the company's operations, as well as the Nik-O-Lok Company, and still the present headquarters.
In 1994, Mexico was added to the list of countries that the company serves. Electromecanicos Monterrey S.A. de C.V. joined with Standard Change-Makers as their Master Distributor in Mexico and South America.
System 600-FST Introduced
In 1998, Standard introduced the enhanced "System 600-FST" that featured more advanced technology to deal with the growing challenges of fraud and theft facing self-service business owners. Other high quality bill acceptors are also available in the most complete line of change machines you can find anywhere.
In 2000, Standard introduced the BX "Bill-to-Bill Exchanger" Series in response to the requests from Laundry Card store owners. This machine dispenses bills rather than coins. Most cardholders only want to put $5 to $10 value on their cards at a time, and the BX1000 machine would provide the change they wanted. It is a perfect solution for after-hours and unattended Laundromats. This eventually evolved in to the BCX "Bill and Coin Exchanger" Series – that dispenses a combination of bills and coins which was launched in 2002.
Modular Series Change Machines
In 2003 – the Standard engineers developed our Modular "Smart Hopper" technology that provides a simple-function, low cost solution that the various self-service industries requested. The MC Series features "Plug & Play" modules that will allow business owners to upgrade their base machine to address specific programming, auditing and security settings that will help them respond effectively in their business operations. Further, the Modular technology has allowed us to introduce the Dual Redundancy feature – which is a true built-in back up on our Dual Acceptor changers (like the MC500RL-DA, MC900-DA's and MC720-DA).
2008 - the System 600-EF bill acceptor was introduced replacing the System 600-FST. The newer version featured a faster processor, more memory space to store more bills in circulation, four-way bill acceptance and upgrades in sensor technology.
Guardian XP Entry Systems
In 2010, Standard introduced the Guardian XP (GXP) Series of entry stations for Automatic Bays in the Car Wash industry. The GXP was followed by the GXP-BE - Cashless, Card or Code entry station and the GXP-BX - Pay Station with bill dispense capability.
EASYPAY Central Payment System
Standard started working with the EZ-Pay partners at the 2009 Clean Show. They displayed a modified MC200 that could accept credit cards and send start signals to washers. We continued to work with them as they developed the product. Soon, they had color touch screens and PC-driven software that allowed more features and easier interfacing.
Standard engineers designed the new enclosures and helped blend the two systems of allowing the cash acceptance and change-making with the card processing, and the ability to start both washers and dryers. Since that original group, the EASYPAY system has gone through a few additional technology generations and now Standard partners with BCC Payments, LLC in continuing to develop and produce a central payment solution that addresses the capability of accepting ALL FORMS of payment (bills, coins, cards, mobile and EBT) in a coin laundry business.
Still Family Owned
Mr. McNutt's oldest son, James R. McNutt, Jr., began working for Standard Change-Makers shortly after his graduation from college in 1977. He started by serving as Purchasing Manager, became Vice-President/Operations in 1985, and then President & CEO in 1993. Jim McNutt, Sr. served as Chairman of the Board until his passing in June, 2006.
Jim, Jr. has two brothers working hard in the business. Rob is involved in various phases of the production department, and has been with the business since 1981. Alexander ("Sandy") joined the team in 1987 and headed the purchasing department until 2004. Sandy now serves as Vice President of The Nik-O-Lok Company - a division of Standard Change-Makers, Inc.
In-House Design and Manufacturing
Unlike other competitors, Standard utilizes an in-house engineering design team, produces all of it's own sheet metal cabinets and components, all of it's electronic component assemblies, and all of the assembly work required to produce the highest quality products available. Standard's reputation of building the most secure cabinets, the most reliable and dependable coin hoppers, and providing the best value for your investment is a testament of the commitment of its employees and valued distributors.
"The first 60 years have been an amazing journey. We have experienced many changes and innovations, and worked with many outstanding distributors and customers that have helped us design and deliver better products. We welcome you to share with us in the next sixty."
James R. McNutt, Jr., President / CEO