The Modern Vending Imperative:
Leveraging Technology to Increase Margins and Improve Operational Efficiencies
Discussions of applying advanced technology to the vending industry may still trigger apprehension and resistance among some operators. However, there is no avoiding the subject if the pesky issue of survival is of interest to you. As one operator has said, “People who don’t adopt technology will fail. They won’t be around because the cost of distribution is going to kill them.” And that’s only one of a number of reasons technology resistance may lead to failure.
As you know, success is ultimately dependent on ensuring that you have the right product in the right machines at the right times, and on optimizing the uptime of those machines. So it’s hard to imagine being efficient and profitable without deploying vending management technologies that automate key business processes, differentiate your business from your competitors and improve customer experiences.
Astute operators know that to capitalize on industry trends and to seize new, more profitable opportunities they must commit to strategic technology adoption.
They may, however, not know exactly how to proceed.
A good and proven roadmap for technology adoption typically flows like this:
- Machine-to-machine communication (M2M): Bringing your machines online to enable you to be proactive rather than reactive in terms of inventory management, pre-kitting operations, machine maintenance and route optimization
- Cashless: Allowing payment by means other than coins and currency to drive incremental unit sales, offer higher priced items and encourage increased customer spending
- Analytics: Enabling business operations decisions to be made based on real-time data, resulting in optimized business efficiency, revenues and profitability
- Cloud-based: Relieving operators of the need to purchase, manage and maintain on-premise hardware and software systems while ensuring those business critical systems are always available and up-to-date
- Mobile: Making field-service workers more efficient and more collaborative in real-time with office-based colleagues (while also significantly reducing equipment costs by providing them with powerful, less expensive devices than traditional brick style handhelds)
Ideally, you should look for a complete, end-to-end solution from a single solution provider for increased efficiency and accountability.
Operators who have recognized that leveraging technology is now an industry imperative have seen the benefits in terms of operational efficiencies and increased margins. As Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda said, “If a machine or device can report back that it has broken down or needs refilling, that saves a field-force employee driving around checking on these things. Because of the improved visibility [provided by the technology], they only need to go where the attention is needed. That has a hard ROI for operators.”
Duncan Smith, vice president of operations at All Star Services, speaking about the impact of cashless technology said, “We’re seeing anywhere from a 10 to 30 percent total lift in sales.”
Now that’s a value proposition that’s pretty hard to ignore!
To learn more about how these technologies can benefit your business, contact Cantaloupe Systems today!