Tag Archives: telemetry

Future Vending Technology ROI

Future Vending Technology ROI  An interview with Mike Bunt, General Manager of Corporate Marketing Equipment of the Buffalo Rock Company

Future Vending Technology ROI  The future of vending as it relates to sales and service is a topic that lots of vending operators are interested in but may not be able to evaluate from an operations point of view. Some of the hot topics today are healthy vending, interactive displays, campus id cards, mobile commerce, and micro markets. Have you evaluated any of these or similar opportunities in vending for Buffalo Rock?

“You must be careful on the new technology, we are, there’s a lot of it out there we call ‘foo foo’ technology that really is a marketing ploy today to those who like all the gadgets… but if it increases service calls, we have to be careful not to get overly involved with it.”

“We look at up front costs, then increased sales or decreased service calls and a lot of times it’s easier to come up with a decrease in cost of lifecycle than pin pointing an increase in service calls.”

Mike gives several examples of what he calls a win on technology, listen to the podcast:

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

 

Future Vending Technology ROI  Tom Shivers: This is Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show, here with Mike Bunt of Buffalo Rock, general manager of corporate marketing equipment of the Buffalo Rock Company. Thanks for being here, Mike.

Mike Bunt: You’re quite welcome.

Tom Shivers: Today we’re going to talk about the Future Vending Technology ROI   and especially as it relates to sales and service because it’s kind of a popular topic today among vending operators, and sometimes it’s hard to evaluate from an operations point of view. Some of the hot topics today are healthy vending, interactive displays, campus ID cards, mobile commerce, and micromarkets. Have you evaluated any of those or similar opportunities in vending for Buffalo Rock?

Mike Bunt: Yes. Buffalo Rock is always looking at new technology. As a matter of fact, I attended the NACS trade show in Vegas and brought back six new pieces of equipment for testing. When we analyze equipment, we look at it from two points of views. One is the sales side and the other obviously is the service side of it. There’s all kind of new technology in the trade that is exciting. However, does it bring a value to the customer or to the company, and that’s what we have to look through.

Mike Bunt: For instance, LED lights. They claim to increase sales, which is a hard claim to back, but it does present the product in a much better light. However, we know LED lights last longer than the standard lighting and we know it’s going to reduce service calls, so the upfront cost of the LED is a no-brainer to us because we know we’re going to save service calls down the road.

Mike Bunt: And everybody must be careful on the new technology. We are, and there’s a lot of it out there what we call foo-foo technology that really is a marketing ploy to the youth today that likes all the gadgets and the gizmos, but if it increases service calls, we have to be careful not to get overly involved with it.

Tom Shivers: Yeah, for new vending technology, how do you go about weighing the cost versus benefits or say return on investment?

Mike Bunt: Well, we look at it from the standard ROI procedure. We look at the upfront cost and then we’ll look at increased sales or decreased service calls, and a lot of times like I say, it’s easier to come up with a decrease in cost of life cycle than pinpointing an increased service call. For instance, a few years ago everybody migrated to the electronic boards on equipment, and one of the things we noticed is that we were going to a lot of vending machines just to reboot the boards in the machines. Well, talking with the manufacturers, we convinced one, Vendo, to build a reboot chip if you will that basically just checks itself on all its boards, and if it senses a loss of connectivity, it reboots itself automatically. The boards that we were in test with, it drove service calls practically out of it for won’t take money calls, so that would be what we’d consider a win on technology. Now the consumer never sees it, but they enjoy the benefit of it because every time they go to the machine, they can buy a drink.

Mike Bunt: The interactive display boards, to me that’s more of a marketing ploy to the youth. It does draw excitement to your machines, but then you look at the cost of the doors versus the increased sales, and the placement potentials on those are very limited because you can’t just take an interactive vending machine and place it anywhere you have a vendor, so down the road, if we invest capital in equipment like that, we have to be very smart because you’re only going to be able to put in specific locations.

Tom Shivers: Are there any other examples that you have for evaluating vending technology?

Mike Bunt: We tested the [dex 00:04:52] project, where [dexing 00:04:56] was a huge technological win for Buffalo Rock is that you’re able to minimize routes on the streets, you increase sales, you reduce spoilage or outages of the machines, and that’s a huge cost to the company to get into [dexing 00:05:15] on 20,000 machines, but we know the payoff’s gonna be there through the efficiencies that the program’s gonna bring.

Mike Bunt: The MEI recycler, for instance. The big question is credit cards versus recyclers, and every machine that goes out into trade gets a changer and validator on it, so the upcost of the recycler, we have done tests on equipment where we put recyclers, and we’ve seen 30, 40, 50%. On a military base, we’ve seen 200% increases on machines for adding a component onto a machine that was already there operating, so that was a huge impact for us on sales, the return on investment was minimal, and it’s not like every machine doesn’t get a validator anyway.

Tom Shivers: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, it sounds like you’ve tested a number of products, perhaps several of the MEI products, and it sounds like the LED lights tend to pass the ROI test as well. Are there other features or ideas that are being touted today that make you wonder what the ROI might be for some of these?

Mike Bunt: Yeah. Right now, telemetry is a hot spot along with the interactive equipment, and the one challenge you have with telemetry is sales signal, and I don’t believe there’s anybody in this country that’s ever been on a cell phone that didn’t drop a call or it lock up. Well, that’s the same type of opportunities that you have when you put telemetry on your vendors. However, there’s a value to telemetry because it does allow you to preload your trucks, it can alert you for service calls, and I think once the technology is perfected and the calls droppage reduced, I think that you’ll see a lot more telemetry in the trade. You just have to weigh out the cost, the monthly fees versus the value of what you’re getting out of the system.

Tom Shivers: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, do the telemetry manufacturers allow for a testing period before making a decision?

Mike Bunt: Yeah, I would imagine they would. Again, that would be up to each company that’s selling the system, but like with most equipment, they’ll let you evaluate it and analyze it.

Tom Shivers: Well, thanks, Mike. Tell us about Buffalo Rock.

Mike Bunt: Well, we’re one of the largest privately owned Pepsi bottlers in the country. We have over 2000 employees and around 90,000 assets in the trade in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

Tom Shivers: You’ve been listening toFuture Vending Technology ROI  at the Vending Business Show, a production of A&M Equipment Sales.  More Vending Business Blogs USA Technology G10-S EPORT Telemeter & Credit Card Reader

Vending Technology From Vending Operators

Vending Technology From Vending Operators   This technology panel Q&A discussion was recorded at NAMA OneShow 2012 and includes:

  • Doug Haddon, MEI
  • Stu Riemann, D & R Star Vending
  • Scott Meskin, Black Tie Services
  • David Sours, Coca-Cola United
  • Cliff Fisher, MEI (moderator)

Vending Technology from Vending operators  This is a gathering of large and small vendors gathered at the NAMA show trying to find answers on Vending technology.  This includes Vending credit card readers and vending telemetry  Vending is starting to move towards prekitting all your products and then just having the route person bring them in and install them in the vending machine.  Telemetry keeps track of sales – money in the machines and items that are sold.  With this the owner has a clear knowledge what the machines and account is doing.  This is your chance to hear from operators who are actually implementing many effective processes and technologies that include – but are not limited to – telemetry. They’re doing it on a large scale and to great success.  Different operators discuss different credit card readers their effectiveness and cost as well as security and reliability.  They also discuss telemetry whick systems are good and which systems are very reliable.

Vending technology From Vending Operators  There are excellent questions from the audience for each panelist, in fact, that is the point. If you’ve ever had questions about telemetry or other vending technology implementation questions, you may find your answer in this video.  You may want to see additional blogs of the Vending Business Show  Vending Machines: How to Strike a Deal with an Establishment

Vending Remote Monitoring

Vending Remote Monitoring  An interview with Greg Hasslinger, VP of Sales at InOne TechnologyInOne Technology

Vending Remote Monitoring What are the technical requirements for a vending machine to be remotely monitored by an operator?

First of all the vending machine must be able to provide a DEX file. The majority of the OEM’s have been incorporating DEX into their machines for years. However there are many older machines that are still in use today that do not provide Dex. InOne provides 2 solutions for these machines without Dex- DEX audit kits or replacement controller boards for older AP, National and some Polyvend snack machines…

What are some of the benefits of  vending remote monitoring?

Though a lot will depend on the operator, their current operation and what they define as a successful implementation. Some of the key benefits we hear from our customers after implementing vending remote monitoring : we carry less inventory in the trucks, we have been able to reduce unnecessary trips to machines that do not require product, we are informed ahead of time of problems with the machines, our customers feel they are being serviced promptly and can also see sales reports when provided with secured login capability…

Does the vending remote monitoring  solution provide the operator with alerts?

Yes, InOne’s Arrow Connect Solution provides various types of alerts and alarms. The alerts are generated from the Dex file, over the MDB, as a result of rules set by the operator and by loss of power at the machine.  These can be provided via text message, email or both to one or numerous individuals in the operation.

What costs are involved to add vending remote monitoring? What about adding cashless in the future?

Assuming the vending machines have Dex and MDB there is the cost of the hardware and the monthly monitoring fee. The cost will vary based on the purchase option the operator chooses.  You can contact me at 410-666-3800 x1106 and I can provide you with the options so you can make the best decision for your current and long term needs. Yes, once you have the Arrow Connect you can easily migrate to providing cashless capabilities just by adding a card reader (which we provide a number of options).

I’ve heard operators say that they want to add vending remote monitoring  to only a couple machines to start off, is that possible?

Yes, we have always believed to treat each customer the same, whether for 3 machines or for 3 routes of machines.

If an operator is using a route management software package, will you be able to send them a DEX file?

We have adopted the NAMA VDI standard and are currently sending Dex files to the route management systems where they have adopted this standard. Though there are some companies that have not adopted the standard and are working on it. More exciting videos  Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?

Listen to the interview: