2010 Archives


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

By Paul Schlossberg

Vending wins, without question, when it comes to convenience. The vending machine bank is the closest shopping point for snacks and beverages – and food. But vending is at risk of becoming irrelevant, especially to younger people. Compared to our competition, primarily convenience stores, we don’t stack up very well. Why are we losing the battle for immediate consumption? What’s the action plan to win back our customers? Let’s look inside THE VENDING STORE OF THE FUTURE. The customer-facing features are:
  • Cold beverages, hot beverages, candy, snacks, fresh food, ice cream and more.
  • Payment systems accept coins, bills and debit/credit cards and promotional coupons.
  • Combination meals.
  • Shopper loyalty programs with offers communicated directly to members.
  • Kiosks allow shoppers to make selections and pay in one transaction.
  • Single cup brewers activated by the order/payment kiosk.
  • Machines with display panels to deliver advertising and promotions (a source of income) and nutritional information.
  • Every device is ADA compliant.
  • Devices are “green” with energy management capabilities, LED lighting, etc.
  • Recycling is available.
What shoppers see is “the front-of-the-house” in restaurant terminology. To make THE VENDING STORE OF THE FUTURE a workable solution, the “back-of-the-house” systems are equally important. What we find includes:
  • Remote monitoring of machines minimizes out-of-stocks and enables dynamic routing.
  • Integrated systems with route accounting software for analysis and control.
  • Re-engineered daily operations with handheld devices for route techs and exacting standards to manage fresh food availability.
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