Vending has changed significantly as machines increasingly become connected. On the surface, customers purchase products based on the convenience of machine location and product selection, but it's the technologies employed by manufacturers and distributors who enable the sale that make all the difference in this low-margin business. In fact, a Harris Interactive survey for National Automatic Merchandising Association showed that:
Machine manufacturers and distributors who are not connecting their products are quickly falling behind in sales.
Connect to and Communicate with Vending Machines
Many vending machines today are outfitted with MDB or DEX internal intelligence to physically dispense products, but, without a remote telemeter, they lack core communication capabilities. While some vending manufacturers offer a remote data port capability, the data ultimately resides in the manufacturers' proprietary environment — a portal that only provides basic functionality.
Axeda supports a range of hardware options and offers communication capabilities for wired and wireless machine setups, opening up a broad range of connection possibilities beyond the proprietary systems offered by the validation system vendors. Once connected, vending machines now have a voice, and it's not limited to a proprietary solution for remote service and cash management alone — it's now an active participant in the sales process when empowered with social media capabilities.
Manage Machine Data from the Cloud
Service organizations can rely on the Axeda device management applications to remotely identify, diagnose, and repair issues with their machines from anywhere in the world. Producers of consumer goods, such as soda or ice cream, can use custom applications built with and deployed on the Axeda Platform to track the shipments to distribution centers as well as to vending machines.
For soda or ice cream offered in vending machines, vendors can remotely track the usage levels by product line and even modify the prices of those product lines that are in higher demand. The solution also enables machines to report back to their operations center with their current stock and any malfunctions.
With the Axeda Platform, a manufacturer and distributor of ice creamery machines is remotely collecting consumer data from their machines to monitor flavor use for accurate consumable resupply, track sales trends by geography and time of year, and remotely troubleshoot system issues to ensure maximum uptime.
Innovate with Next-Generation Applications
Axeda has developed an application — demonstrated at Axeda Connexion '11 — that tracks an ice cream machine's coolest flavors, mix-ins, and total ice creams served. The application also featured a Twitter feed of consumers' favorite flavor suggestions, so that they can meet customer needs in generating increased revenue.
With a secure and scalable platform to build next-generation applications, the Axeda Platform presents endless opportunities for the vending industry in maximizing productivity and profitability. Examples include: