Blog - Intelligent Vending Ltd

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Welcome to our Weblog. Stay current with all the latest vending news and articles from Intelligent Vending Ltd.

If you would like to write an article for us, then please send it to: blog@intelligentvending.co.uk. Once approved we will be happy to post it publicly.

Welcome Intelligent PPE Supplies Initiative…

The supply of ‘Personal Protective Equipment’ (PPE) for Health Services personnel and key workers has proved a major difficulty throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Securing reliable sources for products that meet the required specifications continues to prove a considerable logistics challenge. This situation is also likely to get worse in the short term as people leave lockdown, and many governments around the world are now starting to advise that the wider population wear face masks and other personal protective equipment as a condition of relaxing social regulations and getting back to work.

The global demand for PPE products is therefore much greater than supply. The market is extremely volatile with pricing changing on almost a daily basis in regard to unit costs, transportation charges and factory production output demands.  There is also a large amount of poor quality PPE in circulation that does not meet the required EN standards and is supplied with inadequate CE certification and test reports.  Without background knowledge in PPE products it is understandable that many businesses are unsure regarding the most suitable PPE products for their specific use case, and they have no experience or idea how to correctly validate the quality of items from suppliers.  In addition, it is also extremely important that businesses do not order a higher grade of PPE products than required, which may inadvertently take essential stock away from frontline health workers where a high level of protection is required.

This is where our new collaborative business comes in, please welcome ‘Intelligent PPE Supplies Initiative’.  Our initiative has been established specifically to counter these PPE supply problems and we are a collaboration of highly proficient business-people from the UK, China and Japan.  Due to our regional locations and applicable working time zones, we are able to operate around the clock, 24/7, to deliver product solutions that other suppliers would find hard to achieve.

Please see our promotional flyer below:

Intelligent PPE Supplies Initiative Flyer

Intelligent PPE Supplies Initiative Flyer

We specialise in sourcing, negotiation, technical requirements, logistics & planning, plus quality validation for high volume supply of equipment.  This combination of know-how and close working is an essential part of our strategy and is of paramount importance in the present market environment where there are many practical hurdles between the factory and the end customer. Using our expertise, we can establish new supply chains for PPE and other medical items from source, and back this up with market leading logistics; ensuring goods arrive safely to our customers and in good time.

We are specialists at sourcing bona fide, legitimate and high-quality PPE and other medical products from factories that other suppliers may have missed.  All the factories we use are ‘white listed’ for export and fully endorsed and verified against government systems in the country of origin.

We look forward to supporting your organisation through this difficult time and we are working hard towards a safer future.  Please ask us for more details if your require PPE for your business, or have any specific questions regarding how Intelligent PPE Supplies Initiative can help your organisation.

To view more information and see our brochure, please click on the following link: Intelligent PPE Supplies Initiative Brochure

 

New COVID-19 Coronavirus section of our website now live…

We are pleased to announce a new COVID-19 Coronavirus category (https://www.intelligentvending.co.uk/covid-19-coronavirus/) has been launched on the Intelligent Wholesale website. This is being reviewed and updated regularly to ensure prices and offers are as up-to-date as possible. As with all COVID-19 related products we have supplied so far (the range is extensive and very rarely publicised!), we know that demand is unprecedented. You can therefore rest assured we are reviewing and updating all products added to this new section daily to ensure prices and offers are current and effective.

Our key area of focus via our eCommerce channel so far has been alcohol sanitiser. In our own opinion, Unicorn Hygienics were well ahead of the game with this and one of the first truly UK producers to predict the demand that was coming. While standard alcohol hand sanitiser retail suppliers still had their usual UK stock allocation available for day to day (non-coronavirus) business usage requirements, Unicorn capitalised on their extensive knowledge and experience from previous respiratory viruses in the marketplace. They quickly positioned themselves as a leader in the field, with one of the best hand sanitizing products available for consumers in the UK & Ireland markets.

The product is Pursan, and this already had a registered trademark going back to 2010. From our own experience with hand sanitisers, we strongly believe that their formula cannot be faulted. It had already been tried and tested in the market many years ago and fine-tuned to consumer needs.

Utmost respect must go out to Roger Pannell from the Unicorn group on this. He has always had a great eye for business and he never once took advantage of this crises for personal reward. His aim at every stage was to provide his trusted and loyal distributor partners with a truly world leading product, and a market edge that would help to keep their businesses going, whilst also saving people in the UK. Their Pursan product is truly exceptional and their product has remained at competitive pricing throughout the market fluctuations.

Our own staff at Intelligent Vending and Intelligent Wholesale, plus extended staff families have been using this product since day one of the coronavirus pandemic (and in some cases significantly high and repeated use throughout each day!) without any damage to our hands at all thanks to the added moisturiser and formulation of the product.

We have now extended our COVID-19 range to include the new Sterizen alcohol hand sanisiter & sanitising surface cleansing solution. This has been brought to us via Borg & Overstrom who are a leader in the high-end point of use water coolers and accessories category worldwide. The focus for their new Sterizen solutions is consistent with that of Unicorn Hygienic’s, but their retail offering is focused on smaller, handy, pocket size products that can be carried around by staff.

Their Sterizen 80% alcohol formula hand sanitiser is based on WHO (World Health Organisation) recommendations. It is again a liquid and not a gel, and there is no unpleasant residue left of the hands. It is also great for repeated use and comes in both 150ml and 250ml atomiser spray bottles which are recyclable. Full SDS information and marketing information can be found on our website under the COVID-19 Coronavirus section, and both small cases, and bulk pallet offerings are available to clients with clear timelines outlined online to ensure transparency.

The little sister to the Sterizen alcohol hand sanitiser range is the Borg & Overstrom sanitiser surface solution. This is supplied in a lockable 150ml spray which is also pocket size. This product is NOT for hand use, but it is perfect for surface sanitizing of door handles, light switches, vehicle interiors, control panels, touch screens, shopping trolley handles and so much more. The Sterizen sanitising solution is suitable for anywhere that people touch regularly. Due to the ingredient formulation it is cheaper to produce than high alcohol content hand sanitiser, so it is ideal for any areas that people regularly touch and keeps costs as low as possible in relation to company staff safety. All SDS information is available for both Pursan and Sterizen products online, as well as other important marketing information.

A range of other products will also be listed shortly, but we are posting based on demand in terms of priority. Hand sanitisers are a huge, in demand product in these uncertain times, so it’s only fair they received the first introduction to our new COVID-19 Coronavirus section.

A range of other PPE items for the NHS and government departments are also available via our specialist advisers and personal protective equipment suppliers, so please ask if you have any particular sourcing requirements. For volume buyers such as government departments, healthcare, pharmacies & supermarkets, rest assured our product range is extensive (but all may not be listed online) and it continues to grow for this new category.

Please let us know if you require high volumes of medical 3-ply face masks, surgical 3-ply face masks, Face Fit FFP2 KN95 face masks, Face Fit FFP3 KN99 face masks or surgical gowns. We can supply millions of units at competitive prices with very short lead times direct from specialist manufacturers.

Our global network of trusted and certified factories can produce high quality PPE (personal protective equipment) items with very fast lead times. We also have dedicated cargo planes and logistics available to ensure quality inspections throughout production, speedy customs checks, and rapid delivery to our clients wherever they are located around the world.

….

It is great to see British businesses prosper in hard times and the innovation of UK entrepreneurs flourish. Keep updated of the many products arriving in our COVID-19 Coronavirus portfolio shortly; hand sanitiser has been a life saver and extremely popular with all of our customers with some incredible reviews from clients.

….

Keep safe everyone and watch this space….

Integracare Client Testimonial…

Thanks to Dan from Integracare for the amazing testimonial.

“Just want to say how much I appreciate the recent delivery of hand sanitiser, and that fact that you made good your promise regarding timescales – you have helped safeguard many vulnerable people we support.

I’m perhaps most grateful for the way in which your company undertook checks on our company before agreeing to supply us with a scarce and valuable product during the current COVID-19 crisis. Whilst some other companies and individuals are exploiting this crisis for financial or selfish gains, it’s refreshing to come across a company such as yours that has integrity and social conscience.”

At Intelligent Wholesale, we’re really pleased we could help! We’re going to continue supplying to businesses while we still can. Rest assured our distribution staff are fully protected with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

For single cases of alcohol hand cleanser only with a free spray, please click here: www.intelligentvending.co.uk/pursan1lcase

Unfortunately, due to high demand we are no longer able to supply larger pallet quantities at the present time.

Alcohol Hand Sanitiser 1 Per Case

Amazing news for UK businesses…

Amazing news for UK businesses announced on Friday 20th March. Thanks Rishi and Boris! This is greatly reassuring for everyone, and certainly a massive help for all businesses out there.

If you’re still looking for alcohol hand sanitiser, you can now purchase Pursan Alcohol Hand Sanitiser by the case online to keep you and your staff safe. It’s soft on the hands, quick drying and contains moisturiser. It is also great for surface cleaning, shopping trolleys, door handles, petrol pump handles, light switches etc. In fact, pretty much anywhere that people touch! We’re even throwing in a free 500ml spray bottle with each case ordered!

For single cases of alcohol hand cleanser only with a free spray, please click here: www.intelligentvending.co.uk/pursan1lcase

Alcohol Hand Sanitiser 1 Per Case

For pallet orders of alcohol hand sanitiser (600 x litre screw cap bottles), please click here: www.intelligentvending.co.uk/pursan1l

Alcohol Hand Sanitiser 1 Litre

 

Pursan Alcohol Sanitiser for Smaller Businesses

Pursan alcohol hand sanitiser with 70% v/v alcohol is now available for smaller businesses. We’ve made this possible due to the high call volume received from smaller companies who can’t get hold of alcohol sanitiser which they need to ensure staff safety. Our Pursan alcohol hand sanitiser is currently in production and will be despatched by the case of 12 x 1 litre screw cap bottles PLUS 1 off x FOC 500ml spray bottle.

Pursan Alcohol Hand Sanitiser Per Case

We’re also putting a limit on orders like supermarkets, with a max of two cases per business customer. This is to ensure even distribution to the people that need it. For larger clients they can still buy in bulk by the pallet from our website.

For single case quantities, please see Pursan Alcohol Hand Sanitiser here

As the Pursan Alcohol Hand Sanitiser product is a liquid and not a gel, it can be used in most spray containers that operate with water. It is an amazing product that leaves the hands feeling fresh and without residue.

Stock is limited and orders will be processed on a first come first serve basis.

Alcohol Hand Sanitiser Update…

The interest in our Pursan Alcohol Sanitiser has been unprecedented.  We know that some suppliers have exploited lack of availability and high demand to justify sky high prices, but we have deliberately taken a different line, consistent with our broader company ethos.  Prices are higher than under normal circumstances because the base cost of raw materials reflects a shortfall in the supply chain. However, we have deliberately applied normal company margins across this range to enable us to supply customers at an as affordable price as possible.  In terms of equipment to dispense alcohol sanitiser in the workplace, we have actually reduced prices on our soap and similar dispensers.  Our pricing and lead times have been generally well received by clients and we appreciate their patience while we have had to confirm lead times on an order by order basis over this exceptional period.

Several clients have queried why we only supply in large quantities and, in fact, we have looked at the logistics of meeting smaller orders.  Unfortunately, this was unrealistic for us as a company.  However, if bulk ordering at first seems prohibitive for your business, there are a number of issues to take into account.

Firstly, the supply environment is changing rapidly.  Demand is so high that raw material supply is difficult to secure including the bottles and spray tops to contain the alcohol sanitiser.  Prices are therefore rising overall, and in our experience, lead times have fluctuated almost daily.  Anticipating longer term requirements and purchasing accordingly might be a helpful strategy therefore.

Secondly, in thinking about locations within a building or workgroup where alcohol hand sanitiser might be needed, it quickly becomes clear that the need is extensive, much broader than washrooms, canteens and reception areas.  Anyone who has recently visited a hospital is likely to have seen sanitiser stations every few yards in corridors, with visitors much more likely to use these. Clearly, in order to deliver this level of protection access to significant quantities of sanitiser gel/liquid is essential.

Over the next months it is likely that access to supplies of sanitiser will improve and related costs reduce.  In the shorter term however, where employers have a duty to protect their staff and customers it is prudent to ensure your own supply of a key component in your health and safety provision.

Alcohol Hand Sanitiser 1 Litre

For more information, please check out here www.intelligentvending.co.uk/pursan1l

Please note that orders continue to be processed on a first come, first serve basis and we will confirm lead times for each order placed asap following receipt.  Please bear with us on this as we are working as quickly as possible, and do not want to mislead our customers with inaccurate information.  We are also supplying this product overseas to European partners.

Keep Calm… We’re still supplying 70% alcohol hand sanitisers!

Our high content 70% alcohol hand sanitizer with moisturiser is still available.  We’ve taken significant orders over the weekend and it’s been a very busy day, but additional production has been made available at the factory due to extremely high demand and to keep lead times as low as possible for clients.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND MSDS SPEC SHEETS ON OUR ALCOHOL HAND SANITIZER

PURSAN 500ml Alcohol Hand Cleanser 70 Percent Alcohol Label PURSAN 500ml Alcohol Hand Cleanser 70 Percent Alcohol Label

Orders continue to be processed on a first come, first serve basis and we will confirm lead times for each order placed asap following receipt.   Please bear with us on this as we are working as quickly as possible.

I’m also pleased to confirm that we will soon be supplying bulk 5 litre container versions and smaller hand-held 100ml high alcohol hand gel sanitizer bottles. Watch this space!…

P.S. All soap dispensers have now also been reduced online on our website too, for those who don’t wish to buy the hand alcohol sanitizer in bulk and prefer to provide better hand washing facilities to staff. These can be ordered in lower single unit volumes.

P.P.S. We have also received significant enquiries from our partners in Europe and are happy to quote for shipping via email on an enquiry by enquiry basis.

Pursan Alcohol Hand Cleanser 70% Alcohol Now Available

One of our manufacturing partners has recently started producing 70% alcohol based hand cleanser at their factory in Northern Ireland due to the UK shortage and the current coronavirus COVID-19 situation in the UK. The producer is a very large hygiene sector manufacturer, so you can rest assured this is a legitimate high quality product.

Demand is currently extremely high for the alcohol hand sanitiser and availability is limited. Orders will be shipped on a first come first serve basis, but we’re currently aiming to ship goods within 3 to 5 working days from receipt of orders.

Pursan Alcohol Hand Cleanser contains 70% alcohol. It is quick drying and contains moisturiser to keep hands feeling soft and smooth. Whilst this has been primarily formulated as a high alcohol content hand cleanser, it can also be used for surface cleaning.

Pursan 500ml Alcohol Hand Cleanser 70 Percent Ethanol Pursan 500ml Alcohol Hand Cleanser 70 Percent Ethanol

The product comes in 500ml bottles which have a metered spray which can be sprayed directly onto hands. This is ideal for use in an open office environment and perfect for our corporate clients who wish to provide a service for staff.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND MSDS SPEC SHEETS.

We have decided to sell this in bulk only based on pallet quantities and to businesses only. Our pricing is as follows:

Pursan Alcohol Hand Cleanser 500ml @ GBP 7.45 + VAT per bottle
8 x bottles per case
MOQ is 50 cases (i.e. 400 bottles)
Pallet delivery is free of charge to UK postcodes.

Please act fast to avoid disappointment as orders are flooding in and staff are working around the clock to meet demand.

Keep safe and remember to wash your hands!..

Are the robots really coming?

At Intelligent Vending we are always really excited at the prospect of new technology. Having designed our own innovative control platform we have a great respect for the time and imagination and precision it takes to produce something truly cutting edge. People in the Western world, on the whole, have a remarkable fascination with technology, the latest phones are always sold out within the first 24 hours, the latest tablets and drones are always on top of Santa’s wish list and the advances in virtual reality and video consoles always leave us mind blown and wanting more. As much as we love our gadgets and crave the leaps, year on year, that technology makes there is also a slight unrest when it comes to views on technology. Dealing with a lot of technical enquiries through our Intelligent Vending switchboard, people are genuinely blown away with the functionalities that they can potentially harness with our SiriuS™ and Juno™ end to end solutions, but talking to people on a more day to day level, as much as they like technology to play with, there are slight misgivings that the more advanced we become, the more likely we are to become redundant as a race. It is the time old concern (film, literature and media fuelled!) that “The robots are coming” . We already use robots and machines in place of people for a large number of fields; the service sector, the entertainment sector, the industrial and auto-mobile sectors, these are all programmable and fully automated. From 2018- 2019, the robotics industry grew as a whole and it has been reported by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) that the global robotics market rose to US$16.5 billion [1] in that time.

So how does a country like Japan, a pioneer in the technological world feel in regards to the slight nervousness we seem to possess in the West? In Japan, automation isn’t regarded as a threat to peoples jobs but more about the countries survival economically.  In 2014 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled reforms with hopes that the robot market would reach $21 billion by 2020 [2] and looking at the stats published by the IFR, that seems well on track.  Reading a recent article by CNBC [3], their reporters explored different areas of the service industry in Japan and watched the interaction between the robot world and the human one. It seems that in Tokyo, the public enjoyed the novelty that the robots provided, but in regards to their suitability to assist with their practical needs this didn’t seem particularly harnessed. Which raises the question, are they actually a source of entertainment? Could this be a more accurate interpretation of their function? Are we merely fearful of fear itself? Reporters from CNBC could witness robots being utilised whilst consumers were queuing, to pass the time while they waited to engage with a person.

The Japanese, on the whole, are renowned for being truly fascinated by technology and love the gimmicks and interaction that it provides. For me, this gave me a little sense of reflection and comfort. In the West, creating life inevitably leads to destruction of the creator (Frankenstein, The Terminator, The book of Exodus) it is suggested that human vanity is constantly met by rebellion by its creation [4]. There are many philosophies, predictions and conspiracy theories concerning the fate of our world, in films, literature and media and whether, with our thirst for and advancement in technology, we are actually pushing ourselves into economic and social extinction in an ‘End of Days’ scenario.

I never look upon technology as anything other than exciting and pioneering and I suppose that is also how the designers and manufacturers also view their robotic creations. Do I think “The robots are coming”? Yes, absolutely, in fact I think they are already here, but does that mean I think they are taking over? Hmmm… no…. not just yet, anyway.

 

Footnotes

[1] https://ifr.org/ifr-press-releases/news/presidents-report-03-2019

[2] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/09/heres-why-japan-is-obsessed-with-robots.html

[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/09/heres-why-japan-is-obsessed-with-robots.html

[4] https://s/421187/why-japanese-love-robots-and-americans-fear-them

 

References

1. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/09/heres-why-japan-is-obsessed-with-robots.htm

2. https://ifr-press-releases/news/presidents-report-03-2019

3. https:///23-reasons-why-japan-is-already-living-in-the-future

4. https://2017/11/16/asia/cea-tec-on-japan/index.html

5. https://s/421187/why-japanese-love-robots-and-americans-fear-them

 

The Magic of the Face

Facial recognition, also referred to as Biometric Artificial Intelligence, is regarded now as one of the top ways of identifying and verifying a person. It is so common place that we probably even have it in our homes, either through our consoles, phones or security systems. Growing up in the 80’s face recognition was something only for the James Bonds’ of this world, but the advances in the last decade alone have catapulted this incredible technology into the lives of us all. Facial recognition is already being harnessed by several industries; Law enforcement use it to serve and protect, retailers use it for crime prevention, Airports use it for security (and we even have the technology to use it on our Intelligent Vending machines, if clients desire it to deliver their project objectives! Wow!).

So where did all this catapulted technology come from? It’s true the last decade has really thrown facial recognition into the spotlight, but where did it start? Many believe that the 1960’s is where it all began with the work from Woodrow Wilson Bledsoe.  Bledsoe was an American mathematician, computer scientist and prominent educator. Born in 1921, he is regarded as one of the founders of artificial intelligence, making early contributions in pattern recognition and automated theorem proving. His work in the 1960’s included developing a system that could classify photos of faces manually, known as the RAND tablet (considered the predecessor of the iPad, in many circles). The RAND could be used to input horizontal and vertical coordinates on a grid, using a stylus that emitted electromagnetic pulses, this in turn could manually record the coordinate locations of various facial features; these could then be added to a database and when the system was given a new photo of an individual it could retrieve the image that most resembled it. [1] The technology of the era being so limited meant that the advancement in facial recognition were restricted but never the less it is seen as an important step in proving that face recognition was a viable biometric.

In the 1970’s a more well known milestone in facial recognition, “21 facial markers” was devised by Goldstein, Harmon and Lesk. Using 21 specific subjective markers such as hair line, lip thickness and eye width they were able to increase accuracy to the (still manual) facial recognition system.

The 1980’s saw linear algebra being applied to the problem of facial recognition, this became known as the Eigenface approach.  Scientists discovered they could accurately code a ‘normalised face’ in less than 100 values.

In the 1990’s the Eigenface approach was developed further and had been advanced to recognise faces within images. This was the first use of automatic facial recognition.

The following 20 years, has involved a lot of practical research and field tests including the Feret programme (creating a large database of facial images) and The Super Bowl, in the USA in 2002 where law enforcement trialed the technology, but were limited by its functionality in crowds. Facebook started using facial recognition in 2010 and continue to utilise it today along with Apple, Military and retail sectors.

So with all this incredible biometric technology all around us, should we be concerned at all? Is our privacy being compromised by the gathering of our own data through surveillance techniques or our phones when we are sometimes not even aware of it? Privacy campaigners express concern about governments and other authorities having access to the whereabouts, and activities of citizens 24/7, some of these concerns arise from biometric artificial intelligence being so advanced, it can be used to not just identify a person but show them other existing personal data like blog articles, photos, social networking profiles, internet searches etc.  This can make the public vulnerable on a number of levels for example; your facial signature could end up in a lot of places, hackers may track down images of you (or your face) online, this data may be sold, people can be left open to online harassment, stalking and trolling. It is also becoming less and less impossible to remain anonymous. [2] As the digital age advances and the need for identification and authentication of a person continues to elevate, is it our face that is going to be the key to the future? To action the opening of a bank account we would use our face, or going through customs at an airport we would use our face, access and unlock technology (including cars!) with our face, even the potential of paying for goods, withdrawing your money from ATM’s and verifying your age (therefore completely abandoning the need for a wallet at all!) all because of the magic of your face! It seems there can be no denying this technology, despite any concerns we might have as it seems to be the top way to verify and authenticate. I guess there is nothing left to do except put our very best face forward.

 

Footnotes

[1] /blog/brief-history-of-face-recognition-software/

[2] internetsecurity-iot-how-facial-recognition-software-works.html

 

References

1. /internetsecurity-iot-how-facial-recognition-software-works.html

2. /innovation/facial-recognition-works.html

3. /blog/brief-history-of-face-recognition-software/

4. /wiki/Woody_Bledsoe

5. /wiki/Facial_recognition_system

6. /govt/biometrics/facial-recognition

7. /blog/rand-review/2018/09/the-rand-tablet-ipad-predecessor.html

 

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