Blog - Customised Vending

Intelligent Vending Ltd >> Blog

Milk it some more!

It was noted in a previous Intelligent Vending blog, Milk it, that a new visionary concept was on the loose. To reduce our plastic consumption there was a new milk vending machine which people could take their own bottles to and fill them up to their hearts content thus reducing their plastic consumption… well this revolutionary idea seems to have sparked more creative imagination and it has been reported in The Free Press that a family-run farm in North Yorkshire have converted a horsebox into a mobile vending machine! Selling fresh milk and cheese in rural communities. The venture, known as The Home Farmer, offers customers the chance to self-serve whole milk into glass bottles and savour the taste of milk produced from the family’s herd of cows. How udderly brilliant!

Pockets full of Posy’s

Automated retail is currently coming in leaps and bounds, with more and more products on the market being available from vending machines and kiosks. Intelligent Vending like to keep abreast of new developments and pass any cool and unusual tech-awareness on to the masses. Vending International recently reported that a British company have fresh, hand tied bouquets of flowers available at any time of the day or night. The automated florist in Greater London is installed with a dry-cooling system providing the specific climate that the flowers need, and each unit is installed with an intuitive touchscreen and software system. The vending machine itself is also very aesthetically pleasing. This definitely puts a new slant on ‘stopping to smell the roses.’ Click on the link for the full informative article by Vending International.

Always use protection

Personal Protection Equipment vending machines provide the means of addressing challenges faced by companies and their managers. There is a legal requirement for employers to provide protective and protective related equipment to staff who may be exposed to personal risk and danger in the workplace; this is an area of activity that is overseen on behalf of Government by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Not only does failure to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) present a potential physical risk to employees (sometimes life threatening), it could lead to serious legal and financial consequences if a prosecution relating to alleged negligence arises.

Depending on the type of work and number of employees involved, the issuing and monitoring of protective equipment can become a complicated area to control, sometimes also allowing costs to escalate unnecessarily. Many employers have seen the benefits of making equipment available through on-site vending machines. Such machines are particularly suitable for providing protective gloves, goggles and ear defenders etc. Machines provide good availability of equipment, they offer storage under good conditions, and they provide the means for employers to monitor usage and access to the equipment.

At Intelligent Vending, we can provide a complete vending solution for managing and distributing stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to workers, using vending machines.

Milk it

The world at the moment is trying desperately to reduce the amount of plastic we use. Plastic is everywhere and is very difficult to break down naturally. It can take hundreds and even thousands of years. People are very conscious of our plastic plight and determined to do their part. Well the vending industry is no different. It was reported yesterday by ITV news that a new vending machine was unveiled offering milk. The idea behind the vision is to minimize the amount of plastic milk bottles being used and people can bring their own bottle to reduce their own plastic consumption. What a moo-verlous idea.

Board with Intelligent Wholesale? Never!

Intelligent Wholesale has a rare treat of some, never-before used control boards compatible with SandenVendo machines! They can be quickly reset to factory default settings and reprogrammed via a USB key. Here at Intelligent Wholesale we are very excited about having this cool piece of kit available, but we are sure we won’t have them for long now that the world knows about it! To see a list of machines they are compatible with follow our helpful little link above.

Intelligent Wholesale has arrived

Intelligent Wholesale is finally here. This is the business-to-business ecommerce trading division of Intelligent Vending. Our fantastic new homepage clearly showcases the most popular categories making it easy to navigate and operate. The highlighted deals are easily accessible as you scroll down the page and be sure not to miss out on our regular informative and inciteful blogs. At Intelligent Vending we believe our website to be an ever growing, ever evolving, living, breathing catalogue of choice.  With this in mind an exciting addition to the website is on the horizon. It will be accessible on the website through our technology centre. This is where we showcase our in-house designed, next generation of automated retail.  We will be soon be presenting more of our latest technology with traditional high-quality engineering…. but that’s all for now… Better watch this space

Go with the flow

Businesses and schools across England last year were approached with the idea of free vending sanitary products as the impact of period poverty was brought to light. What a smart vending idea! The incentive was met with mixed results, but the topic has remained hot and is still gathering momentum. This easily wall mounted Period Poverty duo vending starter kit would be an ideal place to start for companies or institutions wanting to introduce the scheme.

The SiriuS™ Website

Our new SiriuS™ platform has been designed in-house by Intelligent Vending to resolve inherent issues in standard vending technology.  Using SiriuS™ opens up a number of possibilities for our clients that all add value and increase ROI and efficiency, rather than the traditional approach which concentrates purely on the cash in, product out, retail ‘vend’ aspect.

SiriuS™, with its large 46″ HD touchscreen and powerful software platform VendHook™, create a dynamic and interactive retail platform with significant potential for advertising, marketing, and raising brand awareness.  The machine’s ability to interact both physically and virtually with customers via social media further enhances its commercial potential for operators. For many IV clients, the on-board vending function will be a secondary attraction behind other more commercially significant features.

The complete platform comprising VendHook™ (our core PC control software platform), VendHive™ (our bi-directional cloud control and communication system), and Vendmesh™ (our own design next generation PCB controller), allow connectivity with a wide range of external components and peripherals.  Together, these elements add impressive versatility to a machine while offering commercial add-on value in their own right. Equally, we are confident in the sophistication, robustness and technological advantages of our system compared with any others available in the market.  While some producers have pursued a retro-fit or workaround route (the way we historically supplied non-standard machines), we have consciously developed our system from first principles.  This approach has ensured maximum flexibility in operation and a significant degree of future-proofing.

We have also designed our SiriuS™ platform to be user friendly for third party development via the comprehensive API (Application Programming Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit).  We want to give our clients scope to extend their own commercial horizons and innovate without the need to be reliant on Intelligent Vending software development services.

For more details, please click the following link to visit our Intelligent Vending SiriuS™ website.

Intelligent Vending & SiriuS™ at AVEX 2015…

SiriuS™, the latest ‘all-in-one’ solution from Intelligent Vending Ltd, was given its first public outing in the vending arena at AVEX 2015, in Manchester. Partnering with Ingenico the international leader in provision of cashless payment systems, IV offered its new advanced SiriuS™ vending machine to show off their cashless hardware while providing attendees with a glimpse of what it believes is the future for the unattended automated retail market.

As an industry, vending has been stagnant or in decline throughout most of Europe for the past few years and it is desperate, Intelligent Vending believes, for a fresh impetus that will lead to reversal of this trend. While degrees of innovation are undoubtedly evident across the board in vending, this has been mostly small scale and incremental, and there has been no major development with the explosive energy to bring about the much needed revolution of the industry. Put simply, vending has made virtually little use of the advances in technology that are now standard across all sectors of retail, advertising, and social media. SiriuS™ incorporates the power and imagination to change all that!

The bespoke UI (User Interface) designed for Ingenico offered visitors of the show the ability to enter a competition to win prizes from triggering the vend process in three different ways:

1) Via the Ingenico card payment terminals (Contactless and NFC, plus Chip & PIN)
2) Via our in-house Twitter promo VendHook™ plugin
3) Via email address entry and a virtual keyboard

An Ingenico corporate video and other promotional information was also displayed on the machine’s different vend process screens, carrying a key underlying message to promote the new iUC280 payment terminals that are aimed primarily for the standard vending ‘mainstream’ market.

Also, on show was a premium vinyl wrap designed to showcase Intelligent Vending’s commitment to push visual branding boundaries. Using a newly unveiled printable and wrap conformable reflective material, all the visible panels of the machine were fully SiriuS™ branded. The three elements that define SiriuS™; VendHook™, VendHive™, and VendMesh™, were highlighted in the design. The revolutionary material used for the wrap gives an added, almost 3D effect, that is dramatically revealed across a range of different lighting conditions and changes based on the installation environment (see photos below).

No Direct Light (Black)

With Some Direct Light (Gold Elements & Binary Code In The Base Vinyl Design Showing)

As the first in a new generation of automated retail options by Intelligent Vending Ltd, this new self-service SiriuS™ solution offers a core software platform called VendHook™ designed from first principles, and eliminating the drawbacks experienced with traditional vending machine systems and protocols. The machines are fully modular and packed with functionality. Just a few of the features include large 46” touch screen and HD display, advanced product management, digital signage, social media integration, telemetry and the facility to remotely manage all machine functions & diagnostics in real time via Intelligent Vending’s fully bi-directional VendHive™ ‘Internet of Things’ cloud platform.

A key strategy underpinning the design process of Intelligent Vending’s new products was the need to provide a payment option that supported the high value transactions specified by many Intelligent Vending clients. While some card payment systems are available for the ‘mainstream’ sector, they have some limitations in terms of transaction value, and they do not provide VAT receipts, another feature often requested by customers. For its new system, Intelligent Vending has been able to incorporate a full Chip & PIN, Contactless and NFC solution into its machines, fully accredited to the latest Visa and Mastercard standards in the UK and with no cap on transaction values.  Our VendHook™ in-house receipt printer design suite also enables our clients’ to customise this ‘print-out’ experience for consumers with a few simple clicks (or touches!) including dynamic QR codes for cross selling or promotions where applicable.

Sam Roe, Managing Director at Intelligent Vending, said: “Projects such as this highlight the versatility of the SiriuS™ system, which is ideally suited to a range of challenging environments. We are looking forward to bringing our powerful Intelligent Vending technology to the widest range of clients, whether in high-end retail or the mainstream ‘plus’ market and increasing their ROI in the unattended space. Our vision is for all sectors to benefit from the sophisticated functionality we now provide as standard – Intelligent Vending by Intelligent Vending.”

More info available here (PDF): SiriuS Intelligent Vending Taster Flyer

Intelligent Vending® Next Generation Automated Retail Solutions…

The vending industry has been in a state of inertia for many years, and while there has been a recognition of the need to change, vending technology remains largely based on that which existed in the 20th Century. The pace of development and the introduction of innovation compare very unfavourably to what has happened in the gaming and kiosk industries, where advances in technology are pounced upon quickly and incorporated into new machines.

A typical example is the recent introduction of credit/debit card & NFC mobile payment solutions which are just breaking though into our market, but are well established elsewhere. With only a very limited number of off-the-shelf solutions currently available for standard vending applications, it is extremely difficult to benchmark products and ensure hardware has the appropriate certification and approvals – even for the largest multi-nationals. Adverse factors (from a vending perspective!) such as the move towards healthy eating and the global recession have created massive financial pressures for traditional vending companies.

There is acceptance that vending needs to progress in order to meet the requirements of the times – in terms of interactivity with the customer and changing the vend activity from functional to rewarding. One of our corporate customers summed this up brilliantly by describing what was traditionally on offer from mainstream vending as ‘boring, dull & outdated’.

As a company, we have always innovated and looked into the future. In terms of products, we have regularly configured vending machines to dispense items that were not thought possible, and we have installed systems into machines that are way beyond what conventional machines were designed to do. On many occasions, however, the limitations of existing vending technology have proved a barrier to delivering exactly to the specification that our clients have required without significant R&D investment and major adaptation to current systems, protocols, and mechanical design. Our expert specialists in the field of software development, SolidWorks, high-end fabrication, electronics, and system architecture are here to help and can resolve many headaches, but they are still invariably frustrated by the inherent limitations of traditional vending platforms.

For example; the advanced hotel system such as Max-eBar® is already replacing traditional minibar provision in hotels, and saving our clients’ money while increasing revenue. This is a very creative solution to a thorny practical problem, but development of innovative systems such as this are often influenced by the inflexibility and limitations of existing vending machines and technology.

Significantly, and very positively, we are now moving to a position where the barriers described above are being overcome, with new system alternatives gradually entering the market, most commonly to date in the premium hot drinks vending arena.

Intelligent Vending intends to be a major contributor to this transformation, and together with our close technology and supply chain partners, we are looking forward to bringing new opportunities and revenue streams to our customers.

We’re sure to be communicating further information regarding this shortly…

Highlighted Deals

Let the Celebrations begin

Congratulations to the AVA celebrating 90 years today.

90 years in 2 days

In 2 days it is here. The 90 year anniversary celebrations begin. Make sure you don’t...

Milk it some more!

It was noted in a previous Intelligent Vending blog, Milk it, that a new visionary...

The AVA countdown

Only 1 week to go until the live AVA show. The Automatic Vending Association are...

90 years of the AVA

Less than 2 weeks to go until the live AVA show. The Automatic Vending Association are...

Pockets full of Posy’s

Automated retail is currently coming in leaps and bounds, with more and more products on...

The Snack Evolution is here

The wait is now over. SandenVendo have produced an insight into the future of vending...

Social Meta

Make sure you are following Intelligent Vending and Intelligent Wholesale with your...

Offers galore!

For those of you who haven't visited us at Intelligent Wholesale, the new offers have...

Coming soon

New exciting deals are being launched by Intelligent Vending from their Intelligent...

Tick, tock.

Intelligent Wholesale only have a few days left of their special offers. Make sure you...

Always use protection

Personal Protection Equipment vending machines provide the means of addressing challenges...

Grab your bargains!

Sale ends soon. Last few days for the products we have on sale. Grab your bargain quick...

Travel light(er)

When packing a suitcase to go anywhere for any length of time there are always two things...

Just stick it.

Don’t forget to order your sugar. It's coming to the end of the week and the sugar...

Fragrance Kits

The first of May was often regarded in history as the first day of the summer. The Romans...

Keep the fizz

Maintaining water coolers so they continue to function at their optimum level is vital...

The Summer Flies

With the summer in sight it' s important to get ready for the influx of insects heading...

Milk it

The world at the moment is trying desperately to reduce the amount of plastic we use....

For the coffee lovers

Coffee is definitely considered a necessity in the workplace by staff, not just a perk...