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Always safety first at Intelligent Wholesale!

A very exciting, very safety conscious area of our website has been developed to give you guys the very best access to safety equipment or Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as it is known in the field.

PPE is an essential requirement for many companies, and is an important component of industrial vending as it provides staff with safety equipment to reduce the risk of occupational injury or harm.

Controlling the use of PPE within an industrial environment can prove to be a challenging task for companies. On the one hand, the potentially high volumes of kit required to meet the needs of a large workforce provide significant incentive to employers to manage stock as efficiently as possible, including reducing wastage. On the other, it is essential that employers do not expose their staff to unnecessary risk or deny access to equipment that provides employees the necessary protection for their day to day working environment.

The level of health and safety regulation covering such responsibilities means that in a typical workplace most companies ‘play safe’ by providing open and unsupervised access to items routinely used on the shop floor, e.g. gloves, goggles, ear protection etc. However, such arrangements create precisely the conditions where excessive usage is likely to occur.

The introduction of a PPE management system using vending equipment and sophisticated control software offers a cost effective and reliable solution to this problem; especially if the level of wastage is high and items needed for a particular work setting are expensive. Intelligent Vending offer a range of PPE vending machines, from retail only to standalone to fully integrated PPE management systems which can dramatically reduce or fully eliminate routine waste, while providing a detailed audit trail linked to individual users, including a full usage history.  This means that every transaction with the machine is tracked 24/7 and reports can either by pre-scheduled or accessed manually on the fly.

For entry level PPE solutions we can provide hardware from our standard Intelligent Wholesale catalogue.  However, standard machines offer a limited functionality, so most clients would opt for our advanced fully PC controlled Intelligent Vending machines (Juno™ 8 inch touch or SiriuS™ 46 inch touch) which are packed full of features and capabilities. We also supply MRiYA™ electronic cabinets that can be slaved and controlled from Juno™ and SiriuS™ machines.  These are perfect for larger items not suited for physical dispense from Juno™ or SiriuS™ solutions. They also offer the potential for items to be loaned and returned.

Our rapid development platform also promotes comprehensive and coherent integration with client preferred hardware, software or peripherals and creates new ‘tailored’ solutions with significantly reduced R&D costs and in reduced timescales. The benefits to choosing our control platform are vast; the platform is a fully Internet of Things (IoT) based solution, providing two-way communication 24/7 in real time between our Juno™ or SiriuS™ machines and our VendHive™ cloud. This enables live transaction reporting and control of a wide variety of machine functions and settings, clients are provided with detailed logging in real time for immediate identification and diagnosis of faults, any software issues are usually rectifiable remotely and for mechanical issues, an engineer would be alerted to the nature of any mechanical fault before leaving base, avoiding the need for re-visits and saving time and money.

The intelligence of our PC controlled PPE solutions reduce downtime, as many issues that would cause out of order scenarios can be adapted to automatically. Our system can also identify under-usage of equipment as well as potential overuse, a further element of support to employers who need to be made aware if workers are not taking advantage of measures in place to ensure their own safety. Touch screens coming as standard on Juno™ and SiriuS™ also enables the display of detailed product information and videos. This could easily be adapted to include showing staff how equipment should be used, whilst providing an efficient audit trail to show the information has been viewed through user confirmation, this feature is also applicable to any new H&S procedures; thereby providing evidence for employers that they are meeting their responsibilities.

Our user interfaces are intuitive and easy to use, both by the users requiring access to items and staff responsible for day to day management of the equipment and even the ‘standard’ generic interfaces offer a high degree of customisation, while for more demanding or sophisticated applications we can supply a fully bespoke solution. This includes a user journey that is tailored to our clients’ specific requirements, displaying all information as appropriate for their organisation. The potential is huge and the list goes on! If PPE is something you need managing effectively in your business, there is only one intelligent choice!

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

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