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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summed this up brilliantly by describing what was traditionally on offer from mainstream vending as ‘boring, dull & outdated’.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…

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