VendMe brings vending machines into the 21st century. VendMe — an application from Cumulocity and PayPal — is a complete end-to-end telemetry and cashless payment solution that makes vending machines smarter. It is built on top of Cumulocity’s market leading Internet of Things (IoT) application enablement platform and features a unique partnership with PayPal. VendMe solves today’s foremost challenges in the industry by introducing easy-to-use electronic payments and reliable remote management to vending machines worldwide.
It turns out there are many unsolved challenges with today’s vending machines — and these challenges increase the machines’ operating costs and decrease their revenue-generating potential.
Maintenance of vending machines can be costly contributing to the low operating margins in the industry. Think of a scenario when a machine malfunctions, is out-of-order for a long time until customer calls in and then repair requires dispatch of an on-site technician. Could this have been avoided with proactive maintenance? In addition vending machine contents can be stolen with little insight into the culprits or the time of the theft. And finally, as there is no visibility into vending machine stock levels, operators rely on guess-work to pack the right type and amount of goods into delivery vehicles – not optimizing their stock levels. All these costs impact the profitability of machine operators.
Today vending machines have very primitive interactions with customers, thereby minimizing revenue-generating potential. As there is no understanding who is buying, there is no way to reward a repeat customer or to incentivize new sales by offering a promotional discount. There is also no simple way to glean business intelligence metrics without a time-consuming manual process. Currently, machine status and inventory are not tracked and potential sales are lost when a machine is either out of stock or even worse, out of order. As a result, the machines suffer from maintenance that costs more than it should and low user satisfaction that limit machine revenues.
With connected vending machines, users can complete transactions securely from the comfort of their own smartphone via a simple and fast web application using PayPal to complete the purchase. Customers have a rapid and simple purchase experience and operators see their costs decrease and revenues increase. And in the off-chance that there’s a problem with the vending machine, the purchase is automatically refunded and the operator can offer the affected customer a loyalty voucher for a future purchase.
VendMe provides numerous benefits by delivering a higher level of service to machine manufacturers, distributors, operators and end-users. The standards-based implementation facilitates easy retrofitting of existing machines, required to deploy solutions in large scale, to deliver quantifiable improvements in user satisfaction and in ROI. One example is a VendMe customer, who used VendMe’s real-time alerting functionality to move from reactive fault handling. This resulted in a decrease of customer calls to the support team by 30%. Information about down-time durations of vending machines, combined with information about spare-part stock, enabled the vending operator to optimizing spare-part stock and on-site technician support, resulting in a significant decrease of machine downtime durations.
The end-to-end approach positions VendMe as the one-stop-shop delivering IoT connectivity to legacy vending machines.
Studies have shown that adding a cashless option to an existing vending machine can increase sales by 15%. VendMe provides the user with additional ways of completing a purchase and allows vending machine operators to pursue a higher-touch, customer-centric strategy.
VendMe is enterprise-ready. The solution ships with a visually appealing yet sophisticated dashboard for monitoring sales and inventory. Using Cumulocity’s Complex Event Processing (CEP) engine, vending machines can be monitored in real-time and complex workflows can be built for custom scenarios. For example, an alert can be dispatched when a machine is down for more than 10 minutes per day or for more than 30 minutes per week. This not only helps ensure the machines are ready-for-use, but also makes it less likely that a potential customer will interact with a broken machine.
For companies that wish to rely on their own tools for administration, VendMe can be easily integrated to IT systems like SAP, which allows for the sales and inventory data to flow seamlessly between VendMe and vending operators’ existing systems and processes.
The vending machine industry is due for a revolution. VendMe’s is a vending telemetry and cashless payment solution built on top of Cumulocity’s leading, award winning IoT platform. VendMe provides an end-to-end solution to vending machine manufacturers and operators interested in using next-generation technology to drive business forward.