Peter Pearson, Negosentro | One of the most revolutionary technologies in the world is the vending machine. Since the first vending machine was used to dispense postcards in London by Percival Everitt in 1883, this ingenious idea has been refined over the years. Today, the vending machine is used in a wide range of applications.
Its uses include dispensing of cold and hot drinks, groceries, sweets, books and magazines and many other products. In fact, a car vending machine is already in use in Japan today.
Why install a vending machine?
Whether you are buying a vending machine for your office or for your retail business, there are a number of benefits that you will bring to your operations. These include:
- Increased cash flow
- Reduced overhead costs
- Enhanced convenience and time savings
- Increased productivity in your office by boosting staff morale
- 24/7 availability
- Branding and advertising opportunities
- Low maintenance
Choosing the best vending machine
The technology used in vending machines today is advanced and you have a variety of options to choose from. Many businesses and offices have bought expensive machines only to discover later that they made the wrong choice. When choosing a vending machine, consider the following:
- Assess your needs – What are you buying the vending machine for? Are you interested in sales or motivating your staff? Do you want sales throughout the day and night? Where is the vending machine going to be located? Who are your target customers? Your needs should come first when making the choice of the machine to buy.
- Cutting edge technology – Go for the latest technology because consumers today are looking for convenience. Technology delivers this convenience and while the initial cost of the machine might be higher, the ROI will be great. Look for automatic operations, LED screens, credit card readers, remote monitoring, online reporting platform, alerts, loyalty card system, inventory tracking, and conveyor belt dispensing technology for better versatility.
- Reputation of the manufacturer – It is advisable to go for a reputable vending machine maker. Such a company is able to leverage the latest technology in its machines and you are guaranteed of high performance of the technology used.
- Installation and after sales service – The best vending machine maker should offer installation and support services throughout the life of the machine. In most cases, you already have so much on your hands running your business and you might not have time to learn about the system. When buying, make sure you confirm about the availability of support to avoid loss of business when the machine is unavailable.
- Hire or purchase? Hiring is a good choice for start-ups and temporary work environments. It is more affordable and you will still enjoy the benefits that come with a vending machine. However, there might be limitations in terms of advertising.
The choice of location is also an important factor, especially if you are an entrepreneur. Check for an area with plenty of foot traffic, a location with fewer food and beverage options and security.