Utilizing lockers and dispensing equipment to access office supplies is more than just an asset management initiative.

The benefits of utilizing lockers and dispensing equipment - idsvending.com

Resource availability and its impact on the modern office environment

Timely availability of necessary office supplies is essential for a business to maximize productivity. Sometimes missing a $40 computer mouse can ruin everything when deadlines are tight. Not having the necessary IT and office supplies can also lead to unplanned downtime, a.k.a. waiting. The Ponemon Institute’s annual report concludes that the average cost of downtime could be anywhere between $137 a minute for small businesses to $17,244 a minute for large corporations. [1]

The cost of lost productivity is just one of the impacts of unavailable office resources. Approximately one out of every eight employees who participated in a Paychex survey claimed to be very dissatisfied when they felt they had too much downtime. [2] Safety-related supplies and materials can impact the well-being and morale of the workforce, too.

Addressing these and other potential challenges due to inadequate supply of resources can be easily overcome using controlled dispensing solutions. This article discusses the benefits of smart inventory management technology like Supply Lockers and Supply Dispensers for the modern office environment.

Controlled dispensing as a solution to resource availability challenges

Controlled dispensing solutions can provide access to necessary resources by validating the user based on prox cards, barcodes, keypad and mag stripes. This ensures timely access to supplies for employees instead of waiting at a help desk or for IT to respond to their request. This also allows the business to track the consumption of supplies by employee, department, branch, or any other level of designated personnel.

A comprehensive smart inventory management solution has two essential components – hardware and software. The hardware consists of Supply Lockers and Supply Dispensers that hold the supplies. The software layer is the backend brain behind the hardware. In our case, iQ Technology software sets access workflows, product restrictions, as well as alerts and reporting. There are several applications for controlled dispensing in an office environment. Some of them are listed below:

  • Service Desks

IT support professionals are busy fending off external attacks, evaluating device performance, asset monitoring, network connectivity and other essential tasks for business continuity. Providing IT supplies to employees who need them is important, yet does not require the skills of a trained IT expert. Controlled dispensing can help eliminate service desks and free up valuable IT bandwidth.

  • Procurement Systems

Efficient businesses are always in the pursuit of maintaining the right level of inventory. Purchase departments are tasked with ensuring the availability of necessary materials while keeping the cost of inventory as minimal as possible. Inventory management modules of controlled dispensing solutions help maintain an optimum amount of supplies in stock. The solution can provide real-time information about reorder levels that help maintain the best amount of inventory.

Benefits of Controlled Dispensing

Controlled dispensing solutions deliver direct benefits to IT support desks, procurement departments and employees. Factors like business continuity, operational efficiency, and real-time insights create value for large organizations. This translates to business benefits like:

  • Profitability

Businesses can enjoy cost savings and operational efficiency by using controlled dispensing technology. Lockers enabled with inventory management software can track and optimize the usage of assets. Shrinkage due to hoarding, loss, and expiration can be avoided by implementing controlled dispensing technology.

  • Accountability

iQ Technology software makes sure only designated individuals can access certain supplies. Administrators can track who is taking what items, when and how many. The system establishes a transparent chain of custody for valuable assets and drives accountability at all levels.

  • Reliability

Supply Lockers and Supply Dispensers can improve resource availability. This creates a reliable process and eliminates resource-related uncertainties. Automated alerts about PAR levels can preempt purchases to avoid unplanned downtime.

  • Efficiency

Controlled dispensing minimizes downtime and keeps employees on task. It also reduces human effort, freeing up bandwidth for more important activities. By minimizing downtime, the inventory management component of the dispensing solutions improves the efficiency of capital utilization. The availability of real-time information about resources allows for better workload planning. 

  • Safety

Controlled dispensing results in fewer touchpoints, decreasing the likelihood of transmitting viruses and bacteria. This will translate to a safer workplace in the age of fast-spreading contagions. 

  • User Experience

Employees can now avoid the need to line up to collect essential supplies. Frustration that arises due to the unavailability of the necessary tools and supplies for day-to-day operations can be avoided with dispensing equipment. Employees can plan better with the help of real-time visibility and inventory alerts, to keep on hand the tools and resources that are essential for executing their responsibilities.

Conclusion

Controlled dispensing solutions can deliver value across the entire organization. Different stakeholders like production employees, IT support teams, procurement divisions, administrations and maintenance departments participate in the flow of inventory and the value creation process. Dispensing technology delivers value to all these stakeholders by ensuring the availability of resources and acting as a single source for all inventory-related information.

Implementing the proper hardware and software is the key to realizing these benefits. IDS has helped large Fortune 100 businesses and small enterprises harness the power of controlled dispensing technology to achieve business benefits.

Talk to our experts at 1-855-459-4536 to learn how we can get you started on empowering your office with the best controlled dispensing and inventory management solutions.

Case Study: San Diego State University

 

IDSvending - Sandiego State University

Serving over 36,000 students, San Diego State University (SDSU) is known for providing students with opportunities to prepare them for the future. What happens, however, when a global pandemic ravages the United States? The leader in public research has to come up with a way to keep students safe while providing them with a quality educational experience.

So, what are some of the pandemic safety challenges that were dealt with on the SDSU campus?

  1. The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way SDSU keeps students and staff members safe.
  2. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 was a challenge at SDSU. While students are not required to get tested, SDSU is working hard to limit the spread by providing COVID-19 Test Kit Dispensing Machines across campus.
  3. Single Point of Use testing centers was unrealistic as SDSU, as it has over 36,000 students.

SDSU is requiring all staff members and students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, however, it is still possible for breakthrough COVID-19 cases. SDSU is doing what it can to ensure it can control the spread.

“If you’re worried that you have symptoms, it just makes it very easy to pop on over and grab one, as opposed to just hoping you’re okay,” said Heidi Nguyen, Senior Admissions Counselor at SDSU.

In order to help control the spread of COVID-19, SDSU implemented COVID-19 Test Kit Dispensing Machines across campus, providing testing for students and staff members. Students are tested prior to the semester and regularly throughout. Tests can be accessed for free, once students sign up online.

While students are not required to be tested, they are expected to test if they start feeling any symptoms of COVID-19.

Through iQ Technology, UCapIt’s software solution, SDSU has real-time usage data that is useful for staff planning, budgeting, reporting and compliance purposes.

UC San Diego utilizes the passcode function of iQ Technology for the COVID-19 testing machines. Through iQ Technology, the passcode feature allows system administrators to provide one-time use codes assigned to individual users. An expiration date and time, as well as specific product access, is able to be assigned to each unique passcode.

Due to testing and COVID-19 protocols across campus, including mask wearing, social distancing and required vaccinations, SDSU has been able to quickly test students for COVID-19. Within the first few weeks of the 2021 fall semester, almost 800 tests had been accessed by students.

Through UCapIt’s COVID-19 Test Kit Dispensing Machines, users can access test kits at their convenience 24/7, without staff needing to be on-site. In addition, the machines can be equipped with patent-pending UVC light sanitization technology, UVend Technology. UVend sanitizes the high-touch surfaces on the machine quickly and safely by killing or inactivating up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 Test Kit Dispensing Machines are located across campus and can be found using the campus’ interactive map. Additionally, with the help of the Test Kit Dispensing Machines, SDSU has been able to:

  1. Reduce wait times for COVID-19 testing
  2. Help control the speak of COVID-19 across SDSU’s campus
  3. Keep track of students and staff members who have been tested. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt everyday life, campuses across the country are in need of solutions to control the spread, SDSU has stayed on top by providing a safer educational experience for students and staff members.

Does your educational institution need an efficient, convenient way to provide a COVID-19 test kit and other public health supplies to students and staff? If so, contact UCapIt to schedule a live, personalized demo to see how our iQ Technology can help your organization.

Reduce Drug-Related Harm In Communities With Dispensing Solutions

Impact Exchange Case Study

Utilizing vending to support community-based harm reduction initiatives

Challenge

When it comes to providing life-saving resources, it is never too late to start thinking outside of the box and expanding your services to areas that you have not served before. That is exactly what Impact Exchange did when they began to consider expanding their services by providing harm reduction supplies through dispensing machines.

  1. Impact Exchange realized a lack of accessibility when it came to life-saving supplies. The overall goal of Impact Exchange was to start a program that would allow the community to have safe access to the harm reduction supplies they need.
  2. When searching for a solution, the Impact Exchange team looked for a way to monitor inventory and machine health directly from their phones.
  3. Impact Exchange had the vision to expand its services, without having to employ additional people.

“We wanted to make the dispensing of products easier and more accessible for people in our community,” said Chelsi Cheatom, the Program Manager at Impact Exchange. “This was a brand new program and a way to expand services throughout the community, without the cost of adding employees and building expenses.”

Through the help of Intelligent Dispensing Solutions, Impact Exchange was able to implement the Harm Reduction Center into their community.

The Process

Trace B

The overall goal for Impact Exchange was to provide harm reduction supplies such as sterile syringes and injection-related products, to people across the state of Nevada to prevent HIV and Hepatitis C. What originally started as one storefront location has turned into seven dispensing machines locations.

When implementing the Harm Reduction Dispensing Machine, something that was important to Impact

Trace B

 Exchange was the ability to track products and the usage of the machine.

Cheatom said, “We wanted to have access to our inventory system and be able to look at the inventory and usage from our phones.”

iQ Technology, UCapIt’s back-end system, met this need and more. iQ Technology provides comprehensive, real-time reports making it easy for Impact Exchange to have control and visibility over their inventory and the usage of the Harm Reduction Dispensing Machines.

The Result

Through the Harm Reduction Dispensing Machines, Impact Exchange was able to reduce the stigma for people who need to utilize their services.

Trace B

“A lot of times, people are facing a stigma when they walk into organizations looking to get help,” Cheatom said. “Having Harm Reduction Dispensing Machines and having it be anonymous helps a lot.”

Additionally, Impact Exchange has given people the opportunity to access NARCAN®, an overdose reversal medication.

Now, Impact Exchange works with community health organizations and local, state, and federal agencies who are looking to expand to dispensing services by hosting roundtables every other month, in conjunction with the Southern Nevada Health District. In these sessions, they discuss products in the machines, what to add to the machines, and more, creating awareness and reducing the stigma around those seeking help.

Would securely and conveniently dispensing harm reduction supplies help reduce health risks associated with drug use in your community? If so, contact UCapIt to schedule a live, personalized demo to see how our iQ Technology can help your organization.

About Impact Exchange

Impact Exchange is a storefront site committed to providing on-site consulting to the community for infectious disease prevention and harm reduction surrounding syringe use and disposal.

Is your retail store ready to take the plunge into unattended retail?

 

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In-store shopping remains the most significant source of retail revenues in the United States. While e-commerce grows as a part of overall retail, traditional in-store sales are where the bulk of the action is. This post is intended for those retailers and retail service providers who, 

  1. Want to make their operations more profitable (more sales at reduced expenses)
  2. Are looking into unattended retail as a possible sales and revenue channel

If you are evaluating approaches to make your self-service business more profitable, our earlier post might be a good place to start. If more information in adding smart lockers to your retail strategy interests you, check out this post.

The Future Of Retail Is Channel-Less

Even as e-commerce is growing, the flag bearers of e-commerce DTC (direct to consumer) businesses are also looking to expand their brick-and-mortar presence. In parallel, we see local stores ensuring they make use of an online presence to compete with retail chains and e-commerce players.

This suggests that the retail industry’s future lies somewhere between online and offline, or in a combination of all channels – an omnichannel presence. 

Unattended Retail – How Does This Affect Your Business?

The outcome everyone is gunning for is CLTV – Customer Lifetime Value. Unattended retail helps you add to your CLTV.

If you are looking to maximize value from your customers, you have to maximize value for them. That includes covering all of their preferences. Retailers are required to provide customers with an experience where the advantages and convenience of in-person and online shopping are made available. 

Specifically, from an unattended retail perspective, 85.2% of respondents in a study that surveyed recent unattended retail service users polled ‘yes’ when asked about using this channel in the future.

In addition to value, personalization, and convenient access, the current scenario requires retail experiences to reduce person-to-person interactions. These considerations, along with the expanding preference for self-service retail environments, make providing unattended retail points vital for your retail business.

What Is Required To Add Unattended Retail To Your Sales Channels?

The premise of dispensing has always been unattended retail. Secure machines where merchandise could be stored and sold. Your most rugged and reliable salesperson. Now, it is also about the customer experience and the conveniences that are made available to the customer to enrich their experience.

Dispensing, when done contextually with the right combination of technology, machine, and partner, is a success formula. You should consider unattended retail if you are in the self-service domain.

  • Health and Fitness: Vending Fit is equipped with credential-based access and intelligent inventory management to provide real-time reports.
  • Automated Retail Stores: IDS smart lockers help retailers provide their customers with Buy-Online-Pick-Up-In-Store and Click and Collect options. They focus on bridging the online and offline experiences without a hitch – from ordering on a mobile app to collecting the ordered item in a controlled environment at a convenient time. 
  • Manufacturing facilities: IDS enhances staff productivity and offers manufacturing facilities real-time analytics to make data-driven executive-level decisions using iQ Technology, a cloud-based technology as well as an intuitive, convenient software platform.
  • Office environments: The office IT dispensing machine from IDS is a straightforward and exciting solution for managing office and IT supply assets. You can save money by minimizing shrinkage from unaccounted for office and IT supplies and enhancing staff productivity by providing resources round the clock.
  • Automated Retail Stores: IDS smart lockers help retailers provide their customers with Buy-Online-Pay-In-Store and Click and Collect options. They focus on bridging the online and offline experiences without a hitch – from ordering on a mobile app to collecting the ordered item in a controlled environment at a convenient time. 

How To Add An Unattended Retail Experience To Your Store

IDS has the first and last step needed for adding unattended retail to your business channels- our click and collect and BOPIS range of smart lockers.

We make your entry into unattended retail easy. More importantly, it helps drive more customers to your store and more revenues from each customer.

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Our easy-to-use smart lockers are filled with features like contactless operations, cashless payments, ergonomic physical access (all our products are ADA certified), and notifications across channels, including email, phone text, or push notifications.
  • Reduced Operational Costs: IDS’ offerings are equally about the software, powered by our in-house developed iQ Technology. Our software tools and applications suite offers everything from inventory management and back-end reporting. We help retailers with more data about their merchandise. This helps reduce operational costs by providing hard data on merchandise consumption. Plus, the dispensing solution uses metrics to plan your purchases and price your products.
  • Solving Last-Mile Delivery Challenges: The advantage of having an Amazon Prime membership is more about the free delivery, rather than the binge-worthy content. It is difficult, if not impossible, for brick and mortar retailers to scale up enough to make last-mile deliveries less expensive. Our smart lockers solve this challenge.

Set Up Your Unattended Retail Infrastructure Now With IDS

IDS is equipped to take your business into the unattended retail space. We are here to support you and your organization’s needs. To find out more about our BOPIS solution, or other solutions offered by IDS, give us a call at 1-800-771-4446.

How Equipped is Your Dispensing Solution to be Immune to These Disruptive Consumer-Side Changes?

 

How Equipped is Your Dispensing Solution - IDSvending.com

Dispensing office supplies in today’s office space

Modern work environment trends have changed workplace needs significantly over the past couple of years.  Experts predict that office-based work has changed forever. Businesses and employees worldwide have realized the advantages and disadvantages of working away from the confines of an office. Several companies are moving from 5 days a week at the office to alternate days. Some are even considering moving entirely to work from home. Ensuring the availability of necessary resources for the employees in such an environment requires innovative ways to distribute supplies.

Today’s IT departments grapple with challenges like controlled access, attacks from hackers, resource management, and several other responsibilities. They also must ensure uptime of the office employee so that business can go on as usual. This is genuinely an unenviable position, but thankfully, technology can help them address such needs and challenges efficiently.

Changing trends in the modern work environment

The differences between the environment at a local or a global business are blurring every day. The employee mix is becoming homogenous. Increased labor mobility is creating a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural office space. This influences the access to resources and supplies as human intervention can cause communication and semantics-related hurdles. Using equipment to distribute supplies virtually eliminates this. Of course, this does not mean machines can replace people, but using controlled dispensing equipment and the power of human intelligence can drive excellent efficiency and experiences.

There is generally a favorable disposition for the employee to work from home. A research report on Statista says about 81% of employees working from home report an increase or similar productivity levels compared to working from the office. Another report also says more than 75% of employers describe their companies as having the same or better office productivity. Such a high level of employer-employee agreement is a rare sight in any other aspect. 

Work from home is here to stay. And thus, employees must have real-time visibility to the status of their resource requests. Because unlike before, they now need to plan when to go to work and collect necessary supplies.

Pandemic or not, the workforce has become increasingly mobile. Concepts like hot-desking and coworking are changing the way people define the office. An employee may not even be sitting in the same bay or floor of the office every day. They may not even be sitting in the same building all day. They cannot rely on a centralized IT storage closet. Controlled and decentralized access to IT supplies is in great demand.

This is where IDS’s iQ Technology comes in. iQ Technology is our all-in-one and end-to-end solution for inventory and asset management. Our solution is all-in-one because it contains the software and hardware components that helps you take your hands from the wheel. iQ Technology is end-to-end because it covers all possible use cases from procurement, the physical dispensing, consumption tracking, and returns (in case of assets).

The diversity of devices and solutions in the modern work environment is genuinely phenomenal. Just ten years ago, casting and streaming devices were a part of emerging technology. Today, such devices form a part of routine presentations, discussions, workshops, and training sessions. Computer mice, business phones, slide controllers, and electronic notepads are other essentials in today’s office. There is a growing need for access to these pieces of technology. They also need replacement, repairs, or maintenance. Businesses that invest in dispensing and collecting technology that provides timely access to these gadgets are no longer options.

It also goes without saying that the solution that works for your organization will be built over time. Here too, our customer-centric R&D and implementation makes adoption easier with our modular offerings. The different packages cover everything from simple reporting and item management to credential-based access,  customizable alerts like product expiration, API/Pre-Authorization  etc.

In a world where handshakes have been replaced by elbow bumps and “Namaste,” physical transactions are becoming few and far between. The concept of hygiene at the workplace has taken a massive turn in the past few years. Everything has become contactless and socially distant. While the debate is still raging on the sustainability of these measures, the business must go on. Gladly, technology comes to the rescue again. Distributing supplies no longer need as much human touch as it needed before.

The office goer today is becoming more and more focused on personal success. Individual productivity is now everybody’s concern. Nobody wants downtime due to a lack of resources or faulty equipment. Timely access to necessary supplies is a critical factor for employee motivation. With IDS’s dispensing solutions there are no constraints on the type of supplies that you want to make available to your employees. From fragile, sophisticated electronics to stationery, our range of dispensing solutions cover it all. 

Lastly, business leaders and managers need data about the consumption of supplies. Technology enables this data-driven decision-making at all levels. Leaders can guarantee uptime, reduce waste, and improve productivity with better insights into consumption. Businesses can also use such technology to save costs, prevent resource hoarding, and improve profitability. Using automated controlled dispensing is now driven by demand from both sides. Employees need them for convenience, and employers need them for efficiency.

Controlled dispensing in the modern office

It is undeniable that modern work environment trends call for the technology that serves the unique nature of demand for IT and office supplies. The good news is that there is already proven technology available in the market from reputed suppliers that address this need. Such equipment can ensure the delivery of resources to the right recipient. 

IDS’s office supply dispensing solutions are constantly attuned to the fast-paced changes in customer requirements because we listen to our customers and keep our eyes open for emerging technologies that add value.  Our solutions are capable of helping achieve high-level mandates and board-room philosophies around productivity, resource consumption, cost optimization, to name a few. 

We help our customers achieve more by enhancing the trackability of assets and improving the performance of those assets through scheduled maintenance or repairs. They also provide transparency into the consumption and utilization of resources that give leaders informed decision-making power. They are also a vital component of the office process automation and the transformation towards a paperless office. The value that such technology brings through loss prevention, improved accountability, and support for material audit are simply icing on the cake.

Our team of consultants at IDS Vending can help you find the right combination of hardware and software that will serve the needs of the evolving office environment. Call us at 1-855-260-4771 to talk to an expert.

Are Smart Lockers the Missing Piece of Your Retail Strategy?

 

Are Smart Lockers the Missing Piece of Your Retail Strategy? - IDSVending.com

One cannot overstate the importance of the retail industry

Retail consumption keeps the economy humming along and is an essential indicator of its health. Governmental policies remain aware of the industry’s growth because it is a significant employer, directly employing one in ten employed individuals and indirectly supporting four in ten*.

The industry and its e-commerce component are growing

Customers in the US spent more than $471 billion on online retail in 2021, surpassing earlier projections of $469.24 billion. This figure does not include the festival-laden October to December quarter.

Since 2012, we have seen the ever-increasing e-commerce component in retail sales. And this does not look to be slowing down thanks to the ever-increasing number of internet users.

What does this mean for your retail sales strategy?

The past, present, and future of the industry show digital engagements will be a significant factor in the way forward. The revenue it brings in, its importance as a government policy influencer, the steady increase in internet users, and the steady increase in e-commerce retail sales underline the importance of digital engagements to your retail business strategy.

BOPIS and Click & Collect (C&C/BOPIL)

BOPIS: Buy-online-pay-in-store is a retail strategy, which, as the name indicates, helps customers buy the merchandise online then pay for and collect them at the store. Collection areas are dedicated only to this audience. BOPIS helps customers by providing an e-catalog to browse, make choices, and add to their shopping carts. 

BOPIL: Buy-online-pick-in-locker is a variation of BOPIS and is alternatively referred to as click and collect (C&C). Here, the customer comes to the store and can access the goods from lockers strategically placed by the retailer – in public places like airports, train stations, or in the store premises. Retailers also use mobile lockers placed on customized vehicles. 

Relevance of BOPIS and C&C Across Retail Formats

Smart locker technologies have universal applicability and value. A few of the top smart locker solution benefits could include

  • Mom & Pop/Department Stores: smart lockers will open up new monetization channels.
  • Discount/Dollar Stores: C&C helps reduce overheads, an example of which helps move a portion of payments online, reducing the need for POS machinery and consumables.  Also, it helps discount stores with multiple branches optimize the transfer of products within by optimizing  the online ordering and darkroom delivery workflows
  •  Supermarket/Warehouse Stores
  • Reducing overheads and space utilization
  • More intelligent inventory and procurement management
  • Specialty Stores: Smart lockers could enhance the customer experience. And tailor it to the merchandise. 
  • Malls
  • Smart locker solutions could help increase monetizable space
  • Real estate for ads – digital and conventional
  • E-Tailers: Smart lockers help provide last-mile connectivity to enhance the customer experience further.

Benefits of BOPIS and C&C That Will Attract More Sales

BOPIS and C&C solutions bring convenience to users and more value to retailers through the following.

  • Better accessibility for more sales: Our retail dispensing solutions optimize the quality of access to consumers.
    • Our solutions provide 24/7 availability ensuring convenient access to consumers and thereby increasing chances of sales.
    • All our solutions are ADA compliant.
    • Storage lockers are robust and tamper-proof, with the ability to vet and confirm the user’s credentials.
  • An optimized supply chain for more Return on Investment: IDS optimizes inventory management through iQ Technology.
    • Data for Insights: IDS provides a connected and future-technology-ready platform for collecting insights and converting them into actions.
    • Inventory Management: Better Procurement Strategies: Insights lead to cash-smart procurements, better cash flows, better revenue predictability, etc.
    • Just-In-Time Stocking: smart lockers make it easier and less time-consuming for retailers to stock, take stock, and restock inventory.
  • Enhanced customer experience for competitive advantage: Our solution’s features list ensures a seamless online to offline transition.
    • Cashless Transactions: Customers prefer cashless payments for both online and offline retail. BOPIS and C&C provide cashless payment systems. 
    • Contactless Delivery: smart lockers in both avatars – BOPIS and BOPIL help reduce high-risk personal interactions. 
    • Convenience: Customers have added flexibility in planning their purchases and spending less time between aisles while not losing the in-store experience.

Considerations to Choose the Ideal BOPIS and C&C Solutions

IDS offers both BOPIS and C&C solutions. Our automated retail machines are as simple as paying, scanning, and retrieving. There are three main components to any BOPIS or BOPIL solution – the smart locker, the control hardware, and the software. 

Our solutions eliminate the need for customers to wait in long lines while waiting to retrieve their ordered products. From the customer’s perspective, they see a smart locker accessible through their mobile devices. However, from a retailer’s point of view, there are multiple considerations to be made before you invest in a BOPIS or C&C solution and reap the benefits.

End-to-End Service Provider: When we say end-to-end, we mean it. We provide financing and leasing options to custom-developed solutions and a dedicated 24/7 support structure. Our Virtual Tracker solution is one example. We offer all of the necessary software, hardware, and support you need to take back control of your inventory.

Our 90 Years of Vending Industry Legacy: Last but not least, 2021 marked the 90th anniversary of our parent company, The Wittern Group. We have placed customer success as our driving force, which reflects in our patents, technology partnerships, use-case-specific applications, specialty applications, etc., in addition to actual customer success

BOPIS and C&C ensure more retail revenues, but their success depends on the solution partner. IDS has proven success in the vending & dispensing industry for more than 90 years. With a  comprehensive product portfolio, focused R&D, machines and solutions exclusively made in the USA, and robust support ecosystems.

Contact IDS for BOPIS and C&C Solutions

IDS is here to support you and your organization’s needs. To find out more about our BOPIS solution, or other solutions offered by IDS, give us a call at 1-800-771-4446.

What is the Cost of Office Inventory Mismanagement?

 What is the Cost of Office Inventory Mismanagement?

Attention IT & Admin Teams – Are you Wasting Budget On Unnecessary Expenses?

Question: What is the impact of lack of trackable access to necessary office supplies?

Answer: Dollars that could have been put in your pocket!

IT support teams are always trying to manage “Just-In-Time” inventory to ensure that the right supplies are available to the employees who need them. This helps them to operate on a lean budget without sacrificing productivity. However, there is seldom a situation where all employees use the resources fairly and equally. The result is unavailability of the necessary office supplies for those who are in desperate need.

Allowing such disproportionate consumption of supplies is avoidable with the help of iVendTech. Not doing so will encourage hoarding of resources or irresponsible usage. This can be expensive for the business and frustrating for those who are denied these supplies.

Tangible Costs: When Trackable Assets Turn into Liabilities.

An office environment that cannot provide sufficient supplies and prevent waste of resources faces measurable burdens on cost. They drag down profits and performance. In some cases, they can also have an impact on revenue. Let us explore how.

Cost of inventory

It is a no-brainer that overuse of supplies results in increased costs. It means businesses have to buy more, store more and, in the process, waste more. The cost of procurement increases and so does the cost of moving, holding and distributing inventory.

  • Buy More: Consider a scenario where a policy change cascades on to the organization. It suddenly renders all the inventory obsolete or useless while forcing administrators to purchase additional inventory. 
  • Store More: If the benefits of volume, coupled with the perennial need to cut costs, result in stocking up on office envelopes, mouse pads and letter heads while the company changes its branding, it suddenly makes the stash useless. Not to mention the waste of additional overhead expenses (storage, disposal, mandatory compliances etc.). 
  • Waste More: For example, if the user mishandles computer mice or keyboards frequently, then the cost of warranty and replacement shoots up.

Cost of downtime

The cost of a computer peripheral may be a few dollars, but not being able to use the computer for a day can cost a few hundred dollars for the company. Now imagine an entire office full of professionals having limited or no access to necessary supplies on a given day. It can be a nightmare for floor managers. From the shopfloor to the top-floor, lack of timely availability of resources can be the spoke in the wheel that creates unscheduled downtime.

Cost of inefficiency

Unavailability of timely access to necessary supplies has an even bigger problem. Not having that whiteboard marker could make a big difference in presenting a compelling proposition. A faulty pointer in an online conference can bring down audience engagement and attention. A diligent employee without access to stationery can feel very frustrated. All of these are examples of how the often ignored or taken for granted supplies can have a very real impact on production and productivity. Inefficiencies in the office environment are a serious drag on revenue and profitability.

Intangible Costs – The Unknown Cost of Lost Opportunities:

Like Lord Kelvin would say, “That you cannot measure, you cannot improve”. That is precisely what makes the intangible costs of “resource unavailability” scary. Factors like employee dissatisfaction and frustration due to unplanned downtime can reduce motivation levels. This can also decrease the reputation of the employer resulting in poorer employer branding. IT support teams, administration teams and procurement teams face the brunt of this often. 

All of the above add up to the scarier scenario – cost of lost opportunity. A situation wherein businesses do not realize what they may have lost and are not even in the position to ascertain the scale of these losses.

Eliminating Losses From the Cost of Inventory

Yes, eliminating losses is possible. How exactly, you ask?

  • IDS is equipped with the technology and configurable product features that deliver secure inventory management and control to organizations.  
  • IT and Admin teams are further equipped with real-time reporting about inventory consumption data that could help in terms of both qualitative (demand vs consumption, availability to productivity mapping) and quantitative parameters (time-to-replenish, etc.). 
  • Supplemented with a guaranteed delivery mechanism that closes the loop on each resource request. 

All of the above gives complete visibility and control to the organization over inventory flow and quality of inventory utilization.

iVendTech equipped machines are an asset for inventory management in the modern office environment. It helps reduce shrink in the form of wastage or hoarding. It helps improve productivity and drive employee experience. If you would like to understand how we can help your business make significant cost savings on your inventory and enhanced employee experience, call us at 1-877-771-4446.

Inventory Reporting & Its Impact on your Business’ Bottomline

Avoiding the cost of inaccessible office supplies

There are tangible and intangible costs due to inefficient inventory management, which we covered in our last post, Save Money with an Inventory Management System.  In the same vein, inaccessible office supplies are an unnecessary and avoidable drain on business profitability and performance. But thanks to a cutting-edge dispensing solution like iVendTech from IDS Vending Solutions, this can be avoided. 

Why is an efficient inventory reporting system important? Ensuring the continuous supply of necessary assets to those who need them in a secure manner has never been this easy. It allows IT support teams to spend their time addressing strategic IT needs of the business instead of store-keeping. Self-service does not only reduce effort but also gives the consumer the experience of instant resolution.

IDS’ office IT vending machine is proof that we help businesses keep their employees happy (and productive). A completely integrated self-service solution that employees can access and operate 24/7. The office supplies solution helps IT and office management departments to ensure availability of all assets, prioritization of procurement, and easier access for employees with a seamless record-keeping system for consumption, procurement, and demand data, among others. 

There are two major types of dispensing for IT and office supplies.  On-Demand Dispensing caters to small and medium products and merchandise. It is best suited for applications like collecting broken items and providing basic consumables. The other type is the Will-Call lockers, which addresses the demand for higher dollar or sensitive data office supplies. This is suited for items like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Essentially, iVendTech’s portfolio of machines are configurable to dispense products of different sizes and shapes. So, businesses must invest in fewer machines that cater to diverse needs while maintaining a single source of truth that gives controlled access to analytics and intelligence.

Secure Inventory Management and Control

iVendTech uses a combination of onboarding and cloud software to track, manage and monitor inventory consumption. The machine communicates with the back-end iQ Technology software, a secure encrypted channel. This gives 24/7 visibility and control to not just the machine but also the inventory. This also helps evolve from a centralized asset storage and distribution framework that could become unwieldy to multiple points of storage with the same if not better tracking and accountability measures and systems in place

Combined with alert systems, these range of dispensing solutions can trigger reorder level notifications amongst a host of other possibilities. Last but not least, the reverse dispensing mechanism can track returns and provide accountability data.

Comprehensive Real Time Reporting

Continuous availability of resources is necessary to ensure uptime. Meaningful insights like low stock warning, notifications for a particular type of product/resource, alerts about product abuse or hoarding and restock lists can help deploy a solution that solves your inventory challenges. This data can be accessed on any device with the necessary access privileges. It helps different stakeholders gain actionable intelligence and make informed decisions.

Guaranteed Delivery

iVendTech’s machines use the proprietary Guaranteed Vend Technology, iVend. This ensures that every time an employee accesses the machine, they get the product or merchandise they need. The IR-based drop sensors make sure that either every completed transaction is tracked, and every incomplete transaction is reversed. This, combined with the alert system, can also enable a closed loop feedback mechanism for every failed transaction so that no need goes unaddressed.

Impact of controlled dispensing

Such features of iVendTech’s portfolio of machines help optimize cost of inventory and deliver a host of benefits. Some benefits are discussed below.

Cost savings

iVendTech’s controlled dispensing can bring in savings at various levels. Having access to the right supplies at the optimum levels for the right folks who need them can optimize inventory. This means businesses will need to buy less, hold less, maintain less, repair less, retire less, recycle less and waste less. There are savings across the entire asset lifecycle for different functions like IT, administration, facilities, procurement and finance. The cost savings from uptime, fewer unplanned outages and better productivity are just the icing on the cake.

Productivity improvement

Availability of the necessary tools to get the job done is a critical part of employee efficiency. iVendTech’s dispensing solutions ensure that your employees are never short of critical supplies. In the case of breakdown or repairs, iQ Technology can collect and track assets while giving real time visibility to asset lists. Its configurability allows handling multiple varieties of merchandise and caters to a huge spectrum of needs across the business.

Employee motivation

Timely access to resources, a safe and secure support mechanism that helps collect and repair faulty devices while ensuring trackability can remove a lot of frustration associated with the day-to-day operations. It reduces wait times, brings in transparency and enhances accessibility to the required supplies easily. This can help drive productivity, success and eventually the motivation of the office workforce.

Employer brand boost

Custom branded iVendTech machines can remind your employees how their employer invests in creating an easy-to-work environment. It helps build the right kind of reputation for a business that values its employees and their time.

iVendTech machines are an asset for inventory reporting systems in the modern office environment. It helps reduce shrink in the form of wastage or hoarding. It helps improve productivity and drive employee experience. If you would like to understand how we can help your business make significant cost savings on your inventory and enhanced employee experience, call us at 1-877-771-4446.

Virtual Tracker

Virtual Tracker

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions is a pioneer in the field of smart lockers and dispensing systems worldwide. Our innovative solutions include controlled and intelligent dispensing solutions for the healthcare industry and emergency services (including sanitizers, PPE equipment, controlled pharmaceuticals and narcotics, clean syringes and needles, and so on), IT industry (IT accessories and equipment), and for construction and manufacturing (tools and personal protective equipment).

The Virtual Tracker from IDS is powered by a smart software platform called iQ Technology. It is a combination of a web or mobile interface and features rich back-end software that allows users to track and manage resources that the employee of a business may need. iQ Technology powers the gathering of data from the machines to the communication with the cloud and other third-party applications. Together, they create an efficient and quick process for checking supplies in or out, speedy auditing, real-time reporting about stock levels, and integrated alert systems. It provides valuable insights into items checked out, items returned, order pickups, usage of supplies, and more, delivering visibility into essential aspects in real time. It allows full-cycle asset management across different organizations as it is easily configurable to meet the needs of any business. Additionally, iQ Technology integrates with the enterprise IT systems of a business to provide a 360-degree view into your organization’s inventory.

Key Features:

The Virtual Tracker is a complete package that places the power of inventory management at your fingertips.  Its web browser version and mobile app make it usable on any device that your organization or employees already have.

Interoperability with your existing supply chain systems, label leaders, bar code scanners and other data acquisition systems make Virtual Tracker easy to deploy.

Web notifications and mobile push notifications can help in calling attention to incidents or unusual usage. This, combined with customizable reports, make the availability of intelligence on inventory to the right audience easy.

Using the virtual tracker is a simple three step process. Users no longer need to fill out long forms or walk to IT support and wait in a queue.

You can remotely track your assets on a wide range of devices – the virtual tracker is that simple to use. So, whether you’re an Apple or Android fan, and whether you prefer working at your desktop  or on your mobile on the go, you can keep track of your inventory. Thanks to iQ Technology, you and your team can stay mobile and connected, and stay on top of inventory and asset activity, and follow them wherever they go.

Benefits of the Virtual Tracker

The software is a comprehensive inventory management platform that enables visibility and control into your inventory supply chain. Managers can use the interface to allocate resource ownership and manage consumption. The trackability and traceability enables hassle free audit. Users can not only collect equipment at their convenience, but also be constantly informed about when the product is ready for collection. Insightful reports and business analytics features of the tool can help business leaders make better business decisions.

Customer Reports and Automated Alerts

The Virtual Tracker will become the central source of all resource and inventory-related data. This places the responsibility for providing actionable insights in a timely manner on this platform. The Virtual Tracker executes this by a combination of standard and custom reports that can be then pushed as alerts through the different communication integrations of iQ Technology.

The smart technology sends you different types of alerts, and it can be set up to be sent to several people or just one. It can also be configured for automated workflows and escalation. The standard out-of-box alerts are:

  • Inventory level alerts
  • Expiring product alerts
  • Offline or downtime alerts
  • Machine door open alerts
  • Dispensed notifications

You can easily keep track of your asset inventory with these alerts, ordering products at the precise time that you need to. This eliminates downtime due to unavailability of resources or shrink due to overconsumption.

To implement this smart technology in your organization, manage your inventory efficiently, and save money, call us now at 1-877-771-4446.

UCapIt Specialty Applications Spotlight

Pandemics are not new to our world, but COVID-19 has taught us the need for prevention, testing and protection unlike any other in contemporary history. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions brings a comprehensive set of products that cover all three aspects through its UCapit family of machines.

  • Sani-Center Plus machines can dispense large and small PPE Kits to help in preventing the spread of harmful diseases, such as influenza, COVID-19 and even the common cold.
  • IDS Testing Center enables access to self-administered COVID-19 test kits for quick identification of the COVID-19 viruses in order to slow the spread in businesses and college campuses.
  • Harm Reduction Supply Dispenser helps to deliver essential supplies like needles, syringes and disposal containers in a safe manner.

UCapit specialty application machines can help businesses and institutions fight the spread of this pandemic while ensuring proper medical supply distribution and accountability. Emergency Medical Supplies (EMS) are not just expensive, but also very valuable as they have direct impact on the lives of people. UCapit machines help distribute medical supplies, ensure proper usage and prevents waste of such life-saving essentials.

Sani-Center

Preventing the spread of viruses reduces the social and economic impact of the pandemic by saving lives. The   dispenses PPE equipment and sanitation supplies to help contain spread of contagious diseases like COVID-19 and influenze.

Sani-Center dispensers are configurable to ensure delivery of a wide range of supplies – big and small. So, investing in a single machine, operators and institutions can cater to different PPE and sanitation requirements of the end-users. The proprietary  technology eliminates coils and the need for frequent maintenance.

IDS Testing Center

The key to successful testing for COVID-19 lies in two aspects, timeliness and trackability. Timeliness means the access to tests for symptomatic and asymptomatic hosts of the disease. Early detection can help both the affected and those around them.

The series of our medical supply distribution machines helps educational institutions and businesses in Return-to-Learn and Return-to-Work initiatives. It ensures easy access to self-administered test kits in a controlled process that allows trackability. This is achieved by scanning the bar code on the employee badge or the campus card. After sample collection, when the kit is returned, it is cross referenced with the bar code on the badge to ensure proper attribution of results.

IDS Testing Center uses a combination of cloud technology,  , optical sensing and its features like iVend guaranteed delivery to ensure proper dispensing of test kits, collection of samples and accurate attribution.

Harm Reduction Supply Dispenser

Prevention and testing are important steps towards mitigation of spread. Protecting or treating is important to save the lives. It helps in reducing the spread of HIV and other diseases. This is where UCapit’s comes into play.

These machines enhance safety in drug use through its automated syringe dispensing system. It is used by institutions and civic administration to provide health officials access to clean needles, clean syringes, and needle disposal containers for used needles.

Technology

Providing access to EMS and other life-saving commodities need to be reliable, controlled and trackable. UCapit leaves no stone unturned in terms of bringing in the right technology pieces from both Hardware and Software perspectives to deliver these values to its users and operators.

  • Hardware

The portfolio of products includes everything from that are installed in institutions or public spaces to Supply Lockers. are a critical component of the medical supplies value stream to proper ensure collection and distribution of narcotics and pharmaceuticals. But that is not all. The portfolio also boasts that of the that combine benefits of dispensers and supply lockers into one machine. This not only reduces the footprint, but also reduces cost of operations.

At a sub-system level, UCapIt uses cutting edge technology like IR sensing based iVend Guaranteed Delivery systems and  systems to ensure safe and assured delivery of essential commodities.

  • Software

Data visibility is the key to making timely and accurate decisions in the supply chain. It is more so when it comes to dispensing EMS and critical supplies. That is why UCapit’s iQ Technology ensures availability of real-time analytics that can provide actionable insights into consumption of supplies and usage of the machine. The data can help executives and managers make informed decisions for enterprise-wide inventory and asset management.

Benefits of UCapit Specialty Applications

In times of the pandemic, healthcare organizations look for ways to easily distribute medical supplies. When patient volumes are high and the need for quick access to testing is at never-before-seen levels, they also must minimize cost of operations. The cost of inventory is a big component of the cost of operations. The different features of the UCapit portfolio of machines help optimize the cost of inventory and reduce expensive wastage to deliver savings for its customers.

But that is not where it stops. It delivers benefits to all players across the value stream from civic bodies to end users and everyone in between.

Government & Civic Bodies Hospitals Businesses and Educational Institutions End Users (Students, workers, patients, etc.)
Reduces Inventory Carrying Costs

Eliminates ‘shrink’ and hoarding

Eliminates waste due to expired products and pharmaceuticals

Provides real time intelligence

Provides access to inventory while maintaining control and security

Meets the FDA and DEA federal guidelines for pharmaceutical management

Reduces administration costs and streamlining operations

Increases the time apparatus trucks can be in service

 

UCapit machines can make a difference in the EMS and critical supplies space by positively impacting business profitability and the lives of people. To learn more about how we can help you or your institution distribute medical supplies, you can contact us at (866) 409-2895.