Vending Security and Control: How Software is Revolutionizing the Industry

The vending industry is currently in a state of expansion. Spreading outward from its core of foods, beverages, and entertainment, vending machines are finding their way into a number of professions. The reason is a unique combination of inventory control and advances in technology that give vending machine management several advantages. As vending machine manufacturers adopt these security features, the potential solutions vending machines offer continue to grow. Below are several of the most promising examples and what they can offer:

Controlled Substances and Healthcare Supplies

Vending machine manufacturers are making inroads into the healthcare system for one primary reason: The importance of supply management for hospitals, clinics, and similar organizations. Healthcare organizations deal with a number of products that require tight controls, particularly drugs and similar controlled substances. Despite their best efforts, many hospitals see losses due to mismanagement and ongoing troubles with employee theft.

Secure medical vending machines offer a solution to these issues by allowing medical professionals to access exactly what goods they need without worrying about theft or mistakes. The system uses a mix of timestamps, access protocols, and unit tracking to control exactly who has access to drugs and valuable medical supplies, while keeping them safe. As a bonus, medical vending machines also provide solutions for dealing with scrubs using software like ScrubTrak to pick up new scrubs and return soiled versions.

Office Management and Accountability

In some respects, office supplies face the same losses that medical supplies do thanks to mismanagement, theft and miscommunication. A vending machine tracking software system for appropriate office supplies can solve corporate problems with these losses.

Office vending machines can be customized to offer everything from simple pens and notes to flash drives and electronics. Items are provided to employees who scan their IDs, helping to create more accurate accountability and removing human error from the process – as well as getting employees their solutions without requiring a lengthy request process.

Kitchens and Similar Workplaces

Busy kitchens found in large-scale restaurants and hospitality industries may seem like an odd choice for vending solutions, but the right kind of machine can provide a help to managers dealing with a balance of inventory control and workplace safety requirements.

Knives and other cutlery or expensive preparation supplies, vending machines can offer simple control answers to environments that are inherently different to closely regulate because of high turnover or sudden changes in volume and activity.

Law Enforcement Controls

While law enforcement may not suffer from the same turnover rates as the hospitality industry, these organizations do have plenty of sensitive products to monitor. Vending machines can help these agencies track ammunition, weapons, and similar products to increase safety and prevent deadly mistakes.

There is no better time to join the vending industry. With strict monitoring and inventory control, vending machine owners can rest assured that the technology is on their side.

New Coffee Vending Machine Uses Facial Recognition

Now, we know what you may be thinking: Why would “coffee” and “facial recognition” ever find themselves co-existing? One term is a beloved morning beverage, the other is affiliated with security and James Bond films. However, U.K. company Costa Coffee has found a way to marry the two.

By using facial recognition technology, this new coffee vending machine will try to figure out a customer’s coffee preference based on their age and demographic. Young students may be offered sugary drinks, while the older crowd will likely be suggested some good ole’ black coffee. Of course, these types of preferences are not universal, which is why the company keeps all customer info anonymous and simply uses the technology to gauge what products are doing well with what types of people. Developed by Bsquare (who previously designed the “Coca-Cola Freestyle” machines), the device will also utilize touch screen technology and will be able to produce smells, presumably to allow customers to sample coffee flavors.

This upcoming coffee maker vending machine by Costa Coffee delivers personalized service using the best vending technology in the industry. Here at IDS, we are quite excited about these advancements in the business, and our custom vending machine solutions allow you to provide these same experiences to your customer base, no matter what field of work you are in.