The vending industry in the USA alone generates over US$43 billion in annual sales. Due to the unattended point of sale nature of vending machines, the following challenges have been experienced by vending operators, vending customers and vending machines - as 'Virtual Vending Salesman' (quoted from Stella Yoon's article)
Vending Operators need to know the status of vending sales, cash info, stock information and machine health status without visiting each machine on a route, so that they can decrease operating costs and increase sales. They also need to provide a cashless payment option to facilitate customer purchases, decrease vandalism and internal shrinkage, reduce the frequency of machine repairs and reduce costly cash handling.
Vending Customers need a variety of payment options, a wider variety of products (magazines, off-the-shelf drugs, toiletry, etc) and better service (to eliminate favorite drink/snack stock-outs, coin-jams, malfunctioning vending machines).
Vending Machines (as "virtual sales reps and inventory managers") need better communication channels with vending operators in order to report product shortages and brand preferences, customer support, reduced "illness" (inability to serve the customers due to break-down, high temperatures or vandalism) and accurate sales and cash reports.
cStar Solution and Benefits cStar's revolutionary one stop wireless solution for vending data management with cashless (cell phone and cards) payment provides the following benefits to the industry:
Significantly decreases vending operating costs by streamlining data collection and processing and optimizing route management:
*Saves labor costs by eliminating review time and reducing service calls *Saves fuel and truck depreciation by eliminating unnecessary trips to certain vending machines *Decreases parking cost *Eliminates paper work and human recording errors *Reduces administrative workload
Significantly increases sales and profits by:
*Providing cashless payment options *Eliminating or decreasing vandalism and internal shrinkage *Preventing stock-out and improving vending machine service *Providing location and season-specific product and brand mixes
Creates opportunities to win new sales accounts and sustain existing accounts by providing sales teams with innovative tools (e.g. cell phone/card payment option, increased and more accurate sales commission)