Balmforth & Co
RSL Guide

The complete guide to vending machines

Posted on 04/10/2021 by Evan Church
Estimated reading time: 8 min read
Categories: Business and Industry, Vending

As the world keeps evolving, so does the vending industry. The world we live in today is run by technology; we really can’t seem to live without it and why would we? Technology is at the forefront of creating a digital revolution where everyone can be part of it. 

Back in 1967 when Refreshment Systems was established, Duncan Balmforth probably never imagined the possibilities that would come the company’s way in the future. Did he think a piece of technology (telemetry) was going to change everything about his business?

Maybe not! However, today we are using telemetry technology to innovate and improve our daily operations and make people’s lives easier through vending. Our customers don’t need to worry about low stock or machines errors. The power of telemetry makes having a vending machine in the workplace convenient. The ever-evolving vending machine is stuck in an infinite loop of possibilities.

How are vending machines evolving?

Since the first known vending machine from the 1st century up until now, these machines have come so far. They’re a symbol of popular culture. Vending machines haven’t only been used for snacks and drinks, they have been used in a variety of different ways to fulfil people’s requirements.

If you look back through the decades, there have been many inventors who made their mark in the vending industry.

So, how are vending machines evolving and why do they need to keep changing? Vending machines are evolving to fit in with the modern world and they’re succeeding at doing that. The days of carrying cash and looking for spare change to purchase a snack is coming to the end. This has come to fruition rather sooner than expected.

This is why we have teamed up with Nayax. Nayax offers a solution where the thought of remembering to carry cash is pushed to the back of the shelf.

You now have Onyx which is a small device attached to the vending machine. Allows you to pay with, credit/debit card, smartphone, smartwatches, or even pay through the Monyx app.

If you were to go down the vending route and have one installed in your workplace, you’re not only providing refreshments to your employees, but you’re futureproofing your business in many ways. There are numerous benefits to what these modern machines can do for you. 

  • Your improving workplace cultures
  • More people will want to work at your company, due to the improved culture
  • Increased productivity
  • More collaboration
  • And so much more

With vending machine taking their step into the future, could something else be seen as a rival to the vending machine?

Canteen

Vending machines or micro-markets?

Saying vending machines are better than micro-markets would be a lie and vice-versa. Yes, it is right in thinking both serve as somewhere to go for food and drinks. However, every industry is different and will have a different need for a vending machine or micro-market.

Micro-markets can be used for companies with a wider space that can offer more products than a vending machine. There are many reasons why would one suit a company instead of the other. For example, if you work in the healthcare sector, there is no stopping to sit down for half an hour when patients always need care, so that’s where a vending machine would be better suited.

It’s down to your requirements, availability of space, how many employees you have and type of industry. It’s a decision that care needs to be thought about. As both can provide many benefits, it’s crucial to take everything into account and find out what would be the best practice for your business.

How do vending machines make your life easier?

There is nothing better than two things coming together to improve one solution. That solution is the way telemetry and vending machines work together to improve the customer experience and make your life easier. Imagine your having a vending machine installed and it has no technology capabilities and you’re having to call the supplier because something has gone wrong. What are you thinking then? You’re thinking about the vending machine and it shouldn’t be like that. The last we want as a supplier is for you to think about the machine, low stock, machine errors and having to call us.

With these modern machines and the level of sufficient capabilities, they can offer because of telemetry, the industries that we supply no longer need to stress. And the one solution, improving the customer experience.

Improving the customer experience may be the overall solution we want to improve, but it counts for so much more with the many benefits that telemetry has to offer.

Whatever type of industry you’re in, telemetry can help in different ways to make management easier. Healthcare, offices and facilities management. As mentioned earlier when it comes to the healthcare sector there is no stopping really and the last thing on a nurse’s mind at 2 am when wanting to get a cup of coffee is the machine not working or out of coffee. With auto ordering as soon as the coffee falls below a pre-defined amount, telemetry will alert one of our engineers and the coffee will be with you the very next day. With the latest in machine telemetry, it ensures that you will never run out of stock within your machine estate. 

The job of a facilities manager is to manage multiple sites. So, finding a vending supplier that can meet all the requirements that an FM manager seeks is very important. They don’t have the time to be dealing with faults when they have work with more priority. With telemetry, we can streamline the running of your vending and coffee offer. All your machines will be stocked to optimum levels, with efficient route planning, ensuring no time is wasted. Stock will be reviewed regularly, which will keep products in the machine that people want and we also add new products to the machine if other items aren’t selling too well. Also, with remote fault tracking, the stress of thinking about a machine is none existent. If there is a problem, an engineer or operative will be on route before you know there are any issues. This keeps downtime to a minimum and allowing you to keep working on the important things.

Just like FM or healthcare, when it comes to offices you don’t want the job of reordering coffee or snacks. We know stock levels are low because the device fitted to your machine alerts the MyRSL portal. We need to ensure you have everything you need when it comes to your vending machine. We wouldn’t be doing our job if you weren’t looked after. We just want to make your easier and were doing that through vending.

Vending and workplace structure

When we were living in the days of lockdown, it had its effect on everyone in different ways. But with no face-to-face interaction, it was hard. As a large majority of people have returned to the office, workplace culture is more important than ever. If you’re an employer who wants to look after your employees, then take the time to listen to them and understand them and create a happy and healthy workplace.

It’s not just down to particular companies, but all companies should embrace workplace culture and work to improve it. You may find when people are looking for a new job and they see reviews from existing or previous employees about the culture being one of the main standouts, the chances of finding other talent increase. 

Vending machines play a huge role in workplace culture. It’s one factor that can positively affect staff morale, which can lead to a lot of positive outcomes. You can go one step further and enhance the look of your machines by adding vending surrounds. This not only makes the appearance of the vending machines look elegant, but if you have a breakout area and the surroundings, you’re showing your employees that they have somewhere to go on their breaks.

Your employees may feel like you’re thinking about them by offering this to them. This can also mean increased collaboration, more social engagement, a friendly and informal atmosphere and improved productivity. 

Other uses of vending machines

Vending machines don’t just have to be used to sell snacks or drinks, but they can be used in other ways. Media screens are becoming popular with vending and companies are looking to advertise their services on vending machines in busy areas. If you have vending machines in hospitals, then you have a great opportunity to showcase health and safety messages, local taxi companies can advertise so you know who to contact when needed. Even local takeaways who sell healthier food have a great chance to gain new custom. There are so many advantages to media screens and can benefit so many companies. 

RSL Guide

Vending machine service packages

When considering a vending machine, take the time to think about the service and maintenance of the machine. We have a wide range of service packages available and it is necessary to have the right service package for a hassle-free vending experience.

Our packages:

  • Bronze cover
  • Silver cover
  • Gold cover
  • Bronze + cover
  • Silver + cover
  • Gold + cover 

Delivering a unique service is paramount to ensuring our customers are never left alone.

Are vending machines needed?

Adding vending machines to your business estate can make them a truly unique location for employees to go and get their favourite snacks and drinks. But are vending machines needed all that much? Remember your employees are what makes your company what it is. Keeping them nourished and thinking they’re being looked after can mean a more productive day for the employees. Vending machines are needed and they will always be needed. 

Working home from home might suit some people, but it doesn’t have the same effect as being in the office and speaking to your colleagues. There is no socialising when you’re working on your own at home, that’s an important reason why vending machines are needed. As you can have that social interaction with your colleagues. 

In conclusion

If you are truly looking for a vending supplier that can meet your needs, then Refreshment Systems are a key player in being able to provide those solutions that you are looking for. Our telemetry technology is allowing us to be more unique and making it so we can help you when you need it and without you knowing that you need it. 

If you want to hear more about our product and services, contact Refreshment Systems on 0800 169 3686.

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WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY

Our customers are at the heart of everything that we do. If they are not achieving their goals then neither are we. Their satisfaction is very important to us and we believe that delivering what our customers want and need, means that we can form a long-lasting partnership.

With the help of RSL, we now have a machine that meets demand, makes a delicious drink and is easy to use. We’re delighted with the service that we are now looking to add further machines to different areas on campus.

Leeds City College

I think the most important advantage RSL had over other potential suppliers was the use of the mobile drinks van. We knew we were getting quality before we switched suppliers!

Kongsberg Automotive

We can’t thank the team enough, from helping us with the colour schemes to menu boards and point of sale materials, they have just been brilliant!

Coffee House Newark

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