Smart Scooter Revolution with Vending Machine Docking Stations

gogoro_family_shot.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscaleAs our society focuses more and more on energy efficiency with each passing year, it is natural that the “smart” vehicle revolution has begun to gain traction. First it was the “smart car,” which typically took the form of small electrical or battery powered vehicles that eschewed traditional gasoline in general. Now that idea is becoming even more portable with the “smart scooter,” which is a small scooter that essentially operates on the same principle. A well-funded startup called Gogoro recently unveiled its new e-scooter to the world at CES 2015. Perhaps more impressive than the scooter itself was the startup’s idea to install vending machine-like “battery stations” in urban areas across the country.

The idea itself is relatively straightforward. Instead of returning home to charge your battery or trying to find the nearest charging station (like you currently do with an electric car), you would drive your smart scooter to the nearest vending machine parts distribution location and pick up a new battery. Your new battery would be fully charged and you could continue on your way. Your old battery would remain behind and would be charged for the next person who needed to use it.

The idea has begun to take hold in the wake of the “mega city” and its rise in prominence not just in the United States, but in countries all over the world. Mega cities are described as those with over 10 million residents. In 1990 there were 10. In 2014 there were 28. According to the United Nations, that number is expected to increase to 41 by 2030.

Vending machines are ideal for this type of situation because of the large amount of different processes that can be easily automated. The only major factor that companies would have to deal with manually would be vending machine repair, but that will still cost only a fraction of what it would to man battery distribution stations with real people.

Gogoro’s e-scooter is dubbed the Smartscooter and it runs on two lithium-ion battery packs that are stored under the driver’s seat. The company has already raised more than $50 million dollars for its ambitious plan from just two Taiwanese investors. They aim to raise $100 million more in the near future. This will all be great news to the more than 200 million people who are riding scooters all around the world in 2015, which is also a number that is likely to increase in the near future.

Full Time Retiree Finds Part-Time Success in the Vending Industry

LTF_nful_1_28_vending02When Georgia resident Marty Lock retired from a lifetime of working in the telecommunications field, he refused to take on the normal role of retiree. He was anxious to continue working, but at his own pace and direction. He began a new venture, called Oasis Vending, in 2009 thinking that starting a vending machine business could be a satisfying part-time career for him.

His father, a full-time firefighter, operates a similar business, so Lock was already familiar with the ins and outs of operating a vending machine business of his own.  He started with three machines that dispense standard beverages and others that include microwaveable entrees. He has paid as little as $700 for a used vending machine and as much as $10,000 for another.

Lock credits his success to keeping things simple. He doesn’t have any contracts with vending machine manufacturers. This means he is responsible for any vending machine repair issues that arise, but at the same time he retains full control over the product in his machines. He also has very short term, 30-day non-binding agreements with the locations where his machines are placed. This arrangement works well for Lock and for his clients. According to Lock, “Most of them are just concerned with you taking care of the machine and responding to any issues that arise, if people don’t get their product.” Lock said that his most profitable machines are located in hotels. These vending machines produce the greatest revenues during conventions and seminars when customers are looking for a cold drink, hot coffee, or a quick snack between sessions.

Though it can initially be costly, Lock sees great value in retrofitting vending machines to accept debit and credit cards. According to Lock, “when you have a vending machine that will take a credit card, it increases the sales by 178 percent.”  Lock sees less value in the newer software that allows owner operators to remotely track their machine’s inventory and sales. He prefers a simple spreadsheet to keep track of his data, but admits that other owners are getting real-time data on their vending machines delivered straight to their laptops and smartphones.

Lock has become a huge proponent of the vending machine business due to the availability of reasonably priced equipment and repairs as well as the solid revenue margins offered by the business. According to Lock, “I tell people if I was a younger man, I’d seriously consider doing this full time.

 

BottleDrop Redemption Centers Open to Ease Malfunctioning Bottle Recycling Vending Machines

bottledropMany grocery stores in Medford, Oregon were allowing their customers to recycle cans and bottles inside of the stores. While the process was beneficial to the customers, it often wreaked havoc on the stores. The recycling machines that were located inside the establishments were often sticky, dirty and broken. The administrators did not call anyone for vending machine repair to solve the problem of broken units. Medford has come up with a solution to the dirty job of bottle and can recycling: the Medford BottleDrop Center.

What Is the Medford BottleDrop Center?

The Medford BottleDrop Center is a huge, clean building that houses a large number of machines. The environment resembles a warehouse. The district thought it was a good idea to separate the filth of old bottles and cans from the groceries inside of the grocery stores. Having a separate BottleDrop Center will reduce some of the lines and confusion that occurred within the Medford stores and the surrounding areas. Customers will be able to visit the BottleDrop location and conduct business in less than five minutes. People with more than 24 cans will have to use the new BottleDrop location because grocery stores will not be able to accept their products.

Grocery stores that are within three miles of the BottleDrop location will start to implement the new recycling rules. Grocery stores will still accept cans and bottles from people who have less than 24 on their person. Other customers will have no choice but to take their cans and bottles to the new center. Some consumers may be apprehensive about the change at first. However, they may get used to the idea.

People will be working inside the facility to help keep it clean and presentable. These people will also help consumers who have questions about the process. Either visitors can use the self-service center inside the warehouse, or they can have their cans counted by a customer service representative. There is also an easy drop system that accepts the cans and then places the money on the customer’s account. To use this system, the person must set up an account before he or she performs an initial drop. The other two methods allow recyclers to get their money immediately at the site that they choose to use.

The new BottleDrop location will be open during convenient hours. It will open as early as 9am in the morning, and it will not close until 6pm at night. Therefore, people will have time to visit the site and recycle cans and bottles before or after they go to work in the morning.

The large new BottleDrop location is a convenient building for recyclers and grocery stores alike.

 

 

Get a Degree in Vending Machine Repair For a Lucrative Career

Service-SchoolMore than 28 million businesses exist in the United States according to the number of business IRS returns. Many of those businesses have a vending machine on at least one floor of their buildings. The high number of businesses with vending machines provides an unlimited amount of potential for people who know how to install and fix such machines. Furthermore, the businesses that do not have machines may change their minds and order new machines in the future. Vending machine technician is a promising career that can be quite beneficial for a person who takes the necessary courses.

What Is a Vending Machine Technician?

A vending machine technician’s primary goal is to analyze and diagnose vending machine issues and fix them for their clients. However, a technician installs and stocks vending machines, as well. The person may have some jobs that require him or her to work with game machines or some music machines that are not the standard drink or snack machines. Nevertheless, a vending machine repair person must have a certain level of education before he or she can take on such a job.

What Kind of Education Does a Vending Machine Technician Need?

A technician will have to have some experience with electronics. The person will need to have strong critical thinking skills and time management skills, as well. Anyone can learn the mechanics of fixing a vending machine, but not everyone has enough patience and organizational skills to do the job. An interested person may want to pick up a course to develop skills in vending machine repair and maintenance. Vending machine technicians have physically demanding jobs, but their rewards can be quite fulfilling.

Where to Get Vending Machine Education

Vendnet USA is a company that thrives on educating potential vending machine technicians. The company offers a two-day course for people who aspire to be vending machine technicians. The two-day course teaches prospective repair persons how to troubleshoot a machine. These people will learn how to keep a machine in optimal condition at all times. New venders can learn about cold vending machines, snack machines, drink machines, frozen food machines and hot drink machines. The course can be quite helpful for someone who is looking to break into the field of repairing vending machines.

Any interested party can contact the company to schedule a consultation about the class. A representative will be able to discuss the course in-depth and see whether it is a good fit for the candidate. The job is a promising career for people who like traveling and working with electronic parts. A multitude of opportunities are available for people who would like to become vending machine technicians.

 

The Importance of Maintaining Condom Vending Machines

IMG_20141201_145613With more than 35 million people in the world living with the AIDS virus, unsafe sex prevention is imperative. Business owners should implement condom vending machines inside of organizations such as hotels, motels and other institutions where people can be exposed to the disease. The fight against the disease needs to be maintained at all times. Therefore, establishments that have these machines must keep them maintained. A defunct condom machine does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases from spreading in the least.

Vending machine maintenance is necessary any time a building owner notices a blinking light. A vendor who notices an error code will need to request vending machine repairs, as well. Vending machine companies carry the vending machine parts that are necessary to get a machine back to pristine functionality. Maintaining a machine only requires regular inspections and contact with a specialist. The building administrator will want to monitor the machine closely for depleting products, as well. Condoms that have depleted to a bare minimum stash will need to be refilled so that no person misses the opportunity to use one. A condom machine is one of the most important pieces of machinery to have.

Promoting Sex vs. Preventing Disease Transmission

Some teens and adults will have sex whether they have a condom available or not. The responsibility of protecting people from the disease is up to each business owner who knows that such activities may occur within the establishment or outside of the establishment. Condom machines can be setup in a variety of locations such as movie theaters, gas stations, bars, clubs and more. Not only would they protect the patrons from engaging in unsafe activities, but also the vendors and the building owners can earn money, which should be a secondary goal.

Getting Vending Machine Repairs

Someone within the building should be in charge of keeping an eye on the machine for a possible vending machine repair. The vendor will want to check each machine at least once a week to ensure that the products are stocked. The client can call the vending machine company if something goes wrong with the machine. Error codes are the first sign of a necessary repair. Other signs of the need for a vending machine repair are money failing to dispense into the machine and items being stuck in the machine. The machine may need a simple adjustment, or the vendor may need to stack the items in a different order.

In the worst case, the vending machine may require technical assistance. Keeping the number to a reliable repair firm is the best way to prevent machines from becoming defunct. The goal of keeping a condom machine operational is to keep the numbers of AIDS cases from increasing.

Source: http://www.iamin.in/en/bhubaneswar/news/defunct-condom-vending-machines-capital-hospital-bhubaneswar-47519

Guide to Filling and Maintaining Your Vending Machine

Now that you have decided to start your fabulous vending machine business, you must take every step possible to ensure that your machine keeps earning you money. Knowing the proper procedures for stocking and maintaining your machine will cut down on your down time. The following is a guide to filling and maintaining your prize possession:

Gathering Information for the First-Time Inventory

Your first time inventory is your most important fill because it will tell you everything you need to know about how your clients’ customers are reacting to the selection. You will have to rely on your client to provide you with insight for your first fill. You will want to ask the store owner for the names of some snacks that his or her customers are likely to appreciate. Potato chips and Doritos are extremely popular, but the store owner may have some alternative suggestions for you.

Keeping close communication with the client is the most important aspect of running your business smoothly. You will want to ask the client to call you when the vending machine supply dwindles past a certain amount. Alternatively, you can check the Machine once a week to monitor the inventory.

Filling Arrangement Tips

You will need to fill all of your change tubes with nickels, dimes, quarters, etc. You can fill the change tube quickly as you crouch down. You will want to place gum and light candy in the front of the machine because they weigh the least amount. If you are using snack tray, you will want to follow a specific stacking order. Light items such as single-serve soups should go first. Next, you will want to fill two chip trays. Next, you will put in your trail mixes and jerky items. Finally, you will want to fill your M&Ms, Skittles and similar candies.

Maintenance Tips and Suggestions

Inspecting your machine frequently should be a top priority so that you can notice a necessary vending machine repair. You should check for signs of operational problems such as blinking lights and error codes. You can run the manufacturer’s diagnostic test on it once a week for good measure, as well. Next, ensure that your bill collector and your coin mesh is plugged in properly. You will need to call a technician if you find a problem that you cannot resolve. A reliable technician can perform the following vending machine repairs if necessary:

  • Perform a software update
  • Replace vending machine parts
  • Guide you in further troubleshooting

You will want to have machine-specific information when you contact the provider. You should have handy your vending machine’s make, model number, serial number and the error message that you are getting from it.

 

Metrolink Railroad Ticket Vending Machine Complaints & Repairs

lat-la-me-metrolink-tickets-photo-la0023343651-20141023Metrolink Railroad officials are reporting an increased amount of complaints from riders in person and via social media, that the ticket vending machines, which are supposed to make purchasing tickets fast and simple, are now malfunctioning with regularity. These malfunctions are resulting in passengers missing their trains, increased lines at stations, revenue decreases and perhaps even legal issues as passengers have been, out of desperation, boarding without paying their train fare.

These types of problems come as a surprise considering the literally billions of dollars that have been put into the new rail lines in the last twenty years. Although the trains and rails themselves are an attractive commuting alternative, if vending machine repairs continues to go unattended, commuters cannot take advantage of the system. The bigger problem that was hoped to be solved, removing a percentage of commuters from California’s crowded interstates, will be a moot point, if no one can perform the simple task of purchasing their ticket through a fully-functioning vending machine ticket dispenser.

Currently Metrolink receives almost five hundred vending machine malfunction reports a month. Some of these reports are simple malfunctions, while others are concerning busted units and vandalism. In extreme cases, some machines have even been ripped out during break-ins and carried off by criminals. According to social media page Metrolink Diary, set up by riders to record their dissatisfaction, on some days sixteen of the fifty-five machines might be out of order, even at L.A.’s busiest Union Station.

When these problems are finally addressed riders cite that it seems to take weeks for riders to see vending machine repairs. In some instances all of the vending machines at one station are reportedly broken at the same time, as was the case at Claremont Station. This lack of maintenance is causing a huge decrease in sales for Metrolink. Commuters want their tickets they just can’t get them due to vending machine malfunction.

The majority of the machines which serve Metrolink were installed about twenty two years ago, which many say is the entire issue at hand. The vending machines, or vending machine parts simply need to be updated. When the vending machine repair issue is finally addressed Metrolink could quickly recoup the cost of updating or replacing a vending machine part in the malfunctioning machines, or in all the machines.

While passengers wait for the issue to be resolved, Metrolink advises riders to purchase their monthly passes earlier in the buying period, or to arrive up to twenty minutes early to purchase a ticket in the event that the machine is slow or malfunctioning.

Source: http://lat.ms/1op2p6O

 

America’s Bike Fixation High Security Vending Machine

lrt_hsvmSome people are obsessed with extreme sports. From road and mountain biking, whitewater kayaking and sky diving to skiing and snowboarding, rollerblading and rock climbing, they just cannot get enough adrenalin. What do you do though if while partaking in any of the above activities, the chain on your bicycle breaks, or the seat tears while riding? The Bike Fixation bike parts vending machine is there to help.

What is the Bike Fixation‘s High Security Vending Machine?

The name is not misleading; it is a vending machine stocked with bike parts. Customers can purchase everything from parts like bike tubes, chain lube, multi-tools, Allan wrench sets, and patch kits, to parts like derailer components, brake cables and handlebar grips.

Just as convenient as the parts available, are the different means customers can use to pay for the product they desire or need. The high security vending machines accept cash and coins, credit and debit cards, university cards and gift cards.

What Does it Look Like and What Makes it High Security?

Bike Fixation’s bike parts vending machines look like any other vending machine: big and square with a glass casing on the front so customers can view their options before purchasing. But, unlike the vending machines people buy candy and snacks from, Bike Fixation’s vending machine is built like a high-end safe.

It is made of heavy gage steel, with the exception of the front glass. The glass is actually polycarbonate and it is double-paned. In addition, the Bike Fixation vending machine is available with a heater that serves to keep products at a safe temperature even when temperatures outside drop to – 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bike Fixation High Security Vending Machine Models

There are three: the standard model and the HD and the HD SST models. The standard model is 35” x 39” x 72”. The HD and HD SST models are both 43” x 47” x 78” and the heaters of all three models run on 110 volts meaning proprietors can plug the vending machines into any standard outlet.

Have the Bike Fixation High Security Vending Machines Been a Success so Far?

Absolutely. There are machines in use in Brooklyn, New York; Canmore, Alberta, Canada; Miami; Minneapolis; Arlington; and Bundoora, Victoria, Australia in addition to San Ramon and Sausalito, California. That is just to name a few of the locations.

As the vending machines can be painted with any signage a proprietor would like, many Bike Fixation vending machine owners paint the name of their business on one side and maps of the surrounding area on the other.

Two of the most well-done vending machine paint jobs are those of the TeeBox Machine in Miami — which is aqua blue with slightly darker background patterns — and one of the machines in Victoria Australia. From top to bottom, the All4Cycling Machine fades from black to gray, then back to black at the bottom.

Source: http://bit.ly/S0LFDp

Be Prepared for Winter, Know Who to Call If Your Vending Machine Breaks Down

12235846_lWhen cold weather sets in, people want to drink more coffee and other hot beverages. When the usage of the coffee vending machine increases, more stress is put on the machine that can make it break down completely or work unreliably and that makes customers and machine owners unhappy.

Vending machine repair can seem like a shot in the dark for those who are not prepared. Who to call in your area, and can they be trusted? How to explain the problem? What if the machine needs parts? Where do you get them and what is a fair price? VendNet USA can solve those problems with vending machine parts  that are on-site and shipped out right away, and by helping locate a vending machine specialist for part installation and vending machine repairs. A coffee vending machine, with its 21st century options of coffee, cappuccino, teas, and many other hot beverages can only make money and keep people happy if it works properly.

VendNet USA is here to help keep vending machines with a variety of services:

Diagnosing services.

  • Parts list for nearly all vending machines on the market
  • A fully stocked parts department to facilitate getting parts shipped right away
  • Help in finding a certified repairman in your area
  • Technical assistance to assist in ordering parts

Other services from VendNet USA:

  • Assistance for owners fixing their own machine
  • Manuals for all kinds of vending machines, not only hot drink machines
  • A toll free number to answer questions and put owners in touch with the right people to get their vending machines fixed and working properly
  • VendNet USA also offers one-stop shopping for premium coffee, hot chocolate, cappuccino, tea, and hot beverage supplies, all at great prices.

VendNet USA is the solution for the vending machines that satisfy today’s coffee lovers.

Although these machines have been built tough, they are often abused by people in a hurry, and after a while, that abuse can add up. We have the technical expertise and the parts to help you get up and running in no time. If it’s a job you don’t want to try on your own, we’ll put you in contact with someone in your area that you’ll be able to count on to work on the job and get things up and running as soon as possible.

Whether you need parts to fix a machine yourself, manuals to know how to fix your machine, technical advice and assistance to help you decide if a self-repair is something you want to take on, or help in finding a qualified and reliable repairman to do the work for you, VendNet USA can help. With over 80 years in the vending industry, VendNet USA is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with unbeatable online support and services.

 

How To Service Your Vending Machine

vending machine service and repairOne of the great things about an investment in a vending machine is its potential to generate a return 24/7 without direct supervision. However, to produce that revenue, any vending machine must be in top operating condition.

A frustrated and disappointed customer will walk away from a malfunctioning machine without leaving their money in it. This means lost revenue and, potentially, more damage to a machine, especially if it keeps the money without vending the product.

Taking Care of Business

A successful commitment to the vending business carries with it a commitment to taking care of maintenance and vending machine repairs in a timely manner. Whether the machine is in place for employee morale or part of a large route, customers expect it to work correctly every time, all the time.

It is also a simple fact that proper maintenance helps avoid more expensive repairs and problems over the long-term. Stocking the right coffee vending machine parts is part of the management approach that makes it possible to achieve the highest possible return on every machine.

If only 5 percent of a 350 machine route routinely loses two or more days of sales because of an out of stock vending machine part, those missing parts will cost thousands in annual revenue and related profits. Likewise, failing to provide required soda vending machine repair in a timely manner will often cost several times the cost of inventorying basic replacement parts.

The Economics of Uptime

The simple fact of the vending machine business is the higher your total machine uptime, the greater the turns and profits. The larger the number of machines serviced, the more significant this number becomes.

Every vending machine operator will benefit from a simple analysis of what it takes in operating costs to maximize uptime. Such an analysis will help justify the costs of:

  • Sending personnel to school for training maintenance and repair procedures
  • Keeping a sufficient inventory of high-risk parts in stock at all times
  • Enforcing a rigorous preventative maintenance program
  • Keeping operating and maintenance manuals accessible
  • Making sure customers know how to provide notification of an operational problem

Other important aspects of maintaining a high level of service for vending machines are to ensure all new products are registered properly and clear lines to the right technical support resources are maintained.

Modern vending machines are increasingly sophisticated devices that can provide long and durable service. However, as with every electrical and mechanical resource, problems are a fact of life. Working to minimize those problems and responding promptly when they do occur are two basic priorities of the vending machine business.