Category Archives: VendNet USA

VendNet USA | The Wittern Group Announces its Commitment to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge

VendNet USA’s parent company, The Wittern Group, joins 153 companies who have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge in their support for action on climate change.

VendNet USADES MOINES, IOWA – December 7, 2015 – VendNet USA, announces The Wittern Group’s commitment to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.  The official announcement from the White House highlights the commitments from 73 companies, including The Wittern Group, from across the American economy that are joining the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. With this announcement, a total of 154 companies will have signed the Pledge.  These companies have operations in all 50 states, employ nearly 11 million people, represent more than $4.2 trillion in annual revenue, and have a combined market capitalization of over $7 trillion.

By signing the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, The Wittern Group is voicing support for an outcome that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future at the COP21 Paris climate negotiations.  As a part of this Pledge, The Wittern Group is demonstrating an ongoing focus on climate action by committing to:

  • Reducing water usage by 10% by 2020
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their vending products by 45% by 2025
  • Increasing investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient, and green projects by $2 million by 2025
  • Developing long-term business plans that align with the deep DE carbonization necessary to keep global average temperatures from rising less than 2C

“Sustainability is an important initiative for VendNet USA and The Wittern Group as we look to grow our business while remaining agile amid a changing environmental landscape,” commented Heidi Chico, CEO of The Wittern Group and NAMA Board Member.  “By committing to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, The Wittern Group, along with VendNet USA, is taking a leadership role by focusing on initiatives that will increase the profile of the vending industry and demonstrate our industry’s commitment to climate action.”

The Wittern Group is one of seven National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) member companies that have committed to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.  NAMA is the association representing the $25 billion U.S. vending and refreshment service industry.  These seven companies demonstrate an ongoing commitment to climate action and to voice their support for a strong outcome at the Paris climate negotiations.

“The Wittern Group recognizes that delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms, while accelerating the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy will produce multiple benefits with regard to economic growth, public health, and the wellbeing of the global environment,” commented Heidi Chico, CEO of The Wittern Group and NAMA Board Member.  “The Wittern Group is proud to be a small but integral part in addressing climate change and through this Pledge has committed to ambitious, yet achievable, goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and utilize clean energy alternatives.”

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About The Wittern Group

Founded in 1931 by F.A. Wittern Sr., The Wittern Group provides a full range of products and services to meet all vending needs including design, manufacturing, financing, national and international sales, re-manufacturing programs, parts, and support services. The Wittern Group is structured to help people succeed in vending.  www.wittern.com

Contact: Heidi Chico // Tel: +1 (515) 271.8425 // E-mail: hchico@wittern.com

Do You Know What To Do If Your Vending Machine Breaks Down? Be Prepared For Winter

Coffee Vending MachineWhen 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.

Clean Water Vending Machines to Replace Water Fountains

Clean Water Vending Machines
Photo Source: http://www.fastcoexist.com

When you think of a vending machine, you probably call to mind images of large units that dispense any number of sugary drinks or snacks. What you might not think about is a vending machine that dispenses clean drinking water on command, but that’s exactly what one vending machine manufacturer hopes to change. The Wittern Group is hoping that its new controlled dispensing solutions will prove so popular with people looking for clean drinking water that they could entirely replace water fountains in the near future.

The Benefits of Clean Water Machines

The benefits of a clean water vending machine are numerous, particularly as a public and environmental service. Not only are manufacturers hoping that they’ll replace water fountains, but also the need for bottled water in many major markets. Bottled water may be convenient, but it represents a number of environmental and material hazards that we cannot afford to ignore any longer.

Additionally, clean water vending machines may prove to be much more reliable than traditional bottle-filled machines. These machines are connected to the public water system, essentially guaranteeing that they will never “run out” of stock.

Steps to Obtain Approval

In order for a vending machine company to provide such water-related services to the public, however, a number of important steps are involved. Though requirements will vary slightly based on jurisdiction, the broader strokes are always the same. In Massachusetts, for example, any water vending machine will have to be first submitted to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Boston for a lengthy review and approval process. A complete description of the new technology will need to be provided, documentation outlining all plumbing and schematics must be included and a copy of the operational and vending machine maintenance manual will also be necessary.

Third party approval will also be required by an agency that has been certified by the MassDEP, with the NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association) being just one of many examples. The site that the vending machine will be located at will have to be properly registered, as will the unit itself as a component of the public water system.

With advanced solutions such as these, vending machine repair becomes even more important. When a vending machine becomes your premier and trusted source for something as important as clean drinking water, fixing any issues and performing regular maintenance are even more essential to its continued survival than ever before. If these clean water vending machines continue to grow in popularity, the days of water fountains and even bottled water may very well be numbered.

The Importance of Proper Vending Machine Maintenance

Vending Machine Maintenance

The importance of proper vending machine maintenance is something that cannot be overstated enough. Not only do many businesses and organizations use vending machines as a reliable supplementary income, but many people depend on vending machines as an important part of their day at the same time. Medical vending machines help keep track of supplies moving in and out of a healthcare facility and therefore needs reliable vending. Even snack vending machines may be the necessary boost in energy that a student needs in between classes.

Vending Machine Service

When discussing vending machine maintenance, however, it’s important to pay attention to not just how often your machines are being serviced, but who is doing the service in the first place. In Salt Lake City, law enforcement officials recently released information about a man who they believed had broken into more than 40 different vending machines at grocery stores around the state. His activities stretched from West Jordan to Evanston to Cedar City and beyond.

The perpetrator most often targeted the types of vending machines that were situated in front of a grocery store rather than the machines which reside inside the store, due to the fact that he was less likely to be under some kind of surveillance. Detectives estimated that he obtained up to $350 from each incident and the total damage of his crime spree was over $33,000.

So how was this criminal mastermind able to target so many vending machines successfully? The answer is unfortunately simple: vending machine maintenance was contracted out to a third party at many of these businesses and employees just didn’t know who was supposed to be repairing them and when.

Because store employees had no idea how often their machines needed to be serviced or even what company was doing the servicing, this Utah man was able to cause $33,000 in damage and loss in just a few short months. This is just one example that underlines the point that vending machine repair and maintenance not only needs to be maintained regularly to keep things up and running, but to prevent criminals from taking advantage of a system.

The importance of proper vending machine maintenance is something that you should always be focused on. In addition to the fact that you want to make sure that all of your equipment is always functioning properly, failure to understand who is providing service or what they’re doing could lead to disastrous results – as over 40 vending machine owners in Salt Lake City recently discovered. These are the types of mistakes that you, your business and your customers cannot afford to make.

Has Vending Technology gone too far?

Vending machine technology has come a very long way in just a few short years. The last several leaps that vending machines have taken have ushered in an era of not only cashless payments, but mobile payments with a device like a smartphone or tablet. Now, things are taking a bold step forward with new machines that are not only connected to the Internet and cloud-based, but that accept the controversial cryptocurrency Bitcoin at the same time.

Vending Machines and Bitcoin: A Match Made in Heaven

bitcoin and vending machines vendnet usa

Tom Truitt is a man who has been in the vending business for decades. He’s been there through every major leap forward that the technology has taken and through years of experience sees Bitcoin not only as an evolution, but an idea that the future of vending machine technology may very well be upon us.

One of the major benefits of Bitcoin powered vending machines has to do with the roots of the currency itself. Vending machines have long been designed to be scalable – you can expand or contract your inventory as you see fit. You can use actionable analytics built into the system itself to learn what you need to be stocking more of, and what you can stop paying attention to.

Bitcoin brings the same benefits by way of a universal currency that everyone can use. This makes it easier than ever before to get the items you need when you need them the most. Regardless of the user, the operation would be simple: a user can take his or her smartphone, scan a QR code located somewhere on the front of the machine, select their product and watch it vend. Payment from the user’s Bitcoin wallet would automatically be triggered at the same time, creating a transaction that lasts mere seconds.

Truitt indicates that the widespread adoption of Bitcoin payments for vending machines would not only change cashless payments and the vending industry in general, but it would also inject a much needed air of legitimacy into the Bitcoin cryptocurrency itself. It’s creating a situation where everybody wins, from the consumer on up.

With all of this, the real question becomes: has vending machine technology come too far? By embracing new currencies like Bitcoin, are vending machines moving away from the simplistic and straightforward ideals on which they were founded on? If you actually talk to the people who not only use these vending machines on a daily basis, but the businesses who depend on them, you’ll find that the answer is incredibly clear: not only has vending machine technology not gone too far, many would say that it is incredibly exciting to see how much farther they will go in just a few short years time.

Check the Status of your Vending Machine from your Office or Smartphone

Your smartphone is no longer just a device that you can use to send messages to loved ones, play the occasional game while you wait for that important meeting to start or even access the Internet. Thanks to the rate at which mobile technology is developing, you can now use your smartphone to run your business – particularly if your business depends on vending machines. A number of new advancements have been made in recent years that allow you to check the status of your vending machine from your office or phone with just a few quick taps of your finger.

Vending Machine Repair Alerts

One of the major benefits of this type of advancement has to do with the type of information that you can see regarding the status of your vending machine from your smartphone. With the right service provider, a vending machine that is connected to the Internet will be constantly reporting on its status. You don’t just get to see whether it is “up” or “down” – if there is a problem, you can see exactly what is wrong and take immediate steps to fix it.

With cashless payment systems, you can also check to see how many sales a machine has made in a particular day, what types of items are selling out, what needs to be replenished and more – all from a device small enough to fit into your pocket.

VendNet USA & Greenlite

cashless vending greenlite

Greenlite, a new type of technology being shepherded by industry leader VendNet USA, is one of the primary examples of this type of technology in practice. Greenlite is a service designed to help make vending equipment not only more profitable but more convenient at the same time by implementing a cashless payment system. According to VendNet USA, the average machine sees a 15% increase in sales immediately after a cashless payment system is added.

In addition to the fact that it now makes it easier for consumers to pay for their items, it also helps reduce costs normally associated with filling equipment. No longer will a business owner need to make an “educated guess” regarding what types of products they should or should not be putting into their machine. With integrated remote reporting, they have access to actionable analytical information and can look at sale frequency of particular items, developing trends and more.

These are just a few of the ways in which you can check the status of your vending machine from your office or smartphone right now with the right service at your side. As technology continues to advance, it is truly exciting to think about the shape that these types of features will take just a few short years from now.

Ticket Vending Machine Mayhem Coming to a Halt

In May of 2015, metro customers in the New York City area were significantly inconvenienced when a series of outages at MetroCard vending machines made it difficult (and in certain situations downright impossible) to purchase the cards necessary to ride public transportation. The vending machines themselves still technically worked, but they were unable to properly process the payment options that customers needed to actually complete their transaction. Now, other providers are learning from the mistakes of New York City by offering ticket vending machines that are designed to address these types of issues.

In Rhode Island, for example, RIPTA has recently rolled out a series of vending machines in Kennedy Plaza that are designed to both address the issues that many travelers are facing and reduce lines and wait times at ticket windows at the same time. The RIPTA ticket vending machines accept both credit and debit card (but do not currently have a cash option at this time) and issue one day passes, seven day passes and two hour unlimited passes. Though these machines were only recently installed in the plaza, they are already yielding significant performance improvements across the board.

By far, one of the best ways to relieve or even completely eliminate ticket vending machine mayhem involves making sure that these machines are being maintained in the right way. Ticket vending machine maintenance schedules should always include a number of important elements, like offering alternative payment solutions if something is not currently operating in the way that it should be. If the credit card option goes down, for example, users should still be able to pay for their purchases with cash.

Instead of taking a machine offline that needs extensive repairs, substitute equipment should be ready to be swapped in at a moment’s notice. Expert advice should also be sought by the New York City Transit Authority, RIPTA and other organizations employing these machines to help keep down time at a minimum.

The ticket vending machines in Rhode Island are a massive step in the right direction for weary travelers everywhere. Instead of standing in long lines at a ticket window, customers can now purchase transit tickets on their own terms whenever they’d like. The Transit Authority indicated that they will be carefully monitoring the performance of these ticket machines in their current location in Kennedy Plaza and, if they prove to be a success, will soon roll them out in Pawtucket Transit Center and in other locations in the near future.

Source: http://wpri.com/2015/07/02/ripta-launches-ticket-vending-machines/

Ways to Prevent a Vending Machine From Taking Your Money Without Providing a Product

35586453_lAlmost everyone has lost money in a vending machine. You are thirsty or hungry for a snack and put your money in the slot. You may see a little waver of your item in the vending machine shelf, but it doesn’t drop. Your money is gone and you have nothing to show for it.

You may hit or kick the machine hoping to dislodge your item. You frantically push the coin return hoping to get your money back. Still nothing. All this hammering does is possibly damage the machine. There is also a risk that you can be seriously injured if you happen to dislodge the machine and it falls on you. On the other hand, there may be a way to prevent this frustration from happening again.

Advice to Customers

One secret to receiving your product and not losing your money lies in looking carefully at how the items are loaded in the machine before you make your selection. If the location of your item has one spiral, the front right corner of the package should fit in front of the spiral. If there are two spirals, the item should have both front corners in front of the spiral. If the corners are behind the spirals, the item will not get snatched and dropped into the tray.

Advice to Vending Machine Owners

If you are the owner of a vending machine, your customers may kick and hit and damage your machine when they lose their money and do not get their product. Some may even put an “Out of Order” note on the front of the machine which will lose you revenue as other potential customers walk away and do not buy anything.

Proper loading of the vending machine is vital to its functioning. Your employees or independent contractors who are charged with loading the machines must be sure to put the items in properly so the corners are aligned as they should be. If the loader is sloppy and puts the items in at an angle, your customers will lose their money, not get their product, possibly damage your machine and your vending machine business will lose revenue.

A Guide to Properly Stocking Your Vending Machine

23790142_lIn order to ensure your vending machine continues to earn money, stocking it regularly with new and sought after inventory is essential. A key to keeping your vending machine busy and profitable is knowing the proper stocking and maintenance procedures. The following information provides a guide to filling and maintaining your money-making vending machine.

The First Time Inventory

The most important fill is the very first one. The items you stock will either be well-received by the clients, or if there is quite a bit left when you return, you will know it is time to replace some of the items. It is a good idea to ask the owner of the vending machine location for preferred snacks that customers are most likely to purchase. While potato chips are typically popular, the store owner may have some other suggestions you never thought of. People are also more health conscious these days, so keep this in mind when stocking your inventory.

Arranging Your Vending Machine Inventory

It is important that you fill your vending machine with product and plenty of change in the change tubes. If a machine cannot give change, chances are your profits will fall significantly. When you stock your products, you should place smaller, lighter items at the front such as single serve soups, gum, and candy. Next, consider chip trays and then other nut and meat snacks. Also, try to keep most visible your best-selling items.

Maintaining Your Vending Machine

It is essential that you visit the vending machine frequently in order to provide needed maintenance. Be sure to check for any operational issues, such as error codes or blinking lights. Most machines provide diagnostic testing to provide you with information regarding overall vending machine operational health.

Also, check the coin mesh and bill collector to ensure they are plugged in and operating properly. If there is an issue you are unable to resolve yourself, you should call a technician. If necessary, the technician will provide you with the following services:

  • Software updates
  • Replacement of parts and components
  • Provide additional troubleshooting

Stocking your vending machine is definitely the bread and butter of your business. What you decide to put in the snack holders determines the amount of profit you can make. If you notice something does not sell well, it is at your discretion to change it and offer something more appealing. Remember, it may not make sense in the beginning to load two trays of chips, but for most vending machines these are top sellers, so you want to make sure you don’t run out. Keeping the tips here in mind will help ensure your vending machine remains profitable.

Despite Reports of Fraud, Apple Pay is Coming to 100,000 Coca-Cola Machines

apple-pay-604

Currently, Coca-Cola accepts Apple Pay at more than 40,000 vending machines across the U.S. However, the company plans to expand the number of vending machines accepting Apple Pay to 100,000 by the end of 2015. Unfortunately, the horror stories of fraud within Apple Pay have left many people cautious about the use of near-field communications (NSF) devices in such machines. Reports of fraud in Apple Pay have left many wondering how fraud can be prevented when using the innovative payment option. However, the greatest error lies at the fault of bank verification processes and poor vending machine maintenance.

Banks and Apple Pay Verification

According to Micah Singleton of the Verge, Apple Pay data encryption has not yet been breached. However, bank verification methods are lacking in protecting personal information. In most cases, a bank will use a customer call as a verification method for the addition of a new credit or debit card to Apple Pay through ‘green and yellow” verification processes. During the initial phase of verification, or the “green path,” the bank receives and transmits personal identifying information about that person’s transaction history and other purchases. Afterwards, the bank calls the phone asking for the customer to provide the four numbers of his or her social security number. Unfortunately, the last four digits of a social security number are easily accessible to criminals who have stolen someone’s identity. As a result, the card gets added to a new Apple Pay account, and the information is taken. However, the use of Apple Pay at vending machines requires another level of security.

Importance of Proper Vending Machine Maintenance

Vending machines are usually located in unmonitored or “hidden” areas, and thieves have a notorious history of breaking into them. The NFC device within the machine allows for a new type of break in: a digital break in. In order to ensure thieves have not installed software or are accessing information gathered by the machine, vending machine manufacturers must create and adhere to a strict maintenance schedule. For example, the NFC device could be used to transmit credit card numbers to a nearby hacker; however, a diagnostic scan of the device would identify and remove such malware. Furthermore, vending machine parts, especially the NFC device, may need to be completely replaced as an added security.

As society moves towards a highly-integrated, digital world, the presence of criminals will only continue to grow. However, Coca-Cola’s decision to expand the use of Apple Pay in vending machines stands as testament to the security features of their machines and Apple Pay. Before placing blame on vending machine manufacturers or Apple for fraud, banks must improve their verification methods, and vending machine manufacturers must ensure machine maintenance schedules do not falter.

Photo Source: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/innovation/100-000-coke-vending-machines-in-north-america-will-accept-apple-pay-by-year-end