Tag Archives: Vending Machine Maintenance

4 Simple Vending Machine Maintenance Tips for New Vending Operators

You may be a new vending operator, or just need a refresh on vending machine maintenance – the key to a properly functioning vending machine is preventative maintenance, here we have 4 tips that will give you peace of mind now, and in the future:

Keep It Powered

It may seem simple, but we see this a lot. Sometimes you think your vending machine just stopped working, and when we come out for a service check, it’s simply not plugged in. Many machines have some sort of control board in them. Make sure your machines are plugged into an electrical outlet so they function properly. You can always reset your circuit breaker if the outlet isn’t working. Check the connections to all of the vending components, as they can get loose.

Keep It Clean

Your vending machine, is beyond anything, a machine  – and machines need to stay clean in order to function properly for extended periods of time. Keep the pathways for the bill validator and coin mechanism clean to ensure proper function. Always retest the machine before leaving it. Keep the refrigeration system clean. You can use air or even a brush to keep the lint out of the refrigeration unit area.

Keep It Primed

When setting up new products in your machine, you must prime each selection. Priming is the action of testing a new selection in your machine until it is ready to be vended. During this process it helps to keep your machine level.

Keep It Priced Right

A common complaint from vending customers is that the pricing is not set up correctly. Take the time to set the price in accordance with the correct product in your machine. It is helpful to test each new selection and product as well. This will help limit the number of service calls you will have to make.

Overall, the vending machine business is fascinating, with lots of opportunity for growth. Take the time to make preventative measures in your vending business.

Your team at VendNet USA is here to help you with all of your vending machine repairs. Contact us by phone at 1-888-836-3638 or web today to get started!

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.

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.

NYC Metro Card “Fritz-Frenzy”

nyc metroNew York City metro customers woke up to a rather unwelcome surprise a few days ago. Citywide outages for the MetroCard vending machines resulted in quite a few frustrated customers. While the “Sorry, we are unable to process your request right now” screen brought about a horrible start to the day for some New Yorkers, the metro line workers took to social media to keep everyone updated on the situation.

@NYCT Subway posted on Twitter to let customers know what was going on and how they were trying to remedy the credit/debit issue. While there were some less than supportive comments, for the most part it let customers know what was going on and when to expect a solution. By early afternoon the issue was resolved and customers were back on their way. The power of social media is vast and even in this situation it helped keep people informed about what was going on.

However, this payment issue with the vending machines brings up an entirely new issue; proper maintenance may help to prevent these issues in the future.

Proper maintenance for these vending machines would include periodic checks into the software to ensure that everything is running properly. When this type of maintenance is completed, it can help to prevent issues, such as the ones seen on May 11th that affected over 100 vending machines around New York City.

There are quite a few professional vending maintenance services that can be employed to provide this service and ensure everything is working properly, no matter the type of vending machine being operated. These professional services provide:

  • Payment solutions if something is not operating properly
  • Substitute equipment for machines that need extensive repairs
  • Expert advice to ensure the machines have minimal downtime
  • Professional reporting services to let owners know the up and downtime of the machines

Vending machines are now used for a multitude of reasons from the MetroCard refill stations to the typical soft drink dispensers and now even grocery machines. Keeping these machines properly maintained is essential to ensure customers can access the convenience they are looking for.

Also, if issues do arise, vending machine owners should let customers know what is going on and keep them informed by utilizing the power of social media. It is one of the furthest reaching and fastest traveling sources of news and information. Take a cue from @NYCT Subway and ensure your customers are not left in the dark.

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.

Free Vending Machine Bill Validator with Service School Sign-up!

Vending Machine Crash Course by VendNet USA

Make an investment in the success and growth of your business and get rewarded for it – simply register for VendNetUSA’s two-day vending machine repair class at least three weeks early and you’ll receive a bill validator or coin mech repair at no cost, good for any current model machine that hasn’t been vandalized.

VendNet USA’s service classes help vending operators learn how to perform simple techniques for troubleshooting and repair so you can keep your machines – and your business – operating as smoothly as possible.

Classes are held at the company’s school in Des Moines, Iowa and cover topics related to cold drink, hot drink, cold and frozen food and snack vending machine repair. Learn how to troubleshoot problems, replace parts and perform many common repairs to keep your machines in good working order from a leading provider of vending machine repair services.

To learn more about our two-day vending machine repair class, click here or call 1-888-VENDNET.