Data is Key
Data is Key
The more observant of our customers may have noticed our operators wearing a small device on a lanyard around their necks recently. This is a Datakey, the latest development in our use of Vendmanger software to underpin our fully managed vending service in Sussex, Kent and Surrey.
Upon arrival at a site, the data key is plugged into each vending machine, and accurate information is relayed via Bluetooth to the operator’s Android smartphone. This information includes vend counts; a full breakdown of the sales through the machine and cash reconciliation. It is transmitted directly to our server, allowing us access to the information as soon as the vending operator has completed the visit.
So how do we use this data?
Reactive and proactive replenishment schedules
We carefully analyse the data using Vendmanager to monitor product sales, trends and seasonal variations; and to identify products which maybe selling out before we attend to re-stock. The replenishment schedules we create are based on this information, and because it is in real time, we are able to make changes to our service based on how the vending machines in Sussex, Kent and Surrey are being used.
Westways Vending provides subsidised hot drinks vending machines and snack machines. The accuracy of our data ensures that invoicing is timely and accurate, providing our clients with an uncomplicated refreshment system for their workforce or customers.
Providing reports to customers
Managing our business carefully is important to us. Westways Vending is one of the leading regional vending companies in the South East in providing CQUIN* compliant vending to the NHS. Our datakey information enables us to provide them with regular reports and feedback about sales through their machines, which they are required to collate.
We have not been shy in talking about this, and as a result a number of our public and private sector clients have adopted a similar product range to the NHS. They also provide their staff and clients with a selection of refreshments including healthier choices, with the option to receive accurate data on sales as required.
Informing our purchasing
The biggest development to the drinks market has been the introduction of the sugar tax on 5th April this year. We have used our data to interpret actual sales and monitor whether people are purchasing fewer sugary drinks.
Coca Cola cans are still our highest seller, closely followed by Coca Cola bottles, both of which are up to 15p more expensive than the low calorie equivalent. Red Bull cans are also one of our top sellers also subject to the sugar tax. Sales remain undiminished, but I guess if you need an energy boost, what’s a few pence? Bottled water, the healthiest option available is only about 1 in 8 of our vended sales.
In time our data will tell if tax and guidelines will change consumer’s buying habits, in the meantime our data enables us to maintain stocks of the snacks, confectionary and cold drinks our customers like to purchase.
In summary, our data is key to providing a tailored, fully-managed vending service to our clients throughout the South East. More information about our fully managed vending service, click here.
*CQUIN is a set of wide-ranging guidelines which the NHS has to follow. They include nutritional guidelines governing the sugar content and calorific value of snacks, confectionery and cold drinks which are permitted in NHS based vending machines.