Reduce Employee Potential Expose to COVID-19 Through Controlled Dispensing Solutions for Office and IT Supplies

IDS’ iVendTech provides a seamless transaction experience to allow employees to easily access office and IT supplies without direct, face-to-face interaction with other employees

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, it is more important than ever to ensure that employers are protecting their on-site employees by providing a safe, sanitary work environment. As a result, many organizations are evaluating and adapting their workplace processes and procedures.

This includes transitioning workforces to working remotely. However, there are many organizations that require some or all of their staff to be on-site due to the essential nature of the products and services they provide, as well as the job functions of the employees. For onsite employees, social distancing and reducing the need for face-to-face interaction is critical.  Social distancing can be accomplished by utilizing contactless interactions when possible. For example, companies across many industries are utilizing technology for virtual meetings and implementing solutions such as controlled dispensing to limit the interactions between employees. 

As companies put in place measures to limit face-to-face interactions and encourage social distancing, it is also important to reduce the handling of critical supplies, such as office supplies and IT assets, as much as possible by limiting contact points.  According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifespan of the Coronavirus can vary based on different surfaces and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to three days. 

  • Airborne: 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Cardboard: 24 hours
  • Stainless Steel: 2 days
  • Plastic: 3 days  

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions provides controlled dispensing solutions, specifically for office supplies and IT assets through its brand iVendTech.  iVendTech offers a contactless transaction experience through controlled dispensing to allow employees to easily access office and IT supplies without direct, face-to-face interaction with other employees. 

The above CDC guidelines have prompted many organizations to re-evaluate the ticket process and resolution methods utilized by their IT help/service desks.  The risks in traditional IT help/service desk applications are due to the face-to-face interaction and hand-off exchanges of IT assets and hardware between the service desk team members and employees.  

Many of IDS’ iVendTech customers enjoy the self-serve, streamlined asset acquisition and ticket process from a convenience perspective. In addition, they recognize the advantages from an employee’s health and safety perspective through the ability to secure assets via contactless transactions. “IDS’ dispensing solution has completely transformed our organization.  We used to be inundated with requests for IT peripheral and other office supplies, but since implementing iVendTech these requests have dropped significantly. Plus, employees love that they can access all supplies they need 24/7 without waiting for assistance from the IT staff,” said Kyle Williams, Senior IT Manager at Fastly (previously IT Manager at GoSpotCheck).

With COVID-19 having up to a three-day lifespan on supplies such as laptops, batteries, and headsets, face-to-face IT help/service desk interactions may pose a risk of being a spreading point within organizations.  Another advantage to IDS’ iVendTech solution is the ability to limit access to products for a certain period of time to ensure that any virus transfer or contamination risk is eliminated.  

For instance, the IT employee can fill the supply dispenser or locker and then place the selection or compartment out of service until a specified date/time.  Plus, IDS supply dispensers offer first-in-first-out loading. This ensures the newest products loaded into the machine will not be dispensed until the older products in that selection have been dispensed, which further reduces any risks due to transfer on the supplies.

Unlike open supply closets, in which multiple employees can access and return office supplies and IT assets, controlled dispensing through iVendTech’s supply dispensers and supply lockers require employees to only access the specific product and quantity they need. The employee must be verified for access before the supply is dispensed and the employee is able to touch the item.  Just think, in an open supply closet setting, how many people before you may have picked up those AA batteries or headset and put it back on the shelf. With controlled dispensing, your supplies are at a much lower risk of contamination by being handled by fewer individuals.

Besides the supply itself having the opportunity to be handled by multiple people in an open supply closet setting, another consideration is the cleanliness of the supply closet itself.  For example, when employees access products in supply closets they often come in contact with shelving or bins housing the supplies, the supply closet door handle and other areas within the supply closet.  You have an increased risk of direct exposure on the shelf itself and door handle, as well as transfer exposure from the product. With being fully secured within the supply dispenser or locker, this is not a concern or risk, as only the IT help desk/ service desk employees have access to the interior of the machine, including the shelving within.

Another advantage of IDS’ iVendTech solution is the real-time data and reporting capability through its proprietary iQ Technology software.  iQ Technology allows administrators to track who accessed what item(s), when they accessed the item(s), and the quantity of the item they accessed.  This chain of custody is critical when identifying and mitigating risks in a crisis situation, as well as is useful on an inventory management basis during normal operating circumstances.

With the current situation with COVID-19, it is essential that supplies are not being passed among multiple individuals, whether it be office supplies or tech supplies.  Having a solution in place, such as iVendTech, to manage and track inventory, as well as protect employees who are managing and consuming that inventory from contamination reduces an organization’s risk and also helps protect the well-being and health of employees.

Having a plan in place to keep your business operational during crisis situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, starts with protecting your most critical asset – your employees.  iVendTech can help. As you are evaluating and initiating your response plan, we want to help you keep your employees safe, while providing a solution that increases productivity within your organization and reduces costs by eliminating the shrinkage of office supplies and IT assets.

For more information on iVendTech and other dispensing equipment, contact 1-877-771-4446.

Healthy Vending in Schools

Across the country, there are debates occurring about whether or not schools should have vending machines. Some people claim that providing vending machines in schools contributes to the obesity problem in the United States. While this could be the case in some schools, providing healthy meals, snacks and beverages in schools actually promote healthy eating among students.

Vending machines in schools are able to provide so much more than just candy and soda. In fact, they have the capability to offer full meals to students, in addition to healthy snacks and beverages. This would allow students to purchase breakfast and lunch from the machines during school hours. Since students are often involved in after school activities, vending machines can provide them with snacks to help get them through until it is time to go home. Providing this service allows schools to win back sales that were otherwise lost to convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.

Installing vending machines in schools decreases congestion and long wait times in cafeteria check-out lines by allowing for multiple sale points for students, as opposed to one single line. Schools are also able to reduce labor costs by having vending machines, as staff are no longer needed to serve food before and after school and fewer staff are needed to serve lunch during the day. Another feature of these machines is that they can be set up to accept cash, credit/debit cards and meal/POS accounts, so parents can know what their children are eating throughout the day. 

Providing students with easy access to healthy food through vending machines is the perfect teaching opportunity. It gives students the chance to learn first-hand what happens when they fuel their bodies with healthy foods and beverages, as opposed to sugary beverages. Students who make healthy nutrition choices have a better chance to succeed academically than those who eat foods that are not nutritious.

Arguments can be made to deny schools to have access to vending machines, but it is hard to deny that, if done correctly, having vending machines in schools helps set students up for success. Click here to learn more about healthy vending in schools or give us a call at 1-855-570-2673.

The Brain of Our Machines

Managing inventory control, no matter what industry you are in, can be a real challenge. This is especially true if you are unsure about where your inventory is going and who has access to what. Our controlled dispensing machines simplifies this for you with the help of iQ Technology.

iQ Technology is the brain of IDS’ dispensing machines. It is a cloud-based system that gives managers complete control and customization of supply dispensers and the associated inventory. It allows managers to track sales remotely and create unique point-of-sale displays for all employees. You can now have complete control over your supply room by putting supplies into dispensers and tracking who is checking out what merchandise. In addition to that, managers can tailor usage restrictions on an individual basis. If a certain individual is going through an unusually high amount of highlighters, for example, you can put a limit on how many they can access every month. 

With iQ Technology, you have direct access to its dashboard. This dashboard includes the system’s health and the dispense overview, so you know how much inventory you have left. It will also allow you to make note of an item that may have run out too quickly. In addition to the dashboard feature, there are a number of software features that allow iQ Technology to run smoothly. It gives you 24/7 cloud-based database access, so you can access reports anytime, anywhere. It will also give you automated real-time inventory and management reporting. 

Managers can receive various reports and alerts about their controlled dispensers with the help of iQ Technology. Reports will be sent whenever a user has exceeded his or her limit on items retrieved. Managers can also receive a usage summary, inventory consumption, restrock summary and so much more. These reports make it easy to stay on top of inventory counts and assures that your machine is working properly.

Tracking inventory can be a real challenge, especially when you do not have a system in place to track your current inventory. With iQ Technology. This issue can be fixed with ease. To learn more about iQ Technology and other systems IDS has to offer, give us a call at 1-855-942-0998 or click here to fill out our contact form. 

It’s Time to Take Back Control of Your EMS Equipment

In an emergency situation, EMS professionals need to be able to quickly access life-saving equipment and supplies. And, when every second counts, they do not have time to scour the supply closet, just to discover that the critical item they need is expired or out of stock. 

In order to comply with FDA and DEA federal guidelines and regulations, it is important for EMS professionals to be able to easily and accurately control who has access to what and then report on what was dispensed and the reason for the restock. This is especially important when it comes to controlled substances such as morphine or fentanyl. IDS’ inventory management solution for EMS professionals provides real-time accountability and streamlines this process.

A supply room closet just doesn’t cut it. When medication is accessible to multiple people, it is impossible to control who has access. With the UCapIt supply dispensers and supply lockers, you can put control and accountability back in your hands, ensuring that you are meeting the FDA and DEA guidelines.

There are multiple ways to identify your crew members to allow access to supplies and equipment with our EMS vending machines. Each method provides quick and controlled access to medical supplies, depending on your agency’s preference. Employees can be identified by either inputting a unique code on a pinpad, proximity, barcode, magnetic stripe or biometrics. As a manager, this will allow you to see who is accessing supplies, when they are accessing them and how much they are accessing through our proprietary iQ Technology software.

iQ Technology is a web-based system that provides real-time inventory reporting and inventory management. It allows you to see a number of reports about the items being dispensed such as a usage summary report, a transaction report and an inventory consumption report. Through iQ Technology, you will know where and when items are being dispensed, who is dispensing them and more. The system will allow you to optimize your par levels and order supplies before you are completely out, while also tracking the lot numbers and expiration dates.

You can never be too efficient when it comes to emergency situations. Let IDS streamline your supply chain management so you can focus on emergency response and patient care. Get started today by giving us a call at 1-855-570-2673.

Provide Employees with Instant Access to the Supplies They Need, When They Need Them

Hardware administration and asset management can be a headache for the IT service desk.  Some organizations utilize the open supply closet approach. With this approach comes uncertainty, frustration, and wasted productivity.  For example, it could be extremely unorganized where you know it will take too long to find what you are looking for. Or even worse, perhaps it is locked and you can never seem to track down an IT service desk rep when your mouse battery has died. 

Did you know you can eliminate your supply room headaches for both your IT service desk staff and users with a Supply Dispenser or a Supply Locker from IDS?  Many companies who wish to streamline their IT processes and bring flexibility to their employees have been turning to smart vending machines to assist the IT service desk.  These IT office vending machines also track supply inventory and asset utilization on back-end systems.

IDS’ Supply Dispensers or ‘smart vending machines’ are the perfect inventory supply management solution for any office environment, whether it be finance, healthcare, professional services, or tech.  Since one organization can have multiple Supply Dispensers dispersed at various places in the office building or across the office campus, employee productivity will increase. For example, instead of having one central supply close, with Supply Dispensers at multiple locations, employees only have to travel to the Supply Dispenser closest to their work area rather than the central supply closet which may be much farther from their work area.   

Do you have larger IT and office supply items such as keyboards or laptops that may not fit into a Supply Dispenser?  Or perhaps you would like an inventory asset management solution for reusable assets. IDS Supply Lockers provide secure storage and dispensing of larger consumables and reusable assets. Our Supply Lockers keep your employees accountable by using a simple check-in and check-out system. Plus, these lockers can be used for will-call, asset management, loan periods and more. 

Using IDS’ Supply Dispensers is simple, as you just scan your ID and dispense the item you need.  There is no need to spend time tracking down an IT service desk rep to open the supply closet or digging through a messy supply closet searching for the specific item you need. With a swipe of your employee badge and the peripheral is logged against your name and tracked at the inventory end.

Decreasing wait times for IT service requests lets workers access replacement laptops to keep them working. A week-long process to get a new laptop can now be supplied in minutes leading to a rise in productivity and associated improvement on returns on investments.

With IDS’ Supply Dispensers and Lockers, office supplies and IT peripherals can be maintained instantly to better manage your stocks. IT will become more efficient, save costs, and improve employee satisfaction.  

Automated supply dispensing allows IT staff and employees to work more efficiently. It also allows companies to monitor the cost, deployment, and use of those supplies to make sure that office supplies and IT peripherals are accounted for.

Automating the distribution of necessary hardware such as keyboards, mice, headsets, cables, and other peripherals keeps employees productive and gives them the business products they want.  With IDS office and IT inventory asset management solutions, your employees will have convenient, secure access supplies they need, no matter what time of day it is. Call us today at 1-855-570-2673 to learn more.

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions Introduces PUSH-IT, a New Tray Delivery System

PUSH-IT

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions (IDS), a leading hardware and software provider of inventory management solutions, is pleased to introduce PUSH-IT, a new tray delivery system.  PUSH-IT allows customers to dispense larger items from our vending machines while also creating operating efficiencies. With no coils, PUSH-IT allows for greater capacity per selection and is adaptable to a wide variety of premium products, including different types, sizes, weight, and form factors including boxed items. 

For example, in the IDS SD5000-R refrigerated supply dispenser, 17 1.1” x 3” x 1.1” 10 mL vial boxes of Lorazepam injection solution fit per selection with PUSH-IT, while only 14 boxes fit per selection with a standard coil.  Likewise, in the SD-5000 supply dispenser, seven 6.9” x 5.3” x 2.5” inch boxes of landline phone hands-free headsets fit per selection with PUSH-IT, while only six boxes fit per selection with a standard coil. 

The PUSH-IT Delivery System is user-friendly and allows for flexible product configuration. Since there are no coils, selections are easily and quickly re-configurable infield without additional parts and it is reversible to accommodate extra-wide products. In addition, PUSH-IT provides a quicker restocking process than coils and eliminates any missed or empty slots occurring during the restock process.  PUSH-IT is strong and durable, able to push up to 15 pounds per selection or 30 pounds with paired devices.

With clear gates replacing obtrusive coils, PUSH-IT allows users to see the full products face on with no tilt or label obstruction, allowing them to better view the products and become informed by easily viewing the full front product label.  In addition, PUSH-IT eliminates the possibility of the products rotating in the selection when a product is vended from the selection, a nuisance that often occurs with coils.

“The PUSH-IT tray system enables clients to vend a wide variety of packaging. In addition, they can instantly change selection configuration width at no expense and with no additional parts required. The absence of coils dramatically speeds up restocking increasing productivity,” commented Jim Dillingham, President and Owner, Vend-ucation.

To see PUSH-IT in action click HERE.  For more information on the PUSH-IT tray delivery system or any other IDS products, please contact IDS by calling 1-877-771-4446 or visit www.idsvending.com.

Increase Productivity While Decreasing Costs

Productivity is something that no workplace should take for granted. This is especially true in a healthcare setting. When every second counts, doctors, nurses and surgical technicians cannot afford to waste time waiting for clean scrubs or searching for the right size in a messy storage closet. Your organization also cannot afford to waste money on replacing scrubs that are accidentally thrown away or taken home by your employees. You do not want to risk spreading healthcare associated infections (HAIs) by not properly processing your scrubs. Our simple solution? IDS’ ScrubTrak machine.

ScrubTrak vending machine customers have saved tens of thousands of dollars in their facilities by reducing annual scrub purchases by 90% and saving 35% in laundering costs. Our system allows you to have full control over your scrub inventory by tracking who is gaining access to your scrubs. Now, they simply scan their ID and choose to dispense their saved scrub set or pick a new size if they wish. It also ensures that unauthorized users do not have access to your scrubs.

One of the biggest benefits of our ScrubTrak machines is that they can be placed in multiple locations throughout your facility. Having satellite locations as opposed to one central hub cuts down on the amount of time people have to stand in line and wait for scrubs, as well as decreases the travel time of doctors and nurses. Instead, they find the closest machine and either dispense their scrubs or get new scrubs. It also cuts down on employees having to dig through scrubs to find the right size. Now, they simply have to scan their ID, choose a size and the machine will dispense their scrubs. It is that easy!

Infection control is a major concern in hospitals. Utilizing an open closet, as opposed to the ScrubTrak solution, puts your employees at risk of taking infectious diseases out into the public, and even your house. By installing Scrubtrak, you ensure that your hospital’s scrub policy is being adhered to and you are reducing the risk of spreading infectious bacteria and HAI’s. 

Do not take workplace productivity and safety for granted. Give us a call at 1-855-570-2673 and let us help you get started today.