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 office vending machines and other dispensing equipment, contact 1-877-771-4446.