Retail Vending In The Office

With advances in technology there seems to be an increased emphasis on the idea that work can be done anywhere. The connectivity of video chatting, cell phone based email, and a wealth of other technological advances ensures that work does not stop outside of the office. Still, losing employees for a lunch break and then again for a break to go out and grab an afternoon snack definitely has an affect on over all productivity.

This is why retail vending machines can be so helpful when put in your office. Keeping employees in-house when they decide they need an afternoon can of Coke or a bag of protein packed peanut M&M’s can help avoid minutes and often hour long work stoppages for a craving.

Of course schools have understood this for years. While back in the day many high schools allowed students off premises for lunch or even free periods these days kids are kept in school to avoid cutting and developing a lax attitude about the school day. School vending machines were put in to offer kids a chance to fuel up without leaving the building.

Keeping employees happy and engaged is one of the keys to proper business management. In-house retail vending machines can help.

Never Shake a Vending Machine Again

Intelligent Dispensing SolutionsNorthern Illinois University campus publication The Northern Star recently published an article titled “Vending machines deserve your respect,” which humorously urged patrons to treat their local vending machine with care by providing the perspective of the machine itself.

“It’s not easy, but someone has to do it,” said Morty, the school’s vending machine. “I just wish they didn’t kick so hard.”

While the article provided a good chuckle to the vending machine manufacturers here at Intelligent Dispensing Solutions, it got us thinking of that age-old tradition of kicking and shoving vending machines until they vend that candy bar that simply will not budge. Neither you or your vending machine of choice deserve that type of abusive back-and-forth, and Intelligent Dispensing Solutions certainly has a fix to this eternal vending program.

In addition to providing an unparalleled level of customization for businesses ranging from retail to fitness, our smart vending machines solve that age-old problem of products getting stuck in their slots. By using cutting edge technologies and building our machines based on your exact needs, you will never have to worry about the vending woes of the past. With that being said, the next time you pass by your local “Morty,” please show him some respect. Our custom vending machines would not exist without him.

Innovative School Lunch Programs

school vending machinesSchool vending machines are not a new idea, but with many parents, and the government, concerned about the health of our children, we need to come up with new and better ways to provide nutritious food in schools. We can’t just accept snack vending machines filled with soda, candy, cookies, and chips. There needs to be an innovative system and Intelligent Dispensing Solutions has stepped up to the plate to take the challenge.

They have partnered with Point of Sales companies to bring automation and tracking to the lunchroom, while still offering a better selection of foods. Their POS system will easily track food and offer students an easier way to purchase. Any students who are eligible for free or reduced lunches can be easily tracked too. Money will be deducted from a student’s account instead of wasting time with cash, although cash can still be accepted.

School lunch vending machines can reduce the congested lunch line by providing similar healthy choices in a convenient location. You can easily change the face of your lunch program by investing in these smart machines. Visit Intelligent Dispensing Solution’s website to learn more and speak with a representative about integrating the machines into your school.

Healthy Vending Machines

vending machines
Hard boiled eggs in vending machines.

Public schools in New York have added a new healthy item to their vending machines: carrots.

But if you were eleven years old again and were going to spend a dollar on an after school snack, you probably wouldn’t want to eat carrots. You’d probably choose a Coke or a Snickers bar. These efforts to fight childhood obesity and begin children and adolescents on a healthier course early in life have been backed by legislation. Last year the federal Agriculture Department passed a law to set dietary standards by the end of 2012.

Some complain that the healthier options such as the $3 hummus or the $2 yogurt parfait, are too expensive when compared to the $1 bag of chips or candy bars found in most machines. Still this marks a vast departure from the vending machines of the past. About 6% of the nations vending machines are school vending machines found in high school and middle schools. Another 6% are found in colleges. I would have thought the percentage higher. And with these healthy trends continuing, it may be hard to find vending machines with the junk foods we were used to seeing while growing up.

But if it makes for a healthier nation, so be it.

Healthy Resolutions With Intelligent Dispensing Solutions

Welcome to the year 2013, everyone. With each New Year comes the rash of resolutions to change something about outlook, acquire a new skill, build better habits, or maybe just finally to lose those ten pounds. Whatever the goal, the hoped-for result is usually to be happier and healthier. And we at Intelligent Dispensing Solutions are here to help you do just that.

This is particularly important in a school setting. Studies released in 2012 are showing that curbing the sales of junk food and sweetened drinks at school may play a role in slowing childhood obesity. Our products allow you to give both your students and staff an unprecedented level of convenience and easily track your inventory. Since IDS also provides end-to-end fulfillment, you can afford to be selective about stocking your vending machines with healthy choices to kids and adults alike.

On top of that, our custom healthy vending machine solutions can complement the role of a real-life cafeteria staff. By using our industry leading iQ software, you can sync your machine with the requirements of the Federal Free and Reduced Meal program, making it easier than ever to provide a quality school food service. Approved by the USDA, our custom solutions can help administrators save payroll while saving valuable lunchroom space for crowded schools.

Healthier Hospital Vending Machines Becoming a Reality

Faced with an overwhelming obesity epidemic across the nation, the United States government is working to increase public access to healthy food at schools. Starting with a major overhaul of the school lunch program which increased access to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains both in the lunchroom and in vending machines, the government is now encouraging healthy eating habits in public places including the hospital setting.

Why Target a Hospital Setting?

Hospitals are where we go to get well, but all too often the food available to patients and visitors doesn’t meet the basic standards for nutrition. In addition, hospitals serve as major employers and influencers in the local communities. They can influence community norms by adopting policies that promote good health in their employees and patrons. In August 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity convened an expert panel to study ways to improve food choices, physical activity, breastfeeding, and tobacco-free environments in hospitals. The panel worked to identify strategies to improve these areas within hospitals and health organizations for both employees, visitors, and patrons and also made recommendations on how to incorporate these strategies into outreach efforts.

Food, Beverage, and Healthy Snack Vending Machine Recommendations for Hospitals

One important recommendation made by the panel was that the hospital’s food policy should cover all venues including cafeterias, vending machines, gift shops, and cafeterias. Offering healthy food in the cafeteria is a great start, but if it doesn’t extend throughout the building the policy declines rapidly ineffectiveness. This recommendation addresses a key finding that many hospital’s vending machines were dominated by high sugar drinks and high energy-dense foods. In other words, foods and drinks had many calories and very little nutritional value.

Another key aspect of the report was that health organizations have a part to play in the greater community, not simply in the lives of their patients. By encouraging patrons and employees alike to engage in healthier behaviors and make better food choices, these organizations are able to impact societal norms and make a difference in the nationwide fight against obesity.

UCapIt is a division of Intelligent Dispensing systems. We have developed automated solutions to the problems associated with dispensing and inventorying pharmaceuticals. To learn more about how UCapIt can work with your organization, visit our website.

Getting Creative with Retail This Summer

Intelligent Dispensing SolutionsIf you operate any type of retail business, you know by now that summer is one of the hottest sales seasons of the year, whether you sell clothing or technology. Whether you have a large stand-alone store or are part of a mall, chances are your establishment is going to get flooded as people gain more free time to hit the streets and shop. And while this is certainly a good problem to have, you might find yourself overwhelmed by a high volume of customers if you aren’t properly staffed or equipped.

Fortunately, using a automated retail vending machine this summer can solve many of your retail woes during busy season, as it automates a whole range of tasks that you probably thought only a human can do. Short-staffed? A retail machine can serve as an extra checkout center so that your employees can spend more time providing face-to-face service to your client base. If you want to shorten store hours and enjoy some much-needed summer relaxation, a custom vending machine can sell your goods long after you have locked up for the night. You’ll likely see your shrink decrease significantly once you go custom, as the products built by Intelligent Dispensing Solutions are built with maximum security in mind.

Dormant School Vending Machines?

In the months after the school doors close, it might seem like those school vending machines go unattended and, frankly, just sit there. You begin to wonder when you get back to school in September, have those items been just sitting there all summer?

Of course not. Anyone who is responsible for operating and stocking a school vending machine should be smart enough to manage the items inside during times where the building housing the machine should be dormant. Luckily, most people who own and operate a vending machine in one place are likely running a larger retail vending operation. Some of those items can stock other machines in other places.

The other possibility is that many of these schools hold summer school classes for students that didn’t quite make the grade. Just ’cause your grades weren’t up to snuff, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the occasional study session with the Keebler Elves.

Schools that do not have summer classes might have staff instruction or daily summer camp programs. The fact is, there will be turnover in these machines in the steamy summer months. In the end, chances are you can count on the products in the machine still being delicious come September.

Customized and Healthy Vending

Healthy vending machines have been steadily rising in popularity over the past few years. Machines that offer snack and beverage choices that have less than 200 calories and are either chock full of whole grains or primarily contain fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein are already required in schools and this trend is trickling into the vending industry in other locations.

For vending machine operators, this increased interest in healthy vending options presents a great opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition. While customers are still having a difficult time finding nutritious snacks on the go, they will be seeking out machines that can provide what they want.

From all of our experience, Intelligent Dispensing Solutions has also seen that machines that are technologically advanced and impressive attract more business than standard machines. Custom healthy vending machines are an ideal way to create an attractive and innovative machine to vend healthier snacks and beverages and increase your sales. Especially with fresh fruits and vegetables, vending these objects efficiently can be difficult due to irregular shapes, products that can be easily damaged, or specialized storage requirements.

Set the new trend at your vending locations and start with an exciting new vending machine!

Coke in Vending Machines

vending machinesEvery morning I hear the crack of a Coke can being popped by my cubicle neighbor. Some people like orange juice in the morning, some people like milk, he likes Coke. I look over and jeer at him; we laugh it off. But deep down, I can’t blame him. I know that Coke is a product that will stand the test of time. I wouldn’t be surprised if Coke exists in vending machines in five hundred years.

Unless they change it a little. Or tax it into oblivion, an idea which Michael Bloomberg and Michelle Obama have kicked around in the past. But I doubt that will happen. Sure, they might make it more “natural” if you can’t taste the difference, but chances are Coke will be in vending machines of the future as it is today.

Coca-Cola has had a rich history since it’s invention. Back in 1886 it was believed that carbonated water was good for health, which is why Coca-Cola was found in pharmacies and soda fountains. When they tried changing the formula in 1985, to make New Coke in custom vending machines, the backlash was incredible. Southerners especially felt as though part of their regional identity had changed. By the early ’90s when the name changed to Coke II, it was already too late. People preferred their Coca-Cola Classic. This year, they dropped the Classic, because everybody knows there’s only one Coca-Cola.