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IVM Smart StationsĀ® - the first cloud-based intelligent vending machines.

December 20, 2018

Cloud technology uses someone else’s computer on the Internet to store what we had to previously store on our own hard drives. Like its namesake, the cloud is everywhere. It’s caught on like a runaway train because companies can now simultaneously run multiple applications with people around the world. The pressure is off our individual computers to do the heavy lifting.

But while vending companies now proclaim their cloud-based capabilities, IVM Smart Stations had them all along. IVM introduced intelligent vending for workplace supplies and with it created a new category. Around that same time, cloud-based computing really took off. We connected those two pieces and created a total solution for our customers.

Here’s what that means:

Most of the vending world still operates in the old-school vending machine technology—localized machines not gathering data or networked to your servers. So, they’re basically just taking up space. IVM Smart Stations and lockers vend in the cloud and bring the advantage of data reporting—the information collected on the backend.  

As IVM Chief Information Officer Andy Dalton describes, “cloud-based vending is tremendous for enterprise clients. You get valuable restocking information in real-time, can run reports and track who is vending what and control access to which supplies people get.”

In fact, the proprietary software IVM provides with the machines is called Real Time. With it, companies can automate a lot of time-saving and money-saving tasks that free up everyone to be more productive. Take inventory accountability as an example. You can compare who uses what by employee. You can compare purchasing trends by product or location. Tie that information to another program, and you can automatically trigger a PO to replace items the second they get low. You can also change permission status with a click. All of this done in the cloud. Alerts are another nifty device that let you know if the machine goes offline—you’ll see it right away. Vending in the cloud ensures 24/7 access to supplies and a smooth process for staff.

What’s next? Technology always changes, and you wouldn’t expect an innovator such as IVM to stand still. While others are playing catchup, we’re on to the next chapter: facial recognition or fingerprint touch screens? Maybe, but only if they make sense for our customers. We’re preparing our next-generation of cloud-based vending now, and it includes all-new ways to integrate reporting with the enterprise systems already in place. We’ll talk more about it in coming months.   

How can IVM cloud vending help your enterprise make big strides forward in the New Year?

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