In a world that is becoming more competitive every day, reducing cost, real-time information, and responding immediately and efficiently in the business world is essential for the growing strategy of any company. In this context of quick changes, the vending sector faces a new challenge since it is no longer enough to get the best locations and products, but there is a new necessity of greater efficiency in the management of the devices used, both from the central offices as well as in the field by the technicians.
Thanks to technological advances in IoT communications and modems with 2G/3G connectivity, the main needs of the vending sector can be easily solved by immediately knowing all the information related to each vending spot, interacting remotely with the devices, receiving mulfunctioning alerts to be able to respond efficiently and even offer a solution so the field technician can see all the information of a vending machine on a tablet via Bluetooth, without WiFi or the need of physically connecting to the machine. This way, the company management has access to all the pertinent information and the response capacity needed to plan the supplies, to act remotely, and to save aditional maintenance costs.
To cover this need, MTX modems can help when it comes to offering a solution to connect different vending machines with the central offices via 2G/3G, and with the field technician in charge of the maintenance via Bluetooth. The connectivity between the vending machine and the modem can be done via RS232 or RS485 port.
For a project of this magnitude we can use a MTX-3G-Java-IoT modem with RS485 or RS232 port and a Bluetooth module, even though we could also use other MTX modem versions like the MTX-3G-Java. Due to its small size, this product is ideal for solutions requiring the equipment to fit into a confined space. Thanks to the MTX-Tunnel-Software, all the data gathered via serial ports would be transparently sent to the management applications located in the cental offices (via 2G or 3G) or to the mobile devices (via Bluetooth). In order to control if there is available stock, Matrix has a complete set of pressure sensors, and the Cervello Device Manager provides the best IoT solution in the cloud to manage and monitor them.
The objectives achieved through this solution are:
- Real-time data reception from vending machines: transmission of data related to the available stock, sales and prices of every product. It allows greater accuracy in sales strategies and more information of sales trends.
- Alert reception: alert creation based on criteria like temperature, stock shortage, or electronic/mechanic malfunction, sending them automatically via SMS or directly to the company’s management platform. It allows quick and efficient problem-solving.
- Remote manipulation of vending machines through orders sent from the management platform: it allows price updates, turning off machines preventively in case of malfunction, among many other possibilities.
- Interaction between mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and vending machines, on the field without the need of WiFi or physically connecting to the machine. It allows the field technicians to connect to the machine to make status diagnosis and maintenance without the need of cables.
For more information about our products and suggested IoT applications, contact us.