Imperial Vending has earned a reputation for outstanding service and quality and is always on the lookout for new ways to enhance this brand image. The company has used technology to improve service excellence since entering the vending business in the early 90’s. Handheld route systems, for instance, have helped Imperial Vending closely monitor customer consumption profiles and maintain transparent and accurate reporting for customer commissions. Another key reason to move to wireless technology was to improve operational efficiency. Imperial Vending had already attempted another solution for advance assembly of delivery orders, a technique known in the industry as pre-kitting. However, Imperial Vending found that their pre-kits were often significantly inaccurate because of unpredictable variations in account sales. While this early test of pre-kitting helped get drivers on their way from the warehouse more quickly, it did little to help with route efficiency and keeping fresh products in customer vending machines.
Imperial Vending got started by installing Cantaloupe Systems’ Seed in 200 snack and soda machines on three adjacent routes in the Tulsa area. This initial implementation was fully deployed within 90 days and Imperial Vending began using Seed technology in parallel with the existing pre-kitting software to verify effective operation. After the Seed trial proved to be a success, the company continued to expand the implementation rapidly. Imperial Vending now has Seed technology deployed in five of its nine markets and has approximately 4,500 machines connected to Seed.
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