Category Archives: Insight Reporting

SmartVend Dashboard Launch - Sept 2022

SmartVend allows vending operators access to their entire estate, as well as by site, remotely. It offers a comprehensive reporting suite, product sales analysis, actionable data insight, with real-time machine alerts, and a new service module with invaluable operational capabilities.

The vending management system works in synchronicity with Vianet’s contactless payment and telemetry products, offering the industry’s leading cloud-based full end-to-end solution. With over 48,000 active devices currently connected, there are in excess of £3.8m sales processed and 4 million transactions completed remotely every month in SmartVend.


Vianet has been continually evolving SmartVend as part of an ongoing commitment to our customers to deliver against the present and, more importantly, future requirements of their customers and prospects. New features were released earlier in 2022, including cash management, asset management and a ticket-based alert system. The latest releases will also offer customers the tools to be proactive, and effectively manage their estates.

Rob Thompson, SmartVend’s Product Owner, said

“While the focus on continuous improvement is central to every decision made at Vianet, the benefit of working this way has been best demonstrated in the changes we have made to how we develop our products. Whether that be in the people we’ve added to the team or the changes we’ve made to processes, we’re able to successfully deliver as a result and we know that what’s coming will have a positive impact on the way our customers run their businesses.”

The new launches in SmartVend include…



SmartVend will feature a brand-new service dashboard, giving vending operators a live view of site/estate performance, helping to ensure service levels are maintained, machine downtime is minimised, and customers receive the best possible service. The dashboard has been designed to accommodate bespoke configuration that reflect your business priorities.

Customisable widgets provide actionable insight into the issues that matter the most to you and your customers – from parts requiring restock or visits requiring parts, to open service visits and machine performance.

From machine profitability to operator performance, data driven analysis on key metrics highlights key opportunities for the user to drive operational efficiencies and maximise revenue.



SmartVend engineer

SmartVend will feature a ‘prompt management’ tool, enhancing direct communication between your office and field-based workforces via the SmartVend app. Prompts can be set up against machines, sites and/or operators and are triggered by time/date or an event, for example, a weekly vehicle checklist, or a reminder regarding a ‘no nut’ policy upon arrival at a specific site.

This fully customisable feature allows users to add both mandatory and non-mandatory actions, notes, alerts, reminders, requests for information (for example start or end mileage) and/or checklists for operators to complete during their routes. This new feature will include a customisable report providing users with a clear record of what has been sent or requested, when it was received and how the operator responded.



SmartVend Mobile App

Scheduled Routes will offer SmartVend users the ability to schedule re-occurring visits/routes based on time, stock levels or customer-specific thresholds. Users will also have the ability to re-assign routes from one operator to another in just three clicks!

Enhanced functionality allows users to add photos and notes to service visits, alongside parts used and/or replaced, contributing to an accurate record of both the action taken by the operator and the cost of resolving the issue. Users can also monitor progress against schedules to maximise operator up time and minimise the impact of unplanned visits, allowing users to act quickly when issues arise.



SmartVend DashboardThe new launches will offer customers a more extensive toolkit to manage their estate. The enhancements have been designed to give SmartVend users more flexibility, greater efficiency, and the essential tools they need to maximise the profitability and efficiency of their business.


Matt Thornton, Vianet’s Client Director said

“Our customers have communicated their needs and requirements with us, and our technology and product teams have worked hard to deliver effective solutions that not only combat the day to day needs of these operators but arm them with essential tools to drive their business forward into the future of vending.”



Vianet is committed to delivering products that not only support their customers with their day-to-day business needs, but also in enabling the reduction of their carbon footprint, and the overall efficiency of their businesses. SmartVend helps to facilitate this through highlighting areas of avoidable carbon consumption and opportunities to reduce costs such as mileage between visits, van size and stock carried.

While SmartVend’s Stock Management tool is predominantly used to ensure machines are well stocked and sales opportunities are maximised, it also offers insight that can help our customers reduce waste.

As well as this, utilising product sales insight to optimise planograms ensures machines are stocked with the right products at the right time, changing an operational tool into a way to maximise product shelf life and minimise waste.  Something as simple as moving products with a shorter shelf life to the optimal spirals in a machine can significantly improve turnaround and reduce expiry date driven waste – a win for both revenue and the planet.

The journey from warehouse to machine highlights further opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.  Factors such as speed, road quality, load weight and the distance/frequency of the journey are all ‘problem areas’ we can work to improve, when considering the impact of our carbon footprint.  Utilising picklists to ensure operators only carry the stock they need – immediately reducing CO2 emissions – combined with ‘green’ route planning and live sales data, not only avoids unnecessary journeys, but also significantly reduces both fuel consumption and emissions.



As part of Vianet’s ongoing commitment to continuous and strategic improvement, we will shortly be sharing details of our new Finance Module and API suite – ensuring seamless integration with third party providers.

Mark Parry, Vianet’s Commercial Director said

“The future is looking promising for the industry with the support and flexibility they will get with SmartVend’s cloud-based vending management system and its continually evolving features. As we expand our reach across Europe and into new verticals of unattended retail, this technology and insight is paramount to any operator looking to drive profit growth and improve efficiencies within their business.”


Find out more about SmartVend here.

SmartVend DashboardVianet’s SmartVend data insight portal is the industry’s only cloud-based IoT (Internet of Things) end-to-end solution for the vending, coffee and unattended retail markets.

Built around an easy and intuitive dashboard, the insight portal is designed to accommodate bespoke configuration that reflects customer priorities.

SmartVend already includes a comprehensive reporting suite, product sales analysis, and actionable data insight, with real-time machine alarms and alerts and a newly developed service module offering invaluable operational capabilities.

With over 34,000 active contactless and telemetry devices across their unattended retail estate currently connected to the insight portal, there are over £3.8m sales processed and 4 million transactions reported remotely every month on SmartVend. This technology is also tested and compatible with 200+ vending machine models.

Vianet’s technology team have been continually developing SmartVend, evolving its software offerings within vending as part of an ongoing commitment to ensure they deliver against the present and – more importantly – future requirements of their customers and prospects.

In 2022, Phase 2 of the SmartVend development plan is currently underway, including several brand-new features offering customers a more extensive toolkit to manage their assets and machines.

This week, the team released phase 2.1 of the development including the following new features and enhancements…



Cash Management
Using the SmartVend App to scan cash bags at the point of collection reduces input errors and allows for easy cash reconciliation. SmartVend Cash Management compares data captured in the field/by the machine to that counted in the office, highlighting any discrepancies, and removing the possibility of revenue loss at every step.

Asset Management
SmartVend’s Asset Management solution provides real-time visibility of your assets; allowing you to monitor and track their location and status throughout their lifecycle; ensuring a streamlined process from order to shipping to installation and decommissioning.   

Ticket Dashboard
The new Ticket Dashboard provides immediate insight into potential problems across your estate that – when paired with our fantastic Route Planning capabilities – allows users to limit any potential loss in revenue when things go wrong, while auto-closure rules avoid any unnecessary call outs when issues are resolved.


Looking forward in 2022, there will be further releases in SmartVend on the roadmap that are coming soon including a new service dashboard, enhanced route scheduling and a third party finance integration.


Over the Christmas period, Vianet have reviewed their data taken from circa. 8,500 sites throughout December. The insight taken from pubs and bars across the UK demonstrates a downturn for festive trade as the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the hospitality industry with restrictions.

A downturn in dispensed volume was evident across the UK throughout the festive period in 2021 when compared with the volumes dispensed in 2019.

Tighter restrictions in Scotland & Wales have had more of a negative impact on festive trade, revealing a greater downturn in dispensed volumes than seen in England.

Click on the report below for the PDF view.

Festive Trade Report 2021

The festive season is upon us, and the end of another challenging year to say the least. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners for their custom and co-operation this year, as well as our employees. We wish you all and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2022.

Don’t forget, out of hours and during the times we are closed, there is installation guides, troubleshooting guides and training support available 24/7 through our SmartAcademy Training Platform.

Vianet’s Customer Experience Team’s open hours over the Christmas period to support you are as follows…





Data insight is critical to providing our customers the opportunity to transform their business performance. Our SmartVend platform offers easy functionality, invaluable insight, and concise reporting to improve profitability and drive efficiency. Vianet has been working hard to grow their product offerings within vending as part of our ongoing commitment to ensure we deliver against the present and – more importantly – future requirements of our customers.

Our dedicated technology team has extensive industry expertise and, after recently completing the second phase of the SmartVend Roadmap, are currently working hard on the next exciting development of our journey. Vianet’s most recent releases have seen the introduction of an integrated solution for stock and warehouse management, and are proud to now introduce the SmartVend Mobile App.



The SmartVend Mobile App will provide SmartVend customers with enhanced functionality in the field and a more user-friendly experience. Working in conjunction with the SmartVend platform, the app is designed to allow operators and engineers to work as efficiently and accurately as possible ensuring accurate and up-to-date operational data at all times.

Vianet’s Lead Software Engineer, Richard Smith said:

Our last production release in June saw us deliver a brand-new stock module to the platform, enabling our customers to more effectively manage their stock across their estate by being able to track an item from the warehouse all the way to the machine. Our next release is due this month and will see the delivery of the SmartVend Mobile App for android devices, further enhancing our ability to collect and analyse data for our vending customers. We are very excited to be launching this app whilst we continue to work on the next phase of delivery for the platform, which will be a new service module.


SmartVend Mobile App



The all-new app will ensure the best experience possible for the vending and unattended retail sectors. It provides customers with numerous improved efficiencies including but not limited to:

  • The ability to update stock, counter and cash levels.
  • Add photos to a visit.
  • Manage daily list of jobs; which sites to visit, which machines to restock etc.
  • Work offline when an internet connection is not available.
  • Complete stocktakes and stock transfers from the palm of their hands.


Keep your eyes peeled for further functionality and products as we move through 2021. Our customer experience team are ready and waiting to assist customers with any questions. They have comprehensive training videos for the app and the portal is available now on our SmartAcademy site.

If you would like to find out more about how our SmartVend platform can help drive your vending business forward, please contact our team today. 

This year is more important than ever to the Great British Pub and the EURO 2020 Tournament has had a huge effect giving a well needed boost to the on-trade, despite restrictions being in place throughout.

Vianet has been providing invaluable data insights to pubs and restaurants throughout the EURO 2020. Sign up for the more in-depth report from Oxford Partnership here.

If you’d like to find out more about Vianet’s Data Insight and Beer Monitoring solutions – please don’t hesitate to contact our team.


Pubs & Bars Insight EURO 2020


The past year has brought a hurricane of events that no one anticipated. Yet, Vianet have continued powering on in the background, working on some of the biggest new products and software developments of their time bringing you an even brighter light at the end of the tunnel, as they grow and expand their offering across Vending.

The vending industry has been going through a period of change for some time now, and the demands of the recent pandemic have only accentuated this. Vianet’s new products being launched pave the future for the vending sector and deliver solutions with longevity to see these businesses not only through the pandemic but continuing to move forward for years to come.

SmartVend Roadmap as functionality expands into new modules

In the current climate, the global pandemic has created even greater demand in the vending industry for efficient stock control systems and innovation to deliver hassle-free stock management.

Vianet recently took a step back and reviewed operators needs as part of their SmartVend development and are currently in the final stages of development for an integrated solution for their stock management module, currently part of the Vendman ERP. Using their team’s extensive industry expertise, Vianet have been creating a system that will help operators adapt quickly to change, meeting the demands of today, but also to help build a strong foundation for tomorrow.

Vianet’s Product Manager, Joanne Vinton-Bullwinkel said,

“Our next steps are to launch a stock module that delivers against the requirements of our customers but in a far simpler way, supported by a new mobile app that will drive efficiency in the field.

We have a dedicated technology team who have worked hard to develop this module from Front End Designers to Solution Architects, ensuring the best experience possible for our end user.

The new stock module will, in essence, allow customers to see what stock they have and where, and transfer it between locations – warehouses, vans, machines, as well as complete stocktakes and manage products, all from the palm of their hand.”

The product roadmap for SmartVend not only sees the release of the Stock Management module and SmartVend mobile app in the very near future, but also sees the release of other features and functionality as we move through 2021.

A Stores and Warehouse Management module, offering customers functionality in Machine Part Ordering, Warranty Management and Machine Maintenance & Call/Engineer Management, will be released a few months following on from the Stock Management module. Also, later in the year this is followed by the release of the finance and API integration – offering Invoice Reconciliation & Production, Stock Ledger, Wholesale Orders and 3rd Party Finance Integration.

Moving into 2022, it’s also in the SmartVend roadmap that Vianet will roll out a CRM (customer relationship management system) to help drive opportunity through the SmartVend platform.


The new SmartContact Pro Contactless Payment Solution: Coming soon!

SmartContact Pro contactless payment SmartContact Pro contactless payment

Vianet have been working on the release of their brand new contactless payment reader, SmartContact Pro, that will not only offer vending operators a more stylish and slick looking contactless payment reader for their machines, but it also offer new capabilities.

The all-in-one glass fronted device also offers a powerful telemetry gateway and data insight, as well as being a contactless payment solution in one device.

SmartContact Pro also offers a touch screen display and is field-proven indoors and outdoors and it runs all applications and payment types with full multimedia capabilities.

The payment device is plug and play, with integral support for contactless vending, kiosk, mobile payment, pulse and closed-loop payments, customised features are easy to develop with minimal time, effort, and risk.

The secure SDK platform also offers High Security E2E Encryption (DUKPT), 3DES, AES and RSA, ensuring safe and secure payments.


If you’d like to find out more about our new products & developments, & how these can help you drive your vending business forward, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team through our enquiry form.

At Vianet, we are proud to announce the launch of our very first webinar:

Power Through The Pandemic: The Value of Data Insight in a Global Pandemic

In this event, Vianet and their guest speakers will discuss how data insight is key for businesses to plan and navigate their way through this challenging climate.

The future is more uncertain than ever, and businesses need to be tactical in utilising resources and data insight to power through the on-going global pandemic.


Data is vital to identifying trends, requirements and adapting to change, giving you insight on your business that can make all the difference to running efficiently during unpredictable times. Data Insight gives operators the opportunity to look back at their performance and sales in key periods and see what can be adjusted to maximise profit and minimise loss.


Vianet and special guests look at how Data Insight is the key ingredient in ensuring stability and efficiency in your business moving forward as we navigate this ongoing pandemic for the longer term.


One of this event’s host speakers will be our Managing Director, Rob Little. Our guest speakers from globally recognised brands will be announced shortly, as well.

We would love for you to join us on Tuesday, 8th December for this informative session on data insight in the current times.

To sign up for our webinar, please access the event below:

Hawthorn, the community pub company, has signed a new partnership with intuitive software and insight platform, Vianet, following a successful trial of its iDraught platform. The £350,000 investment will see iDraught rolled out across Hawthorn’s Leased and Tenanted estate, and will help Hawthorn identify key areas for attention and development through estate-wide coverage, as well as providing its Partners with retail support as pubs begin to reopen.

The Vianet iDraught software enables pub companies to intelligently monitor all aspects of their bars to ensure the very best in returns. The platform works to maximise profits in the draught beer category, and has proven capability in delivering end-to-end solutions for its customers with over 13,500 pubs connected and 220,000 unique points of capture.

With Vianet’s 20-years of experience spanning across more than 300 on-trade partners, the iDraught tech will benefit Hawthorn’s Pub Partners by capturing data through tap-to-till reconciliation to monitor shrinkage and minimise loss, planning and management to significantly improve margins, and monitoring line-cleaning and delivery to provide them with the best pint possible and remove waste. Partners will also benefit from a dedicated account team and support from a cellar management trained ABCQ (Award in Beer & Cellar Quality) team.


Andrew Parker, Managing Director of Leased and Tenanted Operations said:


“Working to successfully re-open our Leased and Tenanted businesses following the 15-week lockdown, we have found the Vianet information incredibly insightful. The new iDraught technology has really opened our, and our Partners’, eyes to using this data in a more forward-thinking manner for the future, and we’re looking forward to making the most of our partnership once our pubs are back up and running.”


Scott West, Client Director at Vianet, said:

“We have worked with Hawthorn for a number of years and couldn’t be happier with their feedback. Their trial of the iDraught solution has opened up the entire Hawthorn Leased and Tenanted estate to the very best in data collection and, as a result, maximised profits in the draught beer category.”

Trevor Jenkinson, Hawthorn Pub Partner at The Needles, Derby, said:

“During the trial, I used iDraught on a daily basis to check my sales by product against the previous year, and to order in my following week’s stock as I can just replace what we have sold.

“I am now also 100% confident in my line cleaning as the system identifies that the correct amount of solution has been used to enable a maximum clean. I can give the stock taker the actual pints lost figure as it measures these exactly.”

This new partnership is one of many ways Hawthorn has worked to support its Partners through lockdown. The community pub company has already pledged £9.4million in CAPEX spend in Q3 investments in order to prepare its pubs for a post-Covid environment, as well as committing £250,000 in matched investments through its Pub Partner Investment Fund, launched in October last year, to help improve outdoor spaces across 100 of its sites.

Hawthorn’s ongoing support has been met with positive feedback from Partners. During the first lockdown, 97% of Partners & Operators said the PubCo had met or exceeded expectations, and KAM Media’s recent Licensee Index saw Hawthorn outperform its peers across a wide range of categories, including COVID-19 support (9.2/10), quality of BDM (8.8), and likelihood to recommend the company to other publicans (8.3).

About Hawthorn

Hawthorn, the community pub company, was established in 2014, and owns more than 700 leased, tenanted and operator managed community pubs across UK villages, residential neighbourhoods, towns and city centres. Hawthorn is proud to serve its communities, and its ambition is to be the UK’s number one community pub operator.

Hawthorn is not your typical pub company, and is passionate about its people and pubs. It empowers its teams to give the Partners the support they need to deliver best in class service, and meet the needs of the communities they serve. Hawthorn is always seeking to add to its growing portfolio, by identifying and acquiring community pubs that deliver substantial and growing returns. For more information, please visit:

The future is more uncertain than ever, and businesses need to be tactical in utilising resources and data insight to power through the on-going global pandemic.

Vianet have seen the impact the this has had on vending and unattended businesses in various industries, and with the second wave of COVID-19 affecting the UK and Europe, humanity has a long way to go before being able to completely overcome this obstacle. Companies now have no option but adapt with long-term solutions to combat the obstacles raised by the pandemic on both an operational and commercial level.

Vending Machines Contactless DataVianet have been able to identify key trends from their data insight throughout the pandemic that really highlight the change in payment behaviour in the vending sector. The use of contactless over cash has skyrocketed, and this is likely due to both hygiene and convenience.

In Vianet’s estate, January 2020 saw on average 50% of vending machine transactions were contactless, with up to 30% uplift in overall sales since these operators installed contactless readers on their vending machines.

In 9 months, through to October, these figures continued to rise on vending machines that were still actively being used throughout the pandemic, showing a sharp rise in June with up to 68% of vending transactions coming from contactless payment devices and this continued to stay in the high 60’s right through to October. This accelerated increase of up to 18% since the start of the pandemic really does illustrate the continuous shift in consumer behaviour.

Caffia Coffee Group recently collaborated with Vianet looking for a solution for their customers to assist them in providing a safe and hygienic payment method for their coffee machines, minimising machine contact as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus.

They were keen to partner with a supplier who could offer them an all-in-one solution, so Vianet were the perfect match offering a dedicated support team, and giving insight into their machine performance with telemetry, as well as a more sustainable contactless payment method.

Data is vital to identifying trends, requirements and adapting to change, giving you insight on your business that can make all the difference to running efficiently during unpredictable times. Data Insight gives operators the opportunity to look back at their performance and sales in key periods and see what can be adjusted to maximise profit and minimise loss.

Tchibo have recently partnered with Vianet to do just this.

“Vianet’s telemetry services allow us to monitor our machine performance to improve our business efficiencies. With the addition of contactless payment providing a fast, hygienic payment option for our customers, these services have been invaluable, especially in the current climate.” David Mackie, Coffee Systems Development Manager at Tchibo & Matthew Algie.

J&K Ross, health and safety clothing specialists, have also been working with Vianet with an interesting approach to vending during the pandemic to control and aid in reducing wastage of PPE distribution for businesses.

“The Vianet telemetry on our PPE vending machines works for our clients for many reasons. Primarily though, they like that there is control of the PPE being used on site and this can be refined to job specific roles. There is also the benefit of record keeping, and workers have access to PPE 24/7.” Jason Robinson, Key Account Manager, J&K Ross.

In November, Vianet launched their new Data Insight Portal, SmartVend, to existing VendExpert customers, with an enhanced insight platform, giving greater transparency of their business and data.


Vianet host their very own FREE webinar ‘Power Through the Pandemic: The Value of Data Insight in a Global Pandemic’, on Tuesday 8th December at 12pm GMT.

With special guest speakers from the industry, the webinar will cover how Data Insight can help you to operate your unattended business as efficiently as possible. Please check Vianet’s social channels to register and find out more.