Category Archives: Vending

Vianet have recently partnered with leading forecourt retail specialist Suresite Group in strategic move to drive innovation in the unattended contactless payment space.

The rise in popularity of unattended card transactions across a variety of settings is expected to surge, as consumer confidence and adoption of contactless payments continues to climb: Juniper Research’s latest Contactless Payments research predicts contactless transactions will grow 130% globally in the next five years, taking the market size from its current $4.7tn to $11tn in 2027. For merchants in the unattended space, this brings to the table an attractive prospect of ‘more-sales-less-cost’ and highly compliant payment options.

The partnership sees Suresite Group’s market-leading acquiring services join forces with Vianet’s contactless payment solution hardware. The result is a competitive, user-friendly and highly secure payments solution able to futureproof any unattended or automated retail business, from charging points and unmanned car washes to air and vac stations.

Crucially for the forecourt retail specialist, the new solution will allow Suresite Group to not only offer its existing customer base even more payment options with the ability to accept payment via contactless devices at any unattended site, but also penetrate new sectors such as vending.

Nick Horne, sales and commercial director at Suresite, explains the strategy behind the move: “As the fuel industry evolves and fuel prices continue to soar, we’re seeing a resurgence in consumer demand for electric vehicles and with it a slow but sure shift from fuel to electric. Typically, dispensing electricity is lower risk than petrol or diesel, making it ideal for unattended contactless payment.

“Our strategy at Suresite is to continually innovate, introducing more and more hardware options to our customer base. The partnership with Vianet will allow us to grow our presence outside of the fuel industry, yet leverage those existing customer relationships in the forecourt sector – which alongside charging points, also opens up opportunities with unmanned car washes, jet washes and air and vac stations.”

Alongside existing opportunities in the forecourt sector, the partnership will also open the door for expansion into new sectors for Suresite, who have already signed vending contracts with facilities management companies, as well as contracts with car wash companies.

SmartContact Pro Car Wash Payment Solution

“At Vianet, as well as vending machines and car washes, we’re seeing more demand for unattended contactless payments being applied to the likes of pool tables, ticket machines, arcade games, jukeboxes, photobooths, laundromats, golf ball dispensing in driving ranges and much more,” says Craig Brocklehurst, Chief Operating Officer at Vianet.

“Enabled through the Internet of Things (IoT), our innovative payment solutions offer many benefits for both the merchant and end user. The usability of the device – which is easy to interact with, hygienic, and convenient – is the main benefit from a cardholder’s perspective. From the merchant perspective, contactless payment solutions in general enable operators to maximise sales and reduce costs, but our hardware specifically is PCI level 1 compliant, making it highly secure, transaction fees are competitive, and it also has the capabilities to advertise other services on it. Unique to the market, if the merchant has coffee and donuts available in store, for example, they can advertise this to their car wash customers whilst they’re sitting in their car, either on the device itself or from a wireless 4K stream to a local TV.”

James Dickson, Chairman & CEO of Vianet commented: “We are delighted to partner with Suresite in this innovative collaboration proving, once again, Vianet’s ability not only to drive new technological initiatives but also to establish new markets for our products.”

FUTUREPROOF YOUR UNATTENDED BUSINESS WITH VIANET’S ‘SMARTCONTACT PRO’

Vianet’s new all-in-one contactless payment solution ‘SmartContact Pro’ has integrated telemetry, a touch screen display and multiple network capabilities, making it the

perfect solution to futureproof any unattended or automated retail businesses. From car washes to laundromats, or vending to leisure assets, we’ve got you covered.

Vianet are seeing more demand for contactless payment being applied to the likes of pool tables, ticket machines, vending machines, arcade games, jukeboxes, photobooths, laundromats, golf ball dispensing in driving ranges and much more.

 

With low transaction fees from 1.2% and the ability to get cash in the bank from 24 hours, Vianet’s payment solutions certainly offers the wider unattended retail industry a competitive solution to maximise their profits and operational efficiencies.

The new ‘SmartContact Pro’ is compatible with many different machine protocols and markets including automated retail, forecourts, leisure, and hospitality assets; hence the possibilities are plentiful with where you can install this device. As an all-in-one solution, the integrated telemetry also offers businesses a solution to access their machine data and insights remotely, allowing them to manage machine estates anywhere, anytime. It is hassle free with the option for seamless API integration into third party platforms.

The contactless payment terminal can either work as a standard contactless payment device with a simple ‘Press GO to start ’ button or the option to have a configurable selection window display. If you have a machine that doesn’t have its own interface to do this, this is a great option to instruct your machine on what option has been selected. It offers the possibility to add multiple lines and pages of programmes, products, or services to select from.

Furthermore, multimedia capabilities are included with this device. With the ability to upload content, it can play multimedia such as videos, images, or adverts through a HDMI port to external displays, screens, or monitors. Playing adverts or additional information for engaged or passing customers is a great feature for any business looking to perhaps utilise for advertising space, as an additional revenue stream.

Vianet’s Solution Development team are also working hard in the background on different features and functionality to enhance this contactless payment device. The latest development on the ‘SmartContact Pro’ is a receipt functionality. After a transaction has been processed on the ‘SmartContact Pro’, it is able to display QR code receipts on the terminal, allowing customers to scan to their phone as a proof of purchase.

Winning the ‘Best Payment System’ for our ‘SmartContact Pro’ at ‘The Vendies 2022’ Vending Industry Awards in the UK, Vianet have excelled themselves with this one, making it one of the most progressive, attractive, and cost-effective payment solutions on the market today.

If you’d like to find out more, you can get in touch with one of our team for a chat and a demo via the contact page.

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.

NEW FEATURE LAUNCHES 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…

 

SERVICE DASHBOARD – ENHANCING THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR BUSINESS

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.

 

IN-FIELD COMMUNICATION – BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN OFFICE & FIELD

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.

 

SCHEDULED ROUTES – ENABLING PRO-ACTIVE PLANNING SAVING VALUABLE TIME

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.

 

WHAT DO THESE LAUNCHES MEAN FOR SMARTVEND CUSTOMERS?

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.”

 

TRANSFORM YOUR VENDING ESTATE FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

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.

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

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.

Pictured above from the left: Presenting the Best Payment System award, Phil Reynolds, Managing Director of Vendex; accepting their award, Vianet’s Matt Thornton, Client Director; Rachel Little, Marketing Manager; Mark Parry, Commercial Director; and on the right, The Vendies 2022 host, comedian Ian Moore.

On Thursday, 9th June 2022, Vianet travelled down to the capital to attend The Vendies 2022. This year’s Vending Industry Awards, hosted by Vending International, were held in the Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn, Central London, and welcomed a wealth of suppliers and operators from across the UK’s vending industry.

Vianet was crowned the winner of two awards; ‘Best Payment System’, and ‘Best Supplier Website’. The Company was also ‘Highly Commended’ for the ‘Corporate Responsibility’ award, alongside the category winner, Mondelēz International.

 

The ‘Best Payment System’ award is a major achievement for Vianet, as contactless payment reached new highs of demand throughout the pandemic and the Company’s brand new contactless payment and telemetry solution, ‘SmartContact Pro’, was introduced to the unattended retail market to meet demand.Contactless Payment for Vending Machine

Vianet’s contactless payment, telemetry, and data services work in synchronicity to provide invaluable insight for the industry looking to utilise cashless payment data. Vianet offers the only truly end-to-end solution on the market, having already helped many vending businesses adopt cashless technology and data capture across their estate to make informed decisions.

Winning ‘Best Supplier Website’ is an excellent accolade for Vianet, following the launch of its new and improved website in November 2021. Changes were introduced to the website to improve the users understanding of Vianet’s products and services, improve the user journey, and introduce a streamlined login area for accessing service dashboards remotely.

Vianet was shortlisted in seven award categories, which were decided by a judging process in the spring. Each award entry was reviewed by an independent panel of industry experts, comprising leading names from across the sector. The judging panel assessed the entries in accordance with a strict set of criteria to determine a shortlist in each category.

The shortlists went to an online vote, where professionals from the vending sector were invited to make their voices heard by casting a vote for the products, operators, and individuals that they believed would be worthy winners. Each stage of the vote held a 50% weighting in the final decision.

Mark Parry, Vianet’s Commercial Director, attended the awards, stating, “We had a fantastic day in London for The Vendies, and I’m extremely proud of the Smart Machines division and our support functions who have contributed to this success. Already in 2022 we have had some great achievements, launching new features into SmartVend and expanding our reach in the payments market. These awards are testament to this and the hard work of our team.”

Huge congratulations to the other award winners at the event. There is incredible talent within the vending industry at present and it is fantastic to see this recognised. To find out more about the winners of The Vendies 2022, please click here.

The Vendies 2022 Winners

Pictured: The Vianet team alongside other ‘The Vendies 2022’ award winners at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.

Compass Group are the largest contract foodservice company in the world, predominantly focus on Catering, Cleaning and Vending with some facilities management services.

In 2018, Vianet successfully won the preferred supplier status across Compass UK & Ireland to provide a volume of 5000 contactless readers over 5 years.

Find out more by clicking the image below to read our strategic partnership with Compass Group in further detail.

Compass Group Case Study

If you’d like to find out more about how our products and services can transform your vending business performance, please check out our Vending Solutions.

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.

 

The Vendies is the UK’s national Vending Industry Awards, recognising talent, achievements and successes of those within the sector.These awards will continue its longstanding tradition of recognising and rewarding companies and individuals that have made exceptional contributions to the trade.

Now more than ever, it is vital that the hard work of operators and suppliers in the vending market – and the individuals at the heart of these companies – is recognised and celebrated.

Votes are now open – click here to vote.

Vianet have been shortlisted for the following awards at this years The Vendies 2022:
  • Best Ancillary Product / Service Award – SmartVend
  • Best Payment System Award – SmartContact Pro
  • Best Supplier Website Award
  • Best Customer Service Award
  • COVID Initiative Award
  • Best Vending Project Award – SmartVend
  • Corporate Responsibility Award
Voting for this years The Vendies Awards ends this Friday 22nd April 2022 so don’t forget to head over to their website & VOTE for us today at https://thevendies.co.uk/vote/

Vianet have been shortlisted as a finalist for this year’s Tees Tech Awards under three award categories – ‘Company of the Year’, ‘Digital Innovation’, and ‘Best Digital Project’. Vianet are the only company amongst the finalists that have been shortlisted for 3 awards.

The Tees Tech Awards is a Tees Business event in association with DigitalCity and Middlesbrough Digital, and the award ceremony itself is due to take place at Hardwick Hall Hotel on Thursday, April 28. The awards recognise and celebrate the organisations and individuals thriving within the Tees region’s fast-growing digital sector together with the local companies driving their business through digital transformation.

Nearly 90 entries and nominations came in for the awards across the 11 categories, with sponsors now announcing their choices for the final three for each award.

Vianet have seen a strong recovery coming out of the global pandemic as hospitality and pubs reopen, together with good growth in both new business and contactless payment solution sales in their unattended retail division. Innovative and ever-growing, Vianet have evolved and shown strong potential throughout their 27 years as a technology business on Teesside.

 

Company of the Year

Vianet’s aim is to be the recognised leader in delivering unparalleled insight and actionable information that is game-changing for customers in their chosen sectors. As well as this, Vianet pride themselves on being a people business, creating opportunities for growth and development for their employees as well as their customers.

With over 140 employees, Vianet has over 300 customers across their technology estate, including several global blue-chip clients such as Lavazza, Greene King, Compass Group, Atalian Servest, Coca-Cola, and many more.  With more than 250,000 devices connected to Vianet’s platform, along with years of experience and knowledge, form a powerful technology and insight capability that few can match.

 

Digital Innovation

Vianet are an Internet of Things company whose software platforms and solutions specialise in delivering innovative data insight, remote asset management and contactless payment for the hospitality, vending machine, unattended retail, food service and fuel sectors. With products such as their SmartInsight reporting suite, and SmartVend insight portal, Vianet deliver unique and meaningful data to customers, including blue-chip companies, allowing them to make informed operational decisions to drive profits, increase sales and create efficiencies.

 

Best Digital Project

With the vending industry going through a period of change, Vianet’s SmartVend data insight platform, combined with its contactless payment and telemetry solutions, offers the industry’s only cloud-based IOT “end-to-end” solution for the vending, coffee and unattended retail markets.

Built around an easy, intuitive dashboard, SmartVend gives vending operators the ability to view their machine data anytime, anywhere.

The software is proving a big hit. For example, Compass Group – the world’s largest foodservice company – has identified a 45 per cent increase in average monthly sales as a result of installing contactless payment and being able to review its sales data remotely within the SmartVend portal.

 

Vianet would like to wish all their fellow finalists the best of luck at this year’s Tees Tech Awards.

 

Keep checking back for updates on our progress.

 

Vianet exhibit at The NAMA Show 2022, 6-8 April in Chicago USA!NAMA SHOW 2022

Next week Mark Parry, Commercial Director, and Craig Brocklehurst, Chief Operating Officer will be flying out to Chicago USA to exhibit at this years National Automatic Merchandising Association Show 2022 on 6-8 April!

If you are in Chicago at the event, don’t forget to drop by to see Vianet at booth 2213 and chat to the team to find out how we can help you with data insight, remote asset management & contactless payment in vending & unattended retail!

 

Vianet Exhibit NAMA SHOW

Venta SVS Ltd is a provider of disposable e-cigarettes to mental health services, with over 74 vending machines in their estate.

Venta Vending Machine with SmartContact

Venta SVS Ltd’s vending machine in-situ with Vianet’s SmartContact installed

With the cost of products higher than a typical vending machine, they were able to benefit with Vianet’s rental scheme and low transaction charges, saving 1.5% in transaction fees across their turnover.

Find out more by clicking the image below to read our strategic partnership with Venta SVS Ltd in further detail.

Venta Case Study

 

If you’d like to find out more about how our products and services can transform your vending business performance, please check out our vending solutions.