Throughout each year, Vianet gives something back in a way that has the potential to have a positive impact in the wider community. For our Giving Something Back campaign this year we have been raising funds for My Sisters Place Middlesbrough, our chosen charity, delivering fundraising and support to their cause.
Who are My Sisters Place?
My Sisters Place is an independent specialist ‘One Stop Shop’ for women aged 16 or over and have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. Established in 2002 in Middlesbrough, the charity is committed to working in partnership to tackle domestic violence.
Their approach is rooted in an understanding of the gendered nature of violence against women and girls, and recognises the way intersecting factors such as age, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability can affect women’s experiences and the journey through recovery. Women and children have a right to live free from all forms of violence and abuse, and society has a duty to recognise and defend this right. My Sister’s Place takes this responsibility seriously and works with a wide range of partners to generate the best outcomes for women and children.
Raising Funds for our Chosen Charity
So far in 2022, Vianet have held several fundraisers for the charity including voucher and ticket raffles, football sweepstakes, cake sales, and an office tuck shop. As well as these smaller fundraisers, six of our employees took part in this year’s Tough Mudder 10k race, raising a whooping £2650.
The first 3 fundraisers we carried out totalling £500 were paid to the charity during ‘The Big Give’, a fund matching initiative whereby for every pound donated, the charity will match funds through their platform for the selected cause. This has meant they received further funding to double the sum for them – add this extra £500 to the total, and we have raised £3,852.94 so far.
Giving Something Back through Community Support
My Sisters Place runs a Community Ambassador ‘Ask Me’ Scheme and they offered to deliver training to any Vianet employees interested in becoming an ambassador back in April 2022. The scheme is designed to equip everyday people with an understanding of domestic abuse and how to respond to survivors thereby enabling the community to play an active role in ending domestic abuse. 10 of Vianet’s employees volunteered to take part and during training, delegates learnt about domestic abuse, how to challenge the stereotypes surrounding it and how to listen to, believe and direct survivors to specialist support.
Following training, ambassadors are given resources and support to share what they have learned with those around them, in ways that feel most comfortable to them. They are encouraged to start conversations about domestic abuse that will help others to better understand the barriers that survivors face in speaking out. My Sisters Place will also keep in touch with opportunities and events such as meet-ups, campaigns and volunteering so that ambassadors can be involved as much or as little as they are able to commit to.
Vianet recognise the importance of having qualified Mental Health First Aiders within an organisation and as part of the support offering to My Sisters Place, they were able to deliver a Mental Health First Aid training course to 5 employees from My Sisters Place. This has given them each the FAA Level 3 award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health, equipping them with skills and knowledge to identify and deal with mental health matters that arise whilst delivering their service.
In addition to the support Vianet employees offered each other through training and giving back to the community, we have donated several computer tablets after our engineers had theirs replaced, and donated a selection of Easter eggs at Easter for families supported by the charity. Moreover, we have been able to also link them up with a local landscaping company (ATM Limited), who have completed a garden make-over for the charity, free of charge.
Over the next couple of months, Vianet will be continuing to raise funds with a Bungee Jump in Whitby on the 1st October (to support with a donation, please visit here), and a Family Quiz/Games Night for employees and their families and friends to take part in on 8th October.
Keep checking back on our social media for the latest!
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 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
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?
The 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.
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.”
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.
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.
Pictured: The Vianet team alongside other ‘The Vendies 2022’ award winners at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.
Technology and Data Insight company based in Stockton-on-Tees, Vianet, shortlisted as finalists at the Teesside sub-regional heats for this year’s North East Business Award 2022. Vianet are one of three businesses in the running for each of the following 2 categories: ‘Apprenticeships, Training and Skills Award’ and ‘Services Award’ – both sponsored by Middlesbrough College and Sage.
Great news for our whole team at Vianet as we are honoured to be shortlisted in our first nominations with the North East Business Awards. The results are due to be announced at the award ceremony on Thursday 23rd June 2022 at Middlesbrough College.
What does the North East Business Awards mean to Vianet?
These awards are a celebration of successful and innovative businesses right here in the heart of the North East, with each award professionally assessed by a panel of judging experts. If successful, the winners of each sub-regional heats then compete in the following Grand Final for the overall North East titles taking place on the 29th September.
Vianet have been continuously innovating and evolving our services and products to deliver valuable data insights for clients in the hospitality and unattended retail sectors across the UK and Europe. The company have seen a strong recovery since the global pandemic first hit, using the growth of the business to expand into new markets and continue nurturing on our own employee development. Engaging, growing, retaining, and unleashing the potential of people is critical to successful businesses – and Vianet are no different.
‘Apprenticeships, Training and Skills Award’ Finalist
We recognise that great people are key to driving the business forward and delivering outstanding performance. Vianet have actively been implementing apprenticeships, internships, training programmes, employee engagement and our e-learning portal, SmartAcademy, to name a few. Only by having incredibly talented people who are driven by boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm, can Vianet be a forward-thinking, high-performance business. To receive this recognition in creating the best environment and workplace engagement will be testament to the great people’s training and skills involved.
‘Services Award’ Finalist
Over the past 18 months, Vianet have made significant investments in our products, services, and people, laying a strong technology and commercial foundation to address our exciting growth opportunities in the vending and hospitality sectors. Working with over 300 customers, including blue-chip companies, our data software platforms, remote asset management and contactless payment solutions have allowed them to make informed operational decisions, driving profits, increasing sales and operational efficiencies. The experience and knowledge that few can match has resulted in developing a strong granular sales pipeline for the company.
Being shortlisted is a fantastic achievement for the Vianet team and testament to the hard work they put in. We wish all our fellow finalists the best of luck at this year’s North East Business Awards 2022.
To keep up to date with the latest on our people and products at Vianet, keep checking back on our news or alternatively follow our social media channels.
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.
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.
Vianet’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…
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
Venta SVS Ltd is a provider of disposable e-cigarettes to mental health services, with over 74 vending machines in their estate.
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.
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.
Go Vending are a vending machine supplier for the drinks and snacks sector based in Scotland.
(Go Vending’s vending machines in-situ with Vianet’s SmartContact installed)
Vianet’s contactless payment, telemetry, and data insight solution has driven both an increase in sales and a measurable reduction in cost for Go Vending. They continue to receive a positive experience and invaluable service as a Vianet customer.
Find out more by clicking the image below to read our strategic partnership with Go Vending in further detail.
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.