New Feature! SB Software Adds Photo Functionality to Vendmanager!

New Feature! SB Software Adds Photo Functionality – Ever on Hand Within Vendmanager Itself!

Developing and improving our vending management system has always been one of our guiding principles. It will always be key. For both Vendmanager and Coffeemanager.

Since 2008 we have been relentlessly enhancing our vending management system with new integrations, new products, and new features to increase the system’s efficiency, accuracy, and speed. This year, adding photos into Vendmanager was prioritised as an essential piece of development. Why? Because of the benefits, it unlocks for our clients.

This additional feature helps create even more clarity and transparency of the performance of operators out in the field, as well as saving time for the operations team and increasing confidence between colleagues.

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Vending Management System App
Operator creating a task and being able to update the static machine photo.

What are the Key Features and Benefits of Adding Photos?

1. Ensure Machines are Well Maintained and Cleaned

Most vending operators will keep machines well maintained, with regular cleaning, as a matter of course. But we are all human, and it is inevitable that there will be mistakes or lapses in concentration. Within Vendmanager, you will be able to set a requirement for photos to be taken on specific machine tasks, with a pre-planned frequency. Frequencies can be set at the machine type level, allowing you to set varying frequencies. For example, you may set a higher frequency for a coffee machine and lower for a snack or cold drink machine.

Upon starting a task where a photo is required, the operator will clearly see there is a requirement in VMMobile. They will not be able to complete the task until a photo has been taken. Within your Dashboard Modules or Visit Viewer, our vending management system will clearly show tasks that had photos taken. This will allow you to easily check that your machines are being well stocked and cleaned – as you expect. It will also help your operators to maintain focus on cleanliness, as they will not know when a photo task will be required for each machine they visit throughout the week.

Vending Management System App with Photos
Photos taken by an operator after completing a replenishment.

2. Guarantee Planogram Compliance

When you have a keen eye on accurate stock control, our vending management system can only work efficiently when operators use Datakey and abide by planograms. The addition of photos guarantees that the operator is sticking to planograms assigned to their machines. The photos will provide photographic evidence that the information they are entering on VMMobile is an accurate and thorough replication of the brands in the machine itself.

We are also aware of the desire of some suppliers for evidence that a certain percentage of their brands are available in specific machines. But currently, they and you do not always have a guaranteed (or easy) way of providing and tracking that information. By scheduling the frequency of photos for a snack or cold drinks machine, you will always have to hand a guaranteed record (and representation) of not just what Vendmanager has been told is in each spiral, but also a cross-indexed, time-stamped photo from the machine in location, verifying the data.

3. Demonstrate Product Compliance for Your Customer

For clients with specific requirements for the brands available on their site, you will be able to review that this is being followed. Within Vendmanager you can use Brand Schemes and Planogram Schemes to set which brands can be selected for a particular group of specific machines.

The additional photo feature will give you the added security of viewing and downloading the photos of the planogram to ensure that operators are populating information on VMMobile correctly. Furthermore, you will be able to download the photos and send them to a customer to prove your planogram compliance, if ever required.

4. Review Photos by Employee

Currently, to audit machines for cleanliness, a supervisor or operations manager would need to travel to the relevant sites and machines. Then gather the information and take photos of the machines to check how well each employee is performing against the company’s standards.

By using the new photo feature, you will be able to select a range of visits filtered by an employee within Visit Viewer. This will allow you to spot check the photos taken against a selection of each employee’s sites and machines to verify they are performing in line with the company’s standards. This reduces the need and expense of driving to multiple machines to collect the information manually.

Task photos are stored for 12 months, allowing your operations manager to look back over visits for the last year, and not just at the time of the manual audit.

Vending Management System with Photos of Site

5. Record Static Site and Machine Photos

Adding static site and machine photos will be a huge step forward for two of our key search forms. Static photos will be available in both Vendmanager and on VMMobile. Thus, if an operator is unsure which site they should be attending or which machine they should be visiting, they will be able to access the photo of the site and machine directly from their mobile app. This is especially valuable if an operator is providing cover for an absent colleague.

Likewise, if a back-office user is unsure where the machine is located, in addition to using the Location tab within Machine Records, they will be able to view the actual photo of the machine itself in situ.

Tracking the condition of a vending machine – with evidence and transparency – from installation to removal is of paramount importance. The static site and machine photos will give you the evidence you need on those unfortunate occasions when machines may incur vandalism or customer damage. Having photographic evidence of how the machine looked upon installation, or from the latest machine task stored within Vendmanager, means you will be able to highlight to your customers how and when the damage likely occurred.

6. Benefit from Cloud Storage – Managed and Maintained by SB Software

SB Software has been built on the foundations of making Vendmanager as efficient as possible whilst retaining control of all the aspects of our vending management system. While adding photos has required us to extend the system to integrate with cloud storage, it will still be managed and maintained by our team.

As with all aspects of SB Software, you can rest easy knowing that our award-winning team will be on hand to ensure that using this exciting new feature is seamless, and meets the same high standards the sector expects and deserves from Vendmanager as a whole.

How Does it Work?

 

The photo feature will be available in Version 21.2.0 of Vendmanager. Upon updating your vending management system, we will be able to turn on the photo feature for you and set up the devices and settings accordingly.

An operator can capture up to 4 Photos within VMMobile for specific machine tasks or updating site or machine photos. The photos will be available within Vendmanager desktop instantaneously, and there is no requirement for the operator to sync their device. Only in the event of a device having poor or no signal will the photos be uploaded upon sync, to ensure that the feature works both online and offline.

Photos are stored precisely where you would expect to see them in Vendmanager. There is a new ‘Photos’ tab located within Site Records, Machine Records, Visit Viewer and Service Calls. If an operator takes photos for a specific task, our vending management system will clearly mark it within the Search Form or on the record/task.

Photos for specific tasks are stored within our cloud storage for 12 months, but machine and site photos are stored indefinitely. Individual photos can also be downloaded to your local PC if there are particular pictures that you would like to store for more than 12 months.

Do You Want to Know More?

We Love New Features.

And our customers love the impact of new features on their business even more. If you would like to hear more about the benefits of the photo functionality or find out more, please get in touch.