Cantaloupe Systems recently announced Seed Micromarket Integration, giving operators an integrated solution to manage micro markets and vending machines. Operators can use Seed’s easy-to-use, cloud-based tools to schedule, pre-kit, service and manage markets alongside traditional vending, without costly retraining or complex switching between multiple IT systems, according to the company.
“Seed Micromarket Integration gives Cantaloupe’s customers the same efficiency-boosting tools for both micro markets and vending machines,” said Allen Lwin, product manager at Cantaloupe Systems, in a prepared statement. “Our goal was to make managing markets as easy and familiar as managing vending by building micro market support into all major Seed features including scheduling, pre-kits, planograms and more.”
Because it is proven to boost sales compared to traditional vending, micro market adoption is growing rapidly. Unfortunately, many operators are struggling to convert sales gains into profit, because micro markets have higher operations costs and no integration with existing IT systems. “After deploying more than 50 micro markets, gross sales were up but margins were getting hammered by increased operations costs,” said Craig Hunt, project manager of Imperial Vending in Tulsa, Okla. “Seed Micromarket Integration means higher profits because Seed will reduce micro market operations costs just like it does in our vending business, and because we only have to use one system to manage it all.”
In addition to reducing office and warehouse time for servicing micro markets, Seed Micromarket Integration also simplifies field operations. Drivers only need one handheld device to service both vending machines and micro markets, because micro market support is now integrated into Seed Mobile, the recent winner of the NAMA 2013 Innovation Award, according to the company. Seed Mobile Photo Audit™, like all other Seed Mobile features, is available with Seed Micromarket Integration, making it easy for drivers to take photos to verify micro market cleanliness and planogram accuracy online.
The first micro market supplier to fully implement Seed Micromarket Integration is The Market by Imperial, the new micro market solution from Imperial Companies. “None of the many micro market solutions in the marketplace offered forecasting, VMS [vending managements software] integration and pre-kit support necessary to make the micro market business a real home run for the operator,” said Lance Whorton, president of Imperial. “Our market and its integration with Seed Platform brings together the best offering available on the market.”
Other micro market suppliers are currently finalizing their implementations of Seed Micromarket Integration and additional partners are planned throughout 2013.