Responding to the continued growth of micro markets by vending operators, 365 Retail Markets and Avanti Markets have partnered to develop the industry’s first data integration standard. Known as AIM – Access Integration and Management – this standard will allow micro market operators to leverage their existing investment in vending management systems to more efficiently manage their growing base of micro markets.
“Now that micro markets are recognized as a mainstream vending and foodservice solution, and together with Avanti, we want to ensure it does so within a standardized framework that benefits operators and enables future innovation.” said Joseph Hessling, 365 Retail Markets CEO in a prepared statement.
Adding to this, Jim Brinton, CEO of Avanti Markets, said “The AIM project is an exciting opportunity for our industry to come together to create an integration standard for the micro market segment. This project will help give all micro market operators the opportunity to integrate their vending, coffee and micro market business segments with their current vending management systems.”
In developing AIM, both 365 Retail Markets and Avanti Markets have created a single interface for managing product, sales and inventory data, according to their announcement. Built as a common application programming interface (API) with input from all major vending management systems, AIM will provide both the technology and documentation necessary for these systems to seamlessly enable communication between the micro market management system, existing vending management system and associated hand-helds. Over time, both 365 Retail Markets and Avanti Markets expect this integration to become a standard option with the vending management software market.
Because micro markets inherently generate more and richer types of data than their vending counterpart (DEX) both 365 and Avanti believe this standard is essential for enabling the continued growth of the micro market segment, while limiting the expenses operators must incur to manage both their micro market and vending accounts. Moreover, because AIM deals with not only standardized data but also how it is stored and transmitted, additional third-party software providers will now be able to develop new and innovative solutions for the industry.
“The micro market segment has unlocked many new business opportunities not seen before in the traditional vending industry. This project will remove the constraints of operators having to mange more than one system to reconcile their business financials. As technology continues to evolve we need to give customers the tools to manage their business, and there is no better way to execute this than the AIM project,” added Brinton.
Hessling said, “We know our customers – the people who use the micro market every day – might want to integrate data with personal applications and services like wellness programs or fitness trackers. With AIM that is now a possibility."
AIM has been developed as an open protocol available to all micro market and vending management solution providers. Through numerous discussions within the industry, both companies believe AIM will see widespread adoption over the coming months, furthering the joint goal of rapid, cost-effective and reliable integration of micro market and vending technologies. Both 365 Retail and Avanti look forward to future announcements as major industry participants sign on to adopt the AIM Standard.