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You all have heard a lot about vending machines but I am going start a new topic here.

Industrial vending : the vending machines that are used to vend industrial tools and inventories.

Lets explore this topic!!

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I have a customer at one stop the best selling item is cotton gloves. Buys them by the skid they have a big markup and no spoilage.

15 – 20 years ago we set one up a snack machine with an early card reader as an electronic tool dispenser in an aerospace plant it tracked each employees usage by selections with time and date.

Walta

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Well , I think Elevend is a great glove dispensing machine. I have a video which will tell everything about it.

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When I was working in supply chain quality management, I had some suppliers that I visited that had vending machines dispensing tools and equipment. It can be tough to find a customer base for this, though. The items have to be the type that can't be reused (things like tooling inserts, gloves, etc.). At my last workplace, we considered such a system, but most of the things we had in our tool crib were tools that are checked out and returned after use. This, of course, doesn't work well with vending machines.

If you want to do this, you need to target large manufacturing plants with multiple shifts. Someplace where having a tool crib attendant on multiple shifts would be more costly than having an automated system. If its a small shop with only one shift, forget it.

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If anyone's ever heard of the term "technological unemployment" it means that corporations have discovered that it's much cheaper and far more productive to switch to full automation. This is BY FAR the leading cause for the loss of jobs in this country. The future of factories is that they will all be fully automated. That's why this type of vending is a REALLY BAD IDEA for anyone to invest in.

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If anyone's ever heard of the term "technological unemployment" it means that corporations have discovered that it's much cheaper and far more productive to switch to full automation. This is BY FAR the leading cause for the loss of jobs in this country. The future of factories is that they will all be fully automated. That's why this type of vending is a REALLY BAD IDEA for anyone to invest in.

I take it that you've decided not to buy from Chinese Suppliers

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Fastenal is pushing their vending machines everywhere I go in my full time job. 3 shops that I sell to have them already.  Its a pretty neat set up. They have common shop items like engine cleaner,brake cleaner,silicone,electrical connectors,grinding discs,cutoff wheels,etc.  The owner of 1 of the shops said that his shop consumption of those items has decreased by 30% while his percentage of items getting billed to his customers has risen by about 10% .

 

Each mechanic puts in his number and then a repair order number and gets the item from the machine.  I also has 2 units that will attach to either side that holds larger tools.  They belong to the owner.  Things like big impact gun or hydraulic riveter,etc.  When a mechanic needs a large tool, he puts his number in and gets the tool.  The owner gets a text when each tool is "checked out" and "returned".  Not sure if there is a cost associated with the machine though.  He has chosen to receive an email statement once a month for charges incurred.

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Fastenal is pushing threir vending machines everywhere I go in my full time job. 3 shops that I sell to have them already. Its a pretty neat set up. They have common shop items like engine cleaner,brake cleaner,silicone,electrical connectors,grinding discs,cutoff wheels,etc. The owner of 1 of the shops said that his shop consumption of those items has decreased by 30% while his percentage of items getting billed to his customers has risen by about 10% .

Each mechanic puts in his number and then a repair order number and gets the item from the machine. I also has 2 units that will attach to either side that holds larger tools. They belong to the owner. Things like big impact gun or hydraulic riveter,etc. When a mechanic needs a large tool, he puts his number in and gets the tool. The owner gets a text when each tool is "checked out" and "returned". Not sure if there is a cost associated with the machine though. He has chosen to receive an email statement once a month for charges incurred.

Got a buddy that is contracted with some company to service 5 of these machines, not sure who it is but he goes once a week to stock it with inventory that is drop shipped to him automatically. Gets paid 25 every time he services the machine.

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Got a buddy that is contracted with some company to service 5 of these machines, not sure who it is but he goes once a week to stock it with inventory that is drop shipped to him automatically. Gets paid 25 every time he services the machine.

 

These ones are tied in to the Fastenal store by wireless or computer.   They send a guy out once a week to restock. I'm not sure if it is an employee or a conractor.

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Suppliers of safety consumables, personal protection equipment, or other tooling are using web enabled vending machines and management software, to distribute their products and help their clients cut costs associated with a manned tool crib.  

 

A manufacturer can reduce their consumption and costs up to 30% by implementing an automated control system.   Vendors offer machines for their clients "free" use in exchange for a contractual agreement to purchase a minimum volume of inventory over a term -usually about 2 years or more.   By doing so the vendor of inventory can increase their sales volume to offset the cost of giving their client a "free" machine through "vendor lock-in".  Fastenal is the market leader using this strategy, and has been so successful they have purchased the company who supplies them with their technology (Apex) so the can retain exclusivity over their system offering.

 

Relationships between suppliers and their clients varies in each case.   In most cases the inventory supplier acts as the vending machine operator, while in other cases the manufacturer is the operator and is responsible for restocking inventories and servicing the machine themselves.  There are many factors which determine the ideal arrangement between vendors and their client end users. 

 

Coil based vending machines are the most cost effective means of distributing products, however automated lockers and weight scale systems can often make more sense depending on the type of products being distributed.  Each system has its advantages and disadvantages that need to be examined.

 

All of these systems are cashless.  Machines can be accessed via PIN# or through other various types of media identification (barcode, magnetic swipe, RFID etc).  All machine users are identified, and all transactions are recorded.   Inventory can be restricted on quantity and frequency.  Through the specialized software inventories can be remotely monitored and in real time.

 

Its an aggressive market, with tremendous potential. 

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Suppliers of safety consumables, personal protection equipment, or other tooling are using web enabled vending machines and management software, to distribute their products and help their clients cut costs associated with a manned tool crib.

A manufacturer can reduce their consumption and costs up to 30% by implementing an automated control system. Vendors offer machines for their clients "free" use in exchange for a contractual agreement to purchase a minimum volume of inventory over a term -usually about 2 years or more. By doing so the vendor of inventory can increase their sales volume to offset the cost of giving their client a "free" machine through "vendor lock-in". Fastenal is the market leader using this strategy, and has been so successful they have purchased the company who supplies them with their technology (Apex) so the can retain exclusivity over their system offering.

Relationships between suppliers and their clients varies in each case. In most cases the inventory supplier acts as the vending machine operator, while in other cases the manufacturer is the operator and is responsible for restocking inventories and servicing the machine themselves. There are many factors which determine the ideal arrangement between vendors and their client end users.

Coil based vending machines are the most cost effective means of distributing products, however automated lockers and weight scale systems can often make more sense depending on the type of products being distributed. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages that need to be examined.

All of these systems are cashless. Machines can be accessed via PIN# or through other various types of media identification (barcode, magnetic swipe, RFID etc). All machine users are identified, and all transactions are recorded. Inventory can be restricted on quantity and frequency. Through the specialized software inventories can be remotely monitored and in real time.

Its an aggressive market, with tremendous potential.

Thanks for the info. Are you involved in this type of business?

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Yes.  I develop business for a maker of vending machine point-of-work interfaces and software management systems in these markets.  I work with both vendors of PPE/MRO consumables and their clients who are end users of our systems.

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I have installed several USI vendors for fastenal. Fastenal bought from USI and I went out and uncrated them. Connected them to a ethernet within the plant. Had to stay and show them how to fill, repair and make sure all the packages fit into the coils. It has to be up and running before leaving. Installed 4 in 1 plant on the hottest day of the year....  :(

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I would be pleased to explore opportunities with individuals who are pursuing these markets or who are interested in servicing end users on a contract basis.   We need resellers/distributors of our point-of-work interface and software, and individuals who can service in their local markets.

 

Drop me a private message if you'd like to discuss the opportunity directly.   

Edited by beeper

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Suppliers of safety consumables, personal protection equipment, or other tooling are using web enabled vending machines and management software, to distribute their products and help their clients cut costs associated with a manned tool crib.  

 

A manufacturer can reduce their consumption and costs up to 30% by implementing an automated control system.   Vendors offer machines for their clients "free" use in exchange for a contractual agreement to purchase a minimum volume of inventory over a term -usually about 2 years or more.   By doing so the vendor of inventory can increase their sales volume to offset the cost of giving their client a "free" machine through "vendor lock-in".  Fastenal is the market leader using this strategy, and has been so successful they have purchased the company who supplies them with their technology (Apex) so the can retain exclusivity over their system offering.

 

Relationships between suppliers and their clients varies in each case.   In most cases the inventory supplier acts as the vending machine operator, while in other cases the manufacturer is the operator and is responsible for restocking inventories and servicing the machine themselves.  There are many factors which determine the ideal arrangement between vendors and their client end users. 

 

Coil based vending machines are the most cost effective means of distributing products, however automated lockers and weight scale systems can often make more sense depending on the type of products being distributed.  Each system has its advantages and disadvantages that need to be examined.

 

All of these systems are cashless.  Machines can be accessed via PIN# or through other various types of media identification (barcode, magnetic swipe, RFID etc).  All machine users are identified, and all transactions are recorded.   Inventory can be restricted on quantity and frequency.  Through the specialized software inventories can be remotely monitored and in real time.

 

Its an aggressive market, with tremendous potential. 

I couldn't have said it better myself. There are a number of sites you can check out to learn more about these kinds of industrial vending services. As you mentioned, Fastenall is the market leader for industrial vending, and there are a number of distributors, like the Motion Industry guys I linked to, that can help find and implement the right solution.

 

I will add on that not every industrial vending machine is given for "free," though that is the most common business model. There are times when customers will purchase the machines outright in order to contract with their preferred supplier. 

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Critical or overstock inventories are the most common problems in manufacturing industries. Placing an industrial vending machine can easily avoid this situation. It alerts the operator to restock inventories in time which fills the demand gap in the supply chain process.

I read an article recently about the industrial vending solutions, maybe someone finds this useful.

Edited by Thirukumaran

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Please don't dredge up an old 4 year old post.

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