GEM Vending, based in Nottingham, has announced the acquisition of Allen Vending, making them the largest privately owned vending operator in the East Midlands. The new GEM Vending Group will continence to be based out of Nottingham.
Steve Gallagher, chairman of GEM, said: “The joining of our two companies is a perfect fit and can only enhance and broaden our service further and secure local jobs in the Midlands” .
GEM Vending celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
A US based vending company claims that it has been able to reduce their route driver work time while improving inventory accuracy using “smart glasses” called RoutSight.
The vending company needed to replace their old route handhelds and realised they could replace them by switching to a wearable technology solution – the glasses allowed for more efficiency by being hand-free rather than still needing to hold a device to service a machine.
The glasses work by sending visual and audio messages to the person wearing the glasses, instructing them on which products to take from the van. The system then provides the driver with a heads‐up display which allows them to view product information while they load the machines. The driver can enter inventory counts and spoils using voice commands while their hands are free to load the machines. They also display visual notices and special requests, so the driver can make corrections as they are servicing the machine.
The company claims that the drivers that have switched to the glasses were able to save roughly half an hour per day after two weeks. They added that: “Inventories in the machines improved immensely and this was quantified by the reduction in (inventory) ‘bring back’ on those routes and the increase in the fill percent in the machines. Filling the machines accurately allowed us to achieve a 26% reduction in sellouts and over 25% reduction in bring backs.”
Wearing the glasses need some getting used to, but the majority of drivers felt comfortable after a couple of days training. Apparently, there is an up front cost and a monthly fee, but perhaps this could be justified by the improvement claimed above and the time savings by the drivers.
The Azkoyen Group has scooped three awards – Innovation, Best Machine Manufacturer and Best Table-top Machine – at the industry’s Gala Awards Ceremony that took place on 2nd October in Birmingham, UK.
It won in the category of “Best Machine Innovation” for Novara Proteins which incorporates the latest technologies of protein shake making, which the company claims “guarantees the perfect combination of ingredients, as well as the appropriate texture” and is aimed at the gym / sport centre market.
This recognition is added to the ones already awarded in September by the British consortium AVS, which awarded the brand “Coffetek” (part of the Azkoyen Group) with Best Machine Manufacturer and the Best Table Top Vending Machine with the Vitro series.
The successful Vitro series – designed mainly for offices and HoReCa establishments – covers a wide selection of models with different capacities, functionalities and processes of delivering drinks, from espresso or filter coffee to leaf tea infusions. They are smart looking machines with a smoked glass finish and brushed stainless steel.
The Azkoyen Group has been pretty successful in winning awards, having been recognised by the “Vending Industry Awards” as the best provider six times in consecutive years.