In the States, the new Seed Mobile route driver app for iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads is now available for free download at the Apple App Store. The app is designed for operators who run Cantaloupe Systems’ Seed Office, a cloud-based vending management system.
According to the developer, Seed Mobile takes advantage of modern smart-device hardware available from Apple to enable fast and accurate data entry, and to deliver rich graphical displays using photo, video and other iOS features. It is powered by Cantaloupe’s all-in-one suite of telemetry, cashless-payment, analytics and vending management software. The iOS app was written to provide a cost- and time-efficient alternative to traditional VMS handhelds.
The initial mobile version offers four services. Photo Audit gives operators access to photos of their machines online, showing each machine’s planogram and cleanliness without the need for in-person spot-checking. Video Audit prevents theft by validating that the driver’s meter reading matches a video recording of the cash meter. List View saves the driver time while servicing machines by matching on-device displays to the activity being performed. And Status Markers provide at-a-glance tracking of service status inside a machine, saving time when tracking down data-entry problems.
The programme also incorporates a Seed Mobile App Update feature that eliminates IT overhead involved in keeping the app current when new versions are released in the Apple App Store.
Cantaloupe product director Justin Grant pointed out that Apple devices running Seed Mobile cost a fraction of the price of the typical handheld computer running vending management software, and using an iPhone or iPad does away with the need for a stylus or a DEX cable. This speeds up service on location.
Seed Office and Seed Mobile are the latest enhancements to the Seed platform, which provides telemetry and cashless transaction processing services through Seed devices installed in each vending machine. According to Cantaloupe, more than 100,000 machines around the country now are equipped with the devices. The information they send through the Seed Cloud can be processed by the platform to provide real-time audit, sales and status information; operational analytics enabling dynamic scheduling, prepacking route orders and evaluating sales volumes for more productive merchandising.
Cantaloupe reports that Seed Platform typically is upgraded every four to eight weeks, often with substantial new features. Users do not pay additional fees for these upgrades, and they do not require purchasing additional hardware or software.