INK & TONER CARTRIDGE VENDING MACHINES

  • Print
  • 161213_banner_futorag_902x177px
  • cartridgewebsite-com-big-banner-02-09-07-2016
  • banner-01-26-17b
  • ink-direct-banner-902-x-177-v-1-2-big-banner-03-23-2017
  • 05 02 2016 429716a-cig-clearchoice-banner-902x177
  • 4toner4
  • 536716a_green_sweep_web_banner_902x17712
  • 2toner1-2
  • futor_902x177v7-tonernew
  • mse-big-banner-new-03-17-2016-416716a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-212
Share

INK & TONER CARTRIDGE VENDING MACHINES

 user 2005-11-16 at 11:23:00 am Views: 53
  • #13207

    Big-ticket vending: Two success stories
    Traditionally, the vending business model works by generating a small amount of profit on a large volume of items. You don’t make much money on a single candy bar or package of crackers, but the economy of scale kicks in when you move thousands of units.
    But there is no reason why unattended selling devices like vending machines cannot be used to move bigger, higher-margin items. Two companies, San Francisco-based Zoom Systems and Sacramento-based WebRaiser Technologies Inc., have demonstrated the potential in increasing the amount of sale while maintaining the tried-and-true delivery methods.
    Case 1: Zoom Robotic Stores
    Sometimes, the solution to an existing problem opens up entirely new vistas of opportunity. Such was the case with Zoom Systems, the Australian firm founded in 1998 to distribute ink and toner cartridges to large corporations and government agencies. Gower Smith, chief executive officer for Zoom, found himself staring down a major logistical problem: how to properly route and distribute the myriad brands and sizes of cartridges to the many different offices in a given facility.
    He went to the drawing board and came back with plans for an automated supply cabinet that allowed users to select what they needed, when they needed it. He later patented the design, hooked up with Hewlett-Packard and in 2000 brought the technology to the United States.
    Gower Smith (right) discusses the Zoom Shop with attendees at the 2005 Self-Service & Kiosk Show
    But why stop at ink cartridges? In 2004, the company began development of the Zoom Robotic Store, the first of which was installed and “opened” in March 2005.
    The product selection in any given Zoom Store will vary depending on where you see it – consumer electronics, music, gift and novelty items, or virtually any other product that isn’t prohibitively large. “We have to be able to deliver an iPod or a candle or a CD,” Smith said. “All very different shapes.”
    Watching a Zoom Store in action is unquestionably impressive. Consumers browse through a Web-like storefront via a touchscreen, complete with recommendations for related products and detailed product information. Upon checkout, a robotic arm swings into action, fetches the products, and delivers them to the consumer.
    “Zoom Robotic Shops are highly complex machines with many different integrated components,” Smith added. “That always presents itself as a challenge. We carefully design and manufacture them, but then they’re left alone, unattended in airports, shopping malls and hotels. Ensuring reliability was difficult but critical before we sent any to market. Successfully achieving consistently excellent service has been vital to our continued progress.”
    And that progress is moving quickly – Smith said the company will have installed 100 of the shops by the end of 2005, and he projects a base of 3,000 by 2007.
    “I’m not kidding that people tend to gush when talking about them, and since many of our customers are business people in airports, they are enthralled by the idea,” Smith said. “More than 25 percent of customers return to purchase from a Zoom Store again.”