Grab me a soda…and a sanding pad

It’s an instant gratification world we live in, from information at our fingertips on our smart phones to drive-through convenience for everything from dry cleaning to lattes to flu shots.  We know that with the swipe of a card we can get almost anything we need.  Why not hardware supplies?

That’s the idea behind a new service we’re rolling out to our vendor managed inventory customers.  It’s a vending machine designed for manufacturing facilities that allows employees to dispense any number of frequently used and/or inexpensive parts and equipment in a safe, secure, and reportable way.

Vending machine 02 Vending machine 01

Just like a typical candy or soda vending machine, this unit holds, displays, and dispenses products when an employee “pays” by using a personalized PIN or key card.  The purchase is automatically tracked so that the customer can get an accurate record of how many items are being dispensed, and to whom.  A company may wish to stock the vending machine with frequently used items like gloves, safety goggles, and drill bits.  If an employee has a habit of misplacing his goggles and picking up replacements, the company will see that in the reports generated by the vending machine. It’s a simple way to track and pinpoint usage to better manage costs and inventory.

Tracking and reporting is handled for Austin customers out of our Lee’s Summit, MO location.  The vending machine provides data via the internet so staffers can remotely see product levels and usage.  Reports generated weekly not only help customers track usage, but provide Austin with information on stocking needs and trends.

The vending machines are totally customizable at minimal cost to accommodate a large variety of products.  Within minutes, they can be reconfigured to change the size of the slots and the feeder coils, even using two coils if necessary to feed one large product.  Just like Austin’s vendor managed inventory program, the vending machines are tailor-made to suit the unique needs of any company. .

Call your nearest Austin Hardware location for more information on vending machines for vendor managed inventory.


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