Televend, Europe’s number-one automated retail company, is famous for serving multi-nationals such as Selecta, Coca-Cola, and JBD. However, the advantages of partnering with Televend are not exclusively the domain of the industry’s ‘Big Boys’…
Take Livewell Vending, for example. The business was founded on the back of the changes to food and drink in offered for sale in schools, which has become known as The Jamie Effect. ‘I wanted to bring a retail approach to vending’, MD Aaron Prout says ‘and having supplied over ten-million healthy drinks to pupils in schools, Livewell now supplies a full range vending services to all sectors including workplaces, hospitals, gyms… You name it’.
And it’s no longer just ‘vending’. Livewell has expanded to offer a full range of vending, coffee, water coolers, and micro-markets to all sectors.
‘At 16 years old, Livewell is a well-established business’ Aaron says, ‘yet our approach remains young, dynamic, and innovative. We deliver exciting, automated solutions with touchscreens, telemetry, and contactless payments to fit modern society’s needs.
Aaron’s background encompasses work with major retailers and category management. ‘From the start we set ourselves the goal of embracing technology’, he said. ‘We’ve had Televend telemetry on all our machines for five years now, and it’s been a game-changer. It completely transformed our operation, which was suddenly driven by real-time feeds that gave us sales and performance data.’
In common with many of his fellow operators, Aaron has found that the recruitment of experienced service operators is – to put it mildly – a challenge. ’Let’s call it ‘negative workforce fluctuations’, Aaron says wryly. ‘The upshot was that there was a shortage of field staff in the company, effectively operators and technicians that service the machines.’
Remember a year or so ago, when driving jobs suddenly became difficult to fill and wages rose? ‘It was difficult to persuade people to take ‘operator’ jobs versus driving jobs’, Aaron recalls. ‘We’ve overcome that now, but even when we were in the thick of it, Televend really helped us to prosper. We had a limited resource, but Televend enabled us to prioritise tasks to minimise the loss of opportunity and it still does.
‘What the Televend system does for you, the way it models, is that it guides your route planning and it tells you, for instance, that if you don’t go to a certain site, the lost income will be £x’, Aaron says. ‘It doesn’t just tell you what the stock records are in different machines, it also shows you what the opportunity cost is going to be. Televend shows us what the sales rates are and it knows, based on what stock it has left, the value of sales you will miss out on if the machine is not replenished. So can do the sums and concentrate your resources to where they will generate the most revenue.
‘By 3pm every day, when most of the sales data is in, we bring in a dedicated team of pickers. Previously, the operators did their own picking and more often than not, they’d cover themselves by taking far more stock than they actually required. Now we can load our vans right down to a single item. These days, orders are packed into individual storage containers. Previously, operators would take boxes and boxes of product and that way, you end up with broken outers, spares and crushed stock; so as well as eliminating unnecessary visits, we have also benefited by reducing operator time on site. Pre-kitting means there is no need for an operator to go to the machine simply to check stock levels.
‘We don’t do topping up’, Aaron continues. ‘That’s something that’s been historical in vending. You’d have people that drove round in their vans and thought, ‘Oh, I’ll just go and top that machine up’. Now, thanks to Televend, we set parameters of when we need to go. We also manage the space for sales, getting the planograms right. They vary so much from location to location and Televend can tell you, down to the individual item, how long it will take to sell out. By doing do, you can avoid the need to replenish a machine until it’s maybe a third full, because it still has its most popular selections available.’
At Televend, this is, of course, music to the ears. Tea Mestrovic, Televend’s Director of Product is delighted to hear that the powerful potential of Televend has been successfully unleashed by Livewell. ‘For many years now, we’ve focussed on revolutionizing the vending, coffee, and automated retail industry through AI and cloud technology’, she said. ‘AI and cloud are gaining more and more traction and Televend is leading that trend in vending. Predicting future demand purely by guesswork is eliminated with AI and smart algorithms, which remove human error. Understanding who, when, and how often consumers are using your machines will lead to providing better service and more profitable operations, as Aaron has reported. We are very proud to have been acknowledged as a fundamental pillar of Livewell’s success.’
The last word goes to Aaron: ‘The main goal of our integration with Televend was optimisation, but we also wanted to ease the growing burden of work from our employees’ shoulders. I’m happy to say that we managed to do that. Televend’s customer success team ensured that we took the transition onboard slowly, one step at a time, so we weren’t overwhelmed. Now we can’t imagine working without it. Televend is a fundamental pillar of our success.’
Full Livewell customer story on our web: click here
How Can Televend Help You?
Are you going to Vendex Midlands? Richard Davies, UK Sales Executive and Director of Televend UK, and Sanjin Sumar, our International Sales Executive, will be there, ready to answer any questions you may have about work efficiency and logistics optimisation. Discover face-to-face how dynamic routing and pre-kitting can help your business! We’ll be on Stands 92-93. Website Here
More from Televend on Planet Vending HERE