Business Management

3 Tools that Will Maximize Sales with Your Micro Market Kiosk

Micro markets are becoming a bigger part of the vending industry. As we examined in our micro market infographic, micro markets reached over 10% of all vending sales revenue in 2015. The shifting American diet toward healthier snacks, corporate insistence on employee-wellness programs, and the explosion of inexpensive self-checkout technology have all combined to make micro markets a profitable concept.

It’s easy to see why micro markets are popular. In a location with 125 employees, an operator can average around $1000 per week – an increase of 80% over their vending machine counterparts. However, for extremely successful operators, weekly sales can be much higher. For example, one operator who replaced two vending machines with a Parlevel micro market experienced an increase in sales of over 800% – averaging $5100 a month from his market. So how did this particular operator achieve micro market sales above the average of his peers? He took advantage of tools unique to his Parlevel micro market kiosk – and achieved huge sales as a result.

Here are three tools that will maximize sales in your micro market:

1. Product Merchandising Recommendations

Micro Market Kiosk Product MerchandisingSelling product out of a micro market is a completely different game than selling out of a vending machine. Customers expect fresh food. Chips and candy might still sell well, but customers expect diversity from a micro market – necessitating the need for products like sandwiches or yogurt. While fresh food will help satisfy your customer, you’ll have to deal with shorter shelf life and the potential for increased spoilage. Operators need to keep an eye of the sales of their fresh food to cut down on lost money from expired food. Luckily, with a powerful micro market kiosk management system like Parlevel’s, you can track product spoilage quickly and easily. From your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, you can keep tabs on how quickly products sell in your market. With this information, you can stock the right amount of each product inside your market – cutting down on costly spoilage.

Also, the amount of UPCs in a micro market are signficantly greater than in a vending machine; instead of stocking tens of products, you’re stocking hundreds. While you might have a good idea of how products in your machines are selling, it is much more difficult in a market. Plus, each market location has totally different taste preferences – a blue collar factory will enjoy different items than a white collar breakroom. It is an absolute must to have a system that tracks product sales in a market. With a micro market kiosk like the one from Parlevel, you can easily track product sales in each market across your operation. At a glance, you can see what sells well and what doesn’t, and you can replace slow-sellers with better-selling items. The system will even make recommendations on what products to stock based on their success in other markets. Pretty cool, huh? With tools like these, an operator can cut down on product spoilage costs and increase micro market sales by more than 15%.

2. Theft Prevention Tools

When diving into micro markets, there is one chief concern many operators face: theft. Unlike vending machines, the product stocked in micro markets isn’t locked up. There are no physical barriers between the items and the shopper. However, theft in micro markets isn’t as big an issue as many might think – the majority of operators reported theft in micro markets as less than 3%.

However, operators need to take steps to ensure theft in their micro market is kept to a minimum. These two tools in particular help increase the security of a micro market:

Nest Dropcam

Nest dropcams do a fantastic job of monitoring a micro market. Small, discreet, and capable of HD recording, this webcam will capture what is going on with your market at all times. Furthermore, you can mark a specific location in the camera’s view – like your micro market kiosk – and the camera will alert you if someone steps into that marked location. With easy access to this footage on mobile or desktop, monitoring your micro market is a snap.

Kiosk-Mounted Webcam

Micro Market Kiosk WebcamWhile a Nest camera is great for monitoring your micro market setup from end to end, it might struggle to capture a potential thief’s face in detail. So, it is important that your micro market kiosk has a front-facing camera built into it that will capture customer’s faces in detail. An effective kiosk like the one from Parlevel will capture screenshots of a customer every time they touch the screen. That way if they fake a transaction at a kiosk, you’ll be alerted to it. These tools will help deter theft, and encourage customers to pay for items honestly – increasing sales in the process.

3. Promotional Sales

Promotions do a fantastic job of increasing sales in almost every industry. In a study of convenience stores in the US, products with sales promotions experienced a 14% sales bump over products with standard pricing. The effectiveness of sales promotions also rings true with micro markets. For example, Parlevel micro market operators who use wallet refill promotions average over $3,500 per kiosk per month in wallet recharges and cashless sales. 95% of the money loaded in these wallets actually gets sold, which means operators benefit from a 5% boost in sales without incurring any costs of selling the product.

Wallet refill incentives

Micro Market Sales PromotionA refillable wallet on a micro market kiosk means a customer creates a profile and then fills up that profile with funds, which can be used to pay for products at the market. Having a re-loadable wallet on a micro market is a huge benefit to both operators and customers. For the customer, it speeds up their checkout. For operators, they get money up-front and benefit from lower transaction costs. With a market like Parlevel’s you can incentivize operators to use a wallet by offering 10% bonuses for wallet recharges. For example, load your wallet with $10 and get an extra $1 free! The money an operator will make from increased wallet usage will more than make up for the dollar spent.

The massive popularity of micro markets shows that they can be real money-makers for vending operators. In order to maximize micro market profitability and speed up ROI, operators need to go the extra mile. With the right kiosk and the right tools like product merchandising, theft prevention technology, and promotions, operators can boost their micro market sales and enjoy profits much higher than their counterparts.

Business Management

5 Ways Vending Machine Technology Will Give You Control of Your Vending Operation

In the vending world, control over one’s business can be difficult to attain. Vending machines are unattended, so operators often don’t know what’s going on with their equipment until they physically visit the site, which leads to some issues. What if machine goes down without an operator knowing? What if a route driver is sneaking a few dollar bills from the machine every time they service it? What if the products in a machine aren’t the best selling items for that location? Without the proper vending machine technology, it can be impossible to know for sure. And as an operator grows an operation and places more machines, this sense of helplessness can compound.

However, if an operator had the ability to know what was going on with a machine without being there, they would have more control over their operation. A vending management system (VMS) uses remote monitoring to let an operator know what is going on with their machines at all times – giving them a firm grasp on managing their operation. Here are 5 ways a VMS can help you gain control of your operation.

1. Better Employee Accountability

Having trustworthy route drivers is an absolute must for any vending operation. These drivers are handling your cash; without some sort of deterrent, what is to stop a dishonest route driver from lifting a few dollars from every service? It might not seem like a ton of money at the time, but theft can add up. After all, 30% of all small businesses fail due to employee theft. How can you make sure their route drivers aren’t stealing?Driver App Vending Machine Technology

With a VMS, you can take extremely effective measures to stop employee theft. This vending machine technolgy remotely monitors everything that goes on with a machine, so it measures exactly how much cash is supposed to be collected per service. When a driver finishes his route for the day, a VMS will inform you exactly how much money they should come back with. If a driver comes back with a different amount, you know something fishy is going on. Plus, since drivers know a VMS is tracking sales down to the nickel, they are less inclined to steal from the machine because they know they will be caught. With this vending machine technology, you can rest easy knowing employees are honest, and your bottom line will benefit from decreased theft.

2. Intelligent Routing Decisions

Routing Vending Machine TechnologyMany operators run their routes on a static schedule. Certain machines get serviced on Tuesdays, others on Thursdays, etc. Or, drivers are responsible for a set of machines and set their own routes. With both of these methods, operators don’t plan their routes based on concrete data, which leads to a lack of control servicing the machines that actually need it.

With the right vending machine technology, you can gain control of planning routes with dynamic routing. With dynamic routing, machines are serviced exactly when they need it. A VMS will prioritize machines if they are low on inventory, have high on cash to collect, or are grouped together geographically rather than just randomly by the day of the week. With a powerful VMS, you can choose precisely which machines to service based on actionable data. Instead of putting the control in your driver’s hands or making decisions on gut feelings, you can take control and plan your routes based on hard data. Operators who use effective dynamic routing can increase their route service efficiency up to 100%. You’ll send your drivers to machines that need to be serviced, and your service efficiency will increase as a result.

3. Proactive Machine Repairs

Vending machines break down – it’s just a fact of the business. Often, you won’t know even know about a broken down machine until a location contacts them. This puts the control of repairing machine out of your hands and into the hands of your locations. If a location doesn’t contact you, a machine can be down for days or even weeks. The longer a machine is down, the more you’ll miss out on sales.Mobile Vending Machine Technology

With a VMS, tackling machine breakdowns is much easier. The vending machine technology sends machine breakdown alerts straight to you, so you will know right when a machine issue occurs. Bill jams, coin jams, compressor failures, open door alerts, and even temperature readings are sent to you when they happen. Instead of waiting for a location to call, you can be proactive about repairing your machine. You can easily dispatch a technician straight from your phone, and the machine will be up and running quickly – avoiding missed sales and putting you back in control of your machines.

4. Optimized Product Merchandising

Product Merch Vending Machine TechnologyWhat products do you have in your machines right now? In each machine, do you know what your stocking in every row and column? Do you know how much inventory is left in each spiral? Do you know what your best selling product is for each of your machines? If you have one or two machines, you might be able to guess at what is inside your machines. But if you have tens, hundreds, or thousands of machines, it is impossible to know. With this uncertainty, it’s difficult to have sufficient control over your product inventory. Product spoilage, optimized order quantities, and what product to stock in machines cannot be achieved without knowing what is happening inside your machines.

With a VMS, every spiral in all of your machines is monitored at all times. Precise inventory levels, product sales charts, and spoilage tracking is all automatically generated by the vending machine technology. With this type of information at your disposal, you can make meaningful decisions about what type of products go into your machines. Operators who use effective product merchandising can increase machine sales 10 – 15%. Finally, you can control your inventory and benefit your bottom line as a result.

5. Streamlined Financial Management

Managing financials in vending can be a nightmare. Calculating gross sales, commissions and subsidies for different accounts, setting up different tax rates for different counties, and running profit / loss analyses can be difficult. In a primarily cash business, it can be easy to lose track. Many operators use spreadsheets, QuickBooks, or hire an account to help manage their money, but an accurate, operational-wide view on financials can be difficult to attain.Vending Machine Technology Financials

A good VMS will help you run your financials without having to turn to another software application. You can view reports on commissions, subsides, taxes, cashless sales, and countless other reports right inside the system you use to manage your operation. A VMS already tracks all of your sales data, so calculating these financials is as easy as clicking a button. Instead of exporting and importing spreadsheets across different programs, you will have access to all of your data all in one place. With easy access to these reports, you can view and act on your financials to help improve the bottom line of the company.

In vending, it is easy for an operator to feel out of control. Without knowing what is going on with each machine, an operator can feel helpless. However, with remote monitoring from a VMS, you can start putting yourself back in control of your business. Knowing for fact whether employees are stealing, using data to make significant operational decisions, and keeping a good tab on financials will not only improve your bottom line, but help you get a firm grasp on your business – keeping you sleeping soundly at night.

Business Management

4 Reasons Why Card Readers Have Remarkable ROI

The adoption of card readers in vending is exploding – the number of vending machines that accept credit and debit cards has hit 15%, the highest percentage ever recorded. Why are operators buying them in bunches? Well, operators report that cashless readers not only product a sales lift, but increase customer satisfaction. Furthermore, operators that have adopted card readers rate it as their best investment when it comes to ROI.

When it comes to results, the proof of card readers’ value is in the numbers. A study of machines equipped with Parlevel Pay in San Antonio Texas showed that card readers increased average machine sales by 42%. But how exactly does going cashless  increase machine sales? Of course credit cards are being more commonly used, but is that the full explanation? Here are 4 reasons why card readers have a remarkable ROI and can help an operator’s bottom line:

1. Serve a higher amount of potential customers

Card Readers with CustomersCarrying cash is becoming less and less common as many people favor credit or debit cards. Consumers around the world made a total of 417 billion cashless payments in 2014 – an increase of 34% since 2010. So, cashless is clearly growing. Also, only 14% of American consumers use cash for everyday purchases. Furthermore, Only 9% of Americans prefer to use cash, while 78% prefer to use a credit or debit card. Customers actually prefer to use cards, so offering that option will increase customer satisfaction.

Offering only cash or coin options in a vending machine is ignoring the huge number of potential customers that don’t carry cash or prefer not to use it. Why shrink your customer base? As cashless use grows and grows, products and services that only accept cash will continue to suffer. Opening up a vending machine up to cashless payments expands the base of potential customers and keeps an operator from missing out on sales. The more potential customers you can service, then the more potential money that you can make.

2. Make it easier for your customers to pay

While more and more consumers are using credit cards due to their general convenience, there are some interesting effects of using plastic. Paying for any purchase produces an immediate pain of paying. However, this pain differs depending on payment method. As a result, consumers spend more money when they pay with plastic as opposed to cash – and this had proven true in vending.

Card Readers with Swipe

Not only do average transaction amounts increase due to card readers, but there are more transactions as well. Studies show that card users are more inclined to make impulsive purchase decisions, which is particularly effective for vending – impulse and convenience are main drivers for customers to use vending machines in the first place. This translates to much higher total sales in machines with card readers. In a study of machines connected to Parlevel’s system, machines with card readers sold 38% more total units per month than those without it. So if you are looking to increase sales on a pure quantity basis, installing a credit card reader will help.

3. Multivend card readers – sell more items per transaction

So how can an operator capitalize on the convenience of card readers even further? How about letting a customer purchase multiple items in one transaction? When a customer pays with cash, they insert the amount of money for their transaction, pay, and receive their item. If they want another product from the machine, they have to repeat the process over again – insert, pay, receive. Not very convenient.

Multivend Card Readers

Cashless readers with multivend, on the other hand, allow customers to select multiple items with one transaction. Instead of requiring multiple steps to purchase multiple products, customers can swipe once and receive multiple products. Furthermore, the screen on the card reader actually prompts the customer to make another selection after choosing their first product. This quick persuasion can be enough to inspire a customer to buy multiple products from a machine.

How effective is multivend? In a study of Parlevel Pay cashless devices, the readers that have multivend enabled have sales that are 62% higher than those without it. Vending is all about convenience. The convenience of multivend translates to a significant sales increase, so make sure your card readers have that option available.

4. Help your customers pay the way they want

While credit and debit cards are the predominant cashless payment method that customers use, it is far from the only one. Campus cards, mobile payment like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and even cryptocurrencies are some other popular cashless payments out there, and they’re only growing.  In 2016, 4.8 billion individuals had mobile phones and 39% of all mobile users in the US had made a mobile payment in 2015. To put it lightly, cashless readers that only accept credit or debit cards simply don’t cut it.

Card Readers Payment Acceptance

For an operator to truly maximize sales with a card reader, they need to maximize the amount of cashless payment methods they can take. Vending is all about convenience. If you ignore the most convenient way for someone to use your machine, then they will be less likely to use it. What if you have a machine in a gym, and one of your potential customers forgets his wallet in his car? They might forfeit their purchase because they don’t want to walk back to the parking lot. But if that machine accepts mobile payments, they can fire up Android Pay or Apple Pay on a mobile device, and can continue on with the transaction – keeping you from missing a sale.

You’ve probably heard that cashless readers can increase machine sales, but now you know four of the biggest reasons how they achieve this. A larger consumer base, increased convenience, multivend, and increased payment methods all combine to produce a massive boost to machine sales. So if you are looking to add technology to your vending operation, card readers are a great place to start.

Press Release

Press Release: Parlevel Partners with the Sterling Group NV to Provide Micro Markets to the Largest Manufacturing Facility in the World

San Antonio, TX, April 17, 2017 – Parlevel Systems, the technology provider for the most productive network of vending, micro market, and delivery operators in the world, has announced a partnership with the Sterling Group NV to exclusively provide micro market services to the largest manufacturing facility in the world.

The Sterling Group NV, a premier provider of workplace micro markets with the highest caliber of products and concierge services, is using Parlevel Systems’ micro market kiosks to roll out more than 25 markets in the the 13 million square foot factory. The site currently employs over 850 workers and looks to add over 5000 more by 2020.

When choosing a technology partner for a client of this caliber, user interface, transaction speed, reliability, and elegant design were top priority, which led the Sterling Group NV to Parlevel. Just two months after rolling out Parlevel kiosks, the Sterling Group NV has generated remarkable sales and remains well above industry averages. Each deployed Parlevel kiosk transacts tens of thousands of dollars in sales per month with 84% of monthly revenues coming from cashless sales.

“Any micro market provider can create a system that lets customers scan and swipe,” said Anton Novak, founder and CEO of The Sterling Group NV. “We partnered with Parlevel because they provide an intuitive and understandable user-interface for our customers and an incredibly robust inventory management system that helps us get the most out our markets. Beyond that, Parlevel’s customer service is top notch. Within minutes, I can expect assistance from Parlevel performed with a high level of competence. If the performance exceeds your location’s expectations, you know you have a great market.”

“Operators need to be able to trust their technology provider to help them keep up with the needs of their locations,” said Alan Munson, CCO at Parlevel Systems. “We created the Parlevel micro market solution to go beyond simply accepting payment – our management tools help operators make intelligent decisions about running their markets leading to better service for their customers. Add in our incredibly responsive support team, and operators have a winning recipe to run reliable, exceptional, and profitable micro markets.”

With Parlevel by its side, The Sterling Group NV plans to expand beyond breakrooms. They aim to leverage Parlevel’s technology to power gift shops, full-service cafeterias, and even employee equipment and uniform distribution. Just one year after launch, The Sterling Group NV has become an immensely successful vending and breakroom operation – all powered by Parlevel’s technology.

About Parlevel

Based in San Antonio, Parlevel Systems is the top-to-bottom provider of innovative vending technology tools for the food and beverage industries, including vending, micro market, and coffee, tea, water, and other delivery service providers. Founded by successful vending and technology professionals, Parlevel is dedicated to delivering an array of powerful yet easy-to-use technology solutions that empower operators with enhanced control and accountability of their business anywhere, anytime, and from any device. Parlevel utilizes a dedicated customer and technical support team to ensure seamless implementation and a transformative return on investment. 

About Sterling Group NV

The Sterling Group NV is a business founded on the principle that being in a large industrial area with few services doesn’t mean having to be in a food desert or without everyday services. The Sterling Group owns, operates and maintains workplace micro markets with the highest caliber of products and concierge services for companies looking to provide an exceptional benefit to their employees.

Press Release

Press Release: Parlevel to Debut New Tools at NAMA OneShow

San Antonio, TX, April 14, 2017 – Parlevel Systems, the top-to-bottom technology provider for the most productive network of vending, micro market, and delivery operators in the world, will showcase useful new tools at the 2017 NAMA OneShow in Las Vegas, Nevada. The new tools enhance Parlevel’s product suite and help operators spend less, sell more, and optimize their operations.

Parlevel’s micro market operators benefit from powerful features that set a new standard for micro market service efficiency, security, and customer experience which all work together to maximize location profitability.

New Micro Market Model Parlevel Systems

  • A streamlined user-interface encourages customer engagement and satisfaction leading to increased revenues, repeat sales, and boosted referrals for micro market operators.
  • Product addition through the kiosk simplifies kiosk management and cuts market service time by letting operators add product to their market on site.
  • Easy Audit Variance helps operators spot theft and increases the security of a market. The tool compares inventory stocked, inventory sold, and inventory remaining to identify missing product.

Parlevel’s vending management system (VMS) operators receive numerous capabilities that decrease machine service time, combat spoilage, and expand operational efficiencies.

Parlevel VMS Machine Routing

  • Smart Planning is a new, redesigned route planning module that automatically plans routes for operators – eliminating the hassle of manually selecting machines for service. The module schedules routes for operators based on their personal machine criteria – low inventory, high cash to collect, or proximity – saving countless time spent on manually planning routes.
  • Mobile Shrinkage Tracking reduces operational waste by allowing drivers to classify pulled products via smartphone. Drivers define spoiled product as either damaged, stolen, or expired to help operations identify and decrease product loss.
  • DEX on Demand puts instant machine data in the palm of an operator’s hand. Through the Parlevel Mobile App and Parlevel Box Telemeter, a route driver can arrive at a location, press a button on the app, and retrieve relevant machine data immediately – allowing for the most accurate prekit and machine-filling possible.

Parlevel is introducing a brand new product, Parlevel Now, which gives operators yet another way to increase sales and customer support. Parlevel Now is a customer-facing website that allows operators to connect with their customers like never before.

Parlevel Now Ordering Screen

  • Product ordering and inventory lookup boosts sales for vending, micro market, and coffee accounts. Customers can view inventory at their location, order desired product, and pay an operator directly.
  • Customer Feedback enables operators to provide excellent support to their location. Operators can view feedback on machine issues, product requests, or general information to improve location communication.
  • Sales reports and audits combat theft and help operators win new accounts. Operators can share inventory audits and sales reports directly with an account, which removes uncertainty with refunds and discourages theft.

“Increasing the profitability of our customer’s operations is our primary goal, that’s why we continually improve and enhance our technology,” said Rafael Barroso, chief information officer at Parlevel Systems. “We are constantly developing new tools to both update current offerings and to expand our product suite. Parlevel is fully committed to providing our operators with the latest and best technology available while building a complete solution that seamlessly integrates with their daily operations.”

Parlevel will display these powerful new tools for micro market, vending, and delivery operators at the 2017 NAMA OneShow. Operators can stop by Booth #841 to try out Parlevel’s products, see new features, and learn how to benefit from an investment in technology firsthand. For more information on Parlevel at the NAMA OneShow, please visit http://parlevelsystems.com/nama-2017/

Business Management

Even More Upgrades to Your Micro Market Experience

When it comes to micro markets, making a purchase should be easy and intuitive for both end-user and operator. The more convenient it is to purchase from the market, the more often the customer will actually use it – which means more money in an operator’s pocket.

Parlevel preaches continuous improvement when it comes to all of our technology (vending management, credit card readers, telemetry) and micro markets are no exception. Parlevel has brought major improvements to our micro market kiosk to increase ease-of-use for both operators and end-users with the release of version 2.5.0.

Here are three of our most helpful changes:

Improved Search with Product Tags

Micro Market Kiosk Products

 

Easy and accessible search is important to create an optimal customer experience on the kiosk. For items that don’t have bar codes, like fresh fruit or vegetables, or items that have a distorted or damaged bar code, accurate product search is indispensable. Customers should be able to find products quickly and easily through their kiosk. This will help operators too – customers will be comfortable using the kiosk and won’t abandon a transaction due to the frustration of not having a bar code. This leads to less time spent on micro market training, education, or maintenance.

2017-03-29 12_12_17-Even More Upgrades to Your Micro Market Experience - Google Docs

 

UI Improvements

 

Micro Market Product Checkout

In a breakroom, micro markets often replace vending machines, which most consumers are familiar with using. Unattended retail spaces like micro markets are successful because of their convenience. Hard-to-use kiosks are no longer convenient for consumers, which removes their primary appeal.

Middle One

 

Redesigned Driver Console

 

Micro Market UI

A micro market kiosk needs to be equally useful for the driver who services it. Drivers who can add product, troubleshoot, and test quickly can fill markets faster than ever. This increased service efficiency will allow them to hit more locations in a route.

2017-03-29 12_13_26-Even More Upgrades to Your Micro Market Experience - Google Docs

A Better User-Experience, a Better Relationship between Operator and Customer

Remember, the improved UI will:

  • Make search easier than ever for customers
  • Cut down on time spent training, onboarding, and supporting end-users
  • Increase driver efficiency and speed-up kiosk optimization

With these updates, operators and customers will benefit from a kiosk that is reliable, intuitive, and enjoyable to use. Customers can enjoy their favorite snacks more conveniently than ever, and operators can increase operational efficiency – all leading to a more profitable market.

 

Business Management

Infographic: The Impact of Micro Markets

If someone asked you about the biggest change in the vending industry during the last few years, what would you say? Chances are micro markets at least crossed your mind – and with good reason. In 2015 alone, 51% of operators who expanded into new services invested in micro markets. According to Vending Market Watch, micro markets reached over 10% of all vending sales revenue in 2015. Micro markets are clearly a new, exciting part of the industry, but why is their adoption growing so fast? Furthermore, why are they so profitable?

The New American Diet

Part of the reason micro markets work so well is because of the shifting diet of the American consumer. As of late, healthy options are on the front of everyone’s minds; 91% of Americans consider nutritional content before choosing their food. Since micro markets offer a larger selection of healthier snacks than traditional vending machines, they appeal more to these new customer preferences. Vending operators have thus embraced micro markets because they can meet the new consumer demand for healthy food and for variety, which leads to increased sales and better-for-you diets.

Security – Minimizing the Potential for Theft

While many operators dive headfirst into micro markets to capitalize on this new customer demand, there are some potential issues that lead operators to hesitate. One of the most significant roadblocks that stops an operator from getting into micro markets is the potential for theft. In contrast to traditional vending machines, items in micro markets aren’t sitting behind a locked door, so it easy to see why an operator might have concern. However, theft in micro markets had proved much lower than one may think. In a survey ran by Vending Market Watch, the majority of vending operators reported shrinkage and theft in micro markets as less than 2%.

Why would this be the case? Most micro markets exist in secure and controlled-access locations like an office breakroom – not just anyone can walk in. Also, if an operator communicates to the location that theft has repercussions, customers will be less likely to steal. Furthermore, operators should prominently displays security measures. Kiosks equipped with a front-facing camera and well-placed external security cameras will let customers know they are being monitored – which helps deter theft.

Real-world Results – Money Talks

When an operator effectively uses a micro market to satisfy the breakroom demands of his customer while avoiding theft, there is real money to make. A study conducted by Parlevel on deployed micro market kiosks across the United States revealed the powerful money-making potential of micro markets. Operators that replaced vending with a micro market setup saw average sales increase up to 80%. Furthermore, in a location with 125 employees, an operator can average about $1,000 per week from a well-placed micro market. Part of this increase is attributed to higher ticket items in micro markets and purchases of several items at a time. As reported by Forbes, 88% of consumers are willing to pay more for healthier foods – a phenomenon operators should take advantage of.

Even more, operators can take their micro market profitability to the next level with an effective management system. Detailed sales reports, analytics, and product merchandising recommendations can help an operator make intelligent decisions about his micro market. With this info, an operator can pull slow sellers and replace them with hot items to increase sales and customer satisfaction. At the same time, operators can use a powerful management system to cut costs by dynamically routing, prekitting, and managing vending, office coffee service, and micro markets all in the same system. These tools will help operators increase overall operational efficiency and decrease micro market service time.

Pairing an effective micro market solution with a powerful management system can lead to extreme profits. One operator who replaced two vending machines with Parlevel’s micro market solution and took advantage of Parlevel’s management system experienced an 800% increase in sales. Instead of collecting $600 a month from two vending machines, the operator was able to collect over $5100 a month from his micro market.

Take a look at this infographic on the impact of micro markets to see how you and your operation can benefit from embracing the new technology. For more information on micro markets, please visit parlevelsystems.com/micro-market-3

Micro market how and why

 

Business Management

Infographic: The Benefits of a Vending Card Reader & the Increasing Need for Cashless

Changing payment options have always been a staple of the vending industry. As cultural reliance on different forms of payments have changed over time, so has payment acceptance for vending machines. Coin mechanisms gave way to bill validators, which are making way for cashless payment acceptors. In the grand scheme of things, this evolution makes sense. Vending has always been about convenience, and for the increasing population of consumers who don’t carry cash, the ability to use cashless payments is an absolute necessity. In fact, American adults under 30 dislike using cash so much that 51% of them use credit or debit cards for purchases – even for transactions under $5 (the price point where vending lives).

We know that accepting cashless payments is a must to appeal to younger Americans, but what are the tangible benefits of installing a vending card reader? We looked at the data to see just how beneficial cashless vending really is. The results are substantial: operators who embrace cashless have average ticket transactions of $1.60 – that is nearly 40 cents higher than their cash counterparts. The reason? Consumers don’t feel the same pain of spending when they use cards over cash. After all, swiping a card takes less thought than physically giving away paper money.

Furthermore, in a study of machines equipped with Parlevel Pay cashless readers in San Antonio, Texas, average machine sales per service increased 42%  when a vending card reader was installed. 32% of the increase came from cashless payments while 10% of the increase was attributed to growing cash sales. Amazingly, cashless did not cannibalize cash sales, but rather increased them. Since there are now more ways to pay at the machine, more people are using the vending machine – whether they have cash or not, they know the machine will accommodate them. Furthermore, cashless technology can increase a machines image of reliability and attract more fickle customers. The net sales increases from cashless amount to an average machine collection of $128 every time a machine is serviced – nearly $40 more than machines without cashless capabilities.

These gains are substantial and should make any vending operator seriously think about adopting vending card readers for the machines. However, it is important to prioritize which machines would benefit from cashless the most in order to speed up return on investment. Locations that are frequented by younger consumers and transit areas are the best bets for rapid cashless success. Schools, offices, hospitals, hotels, and airports are some of the areas where cashless performs the best. Lastly, not all cashless readers are created equal. As mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay become more common place, it is important for cashless readers to accept more than just credit and debit cards.

Check out this infographic on the benefits of a vending card reader to see how you and your operation can benefit from cashless vending. For more information on cashless readers, please visit parlevelsystems.com/parlevel-pay

 

Cashless Vending Infographic

Press Release

Press Release – Parlevel Announces Agreement with Grow Healthy Vending

San Antonio, TX, November 30, 2016 – Parlevel Systems, the top-to-bottom provider of innovative vending technology tools for vending, micro market, and coffee, water, & other delivery operators around the world, announced an agreement with Grow Healthy Vending, the largest healthy vending provider in North America, to become the preferred vending technology provider for Grow Healthy operators.

Parlevel will offer its industry-recognized vending management system (VMS) and cashless payment solution, Parlevel Pay, to current and prospective Grow Healthy Vending operators. Grow Healthy businesses can utilize Parlevel’s VMS to access optimization tools like prekitting, intelligent product merchandising, dynamic route planning, and more to bring a slew of operational benefits to their vending services. With Parlevel Pay, Grow Healthy vending operators can accept credit & debit cards, mobile pay, and campus pay solutions while benefiting from features like two-tier pricing and direct daily deposits.

“The healthy vending industry shows tremendous opportunity for growth moving forward, and Parlevel’s vending technology solutions are uniquely positioned to help healthy vending operators effectively manage their businesses,” said Alan Munson, chief commercial officer at Parlevel Systems. “Product merchandising tools, warehouse management features, and a versatile cashless reader can help healthy vending operators offer their customers products they love with a payment solution they’re accustomed to using – all while reducing product expiration and shrinkage.”

Parlevel’s suite of vending technology tools will seamlessly integrate with Grow Healthy machines. Newly manufactured Grow Healthy machines will be fitted with Parlevel Pay, while many already-deployed machines are compatible for a retrofit. Any machine capable of DEX or MDB transmissions can connect to Parlevel’s VMS.

“We are very pleased to have partnered with Parlevel as we continue our ongoing effort of providing Grow Healthy Vending Operators with the very best in cutting edge technology,” said Chris Wyland, chief executive officer of Grow Healthy Vending.”The increased efficiency gained through the Parlevel VMS will streamline productivity while simultaneously improving Return on Investment for all members of the Grow family.”

For more information on Grow Healthy Vending and Parlevel Systems please visit: http://growhealthyvending.com/parlevel/

Press Release

Press Release – Parlevel Deploys Total Micro Market Solution in the Southeast

San Antonio, TX, August 9, 2016 – Parlevel Systems, the top-to-bottom provider of innovative vending technology tools for vending, micro market, and coffee, water, & other delivery operators around the world, announced an agreement with Louisiana Tom’s of Monroe, Louisiana to deploy Parlevel’s micro market solution in the southeastern United States.

Chad Looney, President of Louisiana Tom’s, an operation with over 900 machines servicing the Louisiana & southern Arkansas area, decided to enter the expanding micro market segment to stay competitive in his region. After examining an array of micro market providers, Louisiana Tom’s decided on Parlevel’s solution.

“I didn’t want two different systems for vending and micro markets,” said Chad. “Parlevel was the only provider that would let me manage my entire operation in one system. Having my vending and micro markets lines sync up to the same software saves me time and makes it much easier to manage my operation.”

“Our goal is to help operators make the most profitable decisions about their micro markets,” said Alan Munson, chief commercial officer at Parlevel Systems. “The only way to get the most out of a micro market is by examining the micro market alongside vending, coffee delivery, and other business lines. Parlevel lets operators dynamically route, prekit, and manage warehouse inventory for all of their business lines in one system, which ensures they can cut costs, boost sales, and serve better across their entire operation.”

After installing Parlevel’s micro market system, Louisiana Tom’s micro market is now one of its best performing locations. In its first month, Louisiana Tom’s micro market collects almost 4 times as much revenue than their average vending machine – with 40% of sales coming from cash.

Based on this rapid success, Lousiana Tom’s plans to make micro markets a significant part of their business in the future. “I initially resisted micro markets because I thought they would be a fad, but it’s obvious that they are here to stay,” said Chad. “The profit margins are so much better than vending, so is clear that micro markets need to be a bigger part of our business moving forward.”

Parlevel’s micro market solution is the only system backed by a comprehensive, first party VMS. Powered by Parlevel’s robust management system, operators can access in-depth analytics, remotely change prices, and view inventory levels at the click of a button.