Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Technology

Vencoa's prices are lower than machines from Selectivend, Fawn, Federal, or USI.

Vending machine operators are inventing more money in new technologies to improve efficiency and to tackle increased operating costs. Though some vending operators invest in new technologies such as cashless payment options or state-of-the-art vending equipment, others are investing in satellite-based fleet monitoring, known as Global Positioning Systems, or GPS.

GPS utilize a network of satellites that transmit radio signals to ground-based receivers. GPS technology, paired with analysis and specialized mapping software, can provide a vending machine operator with up-to-date information on driver and vehicle activity, such as service stops and variations in route. Since this technology is fairly new to the vending industry, vending operators considering GPS technology must research providers before determining if GPS is worth investing in.

There are two main types of GPS systems: "active" and "passive". In an active system, data is transmitted via cellular telemetry to the main office or an Internet website where the subscribing company can view its fleet activity in real time. In a passive system, the data is stored for retrieval and uploaded to the main fleet computer once the vehicle returns. There is also a two-way tracking system that utilizes low-orbit satellites, instead of cellular networks, that allows communication between drivers and managers.

Rising gas prices has piqued the interest of many vending machine operators. GPS can contribute to fuel savings by monitoring that unauthorized use of the company vehicle is not occurring, by allowing more efficient routing, and by allowing managers to know how fast a vehicle is traveling, as excessive speeds waste fuel.

What are the benefits of investing in GPS technology? Vending operators who are currently utilizing this technology have reported faster response time and improved customer relations, improved employee accountability, improved overall efficiency, reduced liability and insurance costs, reduced fuel costs, more efficient route management, decreased vehicle wear and tear, automation of vehicle record keeping functions, and improved driver safety.

The upfront cost for investing in GPS technology is fairly high for hardware, software, and training. However, with any technology that improves efficiency, the benefits accrue based on company size. In addition to all of the enhanced accountabilities of GPS technology, many vending operators also reported that GPS provides a good selling tool, assuring that customers' service needs will be met in a timely fashion.

Vending machine operators interested in more information on GPS technology should contact one of the following companies:

For more information, please contact Peter LeVine or any one of his talented colleagues at (800) 223-4101, (650) 493-2258, or contact us through our

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*Vencoa is an authorized distributor of USI vending machines and is not an authorized distributor of Selectivend products.