Smart vending machines showcase SAP’s customer supply chain software

At this year’s SAPHILA conference, to be held at Sun City from 9 to 11 June, SAP Africa will be demonstrating how the retail vending market is about to see its biggest change in years. By using innovative software that allows critical customer sentiment and information to be collected and real-time replenishment analysis to be gathered, SAP will be able to improve not only the vending customers supply chain and sales tactics, but will also be able to provide consumers with a more personalised experience at their vending machines.

According to Zach van der Walt, Industry Solutions Architect at SAP Africa, “SAP will be showcasing its Machine to Machine integration capabilities that will also enable four important pillars of the retail vending process, being interactive consumer experience tied in with mobile commerce that is supported by a real world aware supply chain with support for the vending machine lifecycle.”

By accessing this real-time data in the cloud, vending operators will be able to plan and manage inventory to avoid stock outs and optimise deliveries and product movement.

In addition, consumer behavior such as preferred products and timing of purchase will also be captured, assisting vending machine operators in improving their customer engagement by providing the right products at the right time, couponing and even changing the look and feel of the vending machine to match the gender of the person standing in front of it. The lines of communication between consumer and operator are also easily facilitated through a feedback mechanism integrated with social media.

Via NFC, a mobile wallet platform, consumers will be able to tap their NFC abled phones against a NFC enabled vending machine and pay for their purchases. These purchases will then also be linked to their social profiles allowing operators to gain insight into consumer preferences and manage their machine more efficiently.

“With SAP Smart Vending and mCommerce, retail vending has evolved to be an always on business that is now able to provide better real-time data for stock replenishment and marketing. Vending machine assets are also better looked after and the consumer experience has improved considerably,” concludes van der Walt

Earlier this week, it was announced that SAP Connected Retail’s Smart Vending software won the 2014 M2M (Machine2Machine) Evolution Product of the Year, and this same software will be showcased on a number of smart vending machines at SAPHILA 2014.

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