In a university or a college, students usually stay on campus. Hence, there is a huge requirement for general food products and water bottles throughout the day. This surging demand is often met through vending machines.
Vending machines have thus become a common sight in universities as well as colleges across Australia. These are often synonymous with easy and all-day availability of necessary products. However, recently these have also been criticised for their nutritionless products and overheads on maintenance. As per a study by Wiley Online Library, there were only 6 types of food available on participating university campuses. Moreover, around 93% of these were categorised as unhealthy.
Such reasons have increased the desire to shift towards healthier alternatives. While canteens are an option, these have limited working hours and require human resources. This increases expenses and doesn’t meet the desideratum.
The advancement of technology, however, has led to the development of better alternatives. These are AI-powered vending machines referred to as micro markets. These provide more options and fresher produce. Micro markets can be defined as cashless and automated convenience stores with data and machine learning capabilities.
There are several advantages associated with micro markets. We are listing some of these here.
1. Healthier and Fresher Products
Health has now become a thing of much importance. The Wiley Online Library study also states that amongst the 222 participating students and staff, around 87.39% preferred healthier options such as muesli, nuts and the like. This demand cannot be met with vending machines having products such as aerated beverages and chips. However, since micro markets have storage options such as refrigerators, food barrels and so forth, these can hoist a variety of health-based food items. It is possible to have fruits, juices, milk, cereals and more in a micro-market vending machine.
Moreover, university and college students tend to survive on frozen, processed and boxed food which can cause maladies in the long run. A shift towards fresher options is hence favourable.
2. Lower Expenses
Unlike canteens, micro markets don’t require labour. These work on grab & go methods and promote self-service. Universities and colleges can save money by eliminating labour costs. Furthermore, since these do not require kitchens, overheads on equipment are also minimised.
With traditional vending machines, a lot is spent on repair and maintenance. This is due to food being stuck inside the machine or other technical glitches. Smart vending machines such as micro-markets are designed to avoid such defects. They help save up on such expenses on upkeep.
3. Efficient and Time-Saving
Human resource is slow and gets exhausted easily. They require timely breaks and cannot operate throughout the day. Automated micro markets can run 24*7 without recesses, meeting growing student requirements for the entire day.
It is also possible to avoid queues due to continuous working. People can grab and go whenever they want at relatively lower checkout times. This results in saving of student and staff’s precious time on the campus.
Machine learning capabilities also help micro-market detect shopping patterns. The next time you proceed to payment, these can suggest products as per your preferences. This can help save time in selection and leads to more fulfilment and satisfaction.
4. Diverse Options with Proper Inventory Control
Hot or cold beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, yoga bars and so on; all of these are available in a micro-market. Therefore, universities and colleges can present students with a wide array of options. This is not possible through normal vending machines or canteens having lower capacity. Besides, storing important items such as stationery is also possible in these machines.
Since these markets are loaded with AI and data learning capabilities, it is also possible to keep track of inventory with ease. The machine sends out warnings for restocking at the right time. Following this, assigned personnel can come and take care of needs.
5. Better Convenience
Micro markets are equipped with countless cashless payment options including credit cards, online payment platforms, bank transfers among others. This makes it convenient for a student to pay since they usually earn less or rely on transfers from family members.In addition, the grab & go method and numerous options, as discussed earlier, add to this accessibility. Micro markets also have CCTV cameras to avoid incidences of thefts and shoplifting. This helps universities and colleges prevent major losses.
All this and a lot more make micro markets a viable choice for universities and colleges. We can even conclude that micro markets have changed the way we look at vending machines forever.
Are you looking for a micro market vending machine for your school, college or university in Australia? Ausbox Vending provides a diaspora of variety. Our micro-markets come with more than 300 nutritional options. These have dedicated managers to help you out with restocking and servicing. Real-time monitoring installed in the micro-market, on the other hand, assists with security.
Give us a call today to enquire and buy your own micro-market.