Smart vending machines: improved efficiency and customer experience
With a network of 280,000 vending machines throughout Japan, DyDo DRINCO, Inc (further: DyDo) offers exceptionally convenient retail for a variety of hot and cold beverages. While coffee is the mainstay product, accounting for more than 50% of sales, DyDo offers a wide variety of choices including juice-based beverages, carbonated soft drinks, teas and other drinks. DyDo is well-positioned as a leader in the retail beverage market, but intense competition requires continuous effort to deliver better engagement with customers and creation of new, differentiated services.
By applying IoT technology to establish an open platform allowing communication between vending machines, DyDo is not only be able to improve the retail experience for consumers but also offer platform services and features to other companies within the self-service retail ecosystem.
Business Development / Corporate Strategy
It’s easy to think of user consoles and APIs as commodity features, but I was surprised by the exceptional functionality of SORACOM’s SIM management functions and solutions. With SORACOM, we can check the communication status of each device, create our own script file to execute APIs, set tags and groups across the network at once, and have it all automated as we scale up.
Scaling to 100,000+ connected vending machines efficiently and economically
DyDo is working to expand its network of connected and remotely managed “Smile STAND” vending machines to about 150,000 units. A deployment of this scale holds enormous promise, but also makes efficient release and operation essential for success.
To ensure efficiency as they scale, DyDo sought a solution that would allow centralized operation and management using a single console with a broad rage of APIs while supporting best practices in IoT and maintaining low operational costs.
Improving the efficiency and customer experience of connected vending machines
Each Smile STAND vending machine is equipped with a Soracom SIM for cellular connectivity.
The SORACOM Funnel cloud adapter service allows the vending machines to send data directly to the cloud without requiring DyDo to apply an individual certificate or load SDKs onto each device.
Once connected with SORACOM Air, DyDo uses SORACOM Funnel to connect directly to AWS Kinesis Firehose. Device credentials are stored in the cloud allowing each Smile STAND vending machine to send data without requiring onboard credentials. DyDo is free to manage credentials for all devices centrally without pushing firmware updates over the air or requiring on-site updates via USB.
Time management in any space can be smart
Japanese consumers have already become accustomed to highly sophisticated vending machines, and “Smile STAND” will further improve the experience for both customers and suppliers. DyDo is now considering developing a server-free configuration as they expand release from hundreds to thousands of IoT vending machines. Additionally, they are looking to launch new services to increase efforts to expand the network of “Smile STAND” vending machines.