Did you know that Fastenal has a SmartStore program which sets up vending machines at industrial shops and factories? These vending machines can be stocked with first aid supplies, safety consumables such as goggles and gloves, cutting tools, general MRO supplies, and other such regularly used items.
Fastenal makes a few good selling points for their Smartstore industrial vending system:
- Reduce consumption and shrinkage (e.g. control who has access to what supplies and how much)
- Pay only for vended options (optional program where products are owned by Fastenal until purchased)
- Minimize “walking and waiting” time
- View real-time usage and inventory
- Automatic reordering and replenishing
In addition to traditional styled vending machines, a locker-style distribution unit can be used to dispense larger items such as chemicals, paper goods, hand and power tools, calibrated test equipment, and other such equipment. We imagine that non-consumables such as power tools would have RFID or similar tags to help manage and confirm their return at the end of a shift.
There are of course installation fees, usage fees, and software fees, but this seems like it could be a promising and cost-saving program for industrial work environments.