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Living in a Box

13 June 2013

A vending machine supplier uses electronic boxes from ByBox to get parts to its engineers

Refreshment Systems, a supplier since 1967 to factories, offices, boardrooms and coffee shops, says it offers the latest energy saving technology in its vending machines for hot drinks. But to ensure the efficiency of its machines, it has a nationwide network of engineers to carry out repairs.

The problem is that when something goes awry, Refreshment Systems needs to get parts to its engineers in good time. This is where ByBox, which offers field service solutions, comes in. It delivers parts to electronic boxes (iBoxes) at night; the parts arrive before 8am the following day.

The iBoxes, says ByBox, are extremely secure and are situated at convenient locations such as supermarkets, train stations and petrol stations. They are, on average, 2.5 miles from an engineer, regardless where in the country the engineer is located.

For out-of-hours emergency repairs ByBox holds stock at its network of Forward Stock Locations which is always accessible. Engineers are alerted by text or email when parts are delivered and simply scan their unique access card at the iBox to collect their parts. Using the same card, engineers can return parts by attaching a return label onto them and place them in the nearest convenient iBox. ByBox then ensures the part reaches the correct return destination.

Steve Wright, service manager at Refreshment Systems, says its customers now benefit from industry leading levels of service and response thanks to the help of ByBox. "Our partnership with ByBox ensures the sometimes inevitable downtime on our customers' equipment is minimised. Our engineers can order parts up until 3.30pm and be guaranteed to have that part ready to collect before the start of the following working day.

"This has made a massive difference to the way in which we can structure each day's timetable for our staff and has also greatly reduced the time and fuel we wasted by having to relay around the parts."

Mark Garritt, ByBox MD said, "Vending machines were invented to make life easier, so they have to deliver round-the-clock convenience. Swift repairs are an absolute necessity."

Garritt points out that FM organisations today have a much wider remit than simply keeping a building clean and warm. "Whether it’s a railway station, airport, office block or shopping centre they now face the highly complex task of ensuring optimum efficiency of the building for the benefit of the people and businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week.’’

Included in this area of responsibility is the upkeep of all equipment ranging from air conditioning through to photocopiers and vending machines. ‘’Downtime owing to breakdowns is simply not an option so it’s essential any necessary repairs are carried out as swiftly as possible.

"With vending machines now commonplace it’s essential the infrastructure supporting the facilities management function is such that an engineer has the right part, at the right time in order to be able to quickly carry out the necessary repair.’’

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