Drinks Machines

(Mike Ando) #42

Our vending machine is looking a little weird these days while it goes through some “upgrades”. I’ve finished installing 80% of the LEDs in one machine. Progress is happening behind the scenes in this area and a lot of the code has been written for the LEDs but it’s not quite there yet. Expect the machines to continue changing over the following months!

In related news, dear gosh are my arms sore. You have no idea how much effort it takes to build up our stockpile this much. Diet Lemon has been replaced with Diet Creaming Soda, Pasito is back, proper Fanta/Lift/Sprite have replaced the generic Orange/Lemon/Lemonade lines, and we’re temporarily out of Mountain Dew because it’s hard to keep fifteen different lines stocked all the time. Buy another flavour for now. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Hamish McGregor) #43

Looks awesome mike… It’d be really cool if it looked like a normal machine but did that for a fixed duration (thing like 1-5 minutes) after a drink is bought, adding to the remaining time for each subsequent purchase. I know its a dumb thing to say given that I’m not going to be doing the coding for it, but from what I’ve seen with sub\donation incentives on services like TwitchTV it actually may provide more positive reinforcement for using the service than you’d initially think.

(Mike Ando) #44

Not going to give away any spoilers (mostly because I haven’t finished coding it yet so I don’t know what I’ll end up doing), but let’s just say that once the final LED strip is in place I plan to tap into the buttons so I can sense when coins have been inserted & buttons have been pressed. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Dave Morgan) #45

Is it possible to get a list of current drinks that are sorted?

Also ozbargain.com.au has a weekly sales comparisons against woolies, bilo, and coles.

Pepsi, Solo, Sunkist or Schweppes Can Varieties 24 x 375ml
2 for $24
($15.58, 39%)

(Mike Ando) #46

Sure thing! Our current stock levels are pretty high though, we’ve got >2 months of stock in around 80% of our flavours.

Cold Drinks machine:
Ginger Beer
Coke Zero

Coca-Cola/Port-Cola machine:
Mountain Dew
Ginger Ale
Diet Creaming Soda

Another point of note: we don’t buy many Pepsi/Schweppes flavours any more, because they don’t sell. I’m not having personal bias here, I see them regularly on sale at lower prices than Coke products and would love to have the higher profit margin, but they just don’t get bought by members. As in, the last time I tried stocking their products, we ended up having some of the cans go off because they went unsold for so long they expired. The only exceptions are Green Solo, Raspberry and Mountain Dew.

I’ve updated the links in this post so the URLs point to the latest iterations of the Coles/Woolworths/IGA online listings. :slight_smile:

(Mike Ando) #47

If you haven’t already noticed them on the machines, we now have some new button labels! This has really improved the machines’ appearances now that we don’t have dodgy Dymo labels stuck to the outside of the buttons. All labels are fully laminated for longevity and to help with inserting them into the large Cold Drinks machine’s tricky buttons. Also, I individually cleaned and polished the buttons’ clear plastic so they’re not all scratched & faded yellow and so you can actually see through them to read the new labels.

Thanks to Chang-Yi for doing up these video-game-inspired designs! If you can’t see them clearly (and if we ever have to print them again in the future), here’s the source files:

(Mike Ando) #48

I’m a little late getting this up; I’ve been crazy busy. Still, better late than never - here’s the statistics for the Drinks Machines over the last year. The short version is that they earned us a net profit of $2124 during the last executive’s run, during which we sold just over 4000 drinks at an average rate of around 75 a week. Yes that’s over 1.5 tonnes of drinks. :stuck_out_tongue:

Where to go from here: In the upcoming year, I’d like to finish the lighting upgrade by making the buttons interactive and a feedback source for the animations. I’d also like to finish the fitout of the other machine with animated lighting. Beyond that, the plan is to also actually start the exterior makeover of these two machines - at least one of them will be a Slurm machine but there doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus for the other one yet. I’d also like to lower their electricity consumption even further with some small insulation upgrades/repairs. And who knows, maybe the RFID swipe payment system will be activated some time this year too - at which point the prices will slightly rise if you continue to pay by coin, because it’ll be so much easier for us to manage RFID payments. If we have time, there may be automated statistics generation & reporting happening, too!

(Catprog ) #49

I was talking about it at work and a point was brought up. Does that profit include the electrical cost?

(Mike Ando) #50

No, that doesn’t include the electrical costs of the machines. I need to re-measure these machines since there have been some changes that would impact their electrical consumption, however I can conservatively say that these machines cost well under $200 per year (combined) in electricity.

(Beau Sandford) #51

I’ve gotta ask, where’s the loss in some of those months coming from? Without electricity or fuel etc factored in one would imagine there’d always be a profit there.

(Hovo) #52

Bulk purchases of drinks and sometimes a lazy treasurer not banking the money each month.
You can kinda work it out if you take some of the larger figures and attribute to some of the negatives.

(Nathan Beveridge) #53

I think we need to consult an expert on this… oh…ah… hang on :wink:

(Mike Ando) #54

Well we have some good news and some bad news regarding the financial situation of the drinks machines.

The bad news is that the accounting wasn’t correct. There was an additional amount of money that was meant to be deposited in the bank that wasn’t, and we have no idea which month to attribute it to, or months if it was actually belonging to many months - we don’t know. So this ruins a lot of my above graph and all the numbers.

The good news is that this means the drinks machines were even more profitable than I posted before! The missing deposit was for $1165, which brings the machines to a total net profit of $3289 with last year’s total takings now sitting at $5215. This means we sold over 5000 drinks at an average of 85 cans a week, representing over two tonnes of drinks.

(Andrew Van Werkhoven) #55

Sucks about the pretty graphs, but seriously? This isn’t good news/bad news, it’s awesome news/mildly irrigating news, those drinks machine’s are killing it.

On a side note, let’s not convert that number into sugar consumed for the year :stuck_out_tongue:

(Mike Ando) #56

If it’s any consolation, I don’t convert it to sugar any more because we actually sell quite a bit of diet soft drink and in particular a lot of bottled water through these machines. So it’s not all unhealthy sugar. :yum:

(Hamish McGregor) #57

The top product is still regular coka-cola by a large margin though…

(Mike Ando) #59

I’ve been lazy about updating this thread with vending machine stuff, so I thought it time to post this Tuesday’s activities related to the drinks machine. First up, more stock - 330 cans, a full shopping trolley’s worth!

Secondly, due to an inability to find a supply at what I consider a worthwhile price, Coke Zero will soon be swapped with Coke Life! Coke Zero will return if/when I can get it at a good price. It doesn’t have a long shelf life so it’s always hard to keep us supplied with Zero.

Next up, I’m working on fixing some of the thermal problems with the machines. In fact, there’s a few small changes to them already! The most visible one is probably is the addition of a single layer of insulation to the door flaps which you can see in the above photo, because these were uninsulated, poorly sealing, and we were leaking a disturbing amount of cold through there. Expect a build log with pretty pictures soon!

Finally, you might have noticed the Cold Drinks machine was playing up and not accepting coins this past week. This was because someone jammed the coin return lever so hard they broke the mechanism in the acceptor. I’ve glued the plastic back together, cleaned everything, serviced it and recalibrated it against fresh coins. Everything seems to work again! But please be gentle with the coin return lever - if it breaks again I’m not sure I’ll be able to fix it. And because replacing that part will cost us hundreds of dollars I’m not sure it’d be worth it and I’d be tempted to just disable that lever completely. This plus acquiring/loading stock took me ~6 hours on Tuesday, so please also respect that these machines don’t just magically continue working on their own, they require constant upkeep. :stuck_out_tongue:

(also a note to anyone who opens the cold drinks machine and accesses the coin counting area - please be extra-careful to put the coin return lever back in the correct position before you close this panel and the machine!)

(Mike Ando) #60

You might have noticed there’s a lot more Coke in the machines these days - we now have two lines of just Coke, one of Coke Zero, and one of Coke Life. Hopefully this means that the machines only need stocking once every other week now! :smile:

And the random line is going to start getting a little more… random. :wink:

(Mike Ando) #61

You may notice over the coming weeks that a few empty lines will begin appearing on some of the machines. This is on purpose - on a whim I’ve decided to mix things up a lot, and doing so will require a few empty lines to make room for a few new flavours. I just wanted to give some heads-up so I don’t have twenty people complaining to me that we’re out of Lemonade or something :stuck_out_tongue:

Stay tuned for a full flavour flush, coming soon…

(Mike Ando) #62

If you checked out the drinks machines on Tuesday, you might have noticed a few things different! The left “Cold Drinks” is still $1 a can and still stocks the most popular flavours (Coke, bottled water, Random, etc). Meanwhile, the right “Coca-Cola” machine is operational again with some new imported flavours… Dr Pepper, Welch’s Grape Soda, and Strawberry Fanta! :smiley:

Note that because it’s way more expensive for me to get these imported drinks, the right machine’s price has been raised to $2/can. Basically all of this price increase has gone to the fact that they’re more expensive cans; we make pretty much the same profit per can on both machines. If you think this price bump is an outrage, consider that a can of regular coke costs $2.50 at all the nearby restaurants and here I am getting fancy imported flavours for less than that while still making a reasonable profit for the space. I think I’ve done pretty well to keep the prices this low. :stuck_out_tongue:

The imported drinks machine is going to be a bit of an experiment (partially because I won’t be able to guarantee a regular source of any flavour, I’ve got multiple suppliers I’m dealing with, and I’ve got lead times of over a month for some flavours). I’m going to be constantly rotating the options available to keep it fresh and help manage my own supply chain hassles. Flavours will come, flavours will go, and things may not last for very long in there. Basically if you like something, buy it while it’s in stock! :slight_smile: