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Crane Streamware Debuts 'VendMax 3.5' Designed To Simplify Planogram Rollout

Posted On: 4/10/2005

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- Crane Streamware has announced the release of "VendMax/DeliveryMax 3.5," the latest version of its popular management software for vending, coffee service and foodservice operations. The company reported that the latest version incorporates substantial enhancements not only to the software, but also to the handheld computer for route and warehouse use. Its upgrades and new features benefit both current Streamware users and new customers.

One of the principal features of the new package is a simplified planogramming process that expedites deployment by new users. "Now, operators implementing 'VendMax' for the first time can configure all of their machines using just the handheld, rather than setting them up in the 'back-end' system first," Streamware said.

Chief technology officer Glenn Butler reported that this new process saves users time and money. "By eliminating a step in the rollout, we've dramatically cut setup time, and saved the driver or project coordinator some headaches, too," he explained. "And, if the operator's machines are all 'DEXable', the driver can simply 'DEX' the machine, capturing the full planogram configuration from the DEX file and simplifying the configuration process even more."

When a vender is thus interrogated ("DEXed") with the "VendMax" handheld computer, the program retrieves the complete planogram configuration stored in that machine's memory: spiral description, number of rows and columns, and pricing. These variables, specific to each machine, later are uploaded from the handheld to the "back-end" management information system, automatically "populating" the machine's planogram.

Streamware also has simplified the process of updating the product configurations that apply in common to groups of machines. By means of the "Global Product Change" feature, the user can replace or remove a packaged product in planograms, cold food menus and standing orders.

"With the click of a mouse, the operator can change the product in a planogram template, and have it apply to all the machines within that grouping," Butler noted.

The "VendMax" handheld system now provides for multiple visits to an account on the same day, which can be a time-saver when serving very large locations. In the past, drivers needed to upload the results of their fist visit, or make a manual ticket for the second visit, the Streamware chief technology officer recalled. "Now, drivers can do a second service, time-stamp it, and the handheld can distinguish between visits."

The "VendMax" cold food module, "FoodMax," also has been enhanced in Version 3.5. The system now can display historical information on the handheld's display, which can make ordering more accurate. "VendMax" allows cold food to be ordered by machine, or for the entire route. It then can forecast exact requirements, based on the sales history. Several new reports have been added, making food forecasting and production easier. And the new "Previous Order" column on the handheld display gives the driver a visual record of the account's last order.

"VendMax" is an open-architecture system designed to meet the demands of growing vending organizations. "DeliveryMax" provides account management, inventory control and sales support to route sales organizations including office refreshment, pure water and office products distributors.

Streamware was founded in 1991 and became part of Crane Co.'s Crane Merchandising Systems unit in 2000. Crane is a $1.6 billion diversified manufacturer of engineered industrial products. It is online at cranems.com.

Streamware may be reached by calling (800) 4-STREAM, or visited online at www.streamware.com.