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SoftBank Targets Japan's Vending Machine Industry with AI

Source: Softbank

Tokyo, Japan - SoftBank has launched "Vendy," an artificial intelligence-powered service designed to optimize the operations of Japan's vending machine industry, which generates about 4 trillion yen (US$27 billion) in annual sales. 

The service, which went live on March 12, integrates AI analytics, communication devices, and a management dashboard to digitize and streamline vending machine operations.

Kirin Beverage, a leading Japanese beverage company, has adopted "Vendy" and plans to roll out the service to its group companies' vending machines, aiming to cover 80,000 machines nationwide by September 2025. 

The vending industry in Japan faces challenges such as labor shortages, operational inefficiencies, and waste.

"Vendy" aims to address these issues by providing a one-stop solution that includes AI-driven analytics to generate optimal routing plans and product lineups for each vending machine. 

The service offers multiple plans to accommodate customer requirements and existing systems. 

SoftBank developers conducted extensive field research to understand the industry's pain points and worked with Kirin Beverage to validate the service's effectiveness.

By driving digital transformation in the vending industry, SoftBank aims to help improve operational efficiency, reduce waste, and increase sales.

Kirin Beverage expects Vendy to reduce operating time by approximately 10 percent and increase sales by approximately 5 percent. 

AI-powered solutions like Vendy can reshape Japan's vending landscape, addressing long-standing challenges and unlocking new growth opportunities.

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