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Key Advantages of ShelfAware’s Supply Chain Solution—More FAQs

disadvantages of physical vending machines

The ShelfAware supply chain solution utilizes a magical user interface that tracks the consumption of thousands of inventory packages in seconds. That data is leveraged by the ShelfAware web-based application to automate replenishment, ensure lean inventory quantities, and guarantee no stockouts. Learn more from the answers to a few frequently asked questions.

ShelfAware saves time and labor for both the supplier and the consumer—effectively automating B2B supply chains. Case studies have shown that ShelfAware is 85% more efficient than traditional supply chain processes.

Manufacturers consistently search for ways to improve operational performance and efficiency. Leveraging equipment, personnel, and processes can require a significant investment in time and effort, but there are some simple ways to get started affordably so that you can benefit immediately from measurable and profitable wins.

ShelfAware CEO Andrew Johnson answers a few more of the most frequently asked questions about this automated supply chain solution.

How Does ShelfAware Compare to a Traditional Vending Machine?

The current automation landscape offers significant improvements from traditional vendor managed inventory systems. Automation is one of the most effective ways to improve operational efficiency, and a great place to start is with an affordable RFID inventory management platform.

The traditional vending machines that dispensed inventory look exactly like what you would expect—similar to the same machine that stole your candy bar when you were in the second grade. However, even though they are unreliable and unable to track accurate and granular data, they continue to be the go-to for many manufacturing facilities.

These physical vending machines are limited in the amount of inventory they can hold, they break down, cost a lot of money, and require a human to physically restock it. A virtual vending machine, or digital vendor managed inventory (VMI) platform, is a much better solution for many reasons.

The ShelfAware platform focuses on RFID smart labels as a data collector. They are printed on standard Zebra label printers and applied at the time of shipping by suppliers. ShelfAware deploys an RFID checkout station on behalf of the supplier at the consumer facility.

This robust inventory management software platform provides visibility for your entire stock while reducing human error with automated critical tasks. Proper inventory management removes the heavy lifting from your business operations.

In fewer than 30 days, ShelfAware helps you integrate a modern VMI into your supply chain, automate replenishment orders, and eliminate stockouts and overstocking.

Industrial suppliers can serve more customers while reducing transportation costs when they have total visibility into their customers’ supply chains and can leverage data analytics to operate more efficiently.

Do I Have to Apply ShelfAware to Everything That I Buy?

No, of course not.  You can apply ShelfAware to one product vertical at a time. Also, you can apply it to 100 problem SKUs, for example. The ShelfAware platform is flexible, customizable, affordable and easily scalable.

Can I Keep My Supplier?

Many manufacturers have long-time, loyal relationships with their suppliers and want to keep them. Automating your supply chain doesn’t mean that you must change suppliers. If you don’t want to get rid of your current supplier, no problem. Set up a free demo today to learn more.

How Much Does ShelfAware Cost?

ShelfAware’s sophisticated software and hardware solution is a service, so it’s billed monthly for around $1000 per month. Once ShelfAware is installed, there are no other upfront costs. The hardware uses standard off-the-shelf Zebra products, so it’s inexpensive and readily available.

The RFID-powered smart labels add about 5 cents for package tracking. That quickly pays for itself with the massive amounts of consumption data they produce.

How Do I Get Started With ShelfAware?

Implementing ShelfAware’s robust platform is often complex but does not need to be slow. It begins with a group conversation involving a mix of finance, operations and IT professionals. A site audit (often multiple sites) is usually required before a proposal can be made.

Final proposals usually involve a formal stocking agreement, installation fee, and a product pricing quote. Onboarding consumers varies widely, but the minimum time required to convert a supply chain in most markets is about three months.

Want to learn more about an affordable way to automate your supply chain? Request your free ShelfAware demo 

Too good to be true?  ShelfAware is redefining the vendor-managed inventory industry. For this reason, we’re happy to talk to you about how our intelligent inventory platform can benefit your business. Contact us today for more information.


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