Case Studies

Matthew Algie & Southco: The Perfect Blend of Security and Style

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The Challenge Matthew Algie and their product design partner worked to develop a coffee vending machine called Halo for a premium UK retailer. As this was to be a standalone self-service terminal in a busy retail environment, they were looking to make the machines extremely secure, easy to use and low maintenance. Positioning themselves as an innovator in this highly competitive market, Matthew Algie wanted to enhance the security and industrial design of the machine by seeking an alternative solution to the mechanical lock traditionally located on the front of vending machines. They also wanted to remove pry points on the exterior of the terminal, such as handles to create a smooth exterior, differentiating the machine's design from their competitors' products. The Solution As this new product represented an exciting commercial opportunity – a move into developing coffee machines for the gourmet self-service market – Matthew Algie realized they would benefit from a long-term partnership with a company that would not just supply the product, but work side by side with them to help select the best solution for their unique application. Matthew Algie valued Southco's engineering and design expertise and direct experience in the self-service sector. Southco suggested that it would be much more advantageous for the coffee machine to incorporate an electronic lock instead of the traditional mechanical lock used on the machine. This was a significant change for Matthew Algie. Southco identified that the R4-EM Electronic Rotary Latch, combined with an EA-P1 RFID card and reader for access would meet all their requirements. The concealed nature of the R4-EM instantly enhances the aesthetic impact of the overall design. The lock is fitted inside the main cabinet and can only be released when the assigned RFID card is accepted by the reader. The reader is also hidden within the main cabinet of the vending machine, eliminating potential pry points and ensuring that the unit looks streamlined and stylish – a key selling point of the vending machine for the end customer. Another advantage for choosing an electronic lock like the R4-EM over a mechanical one is that it removes the need for physical keys. Physical keys can easily be lost or duplicated, making the application very vulnerable to human error or theft. With the Southco solution, access credentials can be easily deleted if an RFID card is lost or stolen. Electronic access solutions can also be integrated with existing software and network systems to make applications more efficient or competitive and make products more adaptable. In addition to meeting Matthew Algie's requirements for enhanced security and industrial design, adding an electronic access solution to the machine also makes it easier to upgrade the solution as technology continues to evolve. The Implementation Having successfully sold the Halo vending machine to their key retail customer, Matthew Algie believes that the enhanced design and embedded intelligence provided by the R4-EM helped to secure this business and position them as an innovator in the marketplace. Matthew Algie have a longer-term objective to integrate the R4-EM with software used for the touchscreen interface, removing the use of physical RFID cards altogether and allowing access to the vending machine through the touchscreen itself. Southco's expertise and the ability to advance product design is helping Matthew Algie to stand out in this highly lucrative, but increasingly competitive market. The Results After working together to conceptualise, create and deliver a solution, Matthew Algie are now in a position to not only enter the market for self-service coffee vending machines but to introduce a product to market that will stir up the industry. Customer Marketing Manager for Matthew Algie, Cristy Hargreaves, commented: "We are confident that working with Southco is helping us to innovate and offer our clients a more valuable and high-end coffee vending machine solution. We recognise that the self-service market for retail especially is demanding more and more innovation and convenience. Not only is it about providing a great product, but providing a great experience. With that comes a greater need to stay competitive." "Working with Southco has helped us to evolve as a business and given us the support we needed to develop vending applications with a difference, taking them into different channels with new possibilities," said Hargreaves. For more information on Southco's Access Hardware Solutions visit: CASE STUDY: MATTHEW ALGIE Southco's Series 2 R4-EM

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