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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Coke Machine Gets Networked and Analytical

This article includes some technical details about how Coke is using RFID and real time networked analytics in its new dispensing machine. The system will allow late stage product testing and differentiation. The kind of network intelligence always suggested, but rarely seen in retail at this level of sophistication. The business intelligence possibilities are endless. (Via Wim Van deVelde)

' ... Coke plans to roll out the Freestyle drink dispenser nationwide, eventually putting tens of thousands of them in places such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Willy's Mexican Grill. And while the machine is taking the concept of customer choice to new heights, the most interesting aspect is the technology it's built on. Freestyle will become Coke's front-line robotic army for business intelligence, sending massive amounts of consumption data back to the beverage company's Atlanta headquarters.

Freestyle will let Coke more easily test new drink flavors and new beverage concepts, such as adding various vitamin combinations to flavored waters and juices. The dispensers each contain 30 cartridges of flavorings that mix up 100 different drink combinations. The cartridges are tagged with radio frequency ID chips, and each dispenser contains an RFID reader. The dispensers collect data on what customers are drinking and how much, and transmit that information each night over a private Verizon (NYSE: VZ) wireless network to Coke's SAP data warehouse system in Atlanta ... ' (In InformationWeek)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this signals that CPG companies in many channels will own their own in store units and be paid by individual card transactions on each (no front store check out) and in the process regain control over "their own" consumption data? Stores become like old style markets where you wheel up your own merchandise and transact it yourself?

Stan Dyck