The average life expectancy of a kiosk is five to 10 years. Kiosk components, including receipt printers, barcode scanners, and touchscreen monitors, may need to be replaced over time. In some cases, kiosk parts must be exchanged not because of damage or component part failure, but to keep pace with new hardware options or due to an organizational change.
Organizations that deploy and manage large fleets of kiosks realize the benefit of building an intelligent replacement part program, and there are some upfront steps that can be taken to reduce the need for component replacements.
The rate at which component replacements are required is greatly influenced by a kiosk’s deployment environment, including traffic and usage frequency.
A kiosk’s design and features should make the most sense within the deployment setting. For instance, self-checkout kiosks often feature bumpers and are designed to minimize the likelihood that a shopping cart will damage hardware components.
Outdoor kiosks are engineered to protect peripherals from harsh weather. These kiosks feature outdoor-rated kiosk components specifically designed to withstand the elements.
Based on where a kiosk will be deployed, the manufacturer can specifically design a unit that directly fits the needs of its environment, reducing the need for replacement components.
Not all kiosk peripherals are created equally, nor are all peripherals suitable for every environment. Rather than selecting peripherals based on low per-unit pricing – a risky strategy – the long-term durability and performance of the peripherals should be considered to understand the true costs.
There are some common measures used to evaluate the lifespan of peripheral devices, including “Total Service Life” and “Mean Time Between Failure” (MTBF).
Having a relationship with many OEM’s and firsthand knowledge of peripheral device quality, a kiosk manufacturer is well-suited to recommend components based on industry standards, OEM warranty information, failure rates, previous projects, and even lessons learned.
An experienced kiosk manufacturer can provide Total Service Life measures and, when necessary, make alternative recommendations for vetted components. This allows for a collective approach in determining how to move forward with a project.
By creating an intelligent, trackable replacement part program, organizations rolling out large fleets of kiosks can ensure uptime, improve the customer experience, create operational efficiencies, and save on costs.
Replacement Part Programs allow for optimization of replacement part inventory, seamless fulfillment of replacement part orders, and fast delivery of parts to the field.
The close collaboration between project managers, warehousing staff, logistics coordinators and specially trained field service technicians enables hassle-free part replacement with minimal impact on the customer journey. These teams can also work to create an intelligent replacement part program based on data from specific fleets of kiosks.
Relying on the OEM-provided Total Service Life measures, industry standards, and firsthand experience, the kiosk manufacturer and a dedicated maintenance partner may recommend replacement part inventory levels.
Inventory is stored at a centralized location to maximize logistical efficiency. The kiosk deployer has access to real-time part inventory and can initiate an order for replacement parts through a customer portal.
If a replacement part is needed, that part is promptly shipped directly to the field. A trained technician can pick up the part and perform the replacement, which can be scheduled for outside of peak operating hours.
Consistent documentation of actual occurrences can be used as an additional layer to OEM recommendations and industry standards. This allows for a custom replacement part program built for an exclusive kiosk fleet in specific environments.
Reliance on this type of replacement part program and the external teams supporting it greatly reduces the investment of internal resources.
When sharing a component’s life expectancy, OEMs assume that the peripheral device will be properly maintained.
For example, a printer that routinely runs out of paper or experiences frequent jams can reasonably be expected to fail more prematurely. With limited frontline human resources, some organizations opt for printers that have a longer paper roll, require less routine maintenance or reloading, and have an acceptable life expectancy. Elements such as dust and foreign particles can also impact component performance.
It is important that a field service and maintenance plan is established. Through relationships with dedicated field service networks, a manufacturer can create a program to support an entire fleet of kiosks.
Using a Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platform, organizations have been able to track the health of units in their kiosk fleet. At the OS level, these platforms can report on system information such as available memory and hardware status (on/off). Remote technicians can use the platform to run digital-first resolutions. They can even create automated workflows so that when a specific occurrence happens, a series of resolutions begin to take place.
The RMM platform keeps record of information that is useful to field technicians. Visibility into the health of the kiosks, as well as the ability to perform resolutions and updates remotely, helps to extend the device’s life.
Certain RMM platforms allow for remote monitoring and management of kiosk peripherals including barcode scanners, bill acceptors, coin acceptors, cameras, card dispensers, card ingest, card printers, card readers, fingerprint sensors, indicator lighting, payment terminals, proximity sensors, thermal printers, and touch monitors.
Integrations are available for common kiosk peripherals, but even if a peripheral-level integration is not available through the RMM platform of choice, a custom integration can be developed.
Once peripheral integrations are setup, the components can begin communicating information about their status and health. Remote actions may be used to trouble-shoot any component-level issue. If escalation of a specific peripheral device issue is necessary, field service technicians are notified, and a maintenance call is scheduled.
Just as routine maintenance extends the life of the kiosk and peripherals, it is also incredibly beneficial to keep a record of the peripheral device health and establish a plan of action to ensure the health of the kiosk components.
Whatever the reason, most kiosks will require a few replacement components within their lifetime. The rate for this need, however, can be slowed by having a kiosk specifically designed for use within its deployment environment in addition to following component recommendations by the manufacturer. Properly maintaining the unit also plays a role.
Fortunately, kiosk manufacturers not only engineer and produce kiosks, but they can also offer support in the development of remote monitoring and management, field service and a replacement part program.