Monthly Archives: August 2016

Pascal’s Wager – Quality and Costs

Mike Masone - Sales Director, SlabbKiosks

Mike Masone – Sales Director, SlabbKiosks

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Pascal was what you would consider a pretty clever fellow despite the fact that he had nothing to do with Kiosks or Self Service.

At 16 he flapped the unflappable Rene’ Descartes with a mathematics paper he published countering some of RD’s assertions.

By age 20 he created a calculator to help his father sort out regional tax records…pretty simple feat today, in the 1640s…not so much!

He also invented the syringe and hydraulic press…why not, those are handy to have around.


Later in life Pascal became a devout (even for France) Catholic which went a bit against the grain for a man of his occupation at the time. He explained his position with all of the spirituality you would expect from such a pragmatist and in the process pretty much invented decision theory:

god exists

Clearly defining risk, reward, and their interplay and its application to behavior was revolutionary. With infinite stakes any risk is too high.

Similar logic applied to customer facing tech gives us:

customers care

Eternal Commercial Damnation or Bliss is decided by only one god – the customer. The question becomes at what fraction of cost is it worth risking the wrath of a whole customer?

Cheaper is always available and is by definition incrementally less expensive. Your customer may not care or notice that you are spending less on their experience, then again, you may not find out until it is too late or not at all.

Remember, there are no unhappy customers…they just leave, they don’t tell you why, or even show you why…they simply cease being your customers and move on to the next option.

In every game, you must know what the stakes are before deciding on a strategy. When it comes to cost cutting, money isn’t what is at stake – Customers are.

Reach out with any questions, issues, insights, and especially disagreements. Monsieur Pascal would appreciate it!

A Few ABC’s of OEM Kiosks

“If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.” Sydney Madwed.


I think the same can be said for business success as well – every organization should find their ‘unique factor’, focus on it and nurture it, in order to be successful. We’ve seen this work time and time again. Apple, Facebook, Amazon and so many more other successful companies. The common thread with them all is that each have a unique business proposition that they continue to improve on daily.


The same can apply to the kiosk industry. There is still definitely a need for standard models, but the success for businesses that utilize kiosks, is in how it is customized. It is an important factor to ensure that the kiosk not only achieves the goals of the business, but also the needs of the customers/end users of the kiosk. It’s one of the reasons that the industry is seeing a chage or a ‘merging’, so to speak, of the traditional kiosk with the traditional vending machine, resulting in unique units or what the industry terms as OEM kiosk solutions.


A recent article on, titled Vending kiosks: the latest trends cited “new kiosks [that] are offering products that range from cars to cannabis”. It’s considered new because many of these products were never sold via machines. This means that the kiosks being created to facilitate self-service sales must be uniquely designed to accommodate these products while ensuring that the kiosks can be easily used by consumers.


Self-Checkout OEM Kiosk

Self-Checkout OEM Kiosk

OEM or custom solution kiosks allow organizations to get a kiosk that is built to suit their specific requirements as opposed to a standard kiosk that is reconfigured as best as possible to perform specific functions. Because these designs are unique they often cost more than a standard kiosk. Despite this, many organizations choose to purchase custom solutions, because it ensures that it accommodates or delivers a specific product or service in a more convenient way. Most would agree that the unit ultimately pays for itself, as end users now have a self-service option to purchase products they never could via this means, before. It enhances their service experience, resulting in increased use of the unit.


Automated Vending Kiosk

Automated Vending Kiosk

We continue to see a few of these OEM units in the retail industry, so that traditional brick-and-mortar stores or online retailers can extend their physical presence at locations where a physical store might not have been feasible or cost effective such as at indoor shopping malls, airports and many other high-traffic locations. The accessibility of the units, coupled with the growing trend of customers embracing self-service technology, make these units a great alternative for many businesses.



Recycling Kiosk

The retail industry is not the only one adopting this new technology. Many educational facilities use units to provide printing facilities for students, or administrative management services coupled with wayfinding applications, allowing for a multi-purpose unit. The healthcare industry also uses wayfinding units that may also provide check in or registration services.



The beauty of these units is that they can be customized to provide locker systems or be placed outdoors, or for payment, printing or self-checkout services. They also incorporate many of the new technologies including EMV capabilities and biometric verification including fingerprint scans and signatures. The units allow businesses to use customized software or applications to provide precise functionality along with the appropriate components that ultimately will determine the size and dimensions of the kiosk. The financial investment and time taken to create these unique units may be substantial, making it extremely important for businesses to choose the right kiosk provider that is able to work collaboratively with them from concept to creation.