This week Vend is attending BALLE’s annual conference, a 3-day event dedicated to localism and building sustainable communities.
We’re looking forward to connecting with innovators, business owners and entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds, stockpiling as much information as possible, and then sharing it all with you, our amazing customers.
As BALLE sponsors, we believe independent businesses are integral to the prosperity of their communities, and can be a driving force in building a strong, sustainable world economy. As we have customers all over the world, we are in a unique position to foster these initiatives by sharing our collective knowledge and connecting our community of users
It’s exciting, and awesomesauce, and only just beginning.
Where: Auckland, New Zealand
What: MADE clothing brings together the best of kiwi and global design, in an eclectic and bright atmosphere that makes you want to not only want to spend a considerable portion of your pay check, but also consider moving in.
Love your customer: I’ll confess I personally have spent a great deal of time perusing the shelves and racks of the MADE. Their team have managed to assemble of shop where elegance meets play. If ever you want to investigate about merchandising, MADE is a great place to start.
Love your POS: We started using Vend 3 months ago and have found it straightforward and simple to use. So far we have 2 stores on it and are in the process of putting our third and final store up. We love being able to use iPads for our POS as they are compact and cost effective. All the readily available reporting and being able to access the data remotely is fantastic! - Margot Johnson, MADE, Auckland
Would you like to be Vender of the Week? Just email email@example.com ^TB
There are lots of intelligent folks working hard behind the scenes at Vend. People you don’t often see, but who are core contributors to Vend’s very existence. Amongst these are our support team, our awesome developers, and the dynamic duo know as DevOps. One half of this team, Morgan Pyne, you met well over a year ago. The other half is Dom, our resident whiz-kid. Have a question about anything under the sun? (Or even out of this world?) Just ask Dom. He knows everything.
1. Who are you?
I’m Dominic Scheirlinck, an infrastructure engineer at Vend.
2. What do you do at Vend?
My main job is to keep the service fast and available, 24/7. That means lots of scaling and optimizing work across our application and our servers.
Vend is constantly growing, so we’re also constantly adding new, gruntier hardware. And I get to be first to play around with it, which in my line of work is what qualifies for “great fun”. At the moment, for instance, I’m working on some truly impressive tin, helping to make it available to our main application and our retailers.
Because we’re managing a large number of servers, we also get to use some great tools. Puppet and git help us configure everything, and keep changes in sync. (Actually, we’re currently looking for good sysadmins, so if you’re sick of rsyncing config files around, come work with us!)
3. What were you doing before Vend?
Before joining the Vend team, I had the privilege to work at several excellent New Zealand startups. At Eventfinder and GrabOne I helped develop site features, and at Rimuhosting I got my Linux hosting chops helping customers with their VPSs.
4. Why Vend?
More than anywhere else I’ve worked, I think Vend has the potential to be massive in scale and revolutionary in impact.
In fact, this really speaks to why I became a web developer; it’s a wonderful privilege to be able to work on a product that is used, and found useful. The web lets me share the results of my work with huge numbers of people, even if they only subconsciously notice that 100ms speed-up!
5. Tell us something interesting about yourself.
As well as a BSc in Computer Science, I have a BA in Philosophy from the University of Auckland. Day by day, I’m finding more and more use for the latter. I can still give a half decent incompleteness proof, and enjoy explaining Cantor’s diagonalisation - logic is a far weirder beast than it intuitively seems.
6. Vend was an astronomical body, what would it be?
This week we had a chat with Galen King, founder of Lucid Design and Bridge Street Collective, about his innovative approach to space, business and Vend.
Their story is so remarkable we just had to (make Galen) tell it all.
by Galen King, founder of Lucid Design and Bridge Street Collective
The Bridge Street Collective
The Bridge Street Collective is a co-working studio, café and gallery space in the heart of Nelson City.
One of the largest members in the space is Lucid Design which has a team of six—five of whom are based here in the Collective. We established the Collective as we wanted to work in a fun, stimulating, shared environment amongst a bunch of other creative people - without needing to grow the team too big.
There are currently around 20 members in the collective and membership is made up of web and graphic designers, landscape architects, urban designers, architectural designers, writers, photographers, travel agents, non-profit organisations and more.
We don’t have a strict policy on the types of businesses we bring in as long as they are keen to share space and are fun, friendly and collaborative.
More than just a space, the Collective is a community and we are working hard to grow this side of the initiative with regular events, meetups etc.
Last year, we opened a café in the Collective. Right in our co-working studio, it is open to the public and is frequented by members, many regulars and business people. We are very fortunate to have a fantastic duo running the café and we have quickly earned a great reputation for fantastic coffee and cabinet food. Not to mention the space and the atmosphere!
We also have regular exhibitions showcasing local and national artists and are quickly earning a reputation for having a great, contemporary art space. We’ve had some fantastic exhibitions so far from artists as far away as Auckland. And we’re hoping to bring in some international artists this year too.
Love your POS (and its API)
We chose Vend as our point of sale platform from the beginning because we wanted something cloud-based that could run off an iPad.
The best thing about Vend is that the team can manage products, stock, prices etc from anywhere in the world as well as checking reports to see how we’re going.
Also, because Vend has an API, we thought it would be a fun side-project to build a big, beautiful, interactive menu board to display prices (and other stuff!) in the café. Our little app, Menuboard, was born out of this and is currently in closed beta. But we do intend to open it up to other users soon so are keen to hear from anyone who would like to use it.
The long-term goal is that pricing and availability can be synced with Vend and/or Shopify and we have many ideas for other “connected” services (including doing something cool when money is dropped in our wi-fi connected tip jar!).
If anyone is travelling through Nelson, they are welcome to visit us and spend a day in the Collective as our guest.
Would you like to contribute to the Vend blog? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many reasons business owners are moving their operations to the cloud. Accessibility. Scaleability. Usability. Portability. Customisability. Affordability. Compatibility. Awesome-ability.
Then there is the wonderful world of the add-on(ability).
What is a product add-on? And what can it do for your business?
A product add-on is an external application that “talks” to Vend in order to automatically share key information. For instance, when you integrate your Vend POS with Xero accounting, your sales are automatically posted to Xero. Which means you don’t have to spend hours entering figures yourself.
Different add-ons do different things.
You may need an add-on for core business operations - like Timely, Xero or Shopify. Timely integrates appointment software with Vend, to simplify product and customer management. Shopify is an ecommerce platform. Integrating Vend and Shopify means you can track sales and inventory centrally from Vend.
Then there are the apps that give you insights into your business operations. PeopleMine provides a wealth of customer metrics so you can create targeted marketing campaigns and promotions - and gain customers for life.
Finally, there are apps that help you add value to your current operations. Like ShoppinPal. ShoppinPal allows your customers to create gift registries, share their shopping baskets, and review your products for other customers to see. It moves the online functionality customers love into your physical store. Which is amazing.
And right now, ShoppinPal is in beta and looking for testers. Which is a great way to get your foot in the door and stay a step ahead of the competition.
Calling all beta testers!
Beta-testing new add-ons is a great way to keep ahead of the curve, and on top of the game. Plus, it makes your life even easier as beta-testers typically have the onboarding process taken care of for them, and often get great promotional rates as well.
If you are interested in beta-testing new Vend add-ons, just subscribe to our Beta Forum. You’ll be informed of every opportunity as it rears its wonderful head.
Who: The Food Vault
Where: Auckland, New Zealand
What: Beautiful food, friendly faces, delicious coffee and beautiful food. Did we mention the food? If delicious things to eat are among your interests - and you happen to live in New Zealand - we recommend heading to The Food Vault. You will find delicious things in droves. Irresistible droves. Of delicious.
Love your customer: Watching a small locally run business grow from a brilliant idea to a wonderfully executed reality is so rewarding for us. These guys have not wavered from their dedication to quality for an instant. And boy is it working.
Love your POS: Vend is awesome!!! I run a cafe deli and use Vend. In fact my business would not run as well as it does without Vend. - James Everett, The Food Vault, NZ
Would you like to be Vender of the Week? Just email email@example.com :) ^Tara
Vend won both the Innovative Hi-Tech Service Product and the Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year (under $5M revenues)
The award judges, who included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Google’s director of engineering in New York Craig Nevill-Manning, had this to say:
“Vend’s objective of ‘moving every bricks and mortar retailer onto the cloud’ and its execution of a strategy to achieve this goal impressed us. With thousands of retailer customers in more than 100 countries, Vend is well on the way to being a real NZ IT success story and has plenty of growth left in it yet.”
We would like to offer special congratulations to our friends at Xero, who took the top honours on the night, winning Hi Tech Company of the Year, as well as Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year (over $5m revenues). We also wish to congratulate our fellow finalists, including Carnival Labs, 3i Innovation, KlickEx & Shapeshifter.
Every year the NZ Hi Tech Awards grow bigger, and feature more innovative and fast growing companies. If there was a recurring theme to the speeches by presenters and winners on the night, it was that the hi-tech industry is the future of New Zealand.
We couldn’t agree more, and we at Vend are incredibly proud to be a part of that future.
We were also quite chuffed to get to wear three piece suits twice in two weeks. But we don’t expect it to start a trend.
Where: Newcastle, Australia
What: Known as The Cruelty Free Emporium, Ethicology provides their area with vegan, animal-friendly products of all types. From natural body care options to tasty vegan dainties like “Notzarella”, you’ll find everything you need to look after your body, guilt free. That’s an amazing feeling.
Love your customer: Following one’s passion and taking a stance is not the easy path. It’s usually an uphill battle strewn with obstacles and even opposition. But with a lot of stick-with-it-ness and hard work, it is incredibly rewarding. We’re stoked that our services can provide go-getters like Ethicology with the support and spare energy they need to stick to their guns.
Love your POS: We chose Vend as we are passionate about Veganism and inspiring people to think differently, spend wisely and make ethical choices. This is “Our Why”.
We are not so passionate about book keeping, paperwork, stock control etc. We needed a system that would support that so we can spend our time doing what we love. That’s why we are in business - to do what we love. -Natalie Eiser, Ethicology, Australia
Want to be Vender of the Week? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org! -T
Three piece suits. Espresso coffee from fancy cups. Charts going up. The not-so-subtle placement of a frequent flyer card in the waistcoat pocket.
It can only mean one thing. Yes, it’s business time.
Today we are pleased to announce that Vend has secured a further $8 million of funding to invest in our product, and expand operations in New Zealand, Australia, USA and Europe.
We welcome new investors from Australia, including Craig Winkler, MYOB founder and a cornerstone investor in Xero, and Paul Bassett and Matt Rockman, co-founders of Seek.com.au. In New Zealand, The Milford Active Growth Fund, managed by Brian Gaynor, has joined as a new investor. Further capital has also been raised from existing investors at home and abroad, including Point Nine Capital in Berlin.
“Most of the best innovation in business software today is happening in the move to the cloud. Vend is at the forefront of that move, with tools to help literally millions of small and medium retail businesses serve their customers more efficiently,” says Craig Winkler. “It’s a great investment.”
We wish to thank all our investors for backing us, and the team at Vend, for working incredibly hard toward our goal of building the world’s best retail platform.
Most of all, we would like to thank our thousands of customers worldwide for choosing to run their retail stores on Vend. We will be using this capital on your behalf, with great care, to deliver a better product and better service, in more timezones and, soon, we hope, in your neighbourhood.
So it’s time to get busy. It’s business time.
But don’t worry, the whiteboard may be real but the suits are just for Formal Friday. We’ll continue doing things the Vend way. If you’re curious to know what that looks like, here is a good place to start.
PS, we’re hiring.
Who: Baa Ram Ewe
Where: Leeds, UK
What: A most scrumptious wooly establishment with a beautiful showroom, incredible range, and wonderful staff, Baa Ram Ewe is winning hearts and hands the world over. You know those crafty things you always wished you could do? Team Baa Ram Ewe will show you how.
Love your customer: It’s been an intense and exciting time for baa ram ewe as they opened a second store and an online shop. We’re stoked that we are able to help them take these steps and grow their business. Integrating and streamlining operations is crucial to making sure everything runs smoothly and that we are able to give our customers the best possible service.
Love your POS:It was a big job importing over 5,000 products to a brand new POS system and webstore - but the Vend team are friendly, helpful and supportive, despite being on the other side of the world!
Staff quickly got the hang of navigating their way round the interface, and we now looking at getting started with Xero integration. It’s a great system to help a small team like us deal with a lot of products and a lot of sales quickly and efficiently. -Verity Britton, UK, Baa Ram Ewe
Want to be Vender of the Week? Just email email@example.com! ^Tara