FASTVend? Wow! Check out this newfangled vending machine!

FASTVendBy Kip Phillips, National Integration Manager for Kenton Brothers Systems for Security

We’re in the service and installation business—designing, installing and repairing commercial security systems. Our security technicians needed a quick and efficient way to get products and tools to help them do their work in a timely manner instead of spending wasted hours at a big box store searching for supplies.

After trying various methods to have in-house access to many common installation materials for our technicians to use during installations, we’ve implemented the Fastenal Vending Solution. Our installations require various materials from electrical tape, screws, conduit, boxes, drill bits, hole saws, tie-wraps and many more types of items and tools.

The FASTVend System

FASTVendThe FASTVend system provides access-controlled cabinets, lockers and vending machines to hold the exact parts we need for our installations. By having the parts available via access control, we can track the quantity of each item being used and which truck or project the parts are being used for.

Our technicians appreciate having the convenience of picking up their installation materials at the same time they are picking up system equipment at the KB office. This saves them so much time when compared to how we used to do things. (Traveling to supply houses to get parts and specialty tools.) This is a win/win because it also saves KB some of our labor costs. It also saves our project managers and staff in purchasing time because they don’t have to preorder basic install consumables for each project.

FASTVend includes weekly restocking of the material we use.

Fastenal receives automated reports of each item consumed.

Initially, as a group, the technicians listed the standard items they prefer for installations. After refining and consolidating the list of standard materials, Fastenal set up the machines in our warehouse. User codes were programmed into the system for each technician.

The initial list wasn’t an exhaustive list. Now that the system has been in place for a few weeks, the technicians have had a chance to add items they would like to see included in the vending machines. Building a complete inventory of items, and organizing them in an efficient manner, takes time and a collaborative effort.

Keeping the Trucks Stocked

FASTVendOur technicians use the vending machine system to keep their trucks stocked with basic consumable tools and installation materials as well as materials specific to ongoing projects. In the future, we’ll be able to use the locker system to receive drop offs of new tools. And we will place broken tools and dull drill bits in the locker system for pick up and repair by Fastenal employees.

This new system has significantly cut down on the amount of receipts and paid invoices we had to keep track of as new projects were started. (We aren’t in the business of storing paper…)

We still have room for improvement in utilizing this vending machine concept. But the FASTVend system is a game changer that’s already proving its value to our organization!


Solving Their Pain: Warehouse Security Project in Wichita, KS

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director and Brinton Hallum, Project Manager at Kenton Brothers.

The Pain

Wichita Project SpotlightA large warehouse customer of ours was in a lot of pain when it came to their various security systems.

  • The video management system was consistently crashing with cameras bouncing offline. On top of that, the user interface was not very user-friendly.
  • The wires for all the systems were a mess, making maintenance hard.
  • The Access Control system was in bad shape. Nests of exposed wires that weren’t labeled. Controllers accessible to anyone and often locked by a broken nail slipped through an eyelet.
  • The intrusion system had frequent false alarms and sensors that weren’t working.

None of these items were up to KB Standards.

Our customer takes a lot of pride in their business, that includes the security of their people, products and property. Their culture is “Promises Kept”. We promised them an enterprise system that exceeds their expectations and that’s exactly what we delivered.

The Plan

Wichita Project SpotlightTo ease their pain on Video Surveillance and Access Control, we brought in Avigilon.

Working directly with the manufacturer, we were able to design a system that will meet the needs of the customer and alleviate their pain. We also provided additional features such as License Plate recognition, Appearance Search and Learning Analytics to eliminate false motion triggers from blinking lights.

Avigilon Control Center directly integrates into Avigilon Access Control Manager, providing additional information for the video system. This means that they can search for video based on access control events like access granted/denied, door left open or door forced.

There are many benefits for a combined Access and Video system worthy of a blog post all by itself.

For the Intrusion/Fire system, we designed a Bosch Fire/Burg B9512G. This is the Cadillac of Fire/Burg and provides all the bells and whistles. We utilized a touch screen keypad to allow for visibility of Areas and custom triggers for Fire/Medical/Tornado. We tested each and every point, and adjusted so the customer doesn’t have to worry about false alarms.

The Team

Wichita Project SpotlightThe timeline for the installation was short, so we used several guys from the Kansas City office to get the job done.

Being away from home is bittersweet; there’s always places to explore, but being cooped up in a hotel room is trying. This time we did something different. We rented an Airbnb for our guys. Everyone had their own room, and they got to cook real food and have some bonding time together.

The guys worked hard and very well together. Each has their own specialized knowledge and skill set. This allowed them to focus on their own areas of expertise, but also help each other grow and learn.

Jeremy’s great knowledge of door hardware and all things conduit allowed him to create a camera mount that would keep the cameras level, even though the rafters weren’t level.

Tony’s knowledge of all things intrusion helped him troubleshoot the communication issues that popped up at the worst time.

Neeley’s great at the programming side and he rocked it out, but he also got to learn how to wire up the panels for the first or second time expanding on his capabilities.

This was Meshack’s first adventure on a large installation; he got a trial by fire and did a great job.

Kenton Brothers’ greatest strength is our team. This is one of many instances where our team pulled together and exceeded the customer’s expectations.

The Most Effective Warehouse Security Solutions Today: Part High Tech, Part Low Tech Fundamentals