Many companies require their IT departments to fill out order forms or submit purchase orders prior to new computer parts being ordered and installed on PCs. However, Facebook has made it possible for employees to get their hands on the parts they need, immediately. All they have to do is to visit a nearby vending machine to get new keyboards, mice, laptop batteries, earphones or anything else they might need. Any time a Facebook engineer happens to break a keyboard or mouse, they just pay a visit to one of the custom-built vending machines, swipe their badge and key in their selection. The idea was established by Facebook CIO Tim Campos, whose previous idea involved employees swiping their badge at a digital kiosk to record which items they took from supply cabinets. However, not all employees recorded the items that they took. The idea for the vending machines came from Campos’ assistant, who discovered a vending machine at an airport that dispensed, similar to the one inside Twelve Oaks Mall. The vending machines are quite new, but have already helped to reduce the cost of managing replacement accessories by 35%! Although there is no cost to the employee for replacing a computer part, the price of each item is clearly marked in the vending machine so that employees can view the retail value of the item that they take. Campos hopes that the requirement to swipe badges before an item is dispensed means that abuse of the system should be kept to a minimum. Facebook has installed a total of 3 vending machines in their Palo Alto headquarters. According to Fortune, the machines could also dispense higher-value items such as phones and PCs in the future. Wow!
…It’s just cool. Employees love to see these machines.