Harvest had its beginnings in Peter's garage in 1990. For the first couple
of years our development efforts focused on an alarm dialler that exploited
the low cost and distance independent charging of the dial up X.25 network.
In 1992 we successfully adapted this technology to monitor Coca-Cola
Also in 1992, with the garage getting increasingly crowded we moved out of
Peter's garage into new premises on Norfolk Road.
This site gave us plenty of room to expand and our building
increased greatly in size over the following years.
In 1995 we started using analogue (AMPS) cell phones to address the problem
of vending machines that were too hard to get telephone lines too. We soon
realized that the higher unit cost of cellular units was offset by lower
installation and maintenance costs. Before long we had switched production
entirely to cellular units.
In 1999 with the imminent shutdown of the AMPS network in Australia and
the falling price of GSM phones we started production of GSM based units.
In March 2000 the vending part of Harvest Electronics was sold to Marconi
PLC and began trading as Marconi Online. By this stage we were monitoring
60,000 vending machines in New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
In April 2003 Marconi Online was sold to Coca-Cola Amatil and now trades as
Vending Management Services Ltd (VMSL).
Harvest continues to design and develop telemetry products for a variety of
Some of our press, including this from the
Bill Gates, in his book Business @ the Speed of Thought,
used the Harvest product as an example of rule #2 (Study Sales Data Online to
Share Insights Easily)
"Making data digital from the start can trigger a whole range of
positive events. The Coca-Cola Co. is collecting data directly from smart
vending machines via cellular phones or infrared signals. A PC-based restocking
program at the local bottler office analyzes the data and produces a delivery
slip that tells drivers which products and locations need to get stocked the