In many corporations, it’s nothing short of an interdepartmental affair when you want to request a new computer accessory. But in a social network company whose site is used by over 750 million users — Facebook, of course — getting a new keyboard isn’t any more complicated than getting a drink from the vending machine.
In June, Facebook received three custom-made vending machines at its Palo Alto headquarters. They’re not your average thirst-quenchers, but machines that hold things like keyboards and flash drives. They were evolved from a previous idea of Facebook CIO Tim Campos — a freely accessible supply cabinet with a computer next to it for logging purposes.
It turns out that grabbing an accessory from the cabinet is so convenient that “only about 5 percent of the time did people bother to tell the kiosk that they took an accessory.” In other words, no one knew exactly who took what 95 percent of the time. That’s bad for accountability.
The vending machines solved the problem by requiring employees to swipe their badges before telling the machine what they want. Apart from being awesome, the machines also help Facebook save the cost of managing replacement accessories by about 35 percent.
Source: Fortune Tech