Use DEX Technology to Transform Your Vending Machine Business
DEX technology was used to manage inventory and organize delivery routes for major bottling companies in the 1980s. It has now been adopted by the vending business industry and is in use in nearly half of all vending machines. DEX inclusion has resulted in more efficient route management, better inventory control and higher profits overall.
The more data you have about what works and what doesn’t, the more success you can realize. DEX technology provides these following benefits:
- Minimize inventory investment while maintaining fully stocked vending machines
- Track customer habits and interests to identify trends in sales and profits
- Record all products stocked, products sold and cash collection
- Improve profits across all machines that use DEX technology
How does DEX work?
Every vending machine has a VMC (vending machine control board) which performs all the transactional functions necessary to make a sale. These include coin counting, bill validation and credit and debit card acceptance. This information is gathered and translated to DEX format so that it can be accessed by the person in charge of managing that particular vending machine.
This technology allows the data to be transferred remotely to a computer terminal or access on a handheld device while on a service visit. There are multiple programs out there from different companies that help manage this data and develop reports that are easy to read and utilize. These reports can help vending machine business owners or operators make profitable choices about products and routes.
DEX technology captures information and reports generated that include product prices, total sales from cash, debit and credit, sale numbers for each product, the total amount of money held in the machine and other vital data. All of this information is essential for understanding if a particular vending machine is making money, which products to stock more of and what to do to increase profits overall.
What Benefits Come From DEX Usage?
With such a large collection of information gathered with DEX technology, people who run vending machine businesses no longer have to guess or do the math when it comes to products versus prices and overall profit. The following real benefits are obvious profit boosters.
1. DEX Helps You Plan Efficient Routes
With in-office data neatly organized on a computer screen that covers everything from how many products were sold to how much money is being made, it is simple to see how frequently each machine needs to be restocked. This helps plan an efficient route so visits are not taking place earlier than necessary for optimum sales.
2. DEX Can Eliminate Unnecessary Machine Service
Knowing when to restock or service the machine is essential for profitability in the vending machine business. For example, if all machines are being serviced every two weeks, but some of them still have plenty of products left, the operator is wasting time and fuel and profits. If you know the sales and inventory numbers by using DEX, the machines that do not need such frequent servicing can be grouped in another route to be visited every three weeks or as needed.
Vending management providers have reported that they could reduce routes by 20 to 40% after adopting DEX in their companies. That is a considerable saving in time and money. Even if your reduction is not as drastic, each service or restocking visit will thus become more cost-effective and overall profits will improve.
3. Pre-kitting Using DEX Makes Visits Quicker and More Efficient
Servicing machines without DEX means stocking your truck with every possible product, driving to the machine location, going inside to check the remaining inventory, going back out to the truck to find and load the products that need to be restocked, heading back inside and finally restocking the machine. These steps may also require filling out paperwork or punching in data to some sort of inventory program. A lot of time and energy is wasted at each route location.
With DEX vending machines, the whole process becomes much quicker and more efficient. Back at the office or warehouse facility, the vending machine service person can pre-kit his truck with just the products that are needed for each stop on his route. Pre-kitting is a term often used in warehouses which pertains to stocking only the needed inventory into a bin. In the vending machine business, this means the back of the truck will have set containers for each location on the route already packed with the products necessary to bring the machine inventory to full. No more running in and out and rummaging through a full truck to find the right products.
4. DEX Reduces Inventory Storage Needs and Waste
Holding on to too much inventory of any product is not cost-effective, and when those products have expiration dates and can spoil, it can definitely be a profit destroyer. DEX systems help eliminate this type of waste by giving you up to date information about every item stocked in all your vending machines, which products sell the quickest and when to order more of each from a supplier. Maintaining the minimum amount of each item means products are always fresh and on hand when needed. It also means you need less storage space, which can also save you money.
Using DEX provides many benefits when it comes to managing product inventory. Without buying access, more cash will be on hand for other aspects of the business overall.
5. Financial Accountability is Automatic With DEX
The driver and machine servicer no longer has to worry about shortages between the amount of money they recorded and the amount that actually is in the bag. DEX programming takes care of all of this for you. You will know automatically the total amount of money brought in and the number and types of both bills and coins in each machine.
6. DEX Reports Malfunctions and Repair Needs
Instead of waiting until that location is listed on the route schedule or until someone at the location calls you up and tells you there’s a problem, DEX enabled machines report malfunctions and other problems right away. These can include jammed bill or coin slots, jammed products or problems with temperature control among common vending machine issues.
When you find out what the problem is as soon as it happens, a repair person can be dispatched immediately in order to get the machine online again. This greatly reduces the amount of time with no sales and improves profits and customer satisfaction.
How to Determine if Your Vending Machine has DEX
The easiest way to find out if a vending machine uses DEX technology is to peek inside and look for the list of features and included components. You can also check the manufacturer’s website or documentation to learn more. Most popular types of vending machines have easily accessible online manuals.
What to Do if Your Machine Does Not Have DEX
Vending machines that are not equipped with DEX technology can be upgraded with easily installed VMC kits for not that much money. If you do not want to retrofit in this way, selling your older machines and using the proceeds to upgrade to new ones may be a better choice. Reputable vending machine manufacturers and sales companies can help you choose ones that are DEX enabled and will suit your needs best.
Vending machine business owners appreciate all the benefits that DEX technology brings. With all the information about inventory, sales and service readily available at your fingertips or in the office, routes can be planned with greater efficiency, products can be stocked for maximum sales and out-of-order machines can be brought back online quickly. DEX offers exceptional power and utility for the entire vending machine industry and will continue to do so with future advancements and development.