Optimizing Your Vending Network the Right Way
In order to bring you the levels of profit you want, optimize your entire vending network with a focus on both the quality of individual machines and placements and quantity. Vending is not an industry in which you can make an effort once, leave things alone, and expect continuous income. Your network requires constant labor in order to flourish… or even survive. In busy, especially urban areas, locations and the people in them may change regularly. You need to stay on top of their tastes, spending habits, as well as new potential locations and what the competitors do. Gather information, process data, and constantly tweak your business network for maximum sales potential. There are three parts to vending network optimization to continuously do for the life of your business.
Accounting and Sales Trends
Tracking what sells, when, and how much facilitates bigger profits by telling you what products to stock in which locations and when the ideal time to restock and service each machine is. Keep track of all of this and more information in a comprehensive vending management software: machine types, product variety, fill dates, sell-out dates, money collection times, service visits, income, and profits. The more data you collect and track over time, the more likely any changes you make will earn you a greater income.
Over time, you will come to know both the high and low points for sales. This could be based on the day of the week or even the seasons, especially near schools or tourist locations. With this knowledge, you can change your stocking schedule or products offered to coincide with exactly when most people want them.
Route Planning and Changes
Optimization also focuses on the efficiency of the driving route your employees or yourself use to get from one machine to the next. This is not only the roads you use to avoid traffic, but also the time of days you go, and, most importantly, how frequently you hit each machine during a month or more. This becomes a detailed plan for each vendor, stocker, or maintenance professional.
Sales data tracking lets you know if all 20 of your machines must be on the route every week, some can get skipped every other week, or if you plan a different efficient route for every month. It makes no sense to drive to and stop at each location if you do not need to. Gas and time spent will cut into profits.
It is impossible to know exactly when a machine will get jammed or break down, but proper maintenance minimized the chance of unpleasant surprises and emergency drives to far-away locations. Learn to foresee problems and always keep every vending machine in tip-top working condition. Some busy vending machine companies may get several calls every day for problems like ripped up money clogging the machine, stuck products, or even vandalism that puts the machine out of order. Make a plan to handle emergent problems quickly and without disrupting too much of your regular schedule.
In the end, figuring out the quickest and shortest regular route for your vending machine stocking, service, money collection, and repair makes good financial sense for the business. Not only can your employees use their time more wisely, which saves you money on salaries or hourly pay, you save gas and products because you will only bring exactly what you need each time.
These types of determinations are relatively simple if you have 10-20 vending machines. However, if you grow your business to include 100 or more, more careful analyzing must occur. This keeps your vending company running like a well-oiled machine at all times.