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Say goodbye to vending company Excel spreadsheets

Say goodbye to vending company Excel spreadsheets

The days of running your vending route business on Excel spreadsheets are limited and the importance of utilizing a solid vending management software program or system (aka VMS system or vending machine business software) is critical in today’s increasingly higher cost and lower margin industry. The unit cost of nearly all product categories has increased substantially over the last several years. In fact, it is not uncommon for five to seven percent annual increases in beverages and chocolates.   Therefore, managing your route data is more important and critical in making strategic business decisions. At some point, most vendors will need to utilize a vending management software program system to organize the data and make sound business decisions to stay in business.

We understand that many vendors are still using Excel spreadsheets to organize data and the idea of changing can be overwhelming.   One of the owners of Stream VMS has been in the industry since 1997 to this day. In the past, his company has used spreadsheets to organize data and process commission reports. Due to increased competition with larger vendors in the area, found it more difficult to secure large contracts without some sort of auto-generated reporting system so that customers trust they are receiving the correct commission amount. There is a certain level of trust or value that is perceived when using a vending management software system for reporting. Stream VMS allows your customers to login and view their current and past commission reports all via a web-browser with a unique username and password. When competing with another vendor for a large contract, most often the vendor utilizing a vending management software program or system with auto generated commission reports wins the deal. Why not consider a VMS system now so you can stay in business in the future?

Evolution of the Stream VMS system

Evolution of the Stream VMS system

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I have personally worked in the industry since 1997 as a driver, manager, and ultimately owner of my own vending machine company. While working for another vending company from 1997 to 2005, I witnessed two different “old style” VMS (vending management software) systems fail for various reasons. Either the vending route software program or system was too complicated or too expensive to maintain; therefore, the owner decided to stop using the systems altogether. Countless tens of thousands of dollars were spent on the two systems, neither worked correctly and ultimately failed.

The inspiration behind Stream VMS began back in the summer of 2013.   Started in 2005, my vending machine company, Hometown Vending, continued to spend more time than desired on keeping up with cash management and scheduling for each machine and location. In fact, we got the point where often times we stopped comparing route or machine tickets to the previous pull.   We simply did not have the time and the task became too cumbersome. It was then that I began searching for a vending management software systems, aka VMS system, requiring ease of use and affordability.

During my search for an affordable and robust VMS vending route software program system, I found one or two solid options, however, they were both too expensive to afford. In my opinion, the bottom end of available options required expensive clunky handheld computers offering either no or limited real-time data. I needed a system that provided real-time data, robust reports, commission automation, scheduling, inventory control, etc. all built around an iPhone app interface and web browser. After looking at most available vms systems, I decided to approach an application designer and friend, Jeff Rush, for help. Originally, the system was built to help my company solve basic math of comparing ‘todays’ pull with the ‘previous’ pull, thus providing gross sales totals for a particular machine or collections of machines (aka location).

After several months of coding and testing, we went live just before the end of 2013 with the new app and system, exclusively built for my vending company. However, Jeff and I realized that soon after going ‘live’ with the new app, we had designed and built a great system that could be improved and used to help other vending route companies. So all of 2014, we continued to add enhancements and bug test that would provide vending machine operators a centralized software system to help run their vending machine businesses more effectively and efficiently. After a year and half of adding features and improving usability of the system, the Stream VMS software system evolved into the effective and efficient system that we had envisioned from the start.

The Stream VMS software program system was designed by and built for vendors and is one of the best available in today’s data driven world; the vending industry is no exception. Vending operators can no longer afford to make decisions on guessing alone. They need a solid VMS system to help automate tasks and provide important decision-making data… Stream VMS can help!

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