Optimizing vending machine routes, via identifying lead machines, is crucial to correctly scheduling the service frequency of vending machine routes. The lead machine, at each of your locations, is defined as the busiest machine in terms of sales. You simply set how often, or service frequency, to visit a location based on the needs of the busiest machine that drives the account or location. Successful operators go one step further and define the busiest selections or products and add or change the product mix to accommodate items most customers are buying from each of their machines. Many of the expensive vending management software, aka VMS, companies are touting a reduction of 25 to 40% route reductions or savings while utilizing their software. While this may be somewhat true, savings are only estimates and completely depends on the operator for making route adjustments by identifying lead machines at each location. Therefore, small to medium size vending machine operators don’t have to necessarily invest in vending route software. They simply have to identify important data and make scheduling modifications based on the data.
Route optimization leads to greater profits. Vending machine route optimization starts with a plan utilizing good data. Lead machines, at each of your route locations, must be identified so that you can analyze your service frequency. Often times, you will have locations or accounts with more than one machine and it important to identify the lead machine. Your service frequency or schedule should be driven by the machine that generates the greatest sales. Build your route or location scheduling around the busiest machine and your vending company will see an increase in profits by saving time, gas money, payroll, etc.
Effective scheduling is critical to taking good care and keeping customers. At some point, most vending machine operators lose track of their machines, locations, etc. and often start losing customers due to poor scheduling. We have been in the industry since 1997 and can tell you that most often vendors lose a location to under servicing. It can be really tough managing all the data from a machine or location; therefore, utilizing data often is crucial to growing your business by keeping customers.
This may sound crazy but you don’t have to pay for expensive vending management software system to optimize your locations and routes. Route optimization can be accomplished with spreadsheets or some other way of keeping route notes. However, it can be extremely tough for operators to continue to manage data without some help. A good VMS system can quickly provide you the needed data to make schedule adjustments and do make it easier to optimize a route. Stream VMS software system does in fact provide vending operators with machine data so that scheduling can be modified to make routes more efficient.