A vending management program consolidates the vending needs of large companies with multiple properties into a national account. It eliminates the administrative and financial burden associated with purchasing product, filling, repairing, and accounting for revenue from the machines. As with any product or service, however, there are certain principles to be followed for your company to get the most out of a national vending program. Here are five best practices to help achieve your goals of using a vending management company.
Vending Management Program Best Practices
1. Don't Hide The Machines
The whole point of having vending machines on your property is to provide convenient access to refreshing beverages or tasty snacks. If the equipment is tucked away in a corner of the property where no one really ventures, how will they know it's there? And even if they do know about the machine, will they seek it out?
Vending companies depend on the amount of sales from the machines they service. Likewise, a successful vending management program hinges on people using the machines, whether they're customers, employees, or both. If vending machines don't sell product, they're likely to be removed.
Pro Tip: If space is an issue and the vending machines have to be placed out of sight, provide adequate signage showing people where to access the machines.
2. Report Issues Immediately
It's no secret that vending machines can be fickle. Repair and refill issues arise every now and then, and it's the responsibility of your vending consolidation service to handle those problems and resolve them as quickly as possible.
But nothing can be done if problems are not reported.
The faster issues are brought to the attention of your management service, the faster they'll get resolved. Additionally, the longer equipment remains out of service, the more revenue you'll miss out on. The purpose of a vending management program is to provide quality vending services while helping your employees focus on core business initiatives.
Pro Tip: Keep the proper contact information available for everyone so they can report any problems.
3. Keep Property List Up-to-Date
It's important for your vending management company to remain abreast of changes that relate to your property portfolio. A successful national vending program maintains cohesion among vending services for all properties, so as new locations are purchased, the new managers should be aware of the program in case they need to report any issues or have concerns about their current service.
Likewise, if properties are sold they need to be removed from the program so their new management company can handle the vending needs according to its own process.
Pro Tip: Include information about your national vending program in your communications to new property or store managers.
4. Make All Properties Participate
The objective of a national vending program is to consolidate your vending needs into one account. Doing so provides a sense of consistency for your organization, from corporate personnel to field managers:
- One contract
- One commission check
- One point of contact
Some companies will use a vending management service, but they don't make the program mandatory among all properties. Most times it's because of organizational structure. But whatever the reason, having all locations participate offers the best result for your company as a whole to improve efficiency.
Pro Tip: The more properties that participate in a vending program, the more revenue you will generate.
5. Provide Ample Time For Store Closings/Openings
Particularly for retail vending programs, it's important to give enough notice when a new store is opening or an old one is closing. Vending is largely a logistical operation, with many moving parts that work together to provide a service.
That said, it takes time for operators--large and small--to schedule the installation or removal of vending equipment. Informing your consolidation service two days prior to a grand opening is not enough time, as suppliers often need to order machines first.
This goes for renovations as well. If a property needs the vending machine removed temporarily because new flooring is being installed, suppliers need at least 10 days notice.
Pro Tip: A good rule of thumb is to provide 30 days notice of a new store opening.