My Vending Route
After working with HUMAN for nearly a year and a half I have learned a TON about the vending industry. I have worked within the HUMAN team playing many roles including freight and machine installation logistics, marketing, sales, customer service, and administrative work. I have also played an integral part in putting together machine instructional manuals and videos for our partner operators. Flying around the country with the HUMAN CEO conducting location acquisition campaigns. Running a business takes hard work, persistence, resilience, and most importantly a positive attitude!
What else could I possibly dive into at HUMAN? Real world, in the field, vending operations!! Taking my skills from learning about the vending machines at our warehouse in to the field. After operating a machine at the Shalhevet School in Los Angeles for two weeks, here is what I have learned:
– You won’t know EXACTLY what the customers at your location will like best until you have a week or two under your belt (usually takes 30-90 days for total optimization). I learned quickly that some products did not move as fast as I’d like. What did I do about it? Got those specific products out of there! I then asked the students what THEY wanted to see instead, and Boom, 2 rows of the new product were both sold out the next day!
– Be 100% clear on what you are allowed to offer! At this specific location (a Jewish School), we are offering an all Kosher product mix. We did our due diligence, found some great kosher products, only to find out that some of the drinks and snacks did not meet their standards. Because of this, the administration actually unplugged the machine TWICE on separate days so the kids would not buy anything! I headed over to the school immediately and sat down with the administration to see how we could get on the same page…sure enough, they printed out all of the acceptable Kosher signs and the product mix is now totally dialed in. However, I probably missed out on 30-50 vends from this mistake…that’s cash out of my pocket!!
– Give out samples!!! Don’t be cheap here…I probably gave out 50 snacks and drinks and now have a group of kids who support the program and are happy to buy product. You should see the smile on these kids face when I am filling the machine and they ask “Can I get a bag of chips?” and “I say sure, what free drink do you want with that?” Simple things like this ‘buy 1 get one 1 free’ tactic when you’re there for 30 minutes filling the machine can pay off HUGE.
– Pre-kit your products the night before. I usually spend an hour each night putting the right products into my containers to get ready for the next day. Doing it this way allows me to head over to the school and not have to worry about scrambling to get product together during my busy work days…business hours are for high-value tasks…do this kind of stuff when you’re hanging out, watching football, or in between sets of your at-home workout!
STATS December 6th – December 16th:
This is a screen shot of sales from December 6th – December 16th. Keep in mind that the school was not open on the weekend, there was a half day of school on Friday Dec. 10th, and they unplugged the machine twice in the middle of the day (losing at least 4 hours of prime time vending). We are looking at 9 days worth of sales! These 414 vends equates to and avg. of 46 vends per day!
This is what 10 days of vending looks like at 46 vends per day! This does not include the huge bank bag of change I have. No, they are not all twenties, but there are a lot plus some ones ; )
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