We can’t tell you how many dysfunctional Office Refreshment companies we have seen in our years of experience. Dysfunction can come from family members, lack of technology, bad logistics, theft, selfishness, egos, and lack of experience. Dysfunction can cause a business to fail period. Using a company like us can provide an unbiased solution to help you fix dysfunction in your business.
ROUTE SIZE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Most operators ask “how many routes do you run”? The old days, that is how we determined the size of operators. Nowadays, that number could vary in thousands of collars. So what is the right amount to run off of a truck and still be able to offer great service?
Which is the best – for your operation? Visit our page on software systems.
Are box vans better? Cab-over? Smaller vans? This can vary for all operators – but in order to be the most efficient, what truck should I buy in my fleet?
These things cost so much money – the big guys buy trucks with shelving already in them, along with freezers and coolers – all built in. How do you compare to that? Well for starters, we have seen both sides. We can show you how you can equip your route trucks without spending a ton of money. It’s easier than you think. When we see route trucks with no shelving, we cringe… how can you ever be efficient without truck and van shelving? The answer is – you can’t!
How do you get accounts to grow your business? Don’t just take anyone who asks you to do vending for them. You should find yourself saying “no” more than you saying “yes” to a vending account. That is because every business wants to be able to offer office refreshments to their employees to keep them on location and offer convenience. MANY want “food” machines and “healthy” items. The old expression “just say no”….it works in vending too. You have to learn to say no. The customer is NOT always right. We can train you or a staff member on how to properly sell accounts in vending office coffee and micro markets. If you educate your potential customers correctly, you can operate the business and actually be profitable.
Ask any operator across this great nation – and what do you think the large majority will say when running a convenient services company? That is right - employees! Route Drivers are an operator’s biggest challenge. Don’t let the dog wag the tail – take control and stay in control. Until robots are invented to run routes, you will always have route personal problems. A driver calling in sick always ruins your day. Do you pay commissions, salary or hourly? What is the best way to pay for the best productivity?
Should you use the “free” bottler machines or buy your own? That is an indebt question but should be a focus in your business. Does it matter what kind of snack machines to use? Food machines – fresh or frozen. We can help you decide what is best for your business based on your mission.
Vending Management Software
So many choices nowadays – which one is best for your operation? Do you use Par Level Systems, Cantaloupe Systems, Crane Streamware, Vendsys, or others? Listening to a VMS (Vending Management System) sales person will always influence you that their software is the best.
If you are not using a VMS at all for your vending, office coffee and or micro markets currently, then deciding to go forward on a VMS is a very big decision. It can be a very costly decision as well. We have spoken to many operators who are not happy with their software systems. Often times, they leave the software and move to another software system. Talk about a costly mistake!
We have personally used several different VMS software over our 30 +year career – and we can tell you, none of them are “perfect”. Most organizations have similar procedures in vending, OCS and Micro Markets. Deciding which one is the best for your operation can be a challenge. We can give you an unbiased opinion and possibly save you thousands of dollars and hopefully, from making the wrong decision. We can coach you and even physically help you with the implementation process by converting and merging data into your current software system.
Are you new to micro markets? Are you scared of micro markets? Many operators are – but typically may be “forced” into doing markets as a defense to fend off the competition. Many operators are not skilled in what kiosk to use, what shelving to use, how much to spend, what coolers to use, what camera system to use – and how to manage it all. Markets are not for everyone – but your competition thinks they are so you better be ready when the competition comes calling on your accounts. We can come out and personally help walk and coach you through the whole process. We can help you decide what kiosk to use and even set it up for you. We are not biased to any brand – only the brand that is right for your operation. We can help answer – how will it integrate with your current software, if you even have a VMS (Vending Management System), and how to integrate it into your current operation. Most kiosk re-sellers will convince you that their system is the best – but is it the best for THEM or for your operation? Typically sales INCREASE when replacing vending with markets. Markets are not going away and can be an awesome revenue stream - it takes most of the headaches out from vending and allows you to be creative.
OFFICE COFFEE SERVICES
Many smaller operators shy away from Office Coffee Services. I hear things like “receivables are scary”, and “I don’t know which coffee machines to use”, and "how can we make money on providing OCS?"
We have been doing OCS since 1988 and we can show you what you are missing. Do you need us to train your sales staff on how to sell OCS? No problem! We have vast experience in doing office coffee service and can explain to you how it makes your company more money, more valuable, and more competitive. Many large OCS companies are always looking to acquire competitors, so is it worth it to jump in? Let’s take a look!
The biggest thing you hear about (besides Micro Markets) is prekitting. Prekitting takes software and telemetry to do it correctly. Many VMS companies offer this, but how does it work? We helped layout a 40 route operation into prekitting. We saw many, many headaches, wasted and damaged products, inefficiencies, and mistakes – these can help us – help you.
There are a lot of different ways to prekit – but which ones are the best? Prekitting allows your drivers to leave the warehouse which “exactly” what they need to refill a vending machine or micro market – and return at the end of the day with zero inventory on the truck. We put “exactly” in parenthesis because we haven’t seen it fine tuned to be 100% accurate; but it sure can get close.
For medium and larger operators, prekitting can actually allow you to combine routes and consolidate trucks from your fleet. But, what is the side effect you ask? Well, there are plenty – so maybe it is, or is not for your operation. A site visit or a phone conference can tell us and we can share our experience with you. We can coach you from start to finish.
If you are an OCS operator only, should you go into vending to grow your business? Let an industry veteran explain how it could help you, or put you out of business. From which machines to use, what prices to ask for, do you pay commissions, and many more curiosities. Maybe you are Googling “how to start a vending business” and come across this website. We are a great place to start – and we may be able to save your house….
Filtered water coolers are a great add on to your existing OCS business. But with so many manufacturers of coolers and filters, there can be many decisions to navigate.
Who is the best to partner with and why?
How often should we change the filters on a water cooler?
How much should I charge for this rental?
Do I charge for filter changes?