You’ve managed to secure the perfect spot for your new vending machine and loaded it up with goodies and change. Now you just sit back and wait for profits to roll in, right? Not exactly. The reality is that managing vending machines is an ongoing, if not daily, process. We’ve spoken to industry experts and long time owners about what constitutes the best practices. The following are recommended steps for ongoing vending machine maintenance.
- Regularly Scheduled Restocking and Cleaning. It seems obvious that machines need to be supplied in order to sell products, but the reality is deeper than that. Consumers are more likely to patronize a well-stocked machine than one that visually appears to be nearly depleted. Furthermore, those regular stockings are opportunities for quick once-overs for cleanliness and observation of any subtle mechanical issues.
- Maintenance–Even if No Issue is Apparent. Vending machine repair is a specialty service; however, even if your machine doesn’t display any problems, it may still need annual care to remain in peak functional order. Proactive responsibility can save time and money on future vending machine repair.
- Continuous Location Research. Some vending machine owners find a prime site and then never do any follow up on the area. Businesses change, rezoning occurs, and then suddenly their previously successful locality is now a dead zone.
- Inventory Tracking and Analysis. With the bevy of options to consumers now available, it’s vital that an effective vending machine purveyor stays on top of their own stock trends as well as new items in the field. If you simply restock all the same products, week after week, without examining your sales data, you are neglecting a valuable source of information! For example, in a snack machine in a school, no nut products were sold for five months because the school had a new allergen policy. If the vendor had noticed this trend after the first few weeks, more appropriate replacement products could have been selected, and less revenue may have been lost.
None of these recommendations alone will guarantee a financial improvement in your vending product. However, by following them, you can improve your business practices and thus your potential for success. For more ideas on how to grow your commercial vending enterprise, check out our blog.