The vending business is a rewarding venture. A major share of the fixed cost goes into buying the machine. There and onwards, the cost is just variable. This means you incur these costs as you make sales. Hence, the recovery of this capital is what defines the breakeven point in a vending business. All the money you make from the machine after your break-even point contributes to your profit. That is why it is important to have a machine that has a long life.
Like all machines with moving parts and user interfaces, vending machines go through wear and tear. If you take good care of your machines, they will keep giving you success and happiness. Yes, we are talking about vending machines, not relationships. Thankfully good machines are designed in such a way that makes their upkeep easy. The key to a long cashable life of a vending machine lies in the following five steps.
1. Preventive Maintenance
Regular maintenance of the machine and its subsystems can help prevent unplanned downtime. Remember, downtime does not only mean spoiled drinks or stale snacks. The true cost of downtime is lost revenue and dissatisfied consumers. Periodic maintenance is not as difficult as it sounds. Some basic checks like cleaning blocks in the cash or coin validators and dusting the air intake can help significantly. The videos below show how you can do them both.
Cash or Coin Validator Check
Dusting the Air Intake
2. Upgrade & Update
Technology in the vending space is growing rapidly. Cashless and contactless payments were cutting edge a few years ago. Today, they are no longer a wow factor. You just need them to stay relevant. The demographics of vending machine users are also changing fast. The millennials do not carry their disposable income in cash or cards. They use mobile payments for transactions.
Touchscreens are quickly replacing push-button keypads, as they give the user a better experience. With fewer mechanical parts, they are also more reliable. The pandemic has also created a need for safe contact surfaces. UV irradiation technology can help alleviate some of those concerns. There are several other retrofit options that you can buy and fit on your machines to make them relevant for the changing dynamics of the market. You do not need to fork out cash to buy a new machine each time. These small upgrades are not only cost-effective they also increase the addressable audience for your machine and make them more profitable.
3. Reliable Parts & Consumables
Machines are designed, tested, and certified for how different components and consumables come together to meet functionality or safety specifications. This makes it important to use the right parts with the necessary certifications. You can avoid unnecessary machine failure or safety incidents by using certified parts. If you consider the cost of Mean-Time-Between-Failures (MTBF), the savings you make from buying spurious parts will seem trivial.
4. Professional Service & Support
Regular maintenance can be done by the machine owner or its operator. You still need to follow the user manuals and service guide for your machine. However, when your machine is in trouble, ask for help. Call the manufacturer or a reliable support partner. The vending machine is an intricate contraption. It is an electro-mechanical device with many auxiliary pieces of technology, like embedded electronics and cloud connectivity. Making a change in one component can and will impact others, too. While DIY is all the rage today, the value of expertise and experience can never be replaced. Your solution provider might still provide guidance on the phone if the issue does not warrant a visit. But that will definitely be much more informed and safer than getting adventurous with a complex piece of equipment.
5. Customer Satisfaction
Technology like Guarantee Vend can ensure that products are either dispensed successfully, or the money is returned, without exception. This makes your machine more reliable and the experience less frustrating for your customers. In return, the customers treat your machine with the courtesy it deserves.
A stuck product is frustrating for both the user and the machine operator. It not only results in a failed transaction but the machine is also incapacitated. Following simple instructions while stocking the machine can help avoid frequently failed transactions. This video throws some light on best practices to follow while stocking your machines.
6. Sustainable Profitability
The cost of buying a vending machine is the biggest expenditure while you start a vending business. Suppose you are already running a fleet of machines in different locations. In that case, the cost of owning and operating them is quite high. This includes costs like energy consumption, repairs, maintenance, upgrades, and others. Either way, these five steps can help you enjoy sustained profits.
Taking care of your machines is easier with the right solution provider, like Vendnet. Vendnet provides parts and supplies for a wide range of machines and applications. To know how we can help you enjoy sustained profitability, call us at 1-800-833-4411.