Basic Vending Sales Presentation

Basic Vending Sales Presentation number one don’t be late and if you are call and apologize.  Basic Vending Sales Presentation number two  Get there in plenty of time to ride around in the parking lot in order the count the cars for population and to see how many deliver vehicles and other walk in traffic is there.  Basic Vending Sales Presentation number three meet your contact and ask him questions about his current vending service and how he thinks it could be run better.  Basic Vending Sales Presentation number four  Ask to go see the current vending machines.  Most times you can show the contact machines that are dirty or with stale product.   Basic Vending Sales Presentation Number Five  Point out everything that is wrong with the service he now has but be careful not to look like you are bad mouthing too much.  Fine Line. Tell him how your service would be better.  Listen to him and tell him how you could improve what he has.  .

Basic Vending Sales Presentation Have a plan and practice it. Always ask positive leading questions like:

  • What do you like about the vending service that you have right now?
  • If you had a choice is there anything you would change about your vending company right now?

Listen to these answers and with that you have enough info to make a very professional sales presentation in vending. You’ll want to cater your presentation.

Most of the time you already have the products they want, so by asking questions you will learn what all you need to do there.

Next, you’ll explain how your system works and incorporate in it the things they like right now and that you will fix the things they don’t like right now.

The majority of the complaints about vending is not product but service related, so ask plenty of questions to understand how to cater to that prospect.

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Tom: Hi I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show and today we’re talking about  basic vending sales presentation. So, Larry Towner’s here with us, so what is a basic sales presentation look like?

Larry Towner: Well, so we wanted to just go over some of the basic things cause I … let me tell you the genesis of this story. I was sitting in my new job, as it were, and we had a coffee man come in and he was gonna do a sales presentation to us at the shop that I work at. I was like, “Okay. This sounds like fun. I’ve been selling coffee for a little while, selling vending and coffee and doing all of this stuff for a little while.”

Larry Towner: It spurred this idea to come up with how to do the basics of a sales presentation. This guy come in and he had set up an appointment. He had done a cold call and he had set an appointment to come in and talk to us at eight o’clock in the morning.

Larry Towner: Let’s talk about the first thing. Tom, when should you show up at for an eight o’clock appointment? A: at 5:00, B: 8:00, C: 8:05, D: Next week.

Tom: Well I would say B, but …

Larry Towner: I would say that’s A or B. By the time 8:00 rolls around, you better be there and ready to go. Don’t show up late. If you are gonna be late, even if it’s a few minutes, make sure you call and talk to the man or woman or whomever you’re talking to and who you’re presenting to. In this case, we had eight people standing there waiting for this to happen and he was late. It started him off on the wrong foot straight away, so be on time. Number one.

Larry Towner: So number two. Have a plan. Understand what you’re trying to do. Come up and practice this once in a while. When you go in to do a vending presentation, always ask lots of questions, right? So one of the first questions is, and stay positive, what do you like about the vending service that you have right now. Listen, right? Pay attention to what they say, then cater your presentation to what he said right after that. So what do you like, so if there was anything and also again staying positive, ask another question.

Larry Towner: If you had a choice is there anything you would change about your vending company right now, and listen to what he says. Then you can go in and you can say okay, with that, those two questions right there give you enough information to make a very professional sales presentation in vending, because what you’re going to do is cater your thing. If the fella says, you know, we just don’t have the products that we want here. Fella or woman I should say, because many times you’ll make a call to a woman. But, if the person says to you, “You know, we just don’t have the products that we want here”. “Well what kind of products would you like?” Another question right? But again, you want to listen and half the time those products are going to be on your truck anyway, so all you’re really doing is finding out what you’re going to need to do there.

Larry Towner: You’re just asking a series of questions and then you go, “Well here’s how our system works” and you have a pre-prepared statement of how your system works. Now, you’re going to modify that a little bit and incorporate, of course, all the things that they said that they liked about what they have now and you’re going to fix all the problems for the things they don’t like right now. So, if the guy comes in and he says, “Well you know the product, you know if I had to change anything, I’d make sure that the products are in date”. So, when your going down your presentation and you say “Well here’s how our system works”. We come in every two weeks. Well the first thing we do is we open the machine and we check all the dates, and we’ll remove any of the product out of there, that’s out of date or close to date.

Larry Towner: So immediately, you’re doing two things. You’re showing what you do and you’re also showing how you’re going to fix what they don’t like about their situation right now. That’s the basics of a sales presentation. Ask some good qualifying questions, and the two questions that I just asked out there, you want to stay positive. Don’t say what do you not like about your vending company right now?, you don’t want to say that. You want to say if there was anything you would change, what would you change? And, he’ll, he or she, will come out and tell you exactly what it is that they don’t like about the vending company and conversely, what do they like about what they have? Because, of course, to be successful you want to do what they want. We would hope anyway. Do you agree with that Tom?

Tom: That sounds like a great plan Larry.

Larry Towner: It’s really tough. Really tough.

Tom: I’m sure it is. It’s just a matter of getting some new habits going though.

Larry Towner: It is a question of habits, and it’s a little bit of a question of being, of just maintaining a positive spin on it and you don’t need to badger your competition, because they’ve already done that. If you have the opportunity to be in there, there’s something there that’s not right with the customer, and the customer will eventually tell you. You just have to keep asking those questions and if it gets down to it, says you know, because this is the question you’ll get. “His products are just too much money”. Your only answer to that, really is, “Well this is driven largely, you’re in business yourself, if you’re costs exceed your income, what’s that called? It’s called a loss and our company, we need to run at a profit, just like your company. Unfortunately, we don’t control the costs of our products and we don’t control the cost of gas and all of the expenses that go along with this business. The product costs what the product costs.”

Tom: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Larry Towner: That’s the only answer to have in those kinds of situations, but other than that, most of the time if they’re looking to, if you’re there, there’s a reason that you’re there. It’s usually service related, so, anyway.

Tom: Thanks so much Larry. If you want to subscribe to get more vending business tips like this The Basic Vending Sales Presentation, you’ve been watching the Vending Business show a publication of A & M Equipment Sales.

Great Vending Machines that can go in any location is the Dixie Narco 501E and the Automatic Products 113 Snack Machine

Vending Operators Cause Their Own Service Calls

Vending operators cause their own service calls by the actions or in-actions of the route man:

  1. Without a well planned and timed service schedule (or route scheduling system), your machines will run out of product… and cause a service call.
  2. You leave out of date product in your machines… “I bought the product and it’s stale.”
  3. You open the door to your machine. Do you open the door of every machine at every stop even when if it’s only making enough money to open the machine every other stop? (Here’s an alternative) Every time you open the door of the machine, there is a possibility for something to go wrong in the machine. Mechanical and electronic things break over time with use.
  4. You open the door, but you forget to lock it when you leave.
  5. If you open the door make sure you close it, lock it and make sure it accepts money with a coin and bill test before you leave.

What service issues do you deal with? (Share them and any questions you have in the comments below)

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.
Episode Transcript:

Vending Operators Cause Their Own Service Calls  Tom Shivers: I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show, here again with Larry Towner of Service Group International. He’s a vending business consultant and we’ve been discussing some interesting topics lately. What are we going to talk about today, Larry?

Larry Towner: Today I think we’re going to talk about, I know we’re going to talk about Vending Operators Cause their Own Service Calls, and you think it doesn’t happen, but it does.

Tom Shivers: So you’re saying vending operators are causing service calls?

Larry Towner: Yeah, they cause their own service calls, and between an operator and/or a route man, you get service calls that are caused by the actions or inactions that you take, I guess I want to say, so let’s start off with one of my favorites. It’s always the one I usually do.

Larry Towner: It’s called poor planning or a lack of a good schedule. You pretty much know if you don’t have a great schedule out there, you don’t plan your time well. You’re going to get service calls if your machines run out of product. This is a very simple thing, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t have a good route scheduling system so they run out of product or whatever, but they don’t show up at their accounts on a regular basis, so that’s really one of the first reasons why you can cause service calls into your own accounts.

Larry Towner: Another one of my favorites is you leave out-of-date product in your machines. Nothing will generate a service call faster than somebody saying, “I bought the product and it’s stale,” because I’m going to guarantee you, they’re going to call you when that’s the case. “I lost my last 50 cents forever that I ever had in my whole life. You need to come pay me back or send me the money.” Yeah. I would if you’ll send me a self-addressed stamped envelope, so that’s one of the things.

Larry Towner: Here’s a third one. This is one that’s going to surprise a lot of people, and you’ll laugh at this one, Tom. Big reason why you cause your own service calls, you open the door to the machine. Now, that’s sounds funny. You have to open the door to the machine to service it, right, and that’s true, but I guess the question is is do you open the door every time you go to an account or not on every machine. We’ve discussed this in a past show about it gets back to your scheduling and your route things, but if you don’t generate a certain amount out of that machine, like let’s say you’ve got a drink machine and a snack machine. The drink machine generates plenty of money out of it and the snack machine generates enough money for you to open the machine every two weeks, open the machine every two weeks. Don’t open it every week, because every time you open that door, here’s what happens, right? First off, the computer disables because you take the power off, or almost all machines, the interlock switch comes on and the power goes out on the machine. Well, every time you do that, you open the possibility for something to go wrong in the machine. It’s just the way mechanical stuff works. It’s mechanical, electronics, whatever it is. That’s how stuff happens.

Larry Towner: The other thing that you do is there’s cables between the door and the machine. Well, every time you move those cables, you cause to have the potential for pinching a cable or cutting a cable or, shoot man, wire breaks, just after a while, it work hardens and breaks. Anyway, so it sounds funny, but opening the door is one of the reasons why you cause your own service calls.

Larry Towner: Fourth reason why you cause your own service calls, and this has to do with opening that dad gum door again. This is a big problem. You open the door, but you forget to lock it when you leave. If you’ve been in the vending business for a while, you’ve gotten calls where hey, you left the door open, and unless somebody knows how to, on some of the doors, unless somebody knows how to operate it, they’ll lock the door, but they’ll leave the door open, so they might try to help you out, but generally if they say the door’s open, you need to go do it.

Larry Towner: One of the fifth reasons, and this all has to do with opening the door, if you open the door, make sure you close it, number one, make sure you lock it, number two, pull on the door to make sure it’s actually locked, which has always been one of my favorites. I always grab the top corner of the machine and yank on it a little bit, and if it didn’t open, it was good, but before I left every account for a machine that I opened, I coined and bill tested the machines. I made sure that when I shut that door that that machine functioned, at least took money, right, and so … it accepted money, that’s the better thing. It doesn’t take somebody’s money because we don’t want it to take somebody’s money without giving them product, but we make sure that that thing accepts coins and accepts dollar bills because you’d be amazed. Again, when you open those doors and the interlock switches and stuff, and the computers go down, stuff happens. It’s what happens.

Larry Towner: Tom, any questions on that?

Tom Shivers: That’s some great, great tips there. Maybe there’s some questions that people might have about certain service issues that they’ve had that they could add to the comments below.

Larry Towner: Sure.

Tom Shivers: All right.

Larry Towner: [inaudible 00:05:04]

Tom Shivers: Well, yeah, and do subscribe. We have a good time on this show, and we’d like to hear from you, so if you have a question, send it in, and you’ve been watching Vending Operators Cause their own service calls from  the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.

Power Of The Free Honeybun

Power of the Free Honeybun  Use a food giveaway as an information gathering device to learn what’s happening in your accounts and the people you are working with that might impact your business:

  • Pulse of the management
  • Business expanding or contracting
  • Builds personal relationships
  • Makes you more valuable

Power of the Free Honeybun When you have a new product, introduce it with a giveaway to get feedback. It starts a conversation that can reveal important info to better understand their wants, needs and desires.

Very few people turn down free food.

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers: Hi I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show, and I’m her with Larry Towner of Service Group International, and we’re talking about a concept called the power of the free  honeybun. You may have heard Larry talk about this before, but tell us more about that Larry.

Larry Towner: When we talk about the power of the free honeybun, first off we’re talking about just the caloric intake of a honeybun. A good honeybun is at least 600 calories. Don’t tell anybody that. You don’t want to know what the fat level is either. With that being put aside. When I talk about the power of the honeybun, what we’re talking about is using a giveaway, as it were, a food giveaway, as a marketing tool or as an information gathering device for a way for you to get good information on what’s happening in your accounts in getting people to work with you. Tom is it important to have people work with you when you’re running a small business?

Tom Shivers: Yes, and incentives can really do the trick sometimes.

Larry Towner: Yeah, and that’s kind of what it is. In vending you’re working within another company generally, and you just want to know what the pulse of the management, the pulse of what’s happening in the business, what’s going on that might affect your business. Are the expanding? Are they contracting? Is the manager mad at you? Does the manager like honeybuns? If he liked honeybuns, drop one on his desk every once in a while when he least expects it.

Larry Towner: Essentially what I’m talking about is, is that I used to do, not a huge amount of giveaways, but I would od a number of giveaways. I always had a few people in an account that I would try to use as a good sounding board for a lot of different issues. One, and I was telling you this earlier, one thing is, when you have a new product, I always would take one of my new products, if I had a brand new introduction, say something that was just brand new to the market, and we really didn’t know if it was good or bad. Whether it was, a new flavor of Doritos or something like that. And I’d take one, and I’d say, “Hey, if you would give this a try and tell me what you think and tell me if you like it or don’t like it. I’m going to put a few in the machine, and if you can, just listen to what people say about them, and see what they say. Is it good or is it bad?”

Larry Towner: It’s that kind of thing. That allows you to start a conversation with somebody, and in that conversation you can find out all kinds of things about how your machines aren’t working right, the manager’s getting pissed off or, “Gosh you guys are doing a great job, did you know we’re opening another location in the next town over?” All of this information comes about from doing a free giveaway every once in a while, and just getting a personal relationship built with a couple of people that work within your accounts, because, gosh, it’s like any business, it’s understanding what their wants, needs and desires are, and then satisfying those wants, needs and desires, and doing a good job for them. It builds to business growth. It helps you grow your business. Is that how you built your business Tom, I bet it is?

Tom Shivers: Oh yeah. Yeah, there’s all kinds of ways to do incentives. I’m certainly involved in that one. I like it.

Larry Towner: So it works really good. We call it the power of the honeybun ’cause the honeybun of course is our most popular selling item as far as a pastry goes, and very few people turn them down unless they’re watching their weight. ‘Cause they’re a little caloric. It’s like eating a Big Mac if you really want to read the package, but that’s okay.

Tom Shivers: It can work with any kind of healthy item as well.

Larry Towner: Yeah, it works with anything. Whatever your particular contact likes. If they’re a granola bar person, give them a granola bar. Snickers bar, whatever. M&Ms are really good. They work really, really well because, the of course, they don’t melt and they stay for a while. Just depends on what the specific of the account are. We like to call that the power of the honeybun or the power of the free giveaway. It really, really can do wonders for your business. Like I say, it gets a little conversation going. Gets you in the loop. Gets you working with your people. Makes you more valuable, basically.

Tom Shivers: Awesome. Thanks Larry. Be sure to subscribe. You’ve been watching the power of the free honeybun by A&M Equipment Sales.

Check out more of our vending business show topics  Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?

 

Vending Business Opportunity Proper Data Gathering

Vending Business Opportunity Proper Data Gathering  Impending events are things that we know are coming in the vending business. This is essentially about data gathering to increase accounts or sales.

When you are working in an account be aware of…

  • Any time there’s a change in management, you want to get in and talk to him/her as soon as they are comfortable in their new office.
  • You also want to take advantage of opportunities when a company is getting ready to move, expand or consolidate.

These opportunites are discovered inside the account by keeping up with what is happening or having someone inform you.

While out running your routes, look for opportunities:

  • Construction trailers with a new building going up
  • Leasing agents
  • Leave a business card in an empty door (when someone is moving in)
Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers: Hi, I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show. Here again with Larry Towner. We’re talking about Vending Business Opportunity  Proper Data Gathering impending events or planning for profit opportunities in the vending business. So, what are we going to talk about today Larry?

Larry Towner,: I thought we’d talk about pizza. No, I’m just kidding. We’re going to talk about … We’re going to do what we do. We’re going to talk about the vending business opportunity proper data gathering. We’re going to talk about things that are going to happen in your business that you know are going to happen. There’s a few things that we’ve decided we pretty much know that are going to happen in the vending business. We’ve done this for a little while, just a couple of years if you know what I mean. One of the things we want to talk about is things that happen in your accounts. Essentially this is a lot about data gathering. We’re going to talk about this, is how do you gather your data to get yourself to where you can make profits or make … Increase accounts or increase new sales. Things like that.

Larry Towner,: But one of the big things … There’s three big areas when you’re working in an account that you have to really be aware of. One is if there’s a change in management. Any time there’s a change in management, particularly a general manager or something like that, you’re going to want to make sure you get in and talk to that general manager as soon as he’s comfortable in his office. Don’t wait too long. One of the first things new managers like to do is change the vending business. You want to get in, make friends, give him a honey bun. Watch our video on power of the honey bun. You’ll understand what to do. Get in and make friends, things like that.

Larry Towner,: One of the other things that you have to look at is an opportunity in the vending business is if a company is getting ready to move and … It was always my policy that I had a couple of people in the accounts that kind of fed me information about what was going on in the business. I wanted to know how their business was. Was their business good? Was it bad? You know, were they thinking about moving? Were they thinking about expanding? And moving and expanding are two really good opportunities for you to generate more business. Consolidating, are they consolidating two offices into one? And can you get both of those offices in one place?

Larry Towner,: All of that comes from developing some decent relationships inside the accounts. Just go out and talk to people. They’ll have tons of fun. You just learn. You learn about their business. You learn about what they’re doing. If they’re expanding you’ve got another opportunity to get into a new account. If they’re contracting, maybe they’re consolidating. You’ve got more population in an account you can make more money in that account. All of that sort of thing is developed inside the account.

Larry Towner,: We were talking about … We kind of were laughing, Tom and I… We practiced these things beforehand. Believe it or not, we actually practiced before this. We were talking a little bit about, you know, some of the other things that happen when you’re out there in the field. One of the things is, we were kind of talking about one of the great ways to get stuff is … When you’re driving down the road you have an opportunity. You have an opportunity to drive down the road and look straight ahead at the rode like this going, do do do. You don’t see anything straight ahead, right?

Larry Towner,: Or, if you sort of pay attention to what’s going on around you, instead of just going … “I’m at my stop, time to go.” If you’re driving down the road and you happen to see a construction trailer with a new building going up, you might have an opportunity if you’re one to go and stop in and ask the guy what’s going on here. The guy in the construction trailer will tell you ’cause he works for the construction company. He doesn’t care. So they’re putting up a new manufacturing facility, whatever it is, right?

Larry Towner,: It’s been our experience in the vending business, between myself and everybody else I know, first in wins. So folks, if you can get in first and you’re not driving down the road going, “Well, I wonder what’s happening.” Tom and I were laughing. We said, “I know if that were me and I were watching this video, I would say, ‘I knew that’s what my drivers were doing. I knew it.'” “Look at the pretty girl.” Right? There you go.

Larry Towner,: Anyway, so these are all things that … Just pay attention. When you’re doing your thing out there, you’re driving around, you’re looking for new business, look for new construction. Look for … talk to leasing agents, you know? They’ve got new buildings they’re putting people in. Gives you an opportunity to get out there and get a new account. They know who they’re trying to sell to. That gets into networking and all that kind of thing, but it’s all still one and the same.

Larry Towner,: Shoot, go up to an empty door and leave a card on the door. You know, I’ve done that too. You know somebody is getting ready to move in. You start sliding business cards into the door. You’d be amazed how well that works. It’s just one of those little things. If the guy says, “Hey, I want a local vending guy. He dropped a card. It’s got to be local.” Which is generally what the case is. Tom, do you have any questions, any comments?

Tom Shivers: Well, I mean, are you … When are you starting your stand up comedy session?

Larry Towner,: I’ll be here all week. Try the veal and tip your wait staff appropriately. They’re working hard for you out there.

Tom Shivers: All right, well, what are we going to be … Are we going to talk about another impending event later I’m sure.

Larry Towner,: We’ve go so many impending events as it were. We know there’s things that are going to happen. We’re going to … One of these days we’re going to talk about December and some strategies to handle the slow times of the year. And then also some of the other strategies that are just yearly things. Folks, all these things we’re working on are things that you can put on a calendar and you can schedule some of these issues out. We know … Most people in the vending business, with the exception of some of the blind vendors and all who have very busy Decembers because of travel, we know that generally December is going to be slow. We are going to discuss some strategies on that in future shows.

Larry Towner,: We’re also going to discuss other types of events like that that we know are coming. As night follows day, December is coming. We also know that there’s other things that happen that we’re going to discuss. That’s what’s coming up in future shows.

Tom Shivers: All right, well, thanks so much Larry. And you’ve been … Of course you want to subscribe to get more comedy hour here. And you’ve been watching Vending Business Opportunity Proper Data Gathering at the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.

Look at our New Vending Machines  https://www.amequipmentsales.com/prodcat/new-vending-machines/

Vending Business Service Scheduling

Vending Business Service Scheduling Your scheduling will determine how profitable you are when servicing accounts that need attending to on a regular basis. Some of the factors that come into play when managing a vending route:

  • Physical location of the machines – the address of the place and their location within the building
  • Can you service multiple accounts from the place where you park the truck at a stop on the route?

Another factor: is it profitable to service all of the machines at a single stop or not?

There are a few ways to run vending business service scheduling efficiently; one way is scheduling by time (every day we’ll service the machines). Another way is to schedule servicing of machines based on profit for that machine.

Servicing all machines at a location can be unprofitable due to the time it takes to service the machine and the potential of creating a service call due to operator mistakes.

Every time you open the machine up, you open the possibility of creating a service call on that machine: the computer resets, validators and changers cycle, wires get moved, things happen. I’ve received calls, “the guy was just here and now the machine doesn’t work.”

You can service three drink machines in an hour vs. one snack machine and one drink machine. You’ll be thinking about these kind of things when you schedule on profit rather than time.

What is the cost to run the truck for one hour? That’s the cost of a service call.

Ask yourself, how do I get the most money out of those machines on the service schedule? Ask people who are accounting oriented to get an idea of what will work for you.

The benefits of this concept will pay off big when it gets implemented.

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers: Hi, I’m Tom with The Vending Business Show, here again with Larry Towner, the vending business consultant. And today we’re talking about Vending Business Service Scheduling for profit, so what’s that about, Larry?

Larry Towner: Well, let me ask you a question, Tom, because you know I’m big on questions. Do you like to make profits?

Tom Shivers: Oh, yeah.

Larry Towner: Are profits dependent upon being operationally efficient?

Tom Shivers: Most of the time, yes.

Larry Towner: Most. Probably all of the time. But in the vending business, so this topic of conversation we’re gonna talk about is how you set up Vending Business Service Scheduling , for the aspects of the vending business, which largely has to do with your route scheduling, and also your service scheduling to a lesser degree. But they need to be intertwined together, so I’m gonna kind of put them together.

Larry Towner: As you all know, if you’re in the vending business, you’re gonna have a series of vending accounts, as it were, that are gonna need to be serviced on a regular basis. And your scheduling will determine how profitable you are in your endeavors to go out and service these accounts.

Larry Towner: So Tom, just offhand, you’re associated with the vending business to a degree. What do you think are some of the factors that play into running a vending route?

Tom Shivers: Well the location of the machines from where your operation is located. Ah, how far you have-

Larry Towner: It’s the physical location of the machines. Right? And that would include the address of the place. And I’m gonna throw in there also the fact of where are they in the building? There’s a difference between an operation that has machines that are close to the door, say up on the 30th floor of a building is a bit of a difference. So that’s one of the things.

Larry Towner: What other things do you think matter?

Tom Shivers: Just having the capability of servicing a number of accounts on one route with one shot basically.

Larry Towner: At one stop if you want to call it that. Meaning can you service multiple accounts via one place where you park the truck, right?

Tom Shivers: I got it right.

Larry Towner: Yeah. So that’s one of the things. What about the number of machines in an account? Do you think that that matters?

Tom Shivers: Oh yeah. The more you’re servicing in one stop, the better probably.

Larry Towner: Well that’s, the question is, that’s the interesting part. Is that the truth or not? So let’s go through just some of the ideas. These are great ideas, by the way. And these come from a guy that’s been associated with the vending industry, but is not in it. Because Tom’s not technically in the vending business. He’s never run a route. Just so you all out there in the world know that.

Larry Towner: But Tom’s specialty is Internetesio stuff. So if you need to get ahold of him, you can contact these websites and things like that.

Larry Towner: But anyway, let’s go into the operational things. Now when we run our businesses, we want to be efficient in our operations. There’s a couple of different ways to go about it. Some of our people in the vending business schedule by time. Meaning that they’re gonna go in and they’re gonna service these accounts on a very regular basis, be it every day, twice a day, once a week, every two weeks. Things like that. That’s one concept of how to do your scheduling. And it’s an effective concept for an awful lot of people.

Larry Towner: There are other ways to do it. The way that I always did my scheduling was, I based it on the amount of money on a gross sales figure based on a profit figure, that was determined is that’s when I did my scheduling. And I actually broke that down per machine. And as Tom, you said earlier, you want to go in and you want to service as many machines as possible.

Larry Towner: I found in my research when I did all of my stuff and then talking to a lot of people, that there were times that you only might have serviced one machine at a stop because you were gonna take enough money out of that machine to service, to make that stop profitable.

Larry Towner: But the actual act of opening the other machine and servicing that other machine turned that account into an unprofitable stop because the amount of time it took you to actually open the machine and the amount of service calls that were created by opening the machine.

Larry Towner: Tom, why do I say that? Do you have an idea of what I just said? That opening a machine creates a service call?

Tom Shivers: That’s an interesting one, Larry. I’m not sure what you mean there.

Larry Towner: Well I think if you’re in the vending business and you go out and you look at the number of machines you have. And this information comes through the various different organizations, NAMA and things like that. But it also comes from other advisors and other business people too that are in the vending business. Is that every time you open a machine up, you open the possibility for there being a service call on that machine. Because things happen when you open the door. The computer resets. The validaters and changers cycle. It’s just things happen. Wires get moved. And things get pinched. And stuff happens.

Larry Towner: And sometimes if part of your system isn’t to actually test vend the machine before you leave, which by the way takes time, you might create service calls. I can tell you from personal experience, every time a machine door opened, I got a huge number of service calls where, “The guy was just here and now it doesn’t work.”

Larry Towner: And if you’ve not experience that, you will in time. So it requires a test vending period. Anyway, so you can go and you can service one machine, you take your gross amount out. The other machine now, I’m thinking of one account I had in particular. We serviced the account every week. We only serviced the snack machine every two weeks. Because it just didn’t pay to open that machine every single week.

Larry Towner: These are things that, from a profit standpoint, it was, you have to understand how things work. Plus, just servicing that soda machine was bing, bing, bing, in and out. You could be in and out of that machine in 20 minutes. Where to service the snack machine and the soda machine was gonna take him an hour. He could get to the next drink machine and service that one and be gone. He could do three drink machines in an hour versus one snack machine and one drink machine.

Larry Towner: These are the concepts you have to think about when it goes to scheduling, when you schedule on profit. Or on gross. I did it on gross sales. And I used a figure of, I looked at my local HVAC guy, right? The guy running the heating, ventilating and air conditioning truck, the guy that’s out there running. What’s he charge you?

Larry Towner: Tom, what’s an HVAC guy charge you to make a service call to your house?

Tom Shivers: Maybe 300 dollars.

Larry Towner: What’s a service call? Just showing up.

Tom Shivers: A service call is gonna be at least 75 to 100 dollars.

Larry Towner: Yeah. 75 to 100 dollars. That’s essentially his cost to run the truck for an hour. That’s how I did my figures. Anyway, think about this stuff, folks. Put your scheduling into that kind of mode. How do I get the most money out of those machines on the service schedules? Take a hard look at it. Ask people that are accounting oriented. Ask people that are really numbers oriented. They’ll give you an idea of what really works for you.

Larry Towner: It could be just time. It could be just time. If you’re going to a stop every day, it’s just time. You know, if your accounts are big enough that you can go every day, go every day. But gee, and on big, big accounts sometimes you have to go twice a day. What time of the day do you go? When do you get that maximum amount of money out of it? It’s a concept to think about. It boils into a calendar and you get a lot of pre-planning time out of it. And let me tell you, the benefits will pay off big. Big, big, big, big, big. So.

Larry Towner: Questions, Tom?

Tom Shivers: No. That was excellent, Larry. Thanks for sharing that. I know a lot of people are gonna find this very useful. What’s next? What are we gonna look at next?

Larry Towner: Well I thought we would do, in the future I know we’re gonna do a sales and marketing calendar. We’re gonna do, and there’s a difference between a sales and marketing calendar. We’ll probably do a long term calendar. What are some of your long term prospects? And things like that. There’s so many things that we need to integrate into a calendar, that we’ve got, as I say, this is a series. We’ve got a bunch of things. But we’re gonna talk about some sales and some marketing concepts coming up very soon.

Tom Shivers: Alright. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, you’ll want to do that. You been watching The Vending Business Show, a publication of A & M Equipment Sales.

To see some of available equipment go tohttps://www.amequipmentsales.com/prodcat/new-vending-machin

Vending Business Opportunities Profit

Vending Business Opportunities Profit Impending events in the vending business are opportunities for profit, so planning properly for these events is important…

We have a series of events that we know are going to happen in the vending business every month and every year.

Begin making note of the things that must be done on a weekly, monthly and annual basis so you can anticipate what you will need. Then put those in a calendar program that automatically reminds you of the event.

In this series we’ll be discussing impending events that impact operations, sales, marketing, profits and streamlining operations coming up in future shows.

For example, you are going to lose business guaranteed… what are you doing to replace that lost account? We’ll be discussing that event in the upcoming sales and marketing segment of this series.

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Vending Business Opportunities Profit Tom: Hey, I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show  Vending Business Opportunities Profit here again with Larry Towner who’s with Service Group International, a Vending Business Consultant. Today we’re talking about opportunities for vending operators.

Tom: What are we going to start with today, Larry?

Larry Towner: Vending Business Opportunities Profit  We wanted to do this as an introduction. We’re going to start a series on what we’re calling Impending Events or things that we know are going to happen in the vending business. And how you can handle these opportunities as they were, because after all everything is an opportunity, and how you can may get more profit from these opportunities. So that’s kind of it, as I say, this is the beginning of a series that we’re going to be working on, and we’re going to be talking a lot about how to properly use a calendar of all the most exciting things, or our calendar program if you want to call it that. That’s where we’re going to start.

Larry Towner: I had a question for you Tom. You get hungry. What do you do?

Tom: I try to go find something real convenient, a bite to eat somewhere.

Larry Towner: Something convenient and a bite to eat, do you do any planning when you do that? Or do you just take off and you go out and you just go find whatever food it is and then you eat it. If there’s a kid walking down the street with a candy bar, do you just walk up and snatch it out of his hands, or do you do a little pre-planning beforehand?

Tom: I usually try to think about in a couple of hours I’m going to have lunch, right? I know I’m going to get hungry and be ready to eat in a couple a hours, so if I it planned before, I’ll have a lunch ready to go, but if I didn’t grab my lunch or plan for my lunch, what am I going to do? I might go to a restaurant or I might go to a vending machine, who knows?

Larry Towner: Or knowing you, you’d probably find that kid on the street, steal his ice cream cone. Anyway, that’s another point.

Larry Towner: My point here is that we have a series of events that happen to us in business, and they happen to us every day, every week, every year, every month, every year, and they happen on a regular basis. Pretty much, in your case, we know you’re going to get hungry, what? Around noon, something like that, right? So in a couple of hours you’re going to get hungry. You’re going to get hungry, the more you get hungry in the afternoon. And believe it or not, whether you believe this or not, you spend a fair amount of time planning out what’s going to happen when you get hungry.

Larry Towner: My point here is that for the vending business there’s a series of events that we know are going to happen every day, every week, every month and every year, that you need to just have your mind thinking about these things. Some of these things what we’re going to talk about, a lot about in the future shows, is like sales and marketing calendars and things that you’re going to need to do to get yourself on a regular program so you can handle all of these things. Because as a small business owner … Tom you’re a small business owner, let me ask you a question, who’s in charge of everything?

Tom: Me.

Larry Towner: Me, that’s right, and in the vending business, your business, our business, there’s no difference, you’re in charge of everything. And everything is a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of things happening because you’re the Chief Cook and bottle washer, and you’re in charge of truck maintenance and you’re in charge of getting those machines filled and buying product and choosing product. And you’ve got to get with the drink guys, and you’ve got to get repairs done, and you got to do your accounting. Somebody’s got to count the money. You got to go to the bank, blah, blah, blah, a lot of things going on.

Larry Towner: I’m a planner. I’ve always said that. I would say, “I’m a systems guy.” I like systems, right? So my system is a calendar program, and there’s a series of calendar programs, I’m not going to make any recommendations on that. But start writing down the stuff you’ve got to do on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis, and anticipate the needs that you’re going to need, and put them down into some kind of calendar program that reminds you automatically, by the way. Because in today’s world, do we have a lot of time, Tom, when we’re out there working day by day?

Tom: Same as everybody else.

Larry Towner: No, that’s right. Yeah. The answer is no. In the vending business we’re all about automation, right? Our whole concept is that people automatically or they don’t automatically, but they put money in and we sell things in an automatic basis. Adopt that as a philosophy. It will help you out with your other programs.

Larry Towner: Like I say, this calendar thing … My calendar hits me with an email or a text every time something comes up, about a half an hour before I actually have to do it because I’m horrible in my personal time planning. That if I don’t have it, reminder, I’ll forget to do something. Like meeting with you, Tom, I’ve done that on several occasions as well you know. Now we have that set up on automatic.

Larry Towner: So this is the series that’s coming up. We’re going to do a whole series of things that are going to help you in your both operationally, profitability, generating sales, how to streamline your operations. We’re going to give you a whole bunch of information coming up in various different shows, and we’ll tag them with what they’re going to be about, if you have a specific area that you’re interested in, but that’s where we’re heading with this program. This is going to be a way for you to make more money under your current operations, get your systems in places. I’m going to tag the sales and marketing one.

Larry Towner: Folks, if you’re in the vending business, you can guarantee you’re going to lose business. In some way or another, you’re going to lose business. What do you have to do to replace that business? What system do you have in place? Does it just come to you magically? Do you wave your little wand, and the next thing you know, poof, you’ve got new accounts? Or do you actually have to put some time and effort into it?

Larry Towner: That’s where we’re at, Tom. Thank you for your time.

Tom: Hey, by the way, if you want a particular item that you’re interested in like Larry just mentioned one, just leave a comment under this video and we’ll get it, and we’ll see about adding that one into the queue.

Tom: Thanks Larry. This is going to be a great series. If you want to get more vending business tips like these, just subscribe and you’ve been watching the Vending Business Show, Vending Business Opportunities Profit  a publication of A&M Equipment Sales. Some more interesting videos Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?

Vending Operator Tools Basic Security

Vending Operator Tools Basic Security  The route man with a bad habit can result in a theft… The basic problem in dealing with cash is… people want it.

Your habits are part of your security:

  • Have your head on a swivel; pay attention to your surroundings, be aware of what’s happening in your environment.
  • Don’t do the same things every time you go to an account. Criminals will watch you and know how long you go into that stop so they can get to your money.
  • Make sure people in your account know who services them.
  • Don’t put all your money in one place.

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

See all five videos in the Top Vending Operator Tools series

Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers:Vending Operator Tools Basic Security  I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show, here with Larry Towner, the Vending Business Consultant with Service Group International, and we’re finishing up a series on vending business tools, only this is more about tips.

Tom Shivers: Tell us what we’re going to be talking about today, Larry.

Larry Towner: Tom, you and I were just talking and we decided we were going to talk about Vending Operator Tools Basic Security so I wanted to tell a quick story here because I’m a storyteller at heart, what can I say?

Larry Towner: I had a routeman one time who used to have a really bad habit. His habit was he would take the money out of the machines, put it in the bags, and then he would take and put it in a box and set it on the table. Then turn it around and service his machines.

Larry Towner: One day he did that, and of course, there’s a couple people in the room, and he turns around and his box with the money has taken a vacation on him. It’s gone out the door with somebody that we never did figure out who took it.

Larry Towner: So we wanted to talk to you a little bit about security. That seems like an exaggerated story, but there’s plenty of stories in fact that go on in the vending industry because after all, we do deal in cash. The basic problem in dealing with cash is people want it. They really want it, and they’ll just take it because they think it’s great. Besides you, the Mr. Vending Man, “You make all that money. Oh my God, help me, so you can spare some of that money.”

Larry Towner: Anyway, the biggest thing I want to talk about has to do with your habits and how you do things. One of the big things that I always did, and I have my head on a swivel all the time. I’m forever looking to the sides and looking backwards. I look around. I pay attention to what goes on in my surroundings.

Larry Towner: You pull into a place and it’s late at night. You’re alone or you’ve got very few people there, you really need to have your head on a swivel. You’ve got to be very careful of who’s around and things like that, and that even goes for the daytime. You’ve got to be aware of what’s happening in your environment, especially when you’re dealing with money.

Larry Towner: One of the other habits is, don’t do what my routeman did. Don’t take the money out of the machine until the very last part of the service cycle. It makes sense, but I see people do it. I’ve ridden with other vending men and they’ll do it, vending people, whatever, and they’ll do it before they’re done.

Larry Towner: One of the things that I always say is, “Keep your head on a swivel.” Look around a lot and really pay attention to what’s going on around you, what’s going on around your truck. Get out of bad habits. Don’t do the same thing every time when you go to an account. Don’t go to an account the same time every day.

Larry Towner: The criminals, if you want to call them that, the real criminals, somebody that intentionally comes to steal from you, will be watching you, and they will watch you, and they will know how long you go into work in that stop. They’ll break into your truck, and they’ll take stuff. Or try to find money, but they’ll take your stuff too. If you get in the way, they tend to not be very nice so it’s a lot about safety and a lot about things like that.

Larry Towner: One of the other things, another tip that you can do to stay secure is make sure people in your account know who services that account, be it you or one of your route men. Give them an idea of who’s there, and if you can, get them to challenge anybody that comes in to work on the machines.

Larry Towner: This comes from, I believe, it was Automatic Merchandiser or Vending Times, it doesn’t matter, but there are people out there that have picks for locks. They have the round key lock picks. They will actually follow vending people around about half the time between your service intervals. They go in and help themselves to the money. They don’t take it all so it can take you quite a long time before you figure out that you’re actually having a theft problem.

Larry Towner: I’m reminded of this because in this one particular case that they mentioned, this particular criminal got caught because the person at the front desk challenged him. He said, “Oh, I work for the vending company.” She didn’t recognize him. She called the vending company. Vending company said, “We don’t have anybody working out there right now.” They called the police. That guy got put in jail, but he said he took $67,000 from that company in the two week period following their vending man around and picking the locks, and they never knew. They never knew what was going on.

Larry Towner: He got caught because somebody in the account said, “You don’t work for that company.” He was dressed like a vending man. He had the uniform on, the whole deal, but he was very crafty, but somebody knew him. So that’s a good tip.

Larry Towner: The other tip, I can’t stress enough-

Tom Shivers: Hold on to that one.

Tom Shivers: What can a vending company do to help the front office sniff that kind of thing out?

Larry Towner: Really, if you introduce yourself to somebody in the front office or wherever you enter the building and even at the machines, if you get to be friendly with some of the people there, they’ll get to know you.

Larry Towner: Somebody goes up to the machine, and if you change personnel or if somebody different’s working the account say, “Oh yeah, I work with so and so.” If they don’t know who what is like … Let’s just say, “Tom, you work with me, and you’re in servicing an account while I have to go do it for you one day, and somebody comes up to me and they say, “Oh, where’s Tom tonight?” You go, “Oh yeah, Tom, yeah. He’s a good guy.”

Larry Towner: They suspect it after a while. People aren’t … They pay attention too. So you just have to let people know, and if you as a routeman are out there talking, you say, “We’ve only got two guys that work in the company. I’ve got a service guy.” Or he’s going to say, “I’ve got a service guy and 15 other guys, but they all know me.”

Larry Towner: It’s just that kind of thing. If you just let people know, they’ll keep an eye on your stuff because you’re doing them a service. If you’ve been in vending awhile, you’ll find out that they really depend on you a lot, or at least they did in my accounts. They really depended on me for their snacks because they were hungry, and they wanted to eat so they wanted to make sure that they were being taken care of. That’s one way to do it.

Larry Towner: Stay observant. Get out of patterns. Don’t do the same thing at the same times every week. Make sure that you don’t … Don’t put all your money in one place or get a safe, and put it all in the safe. Now they’ll work on the safe too, and they’ll steal the safe or they’ll steal the truck and steal the [inaudible 00:06:37].

Larry Towner: But either way, you can do a bunch of things. So that’s just a couple of ideas, but the biggest thing is pay attention. Just keep your head on a swivel. Don’t get locked stepped into anything. Don’t flash the money around. Don’t stick it in the bags behind your back so people don’t see you. Things like that, and just don’t show how much is there, and it will greatly reduce your chances of being stolen from.

Tom Shivers: Excellent tips. Thanks so much, Larry.

Tom Shivers: If you want more good vending business tips like this, be sure to subscribe. You’ve been watching Vending Operator Tools Basic Security at  the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.

You can see another Vending tip at Vending Operator Tools: Money Handling

Vending Operator Tools: Money Handling

Vending Operator Tools Money Handling Tips and tools to get your money from the vending machine to the bank:

  • Inventory money from each machine using money bags
  • Money goes into the truck
  • Decide on a truck security plan
  • Count money by purchasing a counter for coins and bills
  • Talk to your bank about moving money from your counter to the bank about their requirements

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

See all five videos in the Top Vending Operator Tools series

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Tom Shivers: It’s Tom with the Vending Business Show and I’m here again with Larry Towner a vending business consultant with Service Group International and we’re continuing this series on vending business tools. So which tool are we talking about today Larry?

Larry Towner,: Let’s talk about Vending Operator Tools money handling and how you handle your money and what you’re gonna need to actually get your money from the machine to the bank.

Tom Shivers: Okay.

Larry Towner,: So of course we all know that money just magically, they put the money in and the best part of the vending business is actually counting the money, at least that’s what I was always led to believe. But you do find that counting money tends to be not all that much fun when you do large quantities of it and it starts to actually become kinda drudgery in a job.

Larry Towner,: So what we’re gonna give you are some tips here onVending Operator Tools Handling Money and how to handle your money and make it efficient and make it fast. From the machines we always like to, and we found in our research around and talking to vendors around the company, that it’s best to inventory money from each machine so you’re going to need to have some kind of a system where you pick up money from each machine which means you’re gonna need a container to carry money from each machine. There’s a variety of money bags that are available out there. There are zippered bags, there are canvas bags, there are all kinds of different containers. I know one guy that uses paper bags and uses them very effectively, buys lunch bags and that’s what he uses. He writes the account on the outside, the machine number on the outside of the bag, puts the money in it, sticks it in his box. Works great for him, everybody’s got a different system but you’re gonna need a individual way to handle money from each machine that you get out there in the world.

Larry Towner,: So with that again, there’s all kinds of different bags, zipper bags and things like that. Money needs to go into the truck. There’s a couple of different things, money of course is a very, what do we wanna say, a highly desired item and some of the bad guys might try to steal it from you so from a security standpoint you’re gonna have to have some kind of system where you can make your money somewhat secure or make it completely secure. There’s safes available, there’s all kinds of things that you can do. There’s Deceit, we placed our money all around the trucks in different locations so that if somebody did break into a truck and wanted to steal the money from us, they would get some of it but not all of it.

Larry Towner,: How you handle that is your business, but I want you to be cognizant of the fact that that kind of thing happens out there. So you get your money and you get it back into your office or your warehouse or wherever it is that you handle your money. Where do you go from there? A couple of things, you’re gonna need some kind of a mechanical counter for both coin and for bills.

Larry Towner,: There’s many many different kinds of coin counters that are available. Anything from hand rail counter systems that you crank by hand to fully electronic visions where you just poor the bag in and it sorts and separates and gives you a total, knows exactly what you’ve got in every different denomination. These are fantastic tools. You’re going to have to have one.

Larry Towner,: Plenty different manufactures of this equipment out there, do a little research on the internet and expect to spend some money. The least expensive ones you’re gonna find are gonna be about $500, and that’s in a used situation for a rail sorter, you’re gonna find something in about the $500 range that’s worth having I wanna say.

Larry Towner,: And the most expensive side you can spend into the $20,000 range to get a really really good, new coin counter that’ll do six, 7,000 coins a minute and sort and separate and give you very low rates. Starting off obviously, gonna start on the lower end of that but eventually you’ll find you’re gonna need to move up into better things. Great problems to have.

Larry Towner,: Same thing with bill counters. You can go down to the local warehouse club and you can buy yourself a bill counter that will work. It will count all of your bills and all it does is what they call piece counting, it does no counterfeit detection and it will not pick up anything that has to do with if you’ve got a $5 bill in there it does not sort and separate out the five’s. That’s about 200 bucks. You can go up to almost an unlimited amount of money depending on speed and how much counterfeit detection they have and also how much sort and separates because there’s bill counters out there that’ll separate your fives off into a different bin, your 10s, your 20s, your 50s, all of that exists out there. Most vendors usually only handle fives and ones but if you’re dealing with a lot of fives you’re gonna wanna have something that’ll automatically sort out the fives or you’re gonna have to do it by hand. Because you really don’t wanna count a five dollar bill as a one dollar bill. It’s a pretty big loss.

Larry Towner,: Really important, lots of research to do on that kind of stuff and many many different manufactures of this kind of equipment but you’re gonna have to have one. Getting money from your coin counters to the bank. How do you move your money from the counter to the bank? Coin is very very heavy. You’re gonna need … You need to talk to your bank. You need to see what their requirements are. My bank would take money in federal reserve bags so we took a $1,000 worth of quarters at one time and that weighed 52 pounds. Our bags actually came from the bank, they supplied us with the bags, our coin counter loaded bulk into those bags and we took whole bags down to the bank.

Larry Towner,: There’s other systems that are available. They’re starting to do partial bags now because of your bank. It depends on how you wanna do it but all of these are issues that you’re gonna have to worry about and going to the bank with a hand truck having to carry several thousands dollars is always a very fun and exciting experience. Remember folks keep it safe, make sure your people are aware they become a target. Don’t go at the same time. We’ll do a show on security, on basic security measures coming up in the future.

Larry Towner,: Tom do you have any questions on Vending Operator Tools Money Handling?

Tom Shivers: Did your equipment help you sort these out beforehand or no?

Larry Towner,: Yes, you’re gonna want a machine that does what’s called sort and separate. Meaning it takes the various different coins, if you dump a bag of mixed coin in there it splits it out in to each individual bag. There’s a couple of different designs that do that. One’s called a rail sorter where the coin runs down a rail and it falls in by size because coins are all different sizes and that works really well. The other is an actual spinning system and that does the same thing only it does it on a [inaudible 00:06:39] and it’s a lot faster.

Larry Towner,: But again, your research on the internet will show you the different kinds. There’s a big variation on cost on all of these different programs so it all depends on your budget also.

Tom Shivers: All right, great. Thanks Larry. If you want more good vending business tips like these then be sure to subscribe. And you’ve been watching Vending Operator Tools Handling Money at  the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M equipment sales.

Vending Operator Basic Tools

Vending Operator Basic Tools   When servicing an account and before leaving, that machine needs to be clean and looking good! There are many different cleaning supplies to carry with you:

  • Glass cleaner
  • Squeegee
  • Paper towels
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Dow scrubbing bubbles
  • General purpose cleaner
  • Small vacuum cleaner

Vending operator Basic Tools  The basic tools you need to service a vending machine:

  • Phillips head screwdriver, #2
  • Flat Head screwdriver, #1, #2
  • ¼” socket set
  • 11/32” Nut Driver, Deep
  • 5/16” Nut Driver, Deep
  • Channel Lock Pliers
  • Vice Grips
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Electrical Tester
  • Strip and Crimp tool
  • Scissors
  • Clear Tape, 4” wide
  • Business Cards
  • Money Bags
  • Hand Truck
  • Coin and Bill Counters
  • Planograms
  • Brochures

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

See all five videos in the Top Vending Operator Tools series

Episode Transcript:

 

Vending operator basic tools Tom: I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show here again with Larry Towner, the vending business consultant with Service Group International and we are continuing in this series of vending business tools. Thanks for being here Larry. What are we gonna be talking about today?

Larry: Well, today we’re gonna talk about the basic toolkit for a route man and/or a basic toolkit for an owner/operator.

Tom: What’s first?

Larry: Well, let’s talk about a route man’s basic toolkit. You’re all, if you’re an owner/operator, you’re running route anyway so you’re gonna need these things but one of the big mantras in the vending business is clean, filled, and working and so we’re gonna talk first about cleaning vending machines. There are, it’s really, really important when you go into a, into one of your accounts and you’re servicing an account, that when you leave, that machine is clean. You want it to be clean but at the same time, you wanna be very efficient in how you clean and how you get things done because you want it to be, you want it, it’s your place of business. It needs to look good.

Larry: The first thing that I always like to carry, there’s several different things in cleaning supplies that I always like to carry, but the biggest that most vending companies have is glass because of course, the front of a vending machine is a large piece of glass so I always carried some kind of a glass cleaner. I just used basically Windex or any kinda multipurpose glass cleaner is what I use but I also always carried a squeegee and I’m gonna tell you why I carried a squeegee. The squeegee allows you to take that glass cleaner and clean it much faster and much more efficiently than if you tried to use paper towels all the time. So I always carried glass cleaner and a squeegee, along with paper towels, I would use the paper towels to clean the edges and I would also rub the front of the machine down if it was particularly dirty with the paper towels and then use the squeegee to liquid off.

Larry: There’s all kinds of cleaning techniques but in my opinion, you definitely have to have a squeegee. It makes things go much, much, much faster. I also always carried a soft bristle brush because I would take, and in a dusty location, you can take a soft bristle brush and you can just brush the dust right off the tops and fronts of the machine and you just brush that stuff off and it takes that dust off. Then I would actually brush it first and then I would go clean the glass from there.

Larry: I also found, had great success with one particular product. It’s rare that I support one particular product but I got a tip from a guy one time to use Dow Scrubbing bubbles and what he told me to use Dow Scrubbing bubbles for was that Dow Scrubbing bubbles will remove scuff marks from the fronts of your machines down at the bottom. Now, we all know Tom that nobody ever kicks a vending machine. We all know this to be the self-evident truth but every [inaudible 00:02:55] like in a lot of my locations, I would go in and find black shoe marks on the fronts of my machine.

Larry: Now I don’t when that was happening but it seems like that people must have tripped or something. That’s had to be what it was.

Tom: Yeah, there’s no way they were kicking it.

Larry: No, there’s no way they were kicking it. But anyway, so in their tripping, and they tripped and they happened to scuff the machines up, I found that Dow Scrubbing bubbles, you spray it on there, you let it sit for a minute and then you take the paper towels off, and it really, really works really well at getting those scuff marks off the fronts of the machine. I suppose there’s a generic brand of something like it, but I just had such good luck with that Dow Scrubbing bubbles that I always had Dow Scrubbing bubbles with me to get scuff marks and it’s also a good general purpose cleaner, but it really works well on scuff marks. There’s other products out there. There’s some products called Spray Nine that I know people use. Joe at A & M Equipment uses Spray Nine all the time. It’s a great cleaner for inside your machine. You need some kind of a general cleaner also to use, besides the Dow Scrubbing bubbles, just some kind of water and type mix to clean with.

Larry: But those are the big things. You gotta have the ability to clean the fronts of the machines. And the fronts and the insides too. I used to carry, I also carried a small vacuum with me that I would have in the truck if I needed it to go vacuum out a machine. If a package broke open inside a machine and it spilled contents into the vend tray or did something like that, I would have a small vacuum with me and I could vacuum out the insides of the machines. So those are some of the real basic cleaning tools that you need.

Larry: Let’s go into just the real, actual tools you need if you’re gonna do basic service on a vending machine and the tools are very, very simple. You need a number two Philips head screwdriver. You need a number two flat head screwdriver. I always carried a number one screwdriver that would clip on my pocket, in my pocket with me all the time. I had a quarter inch socket set. I always had an 11/32 nut driver D, and I always had a 5/16 nut driver D also. You’re gonna use both of those if you’re gonna do anything on a vending machine, you are gonna run into those two things. I always carry Cannalocks. I always carry vice scripts. Needle nosed pliers. Electrical tools, I had an electrical tester with me, a voltage tester. I had a strip and crimp tool with me also. Usually, had some electrical tape. Things like that. That’s the basic toolkit that you’re gonna need to do any kind of basic maintenance on a vending machine that does not have to do with doing installations. I mean, just talking about basic maintenance.

Larry: Then I always carried a marketing kit with me as well. And in that marketing kit was like a four inch wide clear tape. I had scissors. I had business cards. I had brochures. I had everything for contact information that somebody, if they asked me, and they needed to get a hold of me or get ahold of the company, I had a piece of information there for ’em. I think that route men should always have business cards of some sort that they can hand out to customers for contact information.

Larry: And then we have money handling tools. So you have money bags and then bill and coin counters. Those are kinda issues for the office to handle but money bags are critical for a route man, he’s gotta have money bags, gotta have a way to count out each machine and put it into his bags.

Larry: Those are the basic tools that you’re gonna need to run a vending a route actually, to actually service accounts. So we’ve talked about hand trucks in a previous show and how we got a basic tool kit. Tom, do you have any questions.

Tom: No, that’s a lot of tools there but I know those are all necessary so is there anything else we’ll be discussing in the next show?

Larry: We’ll probably talk about money handling next.

Tom: All right. Getting more good tips about the vending business. Be sure to subscribe. You’ve been watching  Vending operator Basic Tools  at The Vending Business Show, a publication of A & M Equipment Sales.  More Vending Business Blogs  Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?

Vending In Schools

AN INTERVIEW WITH LARRY TOWNER


Larry-headshot

 

Larry Towner

Vending Guru

Vending in Schools is an up and coming Vending Opportunity   In this episode of the Vending Business Show, we interview Larry Towner, a successful vending operator, and vending business consultant. He shares valuable tips about  Vending in Schools, .

 


Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers Vending in Schools    I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show, and today, we’re here with Larry Towner, of course, who is a vending business consultant with Service Group International. We’ve got a interesting topic today, which is kind of unique for this particular year, about  Vending in Schools so tell us what we’re going to talk about today, Larry.

Larry Towner: Well, today we’re going to talk about everybody favorite topic, that’s vending in schools. We all know that healthy vending in schools  is coming, whether we want to believe it or not, there is now legislation. It’s early July here, and we are … Well, we originally were talking about impending events in our last video, and so we were discussing this concept, Tom and I were, and we decided we needed to do some impending events that’ll affect you right now that you can take out and use today, and that will be able to be used year after year and month after month, for that matter.

We came up with this concept of doing this, the healthy vending in schools, due to the recent legislation put into place by the Obama administration, saying that healthy vendors, there’s going to be certain healthy vending aspects that need to be done in school. The reason that we’re presenting it at this time is we know in the future that healthy vending is going to be an increasing part of our product mix as we go forward through time.

If we don’t get it legislated into our business, we’re going to end up … our customers are going to end up demanding it. Whether they really will eat it or not is another story, but they will demand it eventually, so you need to be preparing for that concept of healthy vending, and so we decided we would talk about … we would kind of wrap the school vending together with the healthy vending, and make it Healthy Vending in Schools because they really go hand in hand. That was one of the things that came out in our impending events. We know this is going to happen. Well, right now, you have to do it if you’re going to do vending in schools, and you know it’s going to be an increasing amount of our business as time goes on.

So, some of the challenge that we think are showing up in healthy vending really has a lot to do with product selection. It’s been difficult to identify the products that meet these requirements that the government has put down upon us, and so what we found is … I sort of had an idea that this might happen because we didn’t see a whole lot of push back from the various big companies like Frito Lay or Coca-Cola or Pepsi, and so what happened is, is they had products basically ready to go. They just didn’t launch them until this healthy vending initiative got passed through the legislation.

We wanted to give you a couple of resources, because we’re here about … At A&M Equipment Sales, and when we do these things, we want to give you the resources that you can go out and do the kind of work that you need to do. I’m going to take the screen that I have here and I’m just going to show you all some screen shots that we’ve taken off the internet. They give you a couple of resources that are available to you out there, as far as for healthy vending resources.

One of them is a website called HealthierGeneration.org. Actually, if you go to their home page, which I’ll scoot back to their home page, and I’ll show you how to kind of run through this program if I can find their home page. Well, I had it, anyway. Maybe it’s here. But they offer up a couple of products, or a couple of services, I want to say, that are really, really good services. I’m going to type in the HealthierGenerations.org. There it is right there. Let’s pull that up.

Yeah, this is the home page for the website, and what we wanted to do was kind of walk you through which screens, as it were, are really the important ones. We go to here to Eat to Live Healthier, and we click on Eat Healthier. In this Eat Healthier screen, as you can see, there’s a lot of information about making your diet better, but the things that really matter to us in the vending business are these two right here.

There’s product calculator and product navigator. The product calculator, if you click on that, will take you to this screen right here, and this screen is all about figuring out if your products actually meet the requirements for the school vending. It gives all kinds of different things, and it’s basically … It walks you through the things, and it’ll tell you if it works.

One of the other things that’s here on this website is the product navigator. What the product navigator does is it actually gives you lists of products that meet these requirements, so we click on that. We go down here to Smart Snacks, and of course, then you go back here to Snacks again, and it’ll give you a complete … Here’s a menu of items that it shows: bars, cereals, cookies, brownies, pastries, chips. If we just click on chips, it brings you up a whole bunch of things, and who makes them, and what the skews are, and all that kind of thing. This is a really tremendous website that you can use. It’s called HealthierGeneration.org. Really good one.

One of the other ones is, if you’re in the vending business, you already know about Vistar, but Vistar now has a whole series of products. As you can see on their home page, they have healthier snacks for a healthy life, and they have a whole section and a whole bunch of products dedicated to healthy vending, and getting you in the products that you need in school.

These are the kinds of things that we wanted to give to you out there so that y’all know what you’ve got coming up, because adding healthy products into your mix is going to be important as we go forward.

Tom, anything that you have to add?

Tom Shivers: That’s great stuff there, Larry. Now, we’ll have links to both of those resources below the video, so anything else we’re going to be talking about later?

Larry Towner: Well, we always have lots to talk about on the Vending Show, but we’re going to do, coming up is impending … Any of these impending events, we’re going to start doing a series on what we’re calling impending events. These aren’t necessarily doom and gloom things, but they’re things that are going to happen to you as you run your business, and we know, just because we’ve done this for a long time, there’s going to be certain things that we know we’re going to do.

We’re going to try to leave the seasons a little bit, which means we’re going to start into a fall program, because it’s dead of summer right now, but these things happen year after year after year at this time, so we’re going to do a series of events that are going to come up that you can do a little pre-planning for, get yourself prepared for it, and be ready to go. All of that’s going to come up in future Vending Shows.

Tom Shivers: Awesome. And of course, subscribe to get in on all these new shows that are coming, and you’ve been watching the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.

Whether you are doing school vending or not, healthy vending is going to be an increasing part of your product mix in the future because customers are going to begin demanding it. So you need to begin preparing for it if you haven’t already.

Some of the challenges with vending in schoolsg are identifying products that meet the government requirements. Here are resources that will help in this area:  We have AMS Healthy Vending Machines

Subscribe to get the next issue of the Vending Business Show.