Tag Archives: drink vending

Servicing New Vending Accounts Loading Drink Machines

Servicing New Vending Accounts Loading Drink Machines An interview with Larry Towner

In the last video in this series, Larry goes into detail about handling the money from your vending machines. In this video,Servicing New Vending Accounts Loading Drink Machines Larry explains how to efficiently load a drink machine.

Do a pic list of the drinks you’ll need. Now is the time to use your hand truck and you’ll want to load them in order from back to front or first in last out.

On average we walked 6-7 miles per day, if you can cut that walking time down you’ll be much better off.

You’ll develop a rhythm for what we call “flippin” bottles and cans.

In the next video, Larry talks about trucks and security issues.

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers Servicing New Vending Accounts loading Drink Machines : I’m Tom with the Vending Business show, here again with Larry Towner, and we’ve been talking about what to do when you land a vending account and we just talked about how to handle the money and now what’s next Larry?

Larry Towner: Well, we talked about a snack machine and we talked about handling the money on a snack machine. We haven’t talked about how to service a drink machine and so let’s do a real quick session on a drink machine just as an addendum to the snack machine, they’re very, very similar obviously except you have a lot less product or a lot less choice in your number of products and you have a different set of concerns.

Larry Towner: We should be able to get a drink machine in one video, I’m kind of assuming. So first thing is you know you’re gonna need some drinks. If you do ’em separately, snack machine and drink machine together, you can do ’em separately. Let’s just assume you’re gonna do ’em separately, just because you’re, just because, you’re gonna do ’em separately. If you’re gonna do them separately, you’ve done a pick list of what drinks you’ll need, ’cause you got your snack machine, you then open your drink machine, you look in, you need a case of Coke, a case of Pepsi, a case of Mountain Dew, a case of Diet Coke, you run out to the truck and you go get ’em.

Larry Towner: This is where you really need that hand truck, you need that hand truck or some kind of way to move that product in.

Tom Shivers: Hey Larry.

Larry Towner: Yes.

Tom Shivers: Just real quick. Explain what a pick list is.

Larry Towner: See I’m using jargon and I’m glad you picked me off on that. A pick list is a piece of paper that you take, and it can be cardboard. I used to use three by five cards ’cause they fit in the pocket of my shirt but it’s a piece of card and you actually go through and you pick exactly what products you wanna put into that machine so in a drink machine case, I always worked from left to right so I would look over to the far left and I’d say that was usually diet coke, I’d go I need a diet coke, I don’t need any of the grape, don’t need any of the tea, I need a Dr. Pepper, a Pepsi, a Mountain Dew, and a regular Coke so I’d have those things listed down or say I needed two Coke, whatever the quantity was you could do the same thing in a snack machine. You write down what that pick list. That’s a pick list.

Larry Towner: What am I going to the truck to pick up is what it is. That’s where the term comes from.

Tom Shivers: All right. Great.

Larry Towner: So you got your pick list. You go out to the truck. So yeah and you need to know that. You need to know that that’s a way to do it. So we got out to the truck. We get our pick list. We put the things done the way you, remember if you write ’em out one way up then you’re gonna load them backwards. You always load them in order. I said that with the snack machine and it’s more important with the drinks that you know where each item goes, put ’em on your handtruck or your flatbed. You’re gonna need a way to carry ’em ’cause carrying ten cases of drinks in, that’s where you lose the gym membership really really fast with the amount of time it takes you, the amount of time it takes you is what kills you ’cause that back and forth, we did a study one time.

Larry Towner: This is just kind of a boring little aside but we did a study and we spent on average walking during a day, we walked six to seven miles per day. Our longest walk from truck into a machine was about two hundred yards and our closest one was literally you pull the truck up to the machines but on an average day, about six or seven miles. If you can cut that walking time down, I know it’s good for the gym membership, keeps you young, keeps you healthy, but if you can limit the amount of walking that you do, you’ll be a lot better off. It just takes a whole lot less time so that’s just a quick tip that we have for doing vending route.

Larry Towner: So anyway, you roll in with your stuff, and then you just start filling and you’ll develop for what we call flipping drinks. You’ll learn how they go in, whether they’re bottles or they’re cans, you’ll get into a real rhythm for how to load those drinks up and how to make things happen really smoothly so that’s what you’ll get into, load again from right to left or left to right, always do it the same. Do all of the motions that you make to be exactly the same every time when you’re loading your machines.

Larry Towner: Handling the money on the drink machines again it’s the same as you do with the snack machines. You wanna close out the door. You wanna fill that bag up. You wanna get the money out of the validator and you wanna keep it out of sight as soon as possible. Same thing. Put it into a box or something to take it out of that building and head on your way. Remember, as I told you in the last one, don’t lose the money when you put it in the truck. Make sure you remember where you put it. We’ll get into trucks and security issues and things that happen on your truck or vehicle, whichever it is, in a future show. Any other questions, Tom?

Tom Shivers: Yeah so I guess that’s where we’re headed next in the next video, right?

Larry Towner: Sure. Why not? We’ve gotta keep our audience entertained, don’t we?

Tom Shivers: You’ve been watching Servicing New Vending Accounts Loading Drink Machines at the Vending Business show. A publication of A&M Equipment Sales.  Check out other blogs at Acquiring New Vending Accounts

Vending Industry and Nutrition

Vending Industry and Nutrition U.S. Schools have been fighting obesity for six years now despite the financial hardship it has brought on and the vending industry has supported this cause – one example is NAMA’s Fit Pick program.

Vending Industry and Nutrition These wellness issues have been difficult for vending operators to deal with but necessary for long-term planning and changing consumer perception of vending.

The US Department of Agriculture is pressing for new rules for vending machines under the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs.  Vending operators would do well to lead the charge in consumer perceptions of vending, rather than following it.

It has been six years since U.S. schools began removing soda from vending machines. This was a controversial move. Some observers claimed it would create financial hardships for schools but would not change kids’ eating habits.

The removal of soda and other products has certainly created financial hardships for schools. Obesity rates among young people remain high. However, this past week, the journal, Pediatrics, reports that laws that curb the sales of “junk” food and sweetened drinks at school may play a role in slowing childhood obesity.

The vending and beverage industries have largely supported these efforts. They have done so in recognition of the seriousness of the obesity problem and in the interest of being good corporate citizens. The beverage industry has voluntarily removed soda from many schools. The vending industry, led by the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), has promoted wellness through its voluntary Fit Pick program.

Many vending operators have supported these efforts because they recognize they need to be health advocates. But from a profitability standpoint, it would be an understatement to say the wellness programs have been a challenge. At a time when the industry can least afford it, many school accounts have become less profitable.

While the wellness initiatives have been a tough pill to swallow, vending operators need to consider these efforts within the context of their long-term objectives. A key objective has been the need to change consumer perception of vending.

NAMA has invested heavily in a public awareness campaign to improve the vending industry’s image. The campaign has largely focused on promoting new vending technology. Research indicates consumers are viewing vending more favorably, particularly younger consumers. One reason is that the wellness activities are changing the traditional association of vending machines as purveyors of “junk” food.

Today’s younger generation does not see vending machines filled with soda at school. They see machines offering more water and other noncarbonated beverages. They see snack machines with more baked chips and whole grain snacks. These students are tomorrow’s consumers.

Read more exciting articles  Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?

Read the full story: Nutrition Rules Hurt Short Term, But Ultimately Help Improve Vending’s Public Image  

Imbera Glass Door Coolers

Imbera Glass Door Coolers  An interview with John Brock

John has served as a manufacturer’s representative in the vending and soft drink industries for more than 20 years and today represents MEI payment systems, Changer Services, and Imbera USA.

Listen to the podcast as John answers questions about Imbera Glass Door Coolers

  • Who is Imbera USA?
  • What type of equipment does Imbera offer?
  • Who are some of Imbera’s current customers?
  • Where is your equipment manufactured?
  • What are some of the features of your equipment?
  • What sizes does Imbera offer?


Imbera Glass Door Coolers  Tom Shivers: I’m Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show here with John Brock. He lives here in Atlanta and has served as a manufacturer’s representative in the vending and soft drink industries for more than 20 years. Today John represents a handful of companies including NEI Payment Systems, Changer Services which is NEI’s authorized repair center, and Imbera USA. So thanks for being here John.

John Brock: Hi, Tom. Thank you so much for having me.

Tom Shivers: Who is Imbera USA?  What are Imbera Glass Door Coolers?

John Brock: Well Tom, Imbera USA is part of a big company call FEMSA or “femsa”. FEMSA is an organization with business activities in the soft drink industry, breweries, and convenience stores. Imbera USA manufactures equipment to support customers throughout the United States and Central and South America.

Tom Shivers: What type of equipment does Imbera offer?

John Brock: Imbera  Glass Door Coolers are some of the finest  cold drink merchandisers in the industry. Our coolers are designed to deliver the coldest products, the best performance, the lowest cost of ownership, and superior energy efficiency. As you know, energy efficiency is a key topic in conversations today and Imbera does all this in beautifully designed, well thought out cabinets.

Tom Shivers: Who are some of Imbera’s current customers?

John Brock: Of course we have customers throughout the United States, Central and South America. Our primary customer is Coca-Cola. Imbera is a primary supplier to Coca-Cola in the United States. We literally have thousands of coolers on location throughout the country. In fact, Imbera serves as the largest supplier of coolers to the global Coca-Cola system. So we have a lot of equipment out there.

Tom Shivers: Where is your equipment manufactured?

John Brock: Imbera manufactures their equipment in a state of the art facility in San Juan, Mexico. We have multiple production lines and we manufacture coolers of all shapes and sizes. We offer both custom and standards graphics packages. We offer a level of design flexibility that really other manufacturers just can’t match. From the exterior cabinet to the glass doors to the refrigeration system, at Imbera we manufacture and assemble every component that goes into our equipment. Also, every Imbera cooler is quality tested for construction, for lighting, for refrigeration, and it’s completely tested before it’s placed in our inventory, which our inventory is at our warehouse in Laredo, Texas.

Tom Shivers: What are some of the features in your equipment?

John Brock: We have a lot of great standard features in the Imbera equipment in all of our models. First we offer electronic thermostats or electronic temperature controls on all of our equipment. The idea behind an electronic thermostat is to efficiently maintain the interior temperature of the cooler based on the surrounding conditions. What that means is that depending on what happens in the surrounding area around the cooler, the thermostat will adjust the temperature on the inside of the cooler. So it’s a very efficient way of managing the interior temperature within the cooler. We also use electronic fan motors and electronic fan motors are very energy efficient. They perform really, really well at a fraction of the energy that’s required by a standard fan motor.

John Brock: Next, we also offer fin less condensers on all of our coolers. Fin less condensers reduce the dust build up. By reducing the dust build up that comes through the refrigeration system we allow the compressor to cool more effectively and we also extend the life of the compressor because the dust build up doesn’t get in the way of the airflow, so the compressor is going to work more efficiently and more effectively for years.

John Brock: We also have great glass doors. We use a double panel door and we fill that door with argon glass. What that does is it allows for a more energy efficient door. In fact, the Imbera cooler, on all of our coolers we have the most energy efficient doors in the industry.

John Brock: Also another key feature of the Imbera line of equipment is we use LED lighting in all of our coolers. Imbera actually assisted Coca-Cola in developing the LED lighting systems. So today every Imbera cooler comes with LED perimeter lighting. LED lighting really makes products stand out. It does a terrific job of lighting the interior cabinet at just really a much lower energy cost than what a fluorescent light would be. The LED lights last for about seven years so it has a much longer life cycle than a fluorescent light would have.

John Brock: All of our cabinet are made of heavy duty 24 gauge prepainted steel, so our cabinets are strong and they give years and years of durability. We offer the highest quality painted finish that’s available in the market today. So that’s a few of the standard features of the Imbera equipment.

Tom Shivers: Well what sizes does Imbera offer?

John Brock: Imbera has a full line of equipment and we offer everything from the smallest counter top cooler … We have little tiny counter tops. We have full size counter tops. Then we have a line of single doors from small single doors to large single doors. Then we have a couple of different double door models. And then we even offer a really large triple door cooler. In all the standard sizes we offer coolers that can meet just about anybody’s needs.

Tom Shivers: Any closing comments?

John Brock: Sure. At Imbera our mission is to offer the finest coolers with the most energy efficient designs using the most environmentally safe components all at the lowest possible total life cost. So it really is our mission and we strive every day to do everything possible to make environmentally safe equipment that is energy efficient and still looks great. And that’s what we do.

Tom Shivers: Well thanks so much, John. Of course you can get Imbera Glass Door Coolers at A & M Equipment Sales by contacting your representative there or going through AMEquipmentSales.com. You’ve been listening to Imbera Glass Door Coolers at  the Vending Business Show, a publication of A & M Equipment Sales.  More Blogs at the Vending Business Show  Getting Started With Vending Micro Markets

Royal Vision 500

Royal Vision 500 Machine

episode transcript:

Royal Vision 500  Rep: I’d like to introduce you to the Royal Vision Vendor 500. I want to take you through some of the key features and show you the benefits of these features.

Royal Vision 500  Rep: The first one I’d like to show you is the size of this vendor. The size of this vendor is pretty much the same footprint as a regular cold drink machine or a snack vendor. What I said earlier about taking an existing account and finding new ways to increase the sales, this makes it nice for taking this glass front vendor, going to that account, and taking a machine out of your bank of equipment and placing this one into the same location as that machine. It fits very well, banks very well. It being the size and the piece of equipment it is, it’s easily to get into certain locations as far as the doors that its access to.

Royal Vision 500  Rep: Let me take you through a couple more of the key features of this particular vendor. One feature that we have in this particular vendor, is we have a positive vend mechanism, where we actually pull the product off the shelf into the cup. We do not rely on gravity to make the drink fall into the cup. Now this vend mechanism right here, it was tested by ETL. Edison Testing Laboratories verified it as the most dependable vend mechanism available on any machine.

Royal Vision 500 Rep: Another feature on this right here machine is the flexibility of the packaging. You can see we’ve got 20 ounce bottles. We got the 12 ounce can. We got Gatorade. It’s nice when it comes to vending different packages, we can do that very easily without any kits, adjustments, shims, or anything else, which makes a nice easy transition from one package to another in this machine. The shelves in this machine are a black, doesn’t show the dirt as much as the other machines that have the white interior.

Royal Vision 500 Rep: Let me bring you through a test vend and show you what amazes your customers when you watch this machine. I have it on “test vend.” I’ll activate it by hitting the #, it’ll come up, find section 11. The augur comes out, pulls the product off the shelf. Then it comes over to the bin assembly and dispenses the product. The credit is not canceled until the customer actually takes the product out of the bin assembly.  Thank You for tining into Royal Vision 500 at the Vending Business Show.New To The Vending Business?  More videos can be seen

AMS Visi Combo Machine

Combo Machines


AMS Visi Combo   Tim Paul: This is an AMS Visi Combo, a glass-front merchandiser, of course, that vends both snack products and beverages. It’s a fully insulated cabinet, with dual pane heated glass. You have your sense it system across the top of your delivery bin to guarantee that any product vended the customer always gets his product. You have your changes, validators, or any peripheral you need inside a fully insulated, away from the refrigeration compartment.  The AMS Visi Combo is very user friendly, your control board is right up here, easy to get to, easy to reach all the components for. You can vend this … use this machine in either a 39 inch, which you think of as a five-wide, or a 35 inch, would you think of as a four-wide.

Tim Paul: The AMS Visi Combo shelves are easily removable. Products are easily adjustable. A shelf just comes straight out. You have 19 positions for vend motors. You can have up to 10 products across there or you can use five, three, or whatever is convenient for the products you are vending. Shelves just slide right back in, and plug in inside of this compartment. Each shelf has enough cord to reach all the way to the floor with a six-foot cord.

Tim Paul: As you use our equipment, you are going to need, with refrigeration, to make sure that it has plenty of air getting to the compressor and across that compressor. And we have made a couple of changes. You have a door here. You can get to your screen to clean a screen and make sure that you have clean air getting to your compressor. In fact, every 30 days we’re gonna give you a little beep on your control board to tell you to clean the system.  Available through A&M Equipment Sales.

Refurbished Coffee Machines

Refurbished Coffee Machines

Barry Wood:       Refurbished Coffee Machines   Along with snack machines, we also have Refurbished Coffee Machines  . On the inside we pull the tank and brewere clean the inside of the machine and sometimes paint the inside.  We then disassemble the brewer and tank.  Delime the tank and then comes the installation process.  All new water valves gaskets and any part that is not acceptable.  We check the operation of the tank and brewer before it is installed back into the tank.
Barry Wood:         All brewers are rebuilt with new parts. Your 8 1/4 inch caps fit easily in your dispenser here in front.
Barry Wood:         This Refurbished Coffee Machine blends four different flavors of coffee: Regular coffee, decaf, hot chocolate and french vanilla.
Barry Wood:         Again, this Refurbished Coffee Machine is painted inside and out, and on the sides, and the back. polycarbonate panels are installed  to give you a long-lasting, good-looking machine.
Barry Wood:         New graphics, pricing and labeling of the flavors that are available.  The machine is put on line and checked for at least 3 days to make sure the total operation of the machine checks out.  The only way to buy refurbished coffee machines is to rebuild them all the way.  If not you will run into a multitude of problems.  We know what to do and how to do it.

AMS Combo Food Machine

AMS Food and Bottle Machines
AMS Combo Food Machines  TIm Paul: This is an AMS  Combo  Food Machine. The AMS Combo Food Machines vends a full variety of food products, perishable goods. Also, a couple of shelves for beverages. You can use milk, you can use any type of beverage because the AMS Combo Food Machine also has a health and safety timer. That way, if for some reason your temperature should rise above an acceptable range, it puts the machine out of service. Or if the door is left open where it rises above an acceptable level, the machine goes out of service.

TIm Paul: Most importantly with an AMS Combo  Food Machines, each shelf is fully adjustable for a large variety of products. Should you wish to vend a large double chili dog, for instance, it could be turned sideways like this. You could make this a three-wide here in a four-wide cabinet. You could make a two-wide, you could make a five-wide in this four-wide cabinet, depending on the product size of food you are using.

TIm Paul: This AMS Combo Food Machines  of course, is the 35-inch machine, which you would think of as a four-wide. It also comes in a 39-inch machine, which you would think of as a five-wide.

TIm Paul: The refrigeration system is fully enclosed, you have a screen to protect your compressor against dirt. Also, this machine’s bottle shelves holds six deep. They are six across in this particular model. They are eight across in a 39-inch machine.

TIm Paul: Like all AMS vendors, this machine also has our patented sense-it system, which enables a product to fall through the sensing system and register a vend. Should you be vending a large sandwich or something that for whatever reason that gets hung up, this machine will make a couple of jogs to dislodge this so that your customer always gets his product.

TIm Paul: The warranty on an AMS Combo  Food Machines is three years on refrigeration and electronics and one year general warranty. Give AMS a try.  Thank you for watching the AMS Combo Food Machines at the Vending Business Show for more blogs go to  Servicing New Vending Accounts Part Two

Vending Efficiency Operating Procedures

Vending Efficiency Operating Procedures  An interview with Larry Towner, vending consultant

In this podcast, Larry discusses:  Vending Efficiency Operating Procedures

  • Storing product
  • Statistically you touch an item 5 times before it sells
  • Create a plan for loading your truck so that you get a smooth flow of products
  • Loading drinks vs. loading snacks
  • Keeping things neat and orderly makes you more money
  • Dealing with products going out of date in the warehouse
  • Use vertical space to your advantage
  • Eliminate confusion

Tom: I’m Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show here with Larry Towner who is a vending business consultant. He’s been in the vending business for a long time so thanks for being here Larry.

Larry: Thanks Tom, appreciate it.

Tom: In the last show, past couple of shows, we’ve talked about some interesting topics like marketing at the machine level and product turn. Basically, at this point, in the process, the vending operators may be selling more product. I imagine Vending Efficiency Operating Procedures  is, becomes kinda important at this stage.

Larry: Yeah, it’s kinda time to start talking about Vending Efficiency Operating Procedures  because now that you’ve got everybody selling product at a strong level, a couple of different problems that come up, everybody thinks oh it’s great to sell a whole lot of product, that’s great I’ll be making all this money except there’s a couple of things people don’t realize when they get out to selling a lot of product that, kinda like where do you keep it? And how do you move it? And a few things like that and so one of the things that we’ll start with, and there’s a series of shows that’ll go on talking about operations and efficiency and things like that, but one of the things that or where we’ll start is basically in your warehouse operation. And Tom, where do you think most people start in the vending business if they have a start a vending company? Do you they start with the-

Tom: Probably in the garage.

Larry: Yeah, probably in the garage is right. Or maybe just out of the truck and they use Sam’s club or one of the other warehouse clubs as their warehouse and that’s actually a great way to start but eventually you’ll get to the size where you need to start storing up a little product and usually everybody tends to move to their garage.

Larry: A couple of things about your garage. First off is, if you are married or you have a significant other or whatever, they general don’t like their garage full of snack food and drinks and things like that so it can lead to some tense moments in the family life and one has to just be aware that that might happen. But when you set your warehouse up and it really doesn’t matter how big your warehouse is, but you wanna have your, kind of your mind on efficiency and how do you move product easily.

Larry: One thing that we’ve done through statistics and things like that is that we’ve found that when we take products and from the time we receive a product to the time a product goes into the customer’s hands, we have actually handled it five times. And that’s an awful lot of moving of product if you think about it. If you’re gonna do some significant volume, if you say move a 100,000 items a year, you’ll have touched those items 500,000 times a year because you’ll have touched them five times.

Larry: So if you can remove one of those steps out of there, that’s say 400,000 times that you touch everything instead of 500 and that will lead to more profitability down the road. When you go in to laying your warehouse out, and this can be as simple as your garage, or it can be as complex as a very large drive in warehouse where you’re gonna be loading multiple trucks at any given time, you kinda wanna have a plan as to how you load your truck and subsequently your combines with your truck. Which your truck then should combine with your machines so that everything has a very smooth flow to it and that keeps you from having handle things too many times.

Larry: So I always say first off, in the vending business we have two basic types of products. We have drink products and we have snack products and those two things. What’s the difference between those two, Tom?

Tom: One is liquid and the other one’s not.

Larry: That’s correct. And the difference is, tell me a little bit about the weight of each of those items.

Tom: Well the drink’s gonna weigh more than the snack.

Larry: Absolutely. And the drinks are much, much, probably 400 times heavier, I don’t know the exact number but it’s quite a bit so when we go to lay out a warehouse, we always try to set. For me anyway, I always try to set drinks where they’re essentially at truck level when I bring ’em in. I try to set my warehouses up where I can back the bumper of the truck up to ground level and we can move things into the truck without having to lift them up and you’ll understand that if you get into the vending business and you go to load a hundred cases of drinks every day and you have to load ’em up three feet into your truck every day versus just rolling ’em straight across the dock plate or something like that.

Larry: Now that’s tough to do when you’re in your garage but you can set up a ramp system and you can make a kind of removable thing where you can actually roll your drinks up on a hand truck, into your truck, from the ground. And these are little things, but at the end of a long day, when you go to load your truck or the beginning of a long day, just depending on how you set up your particular route, these little things make a big difference as to how tired you are and how much extra work you can actually do.

Larry: We always set our drinks on the ground. We generally try to put them on pallets because what my goal was is, that even in a garage type situation, I put it on a pallet, I invested the money in a pallet jack because if I took my drinks, I could actually take a whole pallet and pull it right over to the back of the truck and load from the pallet into the truck. It makes it much, much easier, must faster, and then you can roll the pallet back and put it back where it goes because keeping things neat and orderly is what’s gonna help you make extra money.

Larry: If you go into a UPS warehouse or something like that, you’ll find a huge automated system that keeps things tracked and itemized and inventoried and in the vending business, Tom, what’s one thing about vending products that you know that’s critical in a vending product, they all have something printed on them, what’s that that’s printed on every vending product?

Tom: The date. Or UPC code.

Larry: There’s an expiration date. Yes. And the basic problem with expiration dates is, is that when that expiration date arrives, you need to throw that product away or eat it either way but it’s no longer sellable as of the expiration date. And one of the things that always, always, always when I ran my businesses or I run my businesses I should say that absolutely infuriates me is to have product go out of date sitting in the warehouse and believe it or not, it happens in every company and it happens because people try to cut corners so you have to have a flow system where the old date product, the longest purchase to go gets put on the truck first and this is done by good organization, making sure you can see all of your product, don’t have any place where product can fall down behind other product or get hidden by other boxes and when you go and you purchase product, make sure you move the old inventory up and push the new inventory to the back. Sounds simple but you’d be amazed how much it doesn’t happen.

Larry: And one other thing when we go to lay out a warehouse and particularly in a garage type situation, you really wanna make sure you use vertical space. And when I say that invest in some shelving or build some shelving, either way, it doesn’t really matter but get some shelving. You can good, inexpensive shelving. Pallet racks work really well. They’re very, very inexpensive and you can stack your products up vertically. Drinks always go on the ground ’cause they’re heavy and you really don’t wanna be lifting drinks but your snack products can go all the way to the ceiling ’cause they just don’t weigh anything. A box of chips only weighs, I don’t know not even a pound and anybody can pick up a box of chips, including women.

Larry: So that’s just some little tips. The organization of it is, is that when you go from your warehouse into your truck, you wanna have a flow. You wanna have everything in the same place and we always organized our warehouse the same way we organized our trucks, which in turn, was dependent on how our planograms were set up in the machines, meaning, as we talked about in the last show when we were marketing at the machine level, we had certain things in certain places. We then took, we worked our way backward from the machine level to the truck. When you walked into one of our trucks on the shelves, it looked just like the machine. The top shelf stuff was on the top shelf. The middle shelf and so forth and so on down the shelf so when you walked up to that machine and you wrote down you needed six of this and six of that and six of this and six of that, you went into that truck and the truck was exactly the same way, where the top shelf had all those products and the middle shelf.

Larry: And then, at the end of the day, or the beginning of the day depending on when you load, you go into the warehouse, everything is in the same place there as well so you’re never confused because you put something in the wrong place. Does that make sense?

Tom: That’s great stuff, Larry. Thanks for sharing. Tell us a little about your consulting business.

Larry: Well, we do consulting. We give these kinds of tips and more out to the various people that are particularly start up companies or companies looking to the make step in vending that are looking to move up and do more in the vending business but startups are really who need the most help. We can be reached at [email protected] and just drop us an email and we’ll see if we can get together and possibly help you out.

Tom: You’ve been listening to Vending Efficiency operating Procedures at the Vending Business Show, a publication of A & M Equipment Sales.  More Videos to look at  FDA Requirements for Vending Machines: What You Need to Know

Vending Machine Product Turn


Larry TownerLarry is a veteran vending operator who has had success in all areas of the vending business and in choosing a vending machine product. Listen to learn why  it’s important to have the proper selection of products in a vending machine:

  • Know the number of times a product turns in a year

  • Know the difference between large and small profits

  • Most vendors shoot to turn once every 2 months

  • You want inventory to turn as fast as possible

  • The key to profits is product selection

  • Rotate products thru a cycle (the steak flavored potato chip)

  • How to maximize product turn

  • The McDonald’s McRib sandwich

  • When users know what’s there all the time they tend to ignore the machine

  • What’s new this week?



Tom Shivers: I’m Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show, here with Larry Towner, who is a vending business consultant. He’s been in the vending business for many years, and not too long ago sold the majority share of his vending business. Thanks for being here, Larry.

Larry Towner: Thanks, Tom.

Tom Shivers: In the last show, we talked about marketing at the machine level, and you pointed out a lot of interesting things. For example, which products sell best, product placement, presentation, setting the machine up, and then … a lot of other things that come into play there as well. Even another one was making the machine look fresh.

Tom Shivers: Why is it important to have proper selection of products in a machine>

Larry Towner: Ah, the magic question, why do you want the right products in the machine? Well, the basis of machine level marketing, or planograms, or whatever you want to call them, planograms is actually the picture of how your machine looks and where everything is placed, gets into a couple of different things, but the biggest issue there is to essentially give the people what they want, which in turn is going to give you what we call product turn. Product turn is the number of times that you sell a given product in a week, month, year, day, whatever it happens to be, but generally, it’s referred to as the number of times that a product turns in a year, and most businesses look at turn as being critical. Turn can be the difference between making large profits and making small profits.

Larry Towner: The key to machine level marketing is to make sure that you put the right products in there so that you can get enough turn to justify having the product in there, and when we say turn, what we mean is that if you sell a product … Just for example, if you sell one product, and you sell six columns of it, say, six full columns or 12 selections each, whatever, however you want to look at it, let’s just say you sell six versus selling 12, if your margin is the same, of course, you’re going to make more money selling 12 versus selling six, and that’s what we consider to be turn.

Larry Towner: Most people consider turn to be how fast you turn your entire inventory, and most vendors shoot to turn their entire inventory in, I’d say a figure of about six times a year, or once every two months. If you look at your dating on your products and things, that’s really where those figures come from. The figures come from the fact that most of our products have about a two month date one them, roughly, if you look at potato chips. Pastries, of course, are a little shorter, and any fresh food you do, of course, would be much shorter.

Larry Towner: But that gets to be the critical issue, is that you want your inventory to turn because you make more money when the product turns, or sells, basically. If you can turn your entire machine … If you take, and you take a 40 select machine, and you turn the entire inventory over six times a year, if you can make it turn seven times a year, that’s like adding another two month cycle into your year, so that’s like having your year be 14 months instead of being 12 months, and that can be significant money. The key to product selection and marketing at the machine level are giving your customers what they want, when it’s all essentially the same thing, that’s where it becomes critical, because to get the extra profit out of it, it adds up to some very, very serious money.

Larry Towner: At one time, I did a little study. I said, “If I can get each of my machines to turn one column more per week, that I would average,” on average it was something like, “an extra $5,000 a week in income,” and that’s significant in a small business. It’s significant in a large business. If you can get one more turn, you get an extra $5,000. So that’s why turn is so critical.

Larry Towner: Kind of interesting, isn’t it, Tom?

Tom Shivers: It is, it’s fascinating. It’s like you’re optimizing the whole business around the products that are selling in the machines that you have, though it sounds like you really have to experiment, perhaps, to find out which products turn the fastest or the best.

Larry Towner: Yeah, you actually, you do, you know? You want to try new products. New products always sell well. They always tend to turn pretty well, but the question is, do they have longevity? What eventually you’ll learn is, you learn at each given account what really sells, and what kind of cycles you can rotate things through.

Larry Towner: We rotate our products, or we always rotated our products through kind of in a cycle, and when I say that, I mean, we would give a product … I don’t know if I have a hard example, but an optional chip, we call them optional chips. It might be, say, a steak-flavored potato chip, and we would run those about every three to four months, just for example. We would find that when we would put them in, they would get snapped up and purchased very, very quickly. What we would do is we would watch to … at a point where they started to slow down a little bit, then we would take them out, and we wouldn’t run them for another four months.

Larry Towner: The best example I can give you of that kind of thing is McDonald’s, and I say it because right now, as we sit here, I know that McDonald’s has their infamous McRib back out in the stores, but they don’t run the McRib all year long. They only run it every so often, and when they do, they tend to get pretty good sales out of it, and so that’s a different kind of example, but it’s the same example. We always try to do the same thing with some of our optional chips.

Larry Towner: You’ll find that some of your chips will sell all the time, and when you get those chips, you leave those in, and they sell consistently, day in and day out, but your other chips, candy bars, it doesn’t matter. It all has its cycle, and you can cycle it through, and that gives you maximum turns, and so that’s how you get maximum turns.

Larry Towner: If you go … I’ll give you another example. Tom, have you ever had vending in any of the businesses you’ve ever worked in through the years?

Tom Shivers: Sure.

Larry Towner: When you walked up to the machine, and it was the same stuff in there that you saw for the past two months, were you real excited about buying any of it?

Tom Shivers: No. I mean, you know what’s there, so you just kind of ignore it, I guess.

Larry Towner: Yeah, you kind of ignore it. See, that’s … When you get at machine level marketing, that’s what we always try to not have happen, because we realize that … The difference is, see, a vendor goes to the machines, let’s just say, he goes once a week, or even if he goes on a daily basis, as a vendor, if you go to the machines, and the machines look stale and boring, and when I say stale and boring, it’s like, “The same stuff, the same blah, blah, blah,” it’s time to change the machine. Just change how it looks. Move stuff around, maybe add some new product.

Larry Towner: That way, what happens is, is people go to the vending machine. My goal, anyway, was always to have people go to the vending machine and say, “Hey, what’s new here today?” Or, “What’s new this week?” Pretty much every single time … We did the majority of weekly accounts, so every time we went, every week we went, we would try to add something new and take something out, so that the machine always had something different in it that people could look at and try.

Larry Towner: I’ve been in and worked in too many places in the past where nothing ever changed, and you just kind of got to the point where you’re like, “Yeah, whatever.” And so, that’s what our goal is, is to maximize turns, is to keep rotating things around and changing things up.

Tom Shivers: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. I mean, you definitely want it fresh, like you said, and kind of like you were talking about the McDonald’s McRib sandwich is kind of a scarcity play, because you never know when it’s going to be there and how long it’s going to be, and then when it’s gone, it’s gone for a while.

Larry Towner: For a while, right. But they do tend to cycle it and bring it back, so you know it’ll come back sometime, and they sell it and that, and we do kind of the same thing, because we have, essentially, 40 selections or so, 32 to 40 selections, most of our machines are 32 to 40 selections, and drink machines run anywhere from five to 10, but even with the drinks, we tended to rotate drinks around a little bit. We’d always add a couple of optional flavors in that were … and I say optional in that pretty much our planograms had Coke, Diet Coke, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, and then usually another … we would have flavors and things like that, but we would rotate the flavors around too.

Larry Towner: We’d run orange for a while, then we’d run grape, and then we’d run … Warm months we’d run tea, and then we’d run non-carbonated stuff in the summer, maybe chocolate drinks like Yoo-hoo or something like that in the wintertime. That way, you always had something that’s fresh and new also, even in the drink machines, because while people want what they want, they also do like to try new things, so that’s kind of the concept of turn, and that’s the way that you, or it’s the way that I’ve found that maximizes turn really well.

Larry Towner: That’s why we do it, and we do it … If you take and run the numbers sometimes, you’ll see it can add up to significant in money.

Tom Shivers: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing, Larry. Tell us about your consulting business.

Larry Towner: Well, what we do is we do consulting. We give you tips like this and a whole lot more, just depending on wherever you’re at with your vending business. We work mostly with startups, or people that have been in business and are looking to get bigger, and/or are struggling with their business, trying to figure out what are they doing, how are they doing it, and how can they become more efficient?

Larry Towner: Efficiency is something that’s absolutely critical in the vending business. It’s probably a topic we need to talk about for another show, but efficiency comes out to how you make the decisions on which product to buy, and how you actually operate your business, how do you walk into the business and do your job when you actually get accounts? How do you, right down to the nuts and bolts … If we can save you minutes, we could save you dollars, so that’s what we do. We do analysis and we can help you with sales and marketing. We can help you with all kinds of things, all aspects of the vending business.

Tom Shivers: All right. You’ve been listening to the Vending Business Show, a production of A&M Equipment Sales.

Vendo 621 Vending Machine

More on Vendo 621 Machine – Live Display

Episode Transcript:

J Orville:          We want to talk to you today about the Vendo 621 Vending Machine  Live Display. This machine comes in an 8 select 621, and also comes in a 10 select in a 721 bottle. The machine is complete with what we call ready to vend Light. If you have multiple pricing on the machine, as you deposit money, then the products that are receiving enough money to build a credit turn green, and that product’s available to be purchased. They also act as sold out lights, because if a column is empty, the button will turn red and let you know that product is sold out.
J Orville:     Vendo 621 Vending Machine  come with a Vendo Quicker Lock, the little pressure on the door. It’s five half turns to open the door. The door also closes, it makes a refrigeration seal, and we’re asking for a turn and a half, and you have the machine completely closed.
J Orville:          The Vendo 621 Vending Machine has a light, so that you can always see your product as it’s being delivered to you. It also has a Vendo flap here, so people are unable to reach through and get the product on the inside of the machine.
J Orville:        The Vendo 621 Vending Machine    all the products are visible. The actual sign space, or advertising piece is on the backside of the product. If you open the door, and separate the inner and outer door, your advertising piece is right here. This piece is removable, so if you would need to personalize this machine for a specific account, you’re able to go to your local printer, get a sign face printed up, and slide it right in here, so you can personalize the machine to any specific account. All your products are available right here for easy change, easy clean.
J Orville:      The Vendo 621 Vending Machine     All your instructions for the machine are right on the inner door. This is a very simple piece of equipment. You have product retainers right here. Lift up, you fill the bottom portion of the machine, push these down, fill the top portion. There’s a rack on the inner door that actually has two wires. The reason for the two wires is, if you’re gonna load bottles in this machine, most machines want bottles loaded neck first. This machine you can load neck in, you can actually load ’em neck out, or you can load ’em butt to butt, it really doesn’t make any difference. It’ll vend in any position.
J Orville:          The Vendo 621 Vending Machine vends cans to bottles without absolutely no shims. There’s and three step process to convert the machine over, right here on the door.
J Orville:          Step one: Move your back spacers to accommodate the product.
J Orville:          Step two: Underneath the stack, in each one of the columns, there’s a product slide. It slides up for cans, back for bottles.
J Orville:          You go to number three, which is the control board, and tell the control board that you wanna vend any specific column, one, two, three, or four deep, and you’ve got the machine converted.
J Orville:          The Vendo 621 Vending Machine  will then vend all packages. It will even vend soft water bottles, which has been a problem in the industry. This machine has no problem with soft water bottles.   Thank you for visiting Vendo 621 Vending Machine at the Vending Business Show  More can be seen   Servicing New Vending Accounts Getting Organized