Tag Archives: vending machine maintenance

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.

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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 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

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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?

AMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable

AMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable  An interview with John Whitwell of Buffalo Rock

John has been buying AMS equipment for 8+ years and comments on the quality, customer appreciation from the factory and factory reps and the versatility of their machines.

“The reason I use them is they are really dependable. We use very few parts on them over the past 10 years.”

“The brand new machine that’s coming out this year; we just got a few in. The appearance of the machine is just unbelievable compared to what it used to be. The numbers are lit up, everything looks great, compared to what it used to look like.”

AMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable  “Again, I couldn’t praise more about the durability and dependability of these machines compared to what we used to deal with… good product.”

“One other plus about the AMS refrigerated machines, the 35 and 39 inch machines, is they use the same parts. Besides the shelf being wider, I don’t have to carry duel parts.”

 

 

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

 

AMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable  Tom: This is Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show, and I’m here with John Whitwell, who is the market equipment manager for Buffalo Rock. Today we’re going to talk about AMS equipment. So thanks for being here, John.

John: Thank you.

Tom: Now with buying AMS equipment, what do you think about the quality, the warranty, and customer appreciation from the factory and factory reps of their five wide snack machines?

John: I really enjoy using the AMS. I think we started back about eight or nine years ago, and I pretty much exclusively use AMS. I toured their facility. I’ve watched from the metal coming in to the end product. I’ve met Roy Steeley, the owner of that company, all the people that work there.

John: But the biggest factor, the reason I use them, is they’re really dependable. We use very few parts on ’em over all the last ten years. And then the sales rep that I have, Tim Paul, is really knowledgeable on the equipment, and if I need him here today, he’ll come today, if he’s in the country. There are times he’ll be in Puerto Rico.

John: But generally we have a great relationship, they do a great job, and that’s one thing that I never got out of some of the other manufacturers.

Tom: Now you buy both the snack machines and the refrigerated machines, is that right?

John: That’s right.

Tom: AMS is the only manufacturer that makes a 35″ four wide, refrigerated vendor. Do you use a lot of those?

John: Well when we first started purchasing them, we bought only the refrigerated, and that’s because the refrigeration unit was, actually, the expense was only a few hundred dollars more, and we lease them back to ourselves, so that’s a big savings. And they also make a food … I don’t know if you knew that, but they make a food machine, a 35 and a 39, and that’s all I use on food as well. I use their AMS 39 and 35s.

Tom: What types of food do you dispense from the refrigerated food machines?

John: We do everything from the big sandwiches, to some of the platters, like wing platters. You can just about configure it any way you want. And, of course, that’s pretty much set through our corporate office, how they want the machines set. But we can pretty much sell anything through ’em. And we sell a lot of different things.

Tom: AMS is the only company that makes an ETL approved, high security, outdoor vendor. Do you use a lot of those?

John: We use them in the schools.

Tom: Okay. What configuration of snack machine do you buy from AMS? Single helix or dual helix? Regular fluorescent light or LED light? Gum-

John: Well, everything that’s coming to us now is the dual helix, and LED, and, of course, they’re all ADA approved. Actually the brand new machine that’s coming out this year, we just got a few in, and the appearance of the machine is just unbelievable compared to what it used to be. The numbers are lit up, everything looks great compared to what it used to look like.

John: To me, again, I couldn’t praise more about the durability and the dependability of these machines compared to what we used to deal with. Just a good product.

Tom: What do you think about the new epoch look on the machines now?

John: That’s what I was saying, the new look, to me, is just unbeliev … you know where it extrudes out and it just looks way better than the other ones. It’s a little bit more. Again, to me, as long as they work, that’s bet … you can have the best looking machine out there with all the bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t work, it’s not dependable and you’re going back to it, and you’re putting money in it as far as parts trying to make it work, then it’s no good unless it’s dependable. I think these things work great.

Tom: Do you use any of the healthy vend machines?

John: I don’t think we’ve gotten into that, I think there might be a few selections in there that they’ll code healthy vend, as far as whether it be a … I ain’t gonna say a chip because I can’t, I don’t think they are, but I know that the full line vending team does recognize, they’ll put something on there, I’ve seen it before, it says, “Healthy vend,” or something that’s on there. Is that what you’re talking about?

Tom: Yeah. Overall, which company, in your viewpoint, makes the best refrigerated vendor?

John: Again, to me, because I use AMS and I wouldn’t have stayed with them if I didn’t like it, but it’s not hard to change out the refrigeration unit if it’s bad. After a couple times, if you ever had to do it, pretty simple. So we stay with them, we really enjoy that machine. My guys’ll like it. Simple to use, that’s the biggest thing. Simple to work on.

John: One other plus about this machine, and again, I hadn’t … I’m not in touch with what the other ones do because I hadn’t given over the last ten years probably haven’t given them a whole lot of opportunity to come in here, because I get such good service out of the people from AMS, but the parts I use in an AMS 35 are the same parts that go in a AMS 39. Besides that shelf being wider, everything else is the same, so I don’t have to carry dual parts, and that’s a plus in itself.

Tom: That’s great. Now is there anything you’d like to tell us about Buffalo Rock?

John: We’ve been in business for a pretty good while, over a hundred years. I don’t know what, it was a hundred years a few years ago so I don’t know the dead on number. But I think it’s a great place to work for. I think we all is … because we have divisions all over Alabama and Georgia, and Mike Bunt is the CME, corporate marketing equipment, guy in Birmingham. We all work well together. And if we need things from each other, it’s just a phone call or an email away. We meet quarterly, and just a great place to work.

Tom: Alright, well, you’ve been listening toAMS Vending Machines Durable and Dependable  at the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.  More Vending Business Blogs  USA TECHNOLOGIES ePORT G9

Vending Technology From Vending Operators

Vending Technology From Vending Operators   This technology panel Q&A discussion was recorded at NAMA OneShow 2012 and includes:

  • Doug Haddon, MEI
  • Stu Riemann, D & R Star Vending
  • Scott Meskin, Black Tie Services
  • David Sours, Coca-Cola United
  • Cliff Fisher, MEI (moderator)

Vending Technology from Vending operators  This is a gathering of large and small vendors gathered at the NAMA show trying to find answers on Vending technology.  This includes Vending credit card readers and vending telemetry  Vending is starting to move towards prekitting all your products and then just having the route person bring them in and install them in the vending machine.  Telemetry keeps track of sales – money in the machines and items that are sold.  With this the owner has a clear knowledge what the machines and account is doing.  This is your chance to hear from operators who are actually implementing many effective processes and technologies that include – but are not limited to – telemetry. They’re doing it on a large scale and to great success.  Different operators discuss different credit card readers their effectiveness and cost as well as security and reliability.  They also discuss telemetry whick systems are good and which systems are very reliable.

Vending technology From Vending Operators  There are excellent questions from the audience for each panelist, in fact, that is the point. If you’ve ever had questions about telemetry or other vending technology implementation questions, you may find your answer in this video.  You may want to see additional blogs of the Vending Business Show  Vending Machines: How to Strike a Deal with an Establishment

Whats New in Vending Machine Tech Support

Whats New in Vending Machine Tech Support  An interview with Joe Nichols

  • Joe was brought up in the vending business, his Dad being a vending operator
  • After success as a vending operator, Joe tells how he got into the equipment business
  • “We want to give support that we never had”
  • Frustration with complicated manufacturer manuals
  • The CD is in all our refurbished machines
  • The technical support video library is available to anyone for free
  • Phone tech support is for our customers
  • We support what we sell, but we’ll have a full scale of everything before long
  • We’re not movie guys, but you’ll like it

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Whats New in Vending Machine Tech Support  Tom Shivers with Vending Business Show here with Joe Nichols of A&M Equipment Sales. Joe has been in the vending business for 39 years and started as a vending operator, became successful but began selling refurbishment vending machines exclusively in 1992. Today we’re going to talk about vending machine tech support. Joe, thanks for being here.

Joe: Thank you Tom.

Tom: How’d you get started in the vending business?

Joe: Well my father started in vending in 1953 and of course I was born in 1954 and of course being my father’s son, I used to ride around in the truck with him because he used to fill up the candy machines and I love candy, so I was riding in the truck all the time with him. I started full time after high school, of course I was going to college too but I started in 73 full time and I had lots of energy and I thought bigger was better and we went out there and we started getting a lot of accounts, refurbishing a lot of machines and once we ever did in the Atlanta area was about a million four. We had 4 full vending routes and we were doing a lot of business.

Joe: Now the way we got into the equipment business is we bought tractor trail loads of vending machines and we would refurbish them and we wanted them to look and act like brand new, so we put a lot of extra parts on them, a lot of new front parts to make them look new and act new and everybody in the Atlanta area started buying vending machines from me. When everybody starts vending machines from you, when you go out there and start taking their accounts, they don’t like that. We had to make a decision whether to stay in the vending business or get into the equipment business full time and we decided to we’d like the equipment business and everything. We decided we’d do this full time and everybody in the Atlanta area still buys from me and I’m friend with everybody and we do real well.

Tom: Tell me more about the vending machines that you sell now.

Joe: What we want to do is we want to make a machine that looks and acts like brand new and we want to give support that we never had. When I was coming up when you a buy a machine, you buy new machine, you buy refurbished machine, you could go back to the manufacturer, they’d give you some ideas on what to do. They had certain hours and you could look at the manual but when you started looking at the manual they are so many things in the manual. It took you forever to try to figure out what was going on and you just very, very frustrated.

Joe: You are out there on location, you got all the customers wanting to know when the machine is going to be fixed and you are constantly trying to go through this manual. Now what we have done when we sell a remanufacture machine, we put a CD-ROM in the machine and what that CD-ROM does is you can pull it out and you can take it and print it out and print as many copies as you want. In that way a lot of times when I’d get to a machine, the manual wasn’t in the machine and I’m trying to figure out. You can’t even remember how to even price the machine because there is too many different machines.

Joe: What we’ve been doing is we put the CD-ROM in the machine and you can print out a copy of every manual and put it in the bottom of the machine in that way you got something to go on. Now what we’ve come up with lately is we want to go above and beyond that and we’re doing videos. We’re getting somewhat in depth into the machine but not all the way in depth yet and what we’re doing is we’re making a technical support video library that you can go on our website at www.amequipmentsales.com and then you click on the technical support and put your email address in, it’s free of charge and you can go in there and everybody got their little iPads on and everything else now and you can go on there and you can pull up a video of the machine that you are working on.

Joe: A lot of times you forgot how to price up the machine or you know there is a configuration problem or different little things that you could program in and you can go into there and look at it and remember how to do it and then go in there and take care of it. Now if you buy a machine from us, we also have telephone technical support live for the machine. I can’t give it to people that aren’t buying machines from us because we’re trying to give it to the customers that do buy machines from us but if you buy a machine from us, you can go and it be nice if you look at the video so you can get all the terminology and everything else right if you don’t know it, but you can call us up. Get in front of the machine, call us up with your cellphone and we’ll lead you through what it takes to fix the machines.

Tom: How long are the videos?

Joe: Normally they are 3 to 5 minutes. You can sit back. What I would do is if I was a newer type customer and didn’t know that much about the machines, the machines that I ordered, I would go ahead and run a video on them before and watch the video before I got the machine. When I got the machine, you’ll know where the changer, the validator, the money box, the board, the mode switch, how to program it. You can learn all of that before you get your machine. You’ll know a lot more once you go into the location because the worst feeling in the world is to be able to go in that location and not know what you are doing and you got all these customers hounding you.

Tom: Yeah. What type of machines do you all support?

Joe: Well, right now we’re doing the AMS, the National, the APs, we just put a National Coffee on there, we’re doing Vendo, Dixy, Royal, pretty well we’ll have a full scale of everything before long. Mainly it’s what we sell that we’re trying to do first. As far as the videos, we’re ex vending guys, we’re not the movie guys, some of these videos are not going to be the best in the world but you can get a, try to see what we’re doing let’s put it that way.

Tom: It’s not going to be entertaining necessarily.

Joe: No.

Tom: You sell mostly remanufacture machines, is that right?

Joe: We sell new and remanufacture. Right now with the economy the way it is we sell probably 75% remanufacture and 25% new. There is locations where if it’s a really high volume location, you’re better off buying new. If it’s a real low volume location, you’re better off buying used. It’s just according to, if you call me I’d be glad to go over it with you and tell you what I would do. Now you can do whatever you want to do but I’d be glad to help you in anyway on that. My phone number is 1-800-713-6217. I’d be glad to talk to anybody around the country about vending. Like I said, if you want to go to the video technical support, go to the website at www.amequipmentsales.com and click on the technical support at the top of the page and put your email in and you can go in there. We also, we’d put changers, mores changers, validators, con locks, coinco. If you are having problems with the changer or a validator, you can figure out how to program it and clean it and do other things.

Tom: Okay. Thanks for sharing Joe. You’ve been listening to Whats New in Vending Machine Tech Support at the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales. More Vending Business Show blogs  Gym Vending Machine

Easy Repairs to Vending Machine Validators and Changers

AN INTERVIEW WITH Dale Barebo


DALE Barebo

In this episode of the Vending Business Show, we interview Dale Barebo, a successful vending operator, and vending sales manager.

He shares Common vending machine repairs issues with validators and changers & The major brands of validators and changers available today


EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:


Tom Shivers: I’m Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show, here with Dale Barebo, Sales Manager of Phoenix Vending Systems, and today we’re going to talk about vending machine repairs, validators, and changers. So, Dale, thanks for being here.

Dale Barebo: No problem, thank you for having me. Let’s Talk about vending machine repairs

Tom Shivers: What vending machine repairs are easy for vending operators to perform on as it relates to their vending machine validators and changers?

Dale Barebo: Well, I would say that any vending machine repairs is fairly simple. When they get out to a machine it’s just a matter of not panicking and not getting upset. To diagnose it correctly and see if it’s taking money. If it’s not taking money, check and make sure that it’s clean. Just generally a damp cloth to wipe out the bill path or wipe out the coin path. Then, number one thing I always recommend for people to do, is simply just power the machine down, count to 10, power it back up and try it again. It’s just like your computer at home. The hard drive is gonna crash. It’s gonna lock up. It’s gonna lose its memory. You power it down, you power it back up. It’s reset and it’s up and working. And that’s the number one thing I always tell people to look for.

Tom Shivers: Okay.

Dale Barebo: It’s pretty simple.

Tom Shivers: All right, well, that’s easy.

Dale Barebo: It is very easy, and it’s not rocket science to work on these machines. It’s just, like I say, if you don’t panic, use a little common sense. You look for the problem that exists and a lot of the times I’m gonna say 70% of the time it’s dirt related. 20% of the time it’s something simple that there’s a dollar bill stuck in the bill path, there’s a coin in the coin jam. And 10% of the time it’s a problem that you’re going to need outside help, in which case you just remove the validator, you remove the change, and you put a replacement in, and you send it in and we get it repaired and send it back to you.

Tom Shivers: Yeah. I imagine there’s a number of common do-it-yourself repairs that vending operators could handle or even … not just vending operators, but anybody who owns a machine.

Dale Barebo: Correct, and I always tell everybody, anything we do you can do. It just comes down to, there’s a knowledge base that you have to have, but beyond that, cleaning is the big thing, like we talked about. 70% of it is gonna be dirt related, and if they can manage on a semiannual basis or once a quarter, to just get in there and just, when they’re servicing the machine just take those corrective measures to clean the coin path, to clean the bill path, to dust it off a little bit. They’re going to save themselves so much time and so much money because it’s gonna reduce the breakdown, and dirt is the enemy. Coins are dirty, dollar bills are dirty, people’s hands are dirty. That path is off and it gets into those things.

Dale Barebo: And that’s the big general maintenance things that most folks can do. As far as taking it out of the machine and taking it back to a bench and tearing it apart, yeah, you can do that, but again it might get more complicated, and you may not have the replacement parts. But, we sell the parts if you need them. If you break something it’s no big deal. Everything is replaceable on those units. There’s nothing that isn’t manufactured that we don’t have replacement parts for.

Tom Shivers: Okay, good to know. Well, what major brands are available?

Dale Barebo: Well, the major brands that are out there, basically, are gonna be Coinco and Mars. Those are the two major brands. There’s some other brands, such as Conlux and JCM and CashCode and all those. And we certainly look at all of those and we can repair most of those, and if we don’t there’s other service centers that can. Pretty much the major brands, the major players are Coinco and Mars and Conlux, and those guys produce probably most of the validators and coin changers that are out there, and those are usable in all manufacturers of machines, from Automatic Products, Dixie Narco, Vendo, Royal Vendors, [AMF 00:04:25]. Every machine that’s out there are gonna use the same changers, the same validators. There’s just different connections that hook into ’em, and again, today’s market is mostly [MVB 00:04:15] on the new stuff. The older stuff we carry replacement parts. We can fix those. There’s different models that go in there, and the manufacturers have made similar models that cross over.

Tom Shivers: So, Coinco, Mars, and Conlux.

Dale Barebo: I would recommend those three, yes.

Tom Shivers: Okay. Well, anything else you can share with us?

Dale Barebo: Well, I always just tell folks if they need anything to give us a holler. We do customer education programs that come out to your facility and help you guys do things. We have some criteria for that but they can call us and we can certainly talk to ’em. We don’t mind talking to folks over the phone to try to talk them through problems that they might have and source them in the right direction to help them out. No charge for that. So, we try to help you out.

Tom Shivers: Okay, great. Super. So, y’all are Phoenix Vending Systems. How do people get in touch with you?

Dale Barebo: Well, they can get ahold of us at 1-888-858-8583, and we consider ourselves an obsolete equipment repair company, meaning we can fix anything that’s been produced probably since the mid ’50s up until today, and certainly we carry all replacement parts for those things. We offer a one-year warranty on everything we fix, and we do a fixed price program for you guys that will do a … you know what it costs you when you send it in. So, it’s pretty basic and pretty simple. We got different programs for different sized companies. All they have to do is give us a call and we can certainly talk to them over the phone about that.

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