Tag Archives: vending tools

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 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



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 Tools Choosing Hand Trucks

Vending Operator Tools Choosing Hand Trucks
Transporting soda and drinks is very physical to move but with the right hand truck it’s relatively easy.

Traditional hand trucks work just fine for both soda and snack routes.

Convertible hand trucks work better for volume accounts. Convertibles allow you to convert the hand truck into a cart.

Make sure you consider wheels: hard, pneumatic or no flat wheels. Hard wheels are great on concrete surfaces; pneumatic wheels are great for off road surfaces like going across grass.

No flat wheels are the best of both hard and pneumatic wheels; if you need to change out the wheels on your hand trucks try the no flat wheels.

I recommend buying a good quality aluminum hand truck from Magliner, Westco…
Steel hand trucks work fine but at the end of the day they are heavy and wear you down.

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

See all five videos in the Top Vending Operator Tools series


Vending Operator Tools Choosing Hand Trucks   Tom Shivers: I’m Tom with The Vending Business Show. Here again, with Larry Towner, who is part of Service Group International, and a vending business consultant. And we’re continuing our series on vending operator tools  choosing hand trucks, both conceptual and physical, as well as .. well, there are actually more tools to it than that. So, what are we going to be talking about today, Larry?

Larry Towner,: I think we’ll talk about one of the most important Vending Operator Tools Choosing Hand Trucks the biggest tool you’ll use every single day when you’re in the vending business, that’s going to be your hand truck. Tom, what do you know about hand trucks?

Tom Shivers: They’re made for handling big pieces of heavy stuff, and big things.

Larry Towner,: Yep, and that’s part of it. They’re designed in general to move a lot of weight, but also in the vending side, remember we deal in two different kinds of products. We deal largely in sodas and then in snacks and/or coffee, and products like that. While coffee is kind of a medium weight item, although it never gets really heavy by soda standards. Soda, on the other hand, is a very, very heavy product and very difficult to move, or very physical to move, I guess I should say. It’s not difficult. When you have a good hand truck it’s quite easy. But we generally run in combinations of both soda and snacks. So what we’re going to talk about is, how do you choose the particular hand truck that you are interested in using? We have used all kinds of hand trucks through the years. I mean, I’ve run many, many different kind of hand trucks. And basically, hand trucks break down into two common types. You have what’s called a traditional hand truck, which is a frame, with two wheels on the bottom, and some kind of a plate.

Larry Towner,: And then there are the convertible hand trucks, which are hand trucks that, while they have the two wheels and a plate, they also can pull out into a cart style hand truck. Or more like a cart. They have four wheels that slide up [inaudible 00:02:04]. Hand truck selection is largely a matter of what you really like, and also what the majority of what you’re going to be carrying is. If you have very heavy things a traditional hand truck works just fine. If you’re going to run a soda route a traditional hand truck, not the convertible style, will work just fine. If you’re going to do largely soda you’re fine with that. And you can stack snacks on top of it, too, because the boxes will stack up on top of each other and you can just pull it over. And I ran for years, and years, and years using a traditional hand truck and had great success with it. I was very efficient. When you’re running in and out of buildings you want to move one time. You don’t want to have to make multiple trips if you can help it.

Larry Towner,: That really eats into your time, because every time you have to go back to the truck it takes you about 10 minutes. Anyway, with that said, I ended up converting over to a convertible hand truck, and that’s largely because my operational situation changed. We started doing pre pulls on accounts, and we had a lot more volume that we were taking in. So we converted over to a convertible hand truck and we had really good success with that, too. And the choice, again it’s a lot of what you’re going to have to when you’re planning as to what you’re going to look for. Convertible hand trucks allow you to make it into a cart. If you have nice even ground, or concrete, you can do it with a convertible hand truck. You can put a lot of weight on it, about 1000 pounds they’re rated for, which is going to be almost anytime you’re servicing a vending account you won’t go quite that high. Unless you’ve got a very, very large account. Then you’re probably going to make multiple stops anyway.

Larry Towner,: One thing I always want to tell people about is, make sure you think about wheels. The wheels that you choose for your hand truck can make the difference between having an easy run and a difficult run. Years ago you had a choice of pneumatic wheels, or you had a choice of hard wheels. Hard wheels were great if you were on hard surfaces all the time, on asphalt or concrete. And pneumatic wheels were great if you were off road at all. If you went across grass at all you generally wanted pneumatic wheels. Today there’s also these never flat wheels. And the no flat wheels are kind of the best of both worlds. They work like a hard wheel, and they work like a soft pneumatic wheel as well. They’re relatively expensive compared to a traditional wheel, but folks, if you need to change the wheels on your hand trucks try those out, the never flat styles. And there’s many, many available at many different retail sources. Tom, to you have any questions about hand trucks?

Tom Shivers: Yeah, I mean there’s so many different ones. Are there any in particular that you like or recommend?

Larry Towner,: I recommend you buy a good quality aluminum hand truck. Either a Magliner or Wesco. There are some other brands that are just as fine, some of them have interchangeable parts with either of those two. But you want a good quality aluminum one. You want an aluminum hand cart largely because, on a day-in, and day-out basis you have to move that hand truck a lot. You’re going to be pulling it in and out of the vehicle all the time. I’ve run with steel ones, I’ve done it. I’m going to tell you, it works. They work just fine. End of the day, they’re heavy, they’ll tire you out. An aluminum one is light, it will pull off [inaudible 00:05:14]. A couple of things to be aware, aluminum does wear so be careful scraping it on concrete and things like that. As far as actually dragging the metal on the concrete. But I always say buy an aluminum hand truck. Handle choices? I’ve used rings, I’ve used handles. I personally like rings, or a loop style. But then again, it’s a personal choice. If you like the handles, get the handles. Other questions?

Tom Shivers: No, that’s great. Well, I guess that’s all the time we have for now. We’re going to talk about a basic toolkit next.

Larry Towner,: Yes, we’re going to do a discussion on what your basic tools for a vending operator or going to be as far as, if you’re going to be a single owner/operator there are certain tools you’re going to need to have with you all the time, and we’ll go over a basic toolkit for that application in the next show.

Tom Shivers: All right, if you want to get more good vending business tips like this, be sure to subscribe. And you’ve been watching Vending Operator Tools Choosing Hand Trucks  on The Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.

Vending Operator Tools Planogram

Vending Operator Tools  Planogram


Vending Operator Tools  Planogram    Download the sample planogram: pdf or Word doc

Vending Operator Tools  Planogram  A planogram is used in retail stores to arrange certain items in specific locations to get the maximum number of sales. In a vending machine we use planograms similarly:  Once the items are put in a planogram  items that sell in that particular location thus making more money.  In the planogram  we can then track what sells and what doesn’t.  If an item is selling real well you might want to put two rows of the same item.  This is a win for you and a win for the customer.  An item that isn’t don’t run it.  With a planogram you should be able to lower your stales or out of date merchandise in the machine thus saving money.  You can then change out your next planogram to what is actually selling in the machine.  Remember people get tired of the same old thing so change some items in your planogram every week.

  1. Have all products arranged in the same place which will help with operations, continuity through all machines, helps with efficiency and profits.
  2. Par levels are set to reflect the rate of sales for a product in the machine so that product does not run out but there are few left when the route man shows up.

Vending Operator Tools Planogram  Most manufacturers of vending machines will show you where to place items for better sales.

Download the form or create your own, then post it inside your machines so you can see it when you open the door of the machine.

The important thing is that you use this concept in your business.  Vending Operator Tools  Planogram    More Vending Business Blogs  Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

See all five videos in the Top Vending Operator Tools series

 Episode transcript:

Vending Operator Tools Planogram  Tom: I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show. Here with Larry Towner of Service Group International. He’s a vending business consultant. Today, we’re talking about tools. Both conceptual tools that will help you be more efficient, and also, physical tools. Thanks for being here Larry. What are we going to start with?

Larry: Well, I thought today, that we would start with a conceptual tool.  Vending Operator Tools Planogram One that has a lot to do with marketing and things like that. It’s called a planogram. What a planogram is, is a planogram is how you arrange your machines in the vending business. The concept comes from planogram, if you been in retail, you know what planogram is. You work in a retail environment, planograms are used all through grocery stores and almost any retail business has a planogram. It has certain items in certain places so that you get the maximum number of sales.

Larry: In a vending machine, what that is, is that there’s a couple of reasons to use a planogram. One is that you have your products all in the same place, which is going to help you operationally, so you’ll know what products go where. In particularly if you have a route man or multiple people servicing your machines. You will have continuity through all of your machines, which subsequently gives you better data as far as what’s selling and what’s not selling, and things like that. It’s a very, very powerful tool. It really wants to, rather, it helps you with how you set your machines up. It helps you with your efficiency. It helps you with your profitability.

Larry: In a previous episode, we had discussed where you could actually do placement of the machines, as far as which products go where, and that information is compiled by most of the manufacturers that tell you were to put things.

Larry: Vending Operator Tools Planogram   So, what we’ve got here, is we’ve put up a picture here of what a planogram looks like. This is a planogram picture that I built a long time ago. We used it extensively when I was running a vending business. We actually have the word product on the top level and the par level below that. So, the product obviously, is what product are you going to put in there. That depends on the conceptual arrangement of your machines. But, you put your product, and you basically write it in there, or in this case, you can type it in there.

Larry: Par level is the other really important thing. Not everything sells all at once. So, different products sell at different rates. Our goal, when we were running a vending company, was to have machines not run out of product, but also not leave a lot of product left in the machine, which is a very bad use of inventory. We always put par levels in there. A par level, on a really popular selling item like a Snickers, or a Dorito product might be 12. You might put 12 items in there. On a real slow selling product, something that just might not sell that well, you might put a par level of four.

Larry: What you do is, when you come back to the machine, you’ll actually know if you had a par level of four and two items are gone, you know you sold two items. If you come back and you had a par level of 12 and all of the column is empty, well maybe you need to take that par level up to a 14 or something like that.

Larry: That’s the basis of what a planogram is. It’s how you’re going to arrange your machines. Again, you need to, with these forms, and we actually printed them out, and we taped them up on the insides of our machines. We put them up above the changers, so every time we opened the door, we knew what was supposed to be in the machine. That’s kind of an old school way to do it, but I’ll tell you what, it works. It’s inexpensive, and it’s very, very simple.

Larry: Tom, do you have any questions on a planogram?

Tom: So, I guess they’re different for every type of machine, perhaps. But, you can modify this anyway you want?

Larry: You can modify this form anyway you need. You can either add columns or subtract columns. You can cross things out. However you need it to work. Or, you can actually get into the program and actually change the form itself. But, the form isn’t what’s really important. What’s important is the concept and that you actually use it. So, take it and put it in your machines and make sure everybody follows it, or put it in a notebook and carry the notebook. That works too. I always found it easier to leave it in each machine. That way, you never had any doubt as to what’s supposed to be where.

Tom: Alright, Larry. Well, thanks so much. We’ll have a link to download this planogram, so you can just print it off or put it on your computer, modify it, use it the way you want.

Tom: Also, if you want more vending business tips like this, be sure to subscribe. You’ve been watching Vending operator Tools Planogram  the Vending Business Show. A publication of A&M Equipment sales.