The easiest way to refill a vending or coffee machine is to stuff it to the brim with products at each visit and leave. Yet, this approach is risky as all products do not sell equally well in all locations – the result might be expired and unsold stock, and revenue loss.
However, there is a smarter way to work. By optimizing the profile of each product you have set up in Vendon Cloud, you can achieve a much better stock throughput. This means that items that are selling well are filled to the max capacity of each spiral while slow movers are only replenished to 50% capacity. Stock that would sit unsold in one location can be moved to a different location where the product is more popular. Thus, you can spend less on stocking your machines and earn more by selling out the stock that’s in the machine.
Moreover, to facilitate machine setup, you can set the refill-related values on a product level, and they will be prefilled automatically when you add the product to a machine. If necessary, you can customize the value for each machine but in many cases, it will save time for each new installation.
In case you have wondered what each value stands for, here is a cheat sheet for you.
- Max. value – denotes the maximum capacity of the spiral/container. If 15 bottles of soda can be placed in a single spiral, enter 15.
- Refill value – the value to which the product level will be set when a refill is completed; often coincides with the max. value. If you don’t want the product filled to the max. capacity as the product does not sell out between visits, specify a different refill value. For instance, the spiral can hold 15 bottles of soda (max. value), but is regularly refilled to 10 (refill value), so that the five extra bottles can go to a busier location.
- Critical value – the value that you want to receive an alert about. Whenever the product/component reaches this value, a low stock alert will be generated, signaling that a refill is in order. For busy machines, the value should be higher so that the stock does not run out while you’re on your way and you don’t lose valuable sales.
- Refill unit size – a very handy value for those who work with product packages. If you buy sodas from the supplier in packs of eight and only want to refill the machine if the whole pack can fit in it, enter 8 as the refill unit size. You’ll only see this product in the picklist if at least 8 bottles are missing. If 9-15 bottles are missing, the value in the picklist will remain 8, and for 16–23, you’ll need 16 bottles, i.e., two packs.
- Min. picklist value – this value is intended for optimizing your routes. It represents the number of items that must be missing for the product to be included in the picklist. If you only want to refill a machine in the case at least 5 bottles of soda have been sold, your min. picklist value is 5. Anything below 5, and this product will not appear in the picklist.
- Critical product – another value for route planning. If there’s an especially critical product in the machine you need to pay special attention to, mark it as critical. That way, whenever this particular product is low in stock even if the machine is nearly full, the machine will appear on your visit list.
Not interested in tracking components in coffee machines? Mark them as
non-refillable components! That way, you can skip the product settings, and you won’t receive any alerts.
These changes may seem very small, and in isolation, that is true. However, when applied to tens or hundreds of vending machines or coffee machines, the product profiles can have a major impact on your sales results and reduce the number of machine visits required to keep the business running. With Vendon IoT and payment solutions, you can start making improvements right away!