Big delivery businesses such as UPS and FedEX have used route optimization software for a long time. This software takes into account all the stops that the driver must make and creates a route that is optimized for both time and fuel efficiency. With big businesses, logistics are vital to profit and success when there are hundreds if not thousands of people out there working and driving every day.
With small businesses it may not make a lot of sense to invest in costly navigation software, however considering your current route and travel costs it may make sense to reconsider the way you service your route. More cost effective software such as Vend-Trak Software can help with optimizing your vending route with a fraction of the cost, only $20 a month and offers as free trials. Here are some good tips to optimize your route.
The idea of utilizing only right turns to save on idling fuel consumption and wasted time was popularized on the TV show Mythbusters. They proved that by taking advantage of the right turn which requires no green light, that they could save on gas even if they had to circle the block to get to the same location which included more distance and time. While the results were positive, they did not take into account the cost of time and labor. While making a few right turns may save a few cents on gas, there are costs elsewhere to take into consideration. Reviewing your service route and opting for right turns could save you time and money, but blankly making three rights for every left will definitely not save money. If possible attempt to plan the route to take advantages of right turns.
Tightly grouping your machine locations so that they are in a concentrated area is going to save you on travel costs and labor. Even if you have a just a few outliers in your route, they may very well be cutting into your profit. The great thing about the vending machine business is that if it doesn’t work in one location you can always pick it up and move it to another. Consider where your optimum territory is, and do your best to work within it. If you are planning to expand further or have employees servicing parts of your route, consider their location as well. If they are good employees that come from populated areas, then consider building more locations into their travel route instead of just yours.
Incorporating the start or finish of your route with repetitive daily tasks such as picking the kids up from school can end up saving on time and gas if done correctly. Starting your route with the furthest location from home may be the best idea for you and your schedule, saving on headaches, time and money.
If you have a couple vehicles to choose from opt for the small sedan with better gas mileage. Unless the truck or suv is needed to transport machines. Consider Hybrids or Electric cars as well. Maintaining proper tire pressure, making sure your engine is fine tuned and that your air filters are fresh and clean will all factor into your savings.
Bulk candy vending machines may very well make a 300% profit on the product, but so much more goes into maintaining that high level of profit. The business model of servicing vending routes is more about saving money than it is actually making it. Of course you want your machines to be making good money, but every little thing is cutting into your profit. Evaluating where your profits and costs are, and taking steps in order to eliminate the latter are very important to a successful business.