In starting up a vending business with a handful of machines, you can easily enough keep track of all the data with pencil and paper or Google Sheets without much of an issue. As your business increases in size there are more and more things to keep track of and the data will keep piling up. Eventually you get really tired of working a spreadsheet as the amount of effort it takes to get the answers you need out of it gets annoying.
Data management, keeping track of records, accounting and planning may have started as a small aspect of your business, but as your business increases in size administrative duties will take over a larger and larger chunk of your time. By using the web based Vending machine management software Vend-Trak system you can simplify the data collection/entry process and cut the time spent on administrative duties by more than half.
Vend-Trak makes data collection a breeze. You can create different accounts for each employee in the field and they can record their data right then and there between each stop. You can assign different access privileges, so they may only have access to their route data, which makes security and program navigation much easier for them. For me being able to access all my company data from anywhere is valuable. I am an always on the go person and tend to prefer working on my company in a coffee house then my own house.
The program has a built in calendar that makes route planning simple. If you have no “normal” service route, (due to varying service cycles) then this aspect of the program will greatly help to simplify things. Service Due notices will be listed on the calendar each day to tell you what machines need to be visited, and service schedules can then be planned accordingly. Routes can even be planned through the program and downloaded to GPS devices or smartphone maps. Route planning is a very valuable feature it allows you to visualize and optimize your routes which saves money.
To keep track of all the individual location data you can make use of the custom field tool. You can record any piece of valuable information like contact information, machine models, etc. that will save you time in servicing. With the individual machines you can record profits, losses and anything in between. This is essential if you need to pay commission. You ever tried managing the commission from multiple machines? Well don’t, it’s a nightmare. If you are doing commission the $20 for Vend-trak to manage that is a no brainer.
A powerful tool of the program is the ability to track your expenses, things like gas mileage, wages, repair costs, etc. can all be easily recorded. When tax time comes around you can have all your accurate expense data in one place, and cut your business taxes down as much as possible. Taxes are a real pain to manage this is another awesome aspect of the software. You can easily bundle up all your data for your accountant. Which saves you a lot of time and headache.
As long as all the data is collected on a regular basis and accurately inputted into the system, you can have many useful reports automatically crafted. It makes tracking your profits and goals very simply and easy to do. From there you can use the information to make changes and do your best to increase performance and profit. How are you making your business decisions right now? The reporting features give you a clear view of you business in more ways then my google sheets and excel docs would ever be able to.
The Vend-trak software is extremely useful to all levels of the vending business. The basic plan which covers up to 50 Machines only costs $20/month, and the maximum for an unlimited amount is only $50. For the amount of time and effort it will save you in both the short and long run, it is well worth the investment. The program itself is designed with the vendor in mind, so it is easy to use once you learn how it works.
They offer a two week free trial if you are interested in checking the program out and getting a feel for it before making the full investment.