Business Management

Cash Accountability: Common Challenges Faced by Vending Operators – Part 1

December 12, 2017 | By Terry Hovis

Cash Accountability: Common Challenges Faced by Vending Operators – Part 1

Don’t worry, you’re not alone when it comes to facing the challenges that come with managing the cash coming in and out of your vending operation on a daily basis.  In a recent webinar, Jason Pardue, a consulting services manager at USAT and our guest, customer Jared Detwiler, Vice President of Operations for One Source Office Refreshment Services discussed how spending just five minutes a day, per route can increase your bottom line.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight the challenges faced by operators when it comes to cash accountability and in Part 2 of our blog post, we’ll discuss the four things that can be done to overcome these challenges.

As we all know, vending is primarily a cash business. And there are many different people in the operation touching the cash. Tracking all those bills and change is a challenge.  Let’s talk about it… Many operators simply write everything down on pencil and paper so the ability to track cash and account for overages/shortages is very difficult, if not impossible. Writing things down on paper is not an accurate accounting of what is going on at the machine level or in the money room.

Another common challenge that many operators face, and is an uncomfortable one to discuss, is driver theft.If you’re not able to account for your cash systematically, it becomes really challenging to ensure that your drivers are being honest. Having access to cash with no accountability or tracking in place, is a tempting opportunity to steal, it’s just human nature.  Some drivers who may tuck away a few dollars here and there might think of it as a “loan” that they’ll repay when payday comes.  But then something else comes up, an unexpected bill, perhaps, and then the “loan” never gets repaid.  Amortizing a few dollars per machine across hundreds of machines quickly adds up to a big hit to your profit margin.

Many operators also have challenges around balancing cash accounts. With hundreds or thousands of machines, cash accounting can be very complex and time consuming. If you don’t have the right platform or tools in place to allow you to balance and check your numbers, it can become this unknown of where to begin and the time you spend doing so can quickly overwhelm you or your team.

Lastly, there is the challenge of running short on cash. Because vending is still a cash driven business there’s a lot of cash that’s floating around the business and the operation as a whole. If you start running short on cash everyday it will impact how you pay for buying more product, how you pay for your building expenses, or depending on how much is missing, eventually cash shortages can affect your ability to pay your employees. Running short on cash creates a ripple effect that can cripple your business. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to cash accounting within your operation.

So, what can be done?  Where do you start to get a handle on your cash accountability?  In our next blog post, we’ll outline the four steps that can be taken with just five minutes per day per route to increase your bottom line, and provide transparency for you and your employees on just where your cash is within your operation.

In the meantime, if you’d like to watch the replay of the webinar:  Cash Accountability: How 5 Minutes A Day Can Increase Your Bottom Line! – click here.

If you’d like to tackle cash accountability with the right technology and data, learn more about how Seed Office can support your back-end management needs.


Terry Hovis

Director of Implementation

With more than 30 years serving the vending industry, Terry has had experience working at a vending operation from the ground up and implementing technology to improve business processes. Today, he gets to use that experience to help customers overcome the fear and challenges of technology, so they can ultimately live an easier life with software.

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