Business Management

What does it mean to optimize your vending operation?

May 11, 2018 | By Bill Bartholic

What does it mean to optimize your vending operation?

You may think it’s a “buzz” word in the vending industry today, but what does it truly mean to optimize your vending operations? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, optimization is defined as: an act, process, or methodology of making something (such as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible; specifically: the mathematical procedures (such as finding the maximum of a function) involved in this.

To optimize is to intelligently automate your operations so that systems can make decisions that are as best for you, your people and your customers.  Why do you want to optimize your business? Optimization gives you an opportunity to maximize your revenues while minimizing operating costs by acting on your information, rather than drowning in endless data. At the end of the day it ensures that you are providing the customer with the best experience every time they engage with one of your machines.

Here are three things to consider when trying to optimize your vending operations:

  • Picking the Right Software & Hardware Partner: It’s important when looking at software providers for all aspects of your business that you consider what markets you serve today, how you want to grow your business, and who will help you get there. Ensure you ask these 3 questions:
    1. How does your system support me and my team from managing all aspects of my business (vending, micro markets, and office coffee services, as well as processing cashless payments, cashless devices, touch screens, etc.)?
    2. Walk me through an example of a customer like me (size of operations, number of routes, etc.) and how did your company partner with them to reduce operating costs and increase sales?
    3. What is your process in on-boarding me as a customer? Do I have a dedicated Customer Success Manager? How do you make sure I will be successful with your software and services?

Ask all these questions to your team and yourself when exploring solutions, because the goal should be to find a partner that does all that for you with ease and convenience.

  • Identifying Your Biggest Opportunities to Optimize: While your software partner should be able to help you identify gaps or areas of opportunity to increase sales or reduce operational costs, here are some things to consider when thinking about your own personal company goals and internal operational struggles:
    1. How much product should I take to my locations?
    2. How do I reduce my level of bring backs?
    3. How frequently should I service my machines?
    4. How should I schedule my routes, dynamic, flex or static?

Identify your biggest areas of loss or expense in your operations and go after it with your software partner. It’s important that you don’t just have a software to pull data from, but one that tells you automatically how to optimize all these areas within your operations. Let the software do the work for you!

  • Ensure Your Efforts are Impacting Your P&L: If you have an end-to-end enterprise software provider and you know where your opportunities are to reduce costs and increase sales, ensure all your efforts are impacting your P&L. Here are three simple results that operators who partner with USAT and leverage the Seed platform see in their optimization practices:
    1. Smart Scheduling: 25% reduction in operational expenses
    2. Intelligent Merchandising: 2% increase in revenue
    3. Real Time Pre-Kitting: 15% reduction in operational expenses
    4. Cashless Payments: 25%+ increase in revenue

Don’t Just Say It, Do It! We can sit and complain about the challenges our vending operation faces every day or we can do something about it. If you have made it this far in the process by selecting the right provider and identifying your biggest areas of opportunity to optimize within your business, then the rest is just a matter of achieving it.

Ready to optimize your business with USAT? Partner with the industry’s only end-to-end enterprise platform that can truly optimize your business and help you increase sales, as well as reduce operational costs. Learn how ePort Connect can support all facets of your unattended retail business.


Bill Bartholic

Senior Sales Director

As a former director of operations for a vending company, Bill knows first-hand how important technology is to implement in a business. With over 18 years in unattended retail, specifically vending, Bill thrives on sharing his experience to help ensure customers know how valuable USAT’s platform is for enabling a whole new world of automation and simplicity.

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