10 Key Features Your Vending Management System Should Deliver for You

10 Key Features Your Vending Management System Should Deliver for You

A vending management system needs to provide critical features for vending operators in the UK. Each vending operator has the same standard tasks for their teams to perform daily. And every Vending Operator does these tasks in a slightly different way. Tasks can range from the sales process to the start of the customer journey to installing machines, the ongoing operating and service, and invoicing. Our clients focus on delivering excellent customer experience, keeping customers loyal, attracting new customers, whilst improving efficiency and profitability.

But how do you manage all the tasks and all the data to grow more profitably? It is all about the features that your vending management system provides. Here are ten key features you should be looking for in your vending management system.

1. Easy to Use and Effective Route Management

Route Operating should include route planning, visit planning, and task planning. It should be easy to move visits and tasks from one route to another, whilst optimising the route based on the total driving time or distance of the route. Semi-permanent changes that cause changes to the route should be able to be planned in advance.  Furthermore, suppose a site closes for a prolonged period. In that case, your vending management system should be able to automatically remove the site from the route until an operator can visit again.

2. Effective Delivery of Servicing and Engineering

The service function should manage inbound service calls, allocate them quickly (and automatically), and track their progress via a dashboard in the office. Water filter changes should be auto-planned, either based on time or vends. Engineers should complete all their tasks via their mobile phone, including ordering parts, and gaining a customer signature when the engineer completes their work. And the completion of that task and signature capture should be capable of being translated automatically into an invoice.

3. Reliable and Efficient Invoicing

Your invoicing function should be integrated and seamless. Stock, cash or meter errors should be identifiable as they happen, making invoicing smoother and more comfortable to process. Your invoicing options should be flexible enough to cover all your different sales models, whilst being simple and easy to set up across your vending management system. You should be able to group and separate the various aspects of the invoice to always suit your own and your customer’s needs.

4. Wholesale: Managed from the Order to the Invoice

The wholesale function of your vending management system should be managed from receiving the order to the invoice. It should have flexible price lists (whether you wish to  encourage your salespeople to offer individual prices to each customer is your choice)! You should be able to construct outbound calling lists and create orders easily from inbound calls. You should be able to see previous orders whilst on the phone to ensure any products the customer might require are being proactively put forward to the customer. You should be able to manage the delivery of the wholesale orders whether they are delivered by a 3rd party or delivered by your team. Order weights should be available for calculating the total weight of individual deliveries and even the weight of your vans. Customers should be able to sign and receive their invoice immediately or combined on your monthly invoices.

5. Dashboards That Deliver Meaningful Data

Your vending management system dashboards should be configurable to each team leader and user of the system. It should be complete with alerts and colour coding to highlight critical data to departmental heads to allow them to focus on their own area of expertise, and spot errors as they happen. You should be able to view data that you need to have to hand on a daily basis and gain an oversight of key business metrics without moving off the dashboard.

6. Powerful Reporting Suite

Reports must be customisable because everybody does the same tasks slightly differently. But the reports should also be easy to create and maintain. Exception reports are always useful, especially if they can be colour coded. Profitability reports available by machine, site, customer, route, are absolutely essential. Reports that show your best sellers and slow sellers to maximise sales through product changes are all about efficiency whilst delivering more sales from existing machines. Your reports should work for you and not you work for the reports.

7. Stringent Stock Control

A vending management system should provide you with stringent stock control. The stock delivered into stock locations, to stock sold through a machine should all be tracked and monitored by the system. Strict stock control should include processes for removing stock from machines and transferring stock between warehouse locations. Having stringent stock control will also give you accurate stock snapshot reports and stock valuations.

8. Integrations

With the Vending industry’s growing trends, your vending management system will need to remain adaptive and open to integrations with the system. From cashless to Micro markets, your system should integrate with the leading providers and always be receptive to new trends. It should link with accounting systems, Telemetry providers, Cashless payment providers, E-Commerce APIs, and Micro Market APIs, to name a few.

9. Questionnaires

Vending management systems should eliminate the need for paper as much as possible. One of the ways a management system can do this is by creating questionnaires. Questionnaires should be able to be filled in on a mobile phone and reportable within the system. For example, a daily van check before work commences or a questionnaire to ask customers how they have found using your machines.

10. Custom Fields

There is always an exception. If only you could report on how many machines were sky blue with pink dots… I know, silly example but you catch my drift. Your vending management system should have custom fields so that you can use them to store and report on the significant exceptions which are unique to your business.

Where Can You Find All These Features?

These are just ten key features of a vending management system, but there are many more. If you like what you have read so far and want to know more, we would be more than happy to chat with you about our vending management system and the other features it could deliver for you.