Operating from the banks of the River Ure in North Yorkshire, Spa Vending has a well-established reputation for vending services across the North of England, reaching to the Midlands, from Newcastle to Nottingham. Acquired in 2009 by vending specialist James Kears to run with his two sons, Spa Vending has seen extraordinary growth over the seven years since, and the operation continues to flourish, including rebranding/renaming Spa Vending to Kears.UK to reflect their expansion plans.
This success has soon outgrew the embedded cash and paper systems upon which the company had been based, prompting a quest for a fully integrated computerised alternative; “It was a continuous paper chase: paper and cash bags” said James. After asking around the industry Vendmanager from SB Software came top of the bill.”
“When the Vendmanager system was put in, there was not one single complaint” states James, “it speeded up the job, and…was a lot easier to use”. Integrating directly with Sage Accounting, Vendmanager instantly removed the need to double account, eliminated onerous data uploads and provided a sense of confidence. Beforehand, Spa “had no faith in the previous system. Data had to be taken from the cash counter, transferred onto a USB and then uploaded”. Vendmanager links directly to the cash counting machine, and tallies data against the bag number scanned by the operator, matching bags and highlighting any discrepancies automatically. The result? Instant transparency, total control.
“Using handheld scanners has also proven to be an enormous advantage. The handhelds have evolved far beyond just the mobile application now, with great keyboards, rugged robustness to shake off even the most unsympathetic of events in the field, and absolutely no adverse effects on the ability to receive phone calls. Vendmanager works throughout our business, from the account managers in the field, to the stock room, all the way to our accountants. Every link in the chain is covered.”
After the first full financial year with Vendmanager, the revolution in account management was clear. For clients there was now a new level of precision, using bespoke reporting at the degree of detail most useful: individual machine, account or service level.
The Stock Order Wizard within Vendmanager has proven particularly powerful, calculating required stock levels, based upon 30 day performance, visit rates and scheduled stock changes to ensure that there is never a missed opportunity nor overstocking. Vendmanager underpins the accurate servicing of individual contracts, sites and machines. This has vastly reduced the cost of wasted trips, ineffective distribution and lost revenue from empty lines.
The Stock Order Wizard also gives a single point of reference for clear understanding of stock levels at depot. Having a clear line of sight on best-before-dates and overall stock levels has reduced waste dramatically. Thanks to Vendmanager James has now gained complete control over inventory for the first time.
Alongside the Stock Order Wizard, the Contract Invoice Wizard ensures that we are protected from an accounting standpoint. Calculating, checking and creating invoices, Vendmanager performs a range of cross-referencing checks to highlight any potential errors, invoices are sent to in-house operators for editing, if required, before being sent to the client, as well as highlighting any uncounted cash, counting errors or selection errors for attention. Not only that, the system allows for labour to be included, without the need for backup service sheets. This has completely eradicated the embarrassment and loss of faith caused by the human error in a paper system.
Alongside the Stock Order Wizard, the Contract Invoice Wizard ensures that Spa fulfils accounting requirements effectively and efficiently. Calculating, validating and creating invoices, Vendmanager performs a range of cross-referencing checks to highlight any potential errors. As well as highlighting any uncounted cash, counting errors or selection errors for attention, the system also allows for labour to be included, without the need for backup service sheets.
Invoices are edited in-house, if required, before being sent to the client.
This has completely eradicated the potential for embarrassment and loss of faith caused by human errors in a paper system.
With Vendmanager in place, the end of the financial year in June was revolutionary for Spa. The accountants were able to extract data with ease. Linking directly into Sage, the accounts were penny perfect, and value streams were crystal clear to see, even for those unversed in the complexities of accounting.
Being able to pull together all revenue streams, in such a clear to use, easily comparable format has provided Spa with a transparent, precise vision for their next 12 months of growth and development.