A Vending Management System or VMS is a critical piece of technology for unattended food and beverage operators. A VMS provides businesses with tools to take control of their operations while spending less, selling more, and improving efficiency. But not all VMSs are equal – they differ in tools, functionality, usability, and value. When choosing a VMS, here are 5 must-have features you need to get the most out of your business.

An All-in-One Solution

These days, the unattended retail industry is about more than just vending. Recent advancements in technology have enabled operators to offer more services like micro markets, office coffee, pantry service, smart stores, and even catering solutions. Traditionally, a VMS would only enable you to manage vending, which would limit operations that need diverse offerings. A VMS solely oriented around vending would require you to use different platforms for markets or coffee services. Sometimes integrations between these services exist, but they’re clumsy and difficult to implement.

Operators looking to get a holistic view of their business should look for a VMS that operates more like an ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning System. The right VMS will let you manage all of your points of sale, everything from vending to micro markets and more, all in the same place. This gives you one powerful solution that lets you take action over your entire business, one system for your personnel to train, and one technology partner to rely on.

Intuitive Navigation

No matter how many bells and whistles a piece of software has, it’s meaningless if it’s too difficult to use. A truly effective system will have both powerful functionality and ease of use. Often a VMS is used by everyone in the organization – from the owner, to route managers, to drivers, and warehouse personnel. This means the VMS needs to be easy to learn and accessible by your entire team. 

If you’re looking at different VMSs, take note of how visual they are. How many clicks does it take to navigate to different sections? Are there robust elements like live maps, or does it look more like an excel spreadsheet? When it comes to choosing the right VMS for your operation, the easier it is to use, the more effective your operation will be. 

In-Depth Reports

Data is king. In the information era, taking action on insightful data is key to running a successful business. Every operation is different, so you need to make sure your VMS can provide data that is important to you. You need access to reports for multiple aspects of your business like warehouse, machine sales, route info, product inventory, and much more. When choosing a VMS, make sure the right reports are available for your business. The more data you have access to, the better you can run your business.

Powerful Apps

Unattended retail operations are an on-the-go business, and your management system should be too. When looking at a VMS, you need a solution that puts your operation in the palm of your hand. Route drivers need easy access to route info and stocking data when out in the field. Your warehouse personnel should be able to use a tablet when picking products. Managers should have access to critical notifications about the business whenever they’re needed. Powerful apps enable you and your team to effectively run your business, no matter where you are.

Responsive Support 

An often overlooked part of choosing a VMS is the training and support you receive when signing up. No matter how intuitive and easy to use the system might be, it takes time and effort to get the most out of it. A good VMS provider will provide accessible training materials and responsive support for you and your team to lean on. Try calling the company’s support line or sending an email to see how long it takes for them to get back to you.

After all, a VMS is the backbone of your operation. If you need help with something, you should get the assistance you need, when you need it.

Parlevel’s vending management system provides all of these features that help you find operational success.. It’s a robust, all-in-one platform that allows you to manage all of your business lines side-by-side. Powerful features like prekitting, dynamic routing, and product  merchandising are intuitive and easy to learn.

Plus, you can run hundreds of reports to find detailed information and insights to act on. Parlevel’s suite of apps like Stock, Feed, and koin put your operation in the palm of your hand, letting you take control no matter where you are. And Parlevel’s support team is the best in the industry – available via phone, chat, and email 7 days a week to give you help right when you need it.

Join the thousands of operators around the world who use Parlevel to run more successful businesses. Get started with Parlevel’s VMS today to spend less, sell more, and take control of your operation.

Get Started with Parlevel

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