Vending management software (VMS) has countless benefits for a vending company. From better control to increased efficiency, effective vending software has the tools to help any vending operation run more efficiently. However, getting the vending software up and running doesn’t happen overnight. Machines need to be integrated into the system, inventory has to be accounted for, and drivers should be trained to use the system effectively. Understandably, this transition might seem overwhelming to some vending operators. That is why adopting vending software needs to be as easy and painless as possible.
Here are the top 5 questions to ask a VMS company before implementing vending software:
1) Is the implementation process customized for my business?
Before transitioning to a new system, the implementation team should work closely with vendors to decide how they will best use the vending software. Getting vending software up and running is not a one size fits all approach – instead, it should be based on the unique needs of a business. Instead of changing an operation to fit their processes, a VMS company should alter their processes to best fit an operation. This custom-made method allows for an easy transition into the system.
Scott Brennan, owner of Brennan Vending, – a four route business consisting of both vending and micromarkets in the northeast – experienced a smooth transition to new vending software with a personalized approach. “The team identified all of the upgrades I needed,” said Scott. “They came in, picked up the keys, and away they went.”
2) What is the timeline for implementation?
When it comes to setting up new vending technology, faster isn’t necessarily better. An operator should be able to ease into new software to avoid being overwhelmed. Whether a business decides to implement all at once or one route at a time, they should be able to choose a pace they are comfortable with. “I wanted to start with just one route to get my feet wet and learn the system really well,” said Scott. “My parents founded this company 26 years ago, and I’d been upgrading my business steadily, but it wasn’t enough. I adopted vending software to move my business forward.”
Like others in the industry, Scott didn’t want to lose out on profits while he employed new technology. By initially integrating simply one route, Scott made sure his business was never put on pause to account for new technology. “My operation was disrupted very, very little,” said Scott.
What little disruption was experienced, the implementation team immediately tackled head-on. “We had a few service calls here and there,” said Scott. “However, there was never any hesitation from the team to go and solve it.”
3) Will my team be sufficiently trained to use the software?
After a business is successfully put into the system, operators should not have to figure how to use the software on their own. An effective vending software provider will offer personalized, one-on-one training that enables vendors to use the system cleverly, effectively, and with confidence.
“Initially, I was a little overwhelmed,” said Scott. “After all, there were a lot of machines to put in the system.” Ample training quickly put those concerns to rest. As the training process progressed, Scott became more familiar and more comfortable using the system. “Now that I know what to expect, I’m very prepared to use it in the future.”
4) Do I have access to customer support?
Once a vending business is successfully integrated and effectively trained with the software, a VMS company should continue to provide easy access to customer support, so operators are never left to solve a problem on their own. Whether it is through instant messaging, email, or phone support, a dedicated support team should be prepared to assist with any and all questions a user may have.
Scott utilizes customer support with great success. “Support is awesome, especially with someone new that has questions,” said Scott. “The guys are always on top of it and always answer my questions within a few minutes. Even if you are not tech savvy, support is a very accessible and useful tool.”
5) How long until I start to see positive results?
Once the implementation process ends, an operation should expect to see trans-formative results from the vending software almost immediately. “With the way things have been going so far, I think the system will be incredibly beneficial to my business,” said Scott. An effective vending software provider will enable any vending business to reap the benefits provided by the system quickly, easily, and with as minimal disruption as possible.
Many vending owners dread transitioning their business to use new vending software. However, Parlevel Systems operates with these five questions in mind, and vendors can expect implementation to be an interesting and enjoyable experience. “I really liked the guys that came out,” said Scott. “We had them over and my family made a big dinner for everyone. We even enjoyed a couple of beers on Friday – it was really nice.”
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