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In vending, it can be difficult to know how much money your operation is actually making. Between slim margins, potential employee theft, and hard-to-use accounting programs, getting a firm grasp on your vending profits can be difficult. Here are 3 ways to know exactly how much money you are bringing in:

1. Keep an eye on service costs & spoilage

Ask an operator how much he pulls from his machines, and he should be able to tell you pretty quickly. Ask him how much it costs to service each or how much product spoils? There is a good chance they won’t know.

You need to know how much it costs to service a machine to know if that location is profitable. Sure you might have collected $100 from your machine, but how much was spent on driver wages, gasoline, insurance for your truck, and expired product during that service? Luckily, a vending management system can help you track your costs more effectively. Armed with this info, you’ll know the vending profits of a location, and whether you should keep your machines or pull them.

2. Record the vending profits of a location

Operators should have a good idea of what they pull from each machine, but how accurate is this number, really? Sure, you know how much money your driver returned with, but what if he lifted some cash off the top? Then, your location is actually performing better than you thought, but you have a problem with employee theft.

Plus, if you have a cashless device on a machine, you’ll have to add cash collected to cashless sales manually to find overall machine performance. This task can get tedious, and makes it difficult to know how well machines are actually performing. Furthermore, sales at a machine can ebb and flow, so while sales might be good recently, the machine might not have done well in the past. So, you should record machine performance over time.

Thankfully, a vending management system knows exactly how much you’re collecting. It tracks sales remotely, and shows you how exactly how much cash should be collected from your machine – eliminating employee theft in the process. If your driver returns with incorrect dollar amounts, you’ll know. Plus, a VMS will combine cashless and cash sales into an overall number for you, so it is quick and easy to know how a location is doing. Plus, it automatically tracks how much you’ve collected for every service you’ve done, so you’ll know the consistency of a location’s vending profits. Finally, it is easy to know for certainty just how well your machines are doing.

3. Consult reports and financials

An operator should keep records of financials in his company. However, keeping financials specific in vending can be difficult. General ledgers, profit loss reports, product costs, different taxes for different counties serviced…it can be difficult for an operator to keep up. Without ensuring 100% accuracy of financials, an operator won’t know how well his business is doing.

Sure, you could hire an accountant, but that can get expensive. A better route to take might be to use a good vending management system (VMS). A VMS tracks every sale at every machine, every product cost, every commission, tax, and more. Even better, a VMS can put this information into an array of helpful reports. You will have a comprehensive view on costs, revenues, and overall profits. With easy access to this information, you will actually know how well your company is doing, and you can make decisions accordingly. Plus, its much cheaper than hiring an accountant. 

So how much money are you really making? If you are trying to figure that information out manually, it can be difficult to know. So, with help from a VMS, make sure you take these three steps to measure your company profits.

  1. Keep an eye on service costs and spoilage
  2. Record how much a location actually makes
  3. Consult reports and financials