Most school locations include a closed-front snack machine in addition to a glassfront snack machine. They were able to get dedicated, Frito-Lay branded, closed-front machines made by Fastcorp at no charge from PepsiCo Foodservice. These are great in high volume accounts, Mike said. “We can extend our service (for these machines) by two to three days,” he said.
Many of the milk machines were provided free of charge by Shamrock Farms.
Other vending operators serving school accounts claim that the nutrition restrictions have decimated sales, but the Glimpses had nothing to compare it to. For them, the results were favorable.
MILK PROVES BENEFICIAL
For most of the school locations, the milk machines were an addition. “We were pleasantly surprised by the turns we got from the milk machines,” Mike said. The milk varieties include chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
By having snacks, milk and ice cream machines in most locations, the Glimpses were able to maximize their return on labor.
Mike said the results for the snack machines have been the best.
After winning the school contract, the Glimpses hired their first full-time driver.
After a short time, they sold the bulk vending route. Other school systems learned of the success that their school district was experiencing, and began calling them. The Glimpses realized they had found a niche and were determined to capitalize on it.
As they added more school districts in 2006, the Glimpses soon recognized that school business carries a challenge; in the summer months, as well as spring and winter vacation, sales drop. “You have to run your business very differently than a traditional company that caters to B&I accounts,” Mike said.
During the school breaks, the Glimpses have the employees work on preventive maintenance, help move into new accounts, and cross train with the technicians. All drivers are told from the beginning that they will have other responsibilities during these breaks. Camelback also sets aside money to continue to pay the employees during the summer and holidays.
While the Glimpses were able to save money on the milk machines and many of the snack machines thanks to the manufacturer supplied units, they still incurred additional investment in outfitting all machines with SEED units at about $300 per machine. They also needed to supply metal cages for most of the machines (each costing $700 to $1,000), since they were located on school grounds.
The wireless reporting has proved especially useful in the school locations, since it allows them to know how much inventory each machine needs the day before it is serviced.
Mike said there was no way they could have known how quickly some of the machines were being depleted without the real time reporting.
SERVICE BASED ON INVENTORY
Every evening, Jodi logs onto Cantaloupe’s Website and creates the next day’s service schedule based on machine sales reports. The Cantaloupe system has a dynamic scheduling module that schedules service based on sales, minimum intervals, and depletion percentage. Scheduling can also be done manually.
“We don’t’ have to hit everything at every account every time we go there,” Jodi explained. “It’s a big time savings.”
With accurate machine sales reports, they can load trucks with only the inventory needed for the given service period. There is no space wasted in the truck on products that aren’t needed.
The Glimpses estimated that with Cantaloupe, each driver services about 15 machines per day. Each of the machines has $150 to $200 when they are serviced. Some have as much as $400, depending on the preset parameters within Cantaloupe.
Mike said on average each of his routes generates over $400,000 per year, which clearly exceeds the $283,661 for a typical firm with less than $5 million in sales and even the $320,774 for a highly profitable, extra large firm, according to the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) 2007 Operating Ratio Report.
Without the wireless reporting, Mike estimated his current five routes would require eight routes.