Not only did the wireless reporting allow them to fill machines more efficiently, the customers appreciated having machines in stock at all times, the Glimpses said. They have allowed customers to log onto Cantaloupe’s Website and view machine activity if they want to.
The bigger advantage from the customer’s viewpoint, according to Mike, is they know that most of the maintenance issues that a machine may have are dealt with proactively versus passively.
The SEED units gave them a selling tool to use in seeking other accounts. “We started realizing our customers really liked this idea about monitoring sales,” Mike said. “It’s a huge selling tool for us.”
MINIMAL ON-SITE INVENTORY
The Glimpses developed a unique product ordering system. Being located close to a Vistar cash and carry warehouse, they made arrangements to have their trucks loaded at Vistar at 5:30 a.m., before the cash and carry is open for business.
The driver fills out his next day’s order by 2:30 p.m. the previous day.
With the drivers filling their trucks at the cash and carry every day, there is no need to warehouse product. The only product the Glimpses warehouse in the 5,000-square-foot space they rent in an office park is some specially ordered goods.
While they enjoy significant savings by not warehousing much product, the Glimpses are not able to pre-kit their deliveries. Hence, their drivers must spend the extra time in the morning loading their trucks at Vistar.
As their business is growing rapidly, they have considered investing in a warehouse.
Because they don’t have a warehouse, the Glimpses have not had to use inventory control software. All of the reports they need are provided by Cantaloupe.
2007: SALES DOUBLE
In 2007, the company again doubled its sales. This necessitated additional trucks and more drivers.
Mike said that a small portion of the school business they picked up in 2007 was on the beverage side. He said the beverage segment is more challenging to get turns than the snack or ice cream portions. There are not as many options that the students have embraced on the beverage side. He said the removal of soda has cut beverage sales in schools by 40 to 50 percent.
The Glimpses have not yet felt any need to expand into hot beverage or cold food machines. To date, they have offered frozen food in some of their ice cream machines, and this has met the needs of accounts that want food.
The Glimpses’ business background has paid off well in managing their employees. They hold sales contests in which employees can win prizes, such as gift cards and airline tickets
While they brought an extensive sales background to vending, the Glimpses realized they needed to strengthen their industry expertise. In 2006, Jodi attended the NAMA executive development program at Michigan State University, which she claims was extremely helpful.
GROWTH REQUIRES CAPITAL
The Glimpses have invested about $500,000 of their own funds in the business, and have borrowed close to that amount. They said they didn’t realize how capital intensive the vending business was when they started out.
They believe that they need to diversify some of their account base into more B&I accounts.
Mike and Jodi Glimpse believe they have established the foundation to achieve higher growth. The remote management software has enabled them to provide high quality service in a cost efficient manner.
Profile: Cambelback Vending
Headquarters Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
Owners: Mike and Jodi Glimpse
Number of Routes: 5
Employees: 5 drivers, 2 technicians, 1 office manager
Software Provider: Cantaloupe Systems
2007 Sales: $2.3 million