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Servicing tips and practicalities.....


davidsurvz
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Hey guys,

I was thinking about this yesterday and today. I am getting ready to start locating in the next week or two. I have put together some stuff for our business and I was at the store last night just looking around (I was looking for things that would be useful for a bulk vending route.) I used to have a coin bag I used and a file folder case with a handle that I would carry my "vend report sheets" and some hand tools in when I serviced my route. I put my perishable candy in a cooler and I would head out... I took some cleaner with me too (Windex I think) although now I think I will use something that doesn't smell chemically. Maybe an organic cleaner instead. (Any suggestions?)

I have thought of a rolling collapsible cart or rolling cooler to carry supplies in or something like that.  I will use my Leatherman "multi purpose tool" and maybe something else as far as tools.

I also thought that if you are at a location that accepts tips it can't hurt to throw a couple of quarters in there from the "candy guy / lady." 

How do you sort out your coins on double / triple heads or racks? Do you have business cards or company stickers / info. on your machines? How do you take care of servicing issues that are "major issues"? (Things like that are all good info. plus anything else you guys can share.)

Well, I just wanted to maybe start a thread with hints and tips for servicing and maintaining routes..... (practical nuts and bolts kinda' stuff) These are just a couple things off the top of my head.

I figure with all the posts I've seen here there is definitely some good info. you all could offer. If you have any "trade secrets" that you are keeping as an ace up your sleeve obviously you don't have to "tell all" but just some good ideas for the forum.

Any info. would be appreciated. Not just by me but by all readers.

Thanks Guys!

David

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David:

We use a vinyl zippered bag for each machine (the bags run about $2 at office max). Small tool kit and cleaners (we use simple green). We also use a loose leaf binder route book to record details and notes about each stop on a particular route. We use standard subject dividers to separate each stop in a particular route. Some of our guys use a catalog case or salesmans case with wheels and handle to carry product and tools in.

Have fun,

 

Philo

 

 

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I took some cleaner with me too (Windex I think) although now I think I will use something that doesn't smell chemically. Maybe an organic cleaner instead. (Any suggestions?)

 

I used to use a product called Clorox Hard Surface Cleaner. They (Clorox) say that the product is "As gentle as water" but I have recently found some negative reviews so I have discontinued its use. Here is a link to the product ==>

http://www.clorox.com/products/overview.php?prod_id=ahsds 

Now I use disinfectant wipes, sort of a "wet wipe" that comes in a tube. they are very convenient and less messy because you are not spraying a product around. I like the wipes because I feel that spraying anything around and onto your machines, even if it's water, is viewed negatively by your potential customers. After all, they have no idea what you are spraying so they always assume the worse. "What is he spraying on that candy machine? Bleach? Ewwww!"

Steve

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Good Stuff Guys!

Any and all hints and tips welcome.............. Do you guys have any tips on dealing with people at the locations (I've heard Don't talk, just say "hi" and service the machine. I've also heard talk and mingle a lot.) I think it just depends on the location. I know there are many different circumstances at different locations and different schools of thought out there, any thoughts , ideas? 

Also, I heard somewhere that a vendor put Dixie cups on top of their machines and sales went up around 20% does anyone do this?

Any "good practice" tips regarding handling candy?

One other thing I was wondering about also. Do any of you guys who purchase machines that don't have spill trays as part of the original machine ever buy them and add them to your machines? Pros or cons?:huh:

Thanks Again,

David

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Well we have ziploc bags labeled with what ever candy is at that location the smaller bags go into 1 larger bag labeled with the location name this allows me to just dump the quarters into bags then when we get home we can record all the info by candy by machine by location then I enter it into a spreadsheet

you can see my numbers on revenue reports page

I also use simple green and paper towes we buy the simple green by the gallon and refill our spray bottle

I have 2 plastic totes that  carry our candy in I go in our location empty and clean the machine look to see what needs filled go out get what is needed go back in then I leave free samples two dixie cups of each product

we carry a small notebook for any notes needed and those also get entered on our spreadsheet

 

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you can see my numbers on revenue reports page

 

Thanks for the plug MoMunch!

 

Also, I heard some where that a vendor put Dixie cups on top of their machines and sales went up around 20% does anyone do this?

 

This is something that I have suggested on other forums as well. I do this and it helps depending on the location. If you have a location frequented by females it will really help you. Females aren't much for eating out of their hands in public. Example would be a hair salon.

Another great place to use cups is anywhere that the customer would have to eat the product somewhere else. For example in an office environment where the workers would like to bring a snack back to their desk.

Cups also increase repeat sales as customers realize "Hey I got this empty cup and a quarter! Hmmmm"

Cups also increase multiple sales at once. If a customer is given a cup, he or she will be more likely to fill it with more than 1 quarters worth.

On the down side, you have to be diligent in your efforts to keep the location clean. You don't want your location owner to have to be picking up your cups all day.

Any "good practice" tips regarding handling candy?

The one rule that I employ is "Candy First, Quarters last" Always refill the candy if needed first before you collect your quarters. You don't want your potential customers to see you handling dirty quarters then working with the edibles. Even though you should not be touching the candy.

Also whenever possible bring and open factory sealed packages to the location. Its better for people to see you rip open a fresh bag of product as opposed to bringing in a Tupperware or ziploc bag. Both of which I've seen other vendors do.

I have more but my mind is blank. I will revisit this topic later.

Steve

 

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.....Cups also increase multiple sales at once. If a customer is given a cup, he or she will be more likely to fill it with more than 1 quarters worth.

Hey Excellent Point Steve! I would have never even thought of that.

what about putting labels on the dixie cups (depending on the location) with your company info. on them??? 

 

Anyone have any feedback on spill trays???

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One more thing I've thought about is making my own labels. I've actually been experimenting with this and coming up with some good results. I used to make all of my own labels when I had a route years ago. Does anyone else do this?

Any pros / cons? Any tips or ideas? I will list some things on this post but I just wanted to see if anyone has input?

Thanks!

Update...................OK, so far here is what I've come up with. I have cut out the product names and markesting stuff off of the product pkg. (I am leaving the trademark symbol on the decal I'm making.) I used smaller sized stuff so I won't limit the product view in the heads) I then "laminated it with Packing tape and I have some pretty cool labels.

I also printed out some stuff on the printer with our company name and phone # "for service call" I also "laminated" that. They look really good so far. I have come up with some good color schemes that go well with the machines. I am still working on the 25 cent decal, I am printing up different color schemes and fonts...... I've come up with some great stuff so far.

I might try to post a pic or two later.

UPDATE............

Posted Image

This is what I've come up with so far for product decals.....

Posted Image

David

 

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To help:

Latex Gloves are a big NO. Clear Plastic. It's not about how they feel, it is about costumer safety.

I use windex, and a cotton cloth. If you want organic use vinegar and water.

I carry papers in a copy box in my car. I have a clip board i put one one charity paper, and a machine picture on.

I have a HUGE cooler with these cool ice cube things. I got them from QVC. It is a mat with little ice cube shaped things. Like a "ice" pack. No mess.

I have info on ALL machines. Company name, address, town, state, telephone #.

Handle candy like people are going to eat it. Plastic gloves are all you need. Never put candy from the floor in the machine. 

I use triples where they want spill trays.

Cups on machines in office buildings only.

Hope this helps.

Kyle

 

 

 

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Only if we are going to touch the food. We use Zipper bags that have the slide on it so we can control how open the bag is. It works wonders on not having to touch product.

rjpapageorgio wrote:

Just wondering, does anyone use those clear plastic gloves used to handle food when filling their machines?

RJ

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I agree with ascent. I arrive at the locations with factory sealed bags of product. I open the bags right there in front of everyone and pour it directly into the globes. This not only ensures that I don't touch the candy but also lets potential customers see that the product is fresh.

Steve

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Hey Tom,

That is a good tip! I was thinking of a folding stool I have but the top is kinda' small. Do you know where those can be purchased? (Or similar items?)

Steve, I also like the idea of keeping the candy in factory sealed bags when you service the machines. That seems like the most sanitary way to handle product. I used to do that when I had my route years ago. The only exception was runts. I got them in a bulk box. I used to pour them into a large new and clean ziploc and carry them that way. The ziploc worked great but I think whenever possible the factory sealed bags leaves the best impression. I like the interchangable heads on the 1800 machines too! I don't have any extra canisters though. I like that approach. You can just walk in service the machine swap the product head and you're done.

Good stuff guys! Thanks for all the responses!

David

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Kevin,

I'm sure you are aware of my fill policy, my globes have to be down to 1/8 before I add any product. 1 bag of PMM will bring it back up to 1/2 or 3/4 full so I usually don't have left overs.

As for Gumballs, I guess thats the exception to the rule. There really isn't a way to get around re-packaging that. I have tupperware type containers with a screw on lids that hold just the right amount of gumballs to fill a globe from 1/8 to 3/4. Just unscrew and pour, no leftovers there either.

They are octagonal in shape and 6 of them fit nicely in a standard flat bottom duffle.

Steve  

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Hey Tom,

That is a good tip! I was thinking of a folding stool I have but the top is kinda' small. Do you know where those can be purchased? (Or similar items?)

I got mine at a restaurant supply house along with different size resealable plastic containers for gumballs, the square containers pour gumballs really well. Tom
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That is a 1-800 machine. (It is actually green)

We actually purchased an XYZ machine (the new triple heads designed like the 1-800 with the interchangable canisters) but they didn't have the color we wanted at the time and we ended up cancelling that transaction. We bought more 1-800's instead. Has anyone used those new style XYZ machines?? Any feedback?? If anyone has maybe post a review in product reviews...

I really like the 1-800 machines and I will use them at my best locations and singles  for the main portion of my fleet.

(Glad to see we are getting good info. out of this thread.)

David

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