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How Full Should They Be?


rjpapageorgio
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When I talk to people about how full they keep their machines, I get conflicting reports...  My gut instinct tells me to keep my machines NO more than 50%-60% full for a few reasons...  1) Product stays fresher  2) The machine has the illusion that it is being used on a regular basis (call it psychology 101)   3) Your not tying up your money in inventory.

Anyone else have a differnt take on this?

RJ

 

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how about "petty criminal Psychology 101" if you are only filling up your machines half way then they are sitting there for 4 to 6 weeks appearing to be full of qtrs since there is so much product gone.

this is another reason to run singles with gb only in my opinion, just fill em up

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Good point Pusherman, that's why we have these debates... to gain ideas that one person can't think of on their own... to see the other side of the fence.  Since I'm new to vending, I can't comment on theft, but I've heard that it a very small percentage.  Of course location and where you live probably has a lot to do with it.  I imagine a coin operated laundry machine with no supervision would rank higher than a pizza place.

RJ

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We tend to keep our machines (all triples btw) about 3/4-7/8 full. A little space to let folks know that others are using it, but full enough to let people know it's being looked after. I have seen lots of machines with less than 1/4 full and I think to myself " I'm not buying from the bottom of an old batch of candy". Just my thoughts and practices here.

Regards,

Philo

 

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There have been some good points made but I would like to throw this out there.

#1  The less you fill up your machine the less money you have invested.

#2  It makes people think the machine is being used.

Now, there have been some negatives such as people wanting to steal machines that are near empty.  I have never had a machine stolen so I can't relate to this just quite yet.  Also philo mentioned people thinking they were getting old candy when it's not full.  Personally that doesn't really enter my mind.  You can tell crusty vending machines from ones that are being taken care of.

I don't mind putting in a few extra gumballs since they are so cheap, but you can bet I am stingy on my M&M Peanuts! 

Rob

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It really depends on location for me and something I am perfecting with every service. I tend to fill up machines that are used a little more often with more product at most half way. However, if I find the machine is only used a little often then I might only fill up the machines about 1/4 full. I find it reduces spoilage, and whether the machine is full, 1/2 full, or 1/4 full people use it just as much. Just my experience.

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I had the idea to mark my globes with a small fill line in the back or in some other inconspicuous spot. Then I would also mark a pitcher or something similiar with the amount of product required to fill the machine and take it with me to service. This way I can monitor how much product goes to fill each machine. I can make a note of the fill amount on my service sheet. This will allow me to track spoilage and waste and allow me to keep a real time inventory. Does anyone else do anything like this or do you think its all a waste of time?

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#1  The less you fill up your machine the less money you have invested.

#2  It makes people think the machine is being used.

Agreed and agreed.

 

philo wrote:

I have seen lots of machines with less than 1/4 full and I think to myself " I'm not buying from the bottom of an old batch of candy".

 

I cant tell you how many times I have gone to service a machine and it was completely empty. You would think that someone would be reluctant to put a quarter in a machine that is so low you can see the wheel but that is simply not the case for me. I'm not saying that an empty machine is desirable because it is not. An empty machine does not collect quarters. I'm just saying that a low machine has not deterred people from buying in my experience.

Steve

 

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I was hoping to find a definitive answer here being new to bulk vending but the real answer seems to be depends. But an interesting answer was less spoilage, so the new question for me is how long does candy last?

As a rule, gumballs have a usable shelf life of 6-8 months while Peanut M&M's can go 13 months. (in cool dry place, although I wouldn't consider selling any that old) Novelty candy like runts are good for at least 9-12 months.

As you approach these time limits, the quality of the candy will decrease but they are still fine to eat. I usually consider product to be spoiled after 6 months no matter what the shelf life is.

Steve 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

All of our machines hold 4 products each. New locations get PMM's, Peanuts, Gum, & Some Candy (Usually Runts or Skittles).

1st service is in 4 Weeks or less if locater flags as potentially strong. If any product isn't moving we ask anyone around for suggestions on what products might work well. People love to help if  you ask.

Our candy hoppers are about 10 inches tall with a mold mark at half way. When serviced we estimate the candy level and reduce that from the previous fill level and add two inches as a buffer. Example: If the candy is at 3 inches and the previous fill was at 5 inches, we sold 2 inches worth. So 2 plus 2(Buffer amt) dictates the hopper be filled to 4. This would be noted on a loose index card we leave in the machine as 2/4 in a column under the product. So each service adds a line to the card with the date serviced and the Before / After for each product. See Example Below. When a product is moving 1 inch or less per service cycle, we change the product and note the card as "Product Name / Fill Amt". In the event a product is dumped & replaced for some reason, we place an * by the fill amt.

We track the income on each machine, and calculate a daily average. We schedule the next service when we expect to collect $30 with a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 10 weeks between service calls. With this formula, the slowest moving product is being vended in a maximum of 30 weeks. We also consider product expired at 6 months after placing in machine.

 

 

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Blueroxie,

What a fabulous formula! I am so into black and white instead of gray area's. Being a virgo, I like to have a strict set of rules to follow and your approach is great. I especially like the card left in the machine idea.

I believe I will have to implement this on my route. Thanks for sharing.

Steve

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  • 3 weeks later...

1. I like to start off with 3/4 full canisters. It gives people the impression that the product is selling. (Impression is everything in this business.)

2. I think it is a good idea to let it go down to 1/4 or less but than fill it back to 3/4 again. If someone is looking for a machine to break open, they will look for the very empty ones first. They figure they are full of money.

3. If the account sells through a canister of product, in less than a month, I will fill it almost to the top. I don't want to miss a sale due to an empty machine.

Gary

http://www.westcoast-vend.com

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  • 2 months later...

Very good input by all for a new guy...  thanks very much.  Does the amount of candy that is vended in each turn also influence how much you put in?  I bought triple heads from vending on demand, and the candy wheel is adjustable.  Also, any input on how much should be vended per turn?  I'm starting with 1 inch gumballs, runts, and hot tamales Thanks for any replies.

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  • 5 months later...

I fill the machines according to the location's performance. I will try to fill it for about 2-3 months worth of candy. I don't want candy to go bad and I don't want to have to fill candy all the time. I'd prefer to stop in at the location, talk to the employees and collect my money.

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  • 1 month later...

my northwestern super 60 service manual says:

It is best to service your machine as often as possible. studies show that a full machine generates more sales. it both suggests a fresher product and increasesmerchandise display, also an empty machine invites theft, indicating a full chash box

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