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VendTrack for Honor Boxes

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I’m currently working on setting up my Vendtrack account. Setting up locations and routes was easy but where I’m hitting a roadblock is in inventory.

The system is geared to “machines” and “rows”, which is all well and good and should be easy enough to adapt, but I’m finding myself making every item in a box a “row” and I feel like maybe I’m missing something. As it stands I basically have to input every bag of chips individually, which doesn’t feel like a time saver.

Anyone have experience with this that could help me? I’m hoping I’m just being stupid and missing something obvious, or my tired brain is finding the hardest way to go about things.

Thanks in advance!

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51 minutes ago, VAVending said:

I’m currently working on setting up my Vendtrack account. Setting up locations and routes was easy but where I’m hitting a roadblock is in inventory.

The system is geared to “machines” and “rows”, which is all well and good and should be easy enough to adapt, but I’m finding myself making every item in a box a “row” and I feel like maybe I’m missing something. As it stands I basically have to input every bag of chips individually, which doesn’t feel like a time saver.

Anyone have experience with this that could help me? I’m hoping I’m just being stupid and missing something obvious, or my tired brain is finding the hardest way to go about things.

Thanks in advance!

This early on, I think you may be tracking WAY more than you need.  Don't get caught up in tracking each and every candy bar and bags of chips. 

Keep it simple.  Sales - Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) = Gross Profit.  

Sales = the money you collect (not the money you should have got).  Shortages have NO part in your sales.  JUST the money you collect.

COGS = Starting Inventory Value + Purchases - Ending Inventory Value. This is the inventory that was sold. 

Gross Profit = Sales - COGS.  This is what left to pay the bills (expenses, not inventory cost).  Do NOT confuse this with NET Profit, which is what is LEFT after you pay the bills...lol.

This can be tracked easily with a simple spreadsheet.  I calculate this (Profit and Loss Statement) each month.   I would use Vendtrack more for your account information and routing.

Accounts should have an account card for EACH snack tray that they have and cashout recorded on each card.  This can also be inputted into Vendtrack for long term account info.

We use our own accounting program for cash outs and account/route maintenance.  Bryan uses (or has used) Vendtrack.  But don't get caught up in all the minor details and too much information.  Ease into things and keep it simple.  TRUST ME...you will drive yourself crazy and burn out if you try to track each single item.  Just my 2 cents.  :) 

Oh, and congrats on the opening SALES!  When you get your boxes in, you should have no problem placing them and build a nice route.  What part of Virginia are you working?  :) 

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I have been using vend-trak for 3 years now.  I do not keep up with inventory on there.  I would not bother with that at all.  I just use it for my routes and locations.  I input my sales and shortages every time I am done with my route for the day and then print my reports at the end of the month.  That's about it, It is a great program and it keeps up with a lot of information for you.  

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4 hours ago, flintflash said:

This early on, I think you may be tracking WAY more than you need.  Don't get caught up in tracking each and every candy bar and bags of chips. 

Keep it simple.  Sales - Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) = Gross Profit.  

Sales = the money you collect (not the money you should have got).  Shortages have NO part in your sales.  JUST the money you collect.

COGS = Starting Inventory Value + Purchases - Ending Inventory Value. This is the inventory that was sold. 

Gross Profit = Sales - COGS.  This is what left to pay the bills (expenses, not inventory cost).  Do NOT confuse this with NET Profit, which is what is LEFT after you pay the bills...lol.

This can be tracked easily with a simple spreadsheet.  I calculate this (Profit and Loss Statement) each month.   I would use Vendtrack more for your account information and routing.

Accounts should have an account card for EACH snack tray that they have and cashout recorded on each card.  This can also be inputted into Vendtrack for long term account info.

We use our own accounting program for cash outs and account/route maintenance.  Bryan uses (or has used) Vendtrack.  But don't get caught up in all the minor details and too much information.  Ease into things and keep it simple.  TRUST ME...you will drive yourself crazy and burn out if you try to track each single item.  Just my 2 cents.  :) 

Oh, and congrats on the opening SALES!  When you get your boxes in, you should have no problem placing them and build a nice route.  What part of Virginia are you working?  :) 

Good points and thank you for the breakdown, I’ve always understood the three financial terms in theory, but practice is always a little blurry. This is a good reference.

I should also probably draft my wife’s help at this point (though I am loath to add to her workload, she’s so busy as it is and always with a smile); she’s a certified bookkeeper and could probably aid me greatly. Spreadsheets and I have never gotten along.

I’m located 30 minutes from the greater Richmond area. I could probably place boxes every week for the next 10 years and not even begin to exhaust the account pool. I’m loving the area. Plus it’s always nice selling things in the south, even people who blow you off will call you “dear”. (Happened to me today, lol.)

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3 hours ago, bhumphrey829 said:

I have been using vend-trak for 3 years now.  I do not keep up with inventory on there.  I would not bother with that at all.  I just use it for my routes and locations.  I input my sales and shortages every time I am done with my route for the day and then print my reports at the end of the month.  That's about it, It is a great program and it keeps up with a lot of information for you.  

Good to know. I figured maybe I was barking up the wrong tree when I was adding entries and was overcome with the urge to just grab a pencil and paper and write it all down by hand. Looks like it’s the ole spreadsheet for me if I want to keep track of all that.

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21 hours ago, VAVending said:

Good to know. I figured maybe I was barking up the wrong tree when I was adding entries and was overcome with the urge to just grab a pencil and paper and write it all down by hand. Looks like it’s the ole spreadsheet for me if I want to keep track of all that.

Yeah inventory is not that big of deal in my opinion, at least for me it's not.  Sales, stales and shortages are the three main things you need to keep up with.  I am really interested in what your "spiel" is when you are placing boxes.

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1 minute ago, bhumphrey829 said:

Yeah inventory is not that big of deal in my opinion, at least for me it's not.  Sales, stales and shortages are the three main things you need to keep up with.  I am really interested in what your "spiel" is when you are placing boxes.

Well, I’m not a very good salesman and I’m a bit of an introvert, so my spiel is basically straight from the video on Vending Bussiness Info (plus whatever variation is necessary due to customer questions.)

Essentially: 

Ask to speak to the manager. If the manager isn’t in, ask who the decision maker is; hopefully this nets the manager’s name or a time when the actual important person is in.

Hi, my name is Benjamin. I’m currently expanding my vending route in the area and am visiting businesses to find out if they’d like a snack box for their employees. The way it works is on the honor system, so people just take snacks out and put money in. I check on the box every week or so and make sure that it’s properly stocked.

I handle all the care of the box and any shortages from the box are on me; I take care of everything so you don’t have to worry about anything. (I went to 7 businesses and instantly saw that this is the most important point to make.)

What I’d like to do is to just drop this off for a week and see how it goes.

I then pause to let them respond.

I don’t think I got through all of it once yesterday, I either got cut off by them or got it muddled in my head and hesitated long enough for them to jump in.

One I placed was in a nail salon where I got muddled half way through (due to stage fright) but managed to include all pertinent information anyway with the exception of me handling loss. The owner hesitantly said the only thing they weren’t sure about was if they had to keep an eye on it. I assured them I take care of it completely and they smiled and told me to put it on the nail drying station.

The other placement, at a real estate office, was totally off script as the receptionist wanted my spiel before even going to get the manager. When she did go in the back I heard the manager say “Tell him no... well, I’ll come tell him.” The manager came out and said that they wouldn’t be able to have my box because they’d had one before at a different bussiness they’d managed and it “didn’t work out”. I voiced sympathy and asked if they minded telling me what happened. They said that there were a lot of employees who took from the box and forgot to put money in and the box owner was unhappy, so mine wouldn’t do well at all. I asked if they’d just let me try it one week and if it didn’t work out, no harm done. I was prepared to take 100% loss, but wanted to just give it a try, no pressure on them. They said yes and showed me to their coffee station.

I think what I’ve taken away from my first day of locating is to stick to the script a little better, but not be afraid to get creative if need be. Also if I slow down a tad and speak carefully without giving them a reason to jump in, that’ll probably help. They aren’t going to turn and walk away if I don’t throw it all out there in an incoherent string of  hasty talking.

New boxes are coming in Friday, so next week should be interesting.

Any tips?

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40 minutes ago, bhumphrey829 said:

Here is my "spiel".  I walk in and say, hello, I 'm looking for a decision maker.  Once I get the decision maker in front of me this is how it goes.  My name is bryan humphrey and I'm with gator snacks.  What we do is go around to small businesses like this that are too small to put a full line snack machine in because there aren't enough employees. So we take care of everyone else.  Ours are honor boxes.  The way it works is, you just put the money in and take out what you want, but what we like to stress to you as a decision maker is that you have absolutely no responsibility to this box.  You aren't responsible for product, or money or shortages.  We don't do contracts because everything we do is on a trial basis to see how you guys like it and see how works out and I was wondering if we could leave it here a couple of weeks and just see how it does."

I actually try to be as casual as I can when talking instead of trying to sound so professional.  I have found that gets them to let their guard down a little because as soon as they see you come in, they tense up knowing you are just another salesman trying to sell them something.  So I try to put that ease from the start.

Another thing I have learned through trial and error is when I get the objection "well, the decision maker isn't in"  and they tell me after I have already made my pitch.  And they say " I can't make that decision, do you have a card you can leave?"  I used to always leave cards and of course I never got a call back.  What I have been doing the last 2.5 years and it's worked really great is when they ask me for a card, here is what I tell them.


"Well, the thing is, we don't leave cards only because then you are trying to explain it your boss and he has no idea of what you are talking about, so what we like to do is leave the box because my card is on the box.  Now you are not committing to the box or anything like that, but at least he can see it and see what it looks like.  If he doesn't want it all you have to do is call me and I will come pick up."

I have had about 90% success doing it this way as far not getting calls to come pick up the box.

That is genius! And gutsy. I’m going to have to try it.

So what if they don’t ask for a card or you haven’t given them the spiel yet when they say the manager isn’t in?

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6 hours ago, VAVending said:

That is genius! And gutsy. I’m going to have to try it.

So what if they don’t ask for a card or you haven’t given them the spiel yet when they say the manager isn’t in?

I just kind of get a feel for the person I am talking to.  If I feel I might have a shot, then if they say the decision maker isn't in I will say, okay well let me run this by you and see if you think it's worth coming back for and then go into my spiel and say the same thing about leaving the box just so the decision maker can see it

And by they way, I am in no way a salesman either.  If this had anything to do with selling I woud be a complete failure at this business lol

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4 hours ago, bhumphrey829 said:

I just kind of get a feel for the person I am talking to.  If I feel I might have a shot, then if they say the decision maker isn't in I will say, okay well let me run this by you and see if you think it's worth coming back for and then go into my spiel and say the same thing about leaving the box just so the decision maker can see it

And by they way, I am in no way a salesman either.  If this had anything to do with selling I woud be a complete failure at this business lol

Good to know. I think it’s going to take a bit for me to work up the courage to try that. Right now I’m banking on the fact that I’ll get better the more I do it, because I feel so vulnerable going in and like I’m intruding just to be there.

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BOTH of you guys have great presentations.  I basically have my reps use a combination of both of yours.  A couple things that might help:  Don't be so focused on talking to a manager, especially asking to talk to one.  An easy way for them to get rid of you is to tell you that they are not in.  As Bryan stated, he then sells it to the employee (secretary, receptionist, office manager,etc.) and has them try it and if the manager does not want the box, call and he'll pick it up.  My suggestion is Why not start out this way?  We talk to the FIRST person we meet.  Trust me, if you sell the receptionist on the idea, they will help you sell it to the manager.  Also, start out with the "trial basis" right away and show them the box and all the goodies that you have in the box, THEN explain the Honor System.  Most companies that have been exposed to Honor Snacks before already have an idea about it, and those that haven't may get turned off right away from the "honor" part.  I like the explanation of "small vending for smaller accounts" that Bryan uses.  That is a GREAT starting point.  Then get them looking in your tray at all the treats.  Once they are a captive audience, then a nice, casual explanation of how the system works.  Finally, end your presentation by asking them WHERE they would like you to leave the box; "up front here in the office, or if you have a breakroom, I could place it there."  NEVER be pushy or HARDCORE SALES, but act as if the service is GREAT and "of course they would want to try it."  

Benjamin, don't get discouraged by the 7 accounts that blew you off right away.  Certainly, we would all love to hit 10 businesses and place 10 boxes, but it doesn't work that way.  You will have to hit 40-50 business to get 10 boxes placed.  That is what my sales reps try to do.  Sometimes you can go an hour or two and not place one box, and then in hour three, place four boxes.  Honor Snack sales are like that.  AND FINALLY...ALWAYS GO BACK AND SELL THE SAME AREAS 6-9 MONTHS LATER!!!  Never write off a business (or area) as "well I've been there and they said 'No" so I won't go back there."  No, No, NO!  ALWAYS GO BACK.  Different day, different circumstances, different attitudes.  You will never grow if you don't resell your territory over, and over and over again.  THIS INCLUDES BUSINESSES THAT YOU MAY HAVE PULLED BEFORE!  Always go back!  

WHEW!!  Enough of my long-winded rambling...LOL.  Now go out and sell, Sell, SELL!!  :) 

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25 minutes ago, flintflash said:

BOTH of you guys have great presentations.  I basically have my reps use a combination of both of yours.  A couple things that might help:  Don't be so focused on talking to a manager, especially asking to talk to one.  An easy way for them to get rid of you is to tell you that they are not in.  As Bryan stated, he then sells it to the employee (secretary, receptionist, office manager,etc.) and has them try it and if the manager does not want the box, call and he'll pick it up.  My suggestion is Why not start out this way?  We talk to the FIRST person we meet.  Trust me, if you sell the receptionist on the idea, they will help you sell it to the manager.  Also, start out with the "trial basis" right away and show them the box and all the goodies that you have in the box, THEN explain the Honor System.  Most companies that have been exposed to Honor Snacks before already have an idea about it, and those that haven't may get turned off right away from the "honor" part.  I like the explanation of "small vending for smaller accounts" that Bryan uses.  That is a GREAT starting point.  Then get them looking in your tray at all the treats.  Once they are a captive audience, then a nice, casual explanation of how the system works.  Finally, end your presentation by asking them WHERE they would like you to leave the box; "up front here in the office, or if you have a breakroom, I could place it there."  NEVER be pushy or HARDCORE SALES, but act as if the service is GREAT and "of course they would want to try it."  

Benjamin, don't get discouraged by the 7 accounts that blew you off right away.  Certainly, we would all love to hit 10 businesses and place 10 boxes, but it doesn't work that way.  You will have to hit 40-50 business to get 10 boxes placed.  That is what my sales reps try to do.  Sometimes you can go an hour or two and not place one box, and then in hour three, place four boxes.  Honor Snack sales are like that.  AND FINALLY...ALWAYS GO BACK AND SELL THE SAME AREAS 6-9 MONTHS LATER!!!  Never write off a business (or area) as "well I've been there and they said 'No" so I won't go back there."  No, No, NO!  ALWAYS GO BACK.  Different day, different circumstances, different attitudes.  You will never grow if you don't resell your territory over, and over and over again.  THIS INCLUDES BUSINESSES THAT YOU MAY HAVE PULLED BEFORE!  Always go back!  

WHEW!!  Enough of my long-winded rambling...LOL.  Now go out and sell, Sell, SELL!!  :) 

You guys are great. With this kind of support group I think I’d have to be an idiot to mess this up. I really appreciate all the tips. Now I just have to get them straight in my head, I think the wife is probably going to get board of me selling her on honor boxes over and over and over... lol.

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10 hours ago, VAVending said:

You guys are great. With this kind of support group I think I’d have to be an idiot to mess this up. I really appreciate all the tips. Now I just have to get them straight in my head, I think the wife is probably going to get board of me selling her on honor boxes over and over and over... lol.

You will definitely get better and better the more you do it.  Rejections are just part of the game.  When I first started placing my own boxes, I would get really frustrated pretty quick mainly because I was always thinking I was doing something wrong.  As time went on, I realized, it's just a numbers game.  So I started telling myself when I went out to place boxes that I was not going to stop until I had 5 boxes out or I got 20 "no's", which ever came first.  Not one time did I ever get to 20 no's before I had 5 boxes out.  Flint is right as far how it works.  I have had times when I would place 5 boxes in row without ever getting a turndown.  Then there have been times when I have had 9 or 10 turndowns in a row before I ever placed a box.  My best advice is just to remember this.  No matter what, the only way that you will not succeed at this is if you quit.  As long as you vow not to ever quit, you will have a successful business.  The way I see it, is even on my worst possible day, it's still better than the best day I ever had working for someone else.

 

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That’s a good mindset to have.

Do y’all mind if I post your placement spiels over in the thread I just created?

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17 hours ago, VAVending said:

That’s a good mindset to have.

Do y’all mind if I post your placement spiels over in the thread I just created?

Don't mind at all!  Always happy to share!  :) 

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16 hours ago, flintflash said:

Don't mind at all!  Always happy to share!  :) 

go for it

 

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So I’m trying to get my accounting in order and feel like I’m hitting a roadblock.

I have a spreadsheet to keep track of (and categorize) all of my expenses. I have a spreadsheet to take my COGS, Sales and COS, and calculate my yearly gross and net profit by month. But I’m struggling to put together a spreadsheet to calculate the monthly COGS and sales to input into my other spreadsheets.

If I’m not counting every bag of chips, how do I know what inventory is going out and what its price is? Do I just buy large amounts of snacks and apply some sort of blanket median price to them and use that as an estimate? That doesn’t seem like it would work. If I’m not counting pennies and keeping track of every detail, how do I gauge how well an account is doing and if there is shrinkage?

Again, I feel like I’m missing something obvious that I just can’t wrap my head around. I really don’t have a head for accounting.

Can y’all explain what I’m doing wrong? Thanks much for your patience with me.

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I think I figured it out. I created a spreadsheet where I can input cases and case prices and it automatically calculates stock of same price items, then I input basic location stats, (money pulled, products sold, etc.) and it calculates my COGS, Sales, Gross and Shrinkage.

So yes, I have to count bags as they go out, but I can do it easily in lots of 10 or more, and I can mark product sold from the box on the location card as I pick it up (which will let me right away reuse any old stock in the box without having to worry about messing up numbers).

Maybe I’m overcomplicating things, but I was driving myself nuts NOT being meticulous.

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