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camelback vending

Camelback Vending

Camelback Vending

Camelback Vending

The dynamic duo of Mike and Jodi Glimpse of Camelback Vending of Phoenix, Arizona consistently exceed their customers’ expectations by providing top-notch service with the help of Cantaloupe Systems’ Seed Cloud™. Former sales managers for Cutco Cutlery, both Mike and Jodi transitioned to vending after attending a tradeshow.

IN THE BEGINNING

Jodi explains, “In September of 2001 we went to a tradeshow and there was a bulk vendor from U-turn. When we saw the equipment we thought that it would be great for our Cutco office… ” She continues, “the guy gave us a brochure, and said that he was selling this one if you wanna buy it. I called him back and said I’m buying 50 machines (laughs)… But it was my way of getting out of the house.”

Being new to the vending industry has been a big advantage for Camelback because they aren’t trapped into the old way of thinking. Once they got their business up and running, Camelback realized quickly that they needed a better way of monitoring their machines. Mike found Cantaloupe Systems through word of mouth and decided to visit Cantaloupe Systems at NAMA. This was the turning point. “I tried to convince Jodi of the value, and being the pseudo-CFO for the company she’s like, ‘What? You want me to spend what?’ I said, ‘Jodi, this is great stuff, I’m telling you it will give us such a value added service, and it wasn’t until we went to NAMA…” Jodi jumps in, “I looked at it and realized, this is the stuff I do everyday, this is everything, I do the routing, I do the cash track, all of these things that I was trying to do. I was like, this is it.”

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THE BENEFITS CAME QUICKLY

Just a few months into using Seed Cloud they began to see benefits. “The first place that we really felt the benefits was at Maricopa High School. It takes us 45 minutes to get there. It’s a campus that we were providing the vending for – milk, ice cream, snacks, and chip machines. They were a slow account. We would watch it [on Seed Cloud], but didn’t spend the time to really look at it. We would get a call from the food service manager who says, you gotta get out here, your machines are empty. I said, ‘really?’ I pull up the website to look and they’re all empty. And so we fill it and two days later she calls and says they’re empty again. And I said ‘how?’ We were literally going there every other day for the first few months. During their honeymoon period, we were able to adjust the frequency we were going there with Cantaloupe. We said to ourselves this is good. To me, that was the first place I really felt the value of it, because we were dealing with gas and travel. We then made a decision about October of that year, and we just said anything we do from now on we will use Cantaloupe.”

WINNING BIDS

As a smaller company a major issue to deal with is winning bids. With Cantaloupe Systems Seed Cloud, they’ve been able to win over 95% of them. “As we began to roll out the solution, we started realizing very quickly – what schools wanted more than the money, was they didn’t want to be bugged anymore. They didn’t want to be calling anymore, or having their kids gripe that their vending machines were empty. We then made a conscious decision to shift our focus from commission to quality service. It makes us feel good when we offer something like Cantaloupe, we know it’s going to give us a value added service.”

Camelback Vending has experienced many other benefits from Seed Cloud. One of the major benefits is the fact that they’re able to greatly reduce overhead. Jodi explains, “I’ve got 3 trucks that aren’t running. We bought 8 trucks based on all of our projections on what kind of business we were going to get with all of these new accounts that we picked up. We expected that we were going to need 8 trucks, and within a month we knocked off one of those trucks, and within another month we popped off another one of those trucks. As we have improved our skill with Cantaloupe scheduling we were able to reduce one more truck in the last month. We are currently running about $45k per truck. That’s a 37% reduction of truck and salary costs.”

THE CHALLENGES OF VENDING

Mike speaks about the challenges of vending. “It’s a constant challenge to squeeze out profit at every turn because it seems like every time you turn around, products are getting more expensive. It’s always a challenge, and that’s why it’s imperative that you have the correct data to work with. The vending industry operates off of tight margins.”

Jodi agrees, “It’s just a huge advantage for the sales field. What you realize is the value of being able to save something like the headaches that the school doesn’t want to deal with. We’re out there taking service calls without them ever knowing that there was something wrong with the machine. I’m really honest with them, I tell them that we can pretty much diagnose everything with Cantaloupe… if there’s a coin jam I can’t tell that, but what we do, is every morning our operations manager will pull up sales, and he knows the last 24 hours. We’re going to monitor and make sure you’re getting sales… and they love it. The people that really love it are the secretaries. The boss makes the decisions, but the secretaries handle everything. I sell her half the time, because it’s her headache. We really stress that we take care of service calls before anyone on your location knows something is wrong.”

Mike says, “What Cantaloupe has helped us do is manage expectations, ‘When expectations don’t meet reality, disappointment sets in.’ That’s one of the things we face in a service industry all the time. People go in and promise the world – promise things that they don’t deliver. The customer gets disappointed, and then they become open for replacement. We have to make sure that expectations meet reality. So Cantaloupe not only helps us set the expectations with regard to how much money they are going to gain or the type of service they’ll receive, it helps us prove reality.”

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