Over the past couple of decades, the rise in volume of transactional data available at vending machines coupled with the emergence and evolution of information technology have enabled vending operators to capture, analyze, and transform real-time operational data into actionable insights. Unattended retail operators are now able to leverage data to significantly improve route efficiency, inventory and machine management, and increase profitability.
Given the enormous impact that data makes in the operations and finances in the vending, markets and OCS businesses, what tangible insights can you derive from this data? Here are 5 big categories of insights that your data could help you with:
#1. Identify Consumer Trends: Having real-time access to transactional source data from every machine or route allows operators to measure, analyze, and optimize the performance of their vending machines. They can see how each machine at each location is performing, what products are selling, what machines need restocking, and what machines require servicing at any given moment. Given their visibility to data at such granularity, they can tailor their product-mix to what sells currently and swap out product based on seasonal trends. Launching new products and testing new variants which could become best-sellers is a cake-walk with the power of data.
#2. Implement a Data-Driven Decision Model: Vending technology enables a data-driven decision-making process (illustrated in the diagram below) that transforms real-time source data into actionable insights delivering increased profitability and customer satisfaction.
For example, in the diagram to the right, at stage 1, if data told you in how many days a particular machine is projected to be out of stock (OOS) for one SKU, you’re able to adjust the service schedule and merchandising to minimize OOS per machine or adjust product placement and spiral usage to minimize OOS events and increase fills per service.
#3 Track Machine-Level Performance: When an operator leverages the data available to them, they find a plethora of machine-level data that they can dive into. One of the primary uses of machine-level data is to build relevant planograms. Operators can use planograms to plan and track machine performance by categories. They can then evolve the process to track at a more granular level – by items. Once the top-selling SKUs are identified, they can be placed at eye-level in the vending machines to increase sales.
#4. Increase Operational Efficiencies: The decisions vending operators make numerous times every day are what determine how successful they will be. Making the most effective decisions depends on having the most detailed, accurate, up-to-date source data. And the outcome of all these decisions influence the operational costs and efficiencies that the business has. So, the equation is simple. Data helps better decision-making. Better decision-making improves operational efficiencies. Operators make decisions like the ones shown below everyday, and data plays a pivotal role in answering these questions.
- How do I increase sales per machine?
- How do I attract new customers?
- How do I manage inventory efficiently?
- What are the most profitable merchandising mixes?
#5. Reduce Uncertainty: Leveraging data means no more guessing about whether Cheerios or Cheetos are selling better at any given point in time. No more uncertainty about item levels in machines. No more costly, unnecessary trips to check on machines that are in good shape, and no more delays in getting to machines that are out of stock or malfunctioning. And with reduced uncertainty, comes peace of mind and a motivated workforce.
Hundreds of vending operators worldwide rely on Cantaloupe Systems’ innovative technology solutions to help them unleash the power of their data. Bring the power of technology to your vending operations and say goodbye to uncertainty.
To learn how Cantaloupe Systems can help you maximize the performance and profitability of your vending business, fill out the form below and a Cantaloupe representative will reach out to you.