• Matt Harlos

Prepare to Pre-kit!

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

As much as we would like to just flip a switch and change our vending business to pre-kitting, that’s just not possible. Pre-kitting is a business operations process that must be planned and implemented over time, much like implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. And, just like with everything from painting a room to running a marathon, preparation is the most important part.

So, what do you have to do to prepare to pre-kit? Here are the X things you must do before you will be ready to make the leap to improving your business’ efficiency and profitability.

  1. Vending Management System (VMS) - Investing in a VMS generally comes sometime after you have 4 sustained routes with 100-125 machines on each route. At this point, it’s no longer a hobby or a side-hustle. It’s a real business. The reason you implement a VMS at this point is data. You cannot grow significantly without proper, accurate, and timely data about the vending products you are selling. Expect to spend anywhere from 2 to 6 months choosing and implementing a VMS.

  2. Planogram - Every machine must have a planogram. There is no getting around this requirement. Planograms are the basic setting on which you plan your inventory, track your sales, and create every kit for every machine on every route.

  3. Validate your data - You must have accurate data from every machine in order to determine the kit that the driver will deliver to the machine each day. Start slowly, and validate the DEX data that you receive from each machine until it’s accurate day in and day out.

  4. Communicate to your team - This step is the most important, by far. If your team is not on board or does not understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, then your pre-kitting efforts will take a lot longer and be much more stressful than they should be. Moving to pre-kitting is a very big deal, a business-changing process. Generally, people don’t like change, especially when their paycheck is directly related to that change. In our next post, we will walk through your communications with your route drivers, those who are most affected (positively!) from pre-kitting.

Now, there is still much more to do, but until you’ve conquered these tasks, you are not ready to consider pre-kitting. Next up, how to prepare your route drivers for the new way they will be spending their days.