• Matt Harlos

Prepare Your Drivers for Pre-Kitting

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

Your entire business will be positively impacted when you implement pre-kitting; however, your drivers will feel the change more than anyone else in your organization. That “change” that they feel will include things that drivers will be very happy about and also some things that drivers may be suspicious, if not downright negative, about.

Here’s what your drivers might not like so much, at first:

  • Pre-kitting brings instant accountability to every driver. Unfortunately, drivers skimming cash from a vending business is a reality, but that reality is quickly removed when the exact inventory going out in every pre-kit can be matched with the cash coming in.

  • Pre-kitting makes drivers more efficient so each driver can service more machines each day. That means you won’t need as many drivers for your current routes.

  • Each route’s inventory is now driven by actual sales data rather than the driver’s instinctive knowledge of each route and customer.

  • Clean out the trucks! The first step in changing to pre-kitting for a driver is to empty the truck. Item hoarding is a problem (one driver used honey buns to support cases of drinks so they wouldn’t squeak!) that should go away with pre-kitting.

  • Drivers may be suspicious that you are going to automate them out of a job. The truth is, you’re automating them into a better job.

  • Think they’ll make less money because they are not doing as much physical work. The truth is, they will make more money because they are servicing more machines.

  • Your drivers’ pay structure must and will change; however, good quality drivers will make more money with less physical labor.

Now here’s what your drivers are going to LOVE:

  • Drivers can handle nearly twice as many machines in the same time. That means more commissions. It is imperative that you, as the owner/operator, communicate this point very clearly.

  • When you implement a VMS (which is required for pre-kitting), route times will decrease by 25% but commissions will increase because each driver can service more machines.

  • Because every item for every machine is in its own tote box, it’s easier to pull product from the truck. Easier is better and more efficient.

  • No more truck inventory checks! Enough said.

  • Each driver will push less product around on the dolly cart because only the items that are actually needed will be pre-kitted.

  • Drivers will no longer have to be a product expert on a daily basis for every machine. Pre-kitting lets drivers focus on servicing the customer, rather than memorizing each machine.

  • Every route can maximize sales by optimizing inventory for which products are selling the most.

In the end, the positives of pre-kitting far outweigh the perceived negatives. Drivers will be more efficient, do less physical labor, service more machines, and make more commissions. It’s your job as a small business owner to lead the charge to change and improve your business by implementing pre-kitting.