• Matt Harlos

Beware of these 8 Pre-Kitting Gotchas

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

Pre-kitting will help you take back control of your vending machine business. Pre-kitting is a business process change that takes time and care to implement. Even the very best vending operators get caught with their hand in the vending machine every now and then. Here are 8 things to watch out for as you plan, implement, and reap the benefits of pre-kitting.

  • Bad Data - Each kit is only as good as the data that determined the quantity of each item that should go into that kit. Bad data in = bad kits out. Validate your machine inventory data manually before you go all out pre-kitting.

  • Tote boxes - When you pre-kit, you put each kit into a carrier. The most popular carrier is a simple tote box with a hinged lid. Make sure the tote boxes you buy will fit in your trucks before you buy 1,000 of them! Yes, someone you know already did this.

  • Unprepared drivers - From the moment you decide to start pre-kitting, you must must must communicate very clearly with your drivers. If your drivers are not on board, it will not go well. Our next post will go into details about exactly what you should tell your drivers.

  • Planograms - Gotta have ‘em! Gotta change ‘em. They gotta be accurate. There's just no getting around this one, so make sure you've indoctrinated everyone into the planogram party.

  • A sudden jump in route sales - if a specific route’s revenues go up immediately when you switch that route to pre-kitting, that’s a clear sign that there was a cash problem before you switched to pre-kitting.

  • Poor inventory control at the warehouse - Pre-kitting only works if you have the right items in your warehouse to put in each kit. That’s why you don’t pre-kit until you have your VMS up and running.

  • Moving too fast - Industry best practice for how fast to transition your routes to pre-kitting is one route per week, starting with your #1 best route and driver. Make an example out of that driver for all your other drivers. When that driver returns hours earlier than usual because he or she is so much more efficient, the other drivers will get it very quickly.

  • Cleaning out the trucks - You never know what you’re going to find in a truck that’s been driven by the same driver for 13 years. Cleaning out the trucks - to make room for the new totes - is the first step for converting each route to pre-kitting. You’ll want to let each driver know that this step is coming before it arrives.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When you’re moving your vending business forward into pre-kitting, make sure you look ahead and avoid these pitfalls. You’ll be glad you did.