• Matt Harlos

End The Overtime Cycle



How often does your warehouse staff work overtime? Whatever the amount, that overtime costs you money because the staff was not able to accomplish its job during normal business hours. As the leader of your vending business, the first question to ask is ‘why could they not get the day’s work done during their regular hours?’ Here’s one situation that is common among vending operators.

The drivers arrive as usual very early in the morning to gather up their inventory for that specific day on their route. They hit the road long before traffic starts, and everyone is successfully working their routes. But then the afternoon traffic kicks in and more than half of the drivers are late getting back to the warehouse with their inventory data, which is held in their mobile devices.

Since the warehouse crew can’t start the job of gathering the inventory for the next day’s routes until the drivers arrive back at the warehouse and transfer their inventory data to “the system”, they have to wait, no matter how long it takes. Finally, the drivers all arrive and all their data is input into the system. Now it’s after 6pm, and the work is just starting. That work continues until the warehouse is ready for the next day’s routes.

Why does this scenario happen over and over all over the vending industry? There are two main reasons: the absence of real time data transfer and the absence of pre-kitting.

Real Time Data Transfer

Imagine the difference in how the above scenario looks if throughout the day - before the drivers are done with their routes - the warehouse receives constant updates on each machine’s inventory. Instead of carrying ancient ruggedized handheld devices, each driver could be equipped with an iPad Mini. That iPad Mini could have the Gimme App loaded and each machine’s planogram entered into Gimme. As the drivers sync with each individual vending machine, their iPads send in the data to the warehouse system. The data is there hours before the driver completes their route.

Pre-kitting

As each machine’s individual inventory data is received by the warehouse, a kit can be created for that individual machine, whether that machine is synced at 4AM or 1PM. So, by the time a driver arrives from servicing their route, a kit is already made for the next day for every machine that requires more inventory. The driver can load up tomorrow’s kits today, because the driver doesn’t have to take any time to sync up their ruggedized handheld device after they arrive at the warehouse.

Combine these two powerful systems - real time data transfer and pre-kitting - and you’ll see your drivers arriving back from their routes hours before they used to and their inventory kits for the following day already done. What does that mean? It means no more overtime.


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