Gimme Customer Spotlight:

Smith Vending - Great for Drivers,

Great for Business

Hugs from formerly frustrated drivers – as well as streamlined routes, reduced spoils, and far fewer headaches—are among the benefits Iowa-based Smith Vending has enjoyed since implementing Gimme’s system. In fact, Smith’s drivers have seen an average of 28 minutes shaved off each daily route. 

That’s not all—the family-owned company’s revenue is up 18 percent, or $2.19 per service visit to one of their vending machines. That’s a total daily boost of $82.28 per route. As for stock-outs, which translate to lost sales—they’re down 17 percent.

All of this in less than a year. And to think, only ten years ago Smith Vending drivers were using pencil and paper to restock machines and take inventory. The company transitioned to handheld technology in 2008, when Rod Nester, now president and CEO, bought the enterprise he started working for at age 18. But even with the addition of handhelds, routes remained a far cry from running smoothly. 

In the meantime, with Rod at the helm, Smith Vending’s business was booming, gaining more and more territory. With the growing business needs, Rod decided it was time to upgrade the driver’s handhelds. Smith Vending originally tried replacing them with a competitor to Gimme’s mobile app, which did not, by any means, save the day. 

“The drivers were getting mad—and so was I.”

Ashilyn, Vice President and CFO, Smith Vending

“There was so much wrong with it,” says Rod’s daughter, Ashilyn Sunderman, who joined the company in 2011. “For example, many of the vend visits wouldn’t come over to our VMS, they would just disappear.”

“My drivers were so frustrated,” says Ashilyn, Smith’s Vice President and CFO. “The drivers were getting mad—and so was I.”

Ashilyn remembers getting calls—at 3 a.m.—at least once a week to drive ten miles into town to reset the server. She’d heard of Atlanta-based Gimme and its iPad-based app, a one-stop solution for helping vending operators quickly, conveniently, and precisely, by keeping tabs on inventory, schedule routes, and track buying patterns. In November 2017, Ashilyn called Gimme Co-Founder and CCO, Evan Jarecki, and told him “send me a contract—we’re doing this.” 

"Using Gimme really has changed the lives of our drivers."

Ashilyn, Vice President and CFO, Smith Vending

“We were fully deployed by the end of that year,” Ashilyn says. 

Smith Vending’s post-Gimme 18 percent revenue increase is nothing to sneeze at, but Ashilyn points out that “you can’t put a price on keeping good employees.”

“Over the course of time, using Gimme really has changed the lives of our drivers. It simplifies everything, and the visual nature of it is something they can easily relate to.”

In addition to skyrocketing morale, Smith Vending’s team-up with Gimme has created a lot of incremental business value, from increased productivity—routes shortened by 28 minutes—to more accurate inventory and pre-kits to fewer bring-backs, or spoiled items. Bottom-line, Smith’s machines are stocked with what they need to have stocked.

“Everything is being done with more accuracy, from pre-kitting to taking inventory,” Ashilyn says. “And because our drivers like the Gimme program, they’re very willing to do it correctly. A month in, they were hugging me.”

In less than a year after Gimme, Smith Vending experienced:

  • 18% increase in revenue, 

  • 17% decrease in stock-outs,

  • 28 minutes saved per route,

  • and skyrocketing driver morale.

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