Cash and Stocks Planning (Every Vendor Should Know)

It is interesting when vending machines are fully stocked in a manner of variety and quantity. It is definitely appealing to the eyes of patrons and soon to be customers. But of course, it will definitely be pleasing to the vendor when each and every bin of the vending machine spins and product sells fast making the vending machine a way-to-go due to an effective plan-0-gram. An essential tool in the business along with the cash and stocks planning.

We’ve had discussions on an effective merchandising plan in vending machines via plan-0-grams techniques and management last July post. And, I think it was helpful to know how merchandise planning vibrantly expressed the art of vending machine staying effective with our customers, thus eventually staying profitable at all times.

The Vending Machine Plan-o-gram

As stated earlier, Plan-o-gram is the art of planning of products to be merchandised, and it is the principle behind merchandising such as product selection, product arrangement and competitive pricing. Eventually, the ultimate goals of the plan-o-grams is to plan product purchasing, financial budgeting, product distribution and vending machine effectively display-appealing keeping in mind our customer’s satisfaction all the time 24/7!

Above definition is however, just one side of the coin. Equally, the other side is the cost of the products, a subset of financial budgeting where vendors have to be careful with staying afloat with a healthy cash flow. Cautiously to mention, the planning of stock purchases for becomes overwhelming specially when dealing with multiple machines of distant locations serving unique sets of customers. Thus, plan-0-gram management becomes challenging when multiple vending machines come into play.

Thus, given such scenario needing new products for vending machines serving different sets of customers in various locations, the Cash and Stocks Purchasing template should be it achieving superb planning.

Template – Cash and Stocks Planning (an example)

A. Current Inventory:

  1. Coke Regular 12.0 oz 23 cans
  2. Coke Zero 12.0 oz 25 cans
  3. Propel Water 6 bottles
  4. Chester Fries 45 packs
  5. Duches Donut 13 packs

B. Cash Position, Beginning: $210.15

C. Bill(s) to Pay: $187.15

  1. Spectrum Internet $134.15
  2. Water Bill $53.00

D. Stocks to Purchase: $162.18

  1. Coke Reg 12.0z 2 cases/70 cans
  2. Sprite 12 oz 1 case/35 cans
  3. Doritos Nachos 2 boxes/100 packs
  4. Chester Fries 1 box/50 packs
  5. Otis Spunkmeyer 2 boxes/30 pieces
  6. Ozarka Water 16.0oz 1 case/40 bottles

E. Cash Collections: $111.40

  1. Mill ES $32.00
  2. Marcus HS $43.00
  3. Inspired Living $23.15
  4. Boxer Irving $13.25

F. Cash Position, Ending: -$27.78

G. Ending Inventory:

  1. Coke…

The How’s in Cash and Stocks Planning

  1. Determine vending machines that are currently low in inventory. In this example, which is my route 3, 4 vending machines were identified with low inventory, each vending machine was set to 6 bins empty. Please note, such inventory information and alert are available with the aid of telemetry. In this route, all vending machines are installed with Cantaloupe Card readers with telemetry.
  2. Review respective vending machine’s plan-o-gram and determine what products to purchase.
  3. Determine immediate payables so as not to omit any of these schedules that will cause unnecessary penalty fees and interest expenses.
  4. Needless to say, know your cash balance for this particular route.
  5. Determine the cash sales of each respective vending machine and in this example, which is my route 3, such cash collection information were made available with the aid of telemetry.
  6. Given the above, the Cash Position, Ending (F.) can be determined. So with the Ending Inventory (G.), which shall be used for the next set of vending machines that are or are nearing low inventory.

Please Note…

The template doesn’t have to be a formal accounting document. However, one that can be followed by your manager. book keeper and yourself effectively. Financially speaking, it is not a receipt nor a voucher that requires signatures that eventually is booked into accounting records. It is however, a note for daily cash planning aiding to see the cash position that will be derived from the template – cash and stocks planning of a vending machine or group of vending machines that need to be re-stocked and merchandised immediately.

Please note, it is of essence the end result of template is to efficiently use the cash available on hand and of that will be collected from each vending machine. Save the credit sales which definitely wouldn’t be yet be available on the very time of purchasing.

In Essence…

I feel this is a very good and practical way every vendor should use managing the cash flow efficiently at all times. This is worth a tool to stay afloat, at least for smaller vendors, in the vending machine business. Take note, inventory is about 60% of your operating capital at any given point in time.

Free Full line Vending Machine and Unattended Sales Kiosks of Snacks, Drinks and Coffee in DFW Dallas Fort Worth Denton Flower Mound Lewisville Dallas Carrolton Coppell

Foot Traffic and Location Analysis, The Better Business

Investments or Expenses, Recover As Fast As Possible

As we already know, continuous investments are imperative in the vending machine business – having a good traffic and location. New locations, maintenance and repairs, and upgrades entail large cash outflows affecting budgets significantly. In the eyes of the accountant, such cash outflows are investments improving the company’s asset ledger. Thus, requiring return on investments or ROI, as fast as possible. In the eyes of the entrepreneur, cash outflows are earmarked expenses fueling the wheel of sales and profit as well.

Noticeably, both agree on shaping-up the company’s financial ledger. Thus, on both points of view – the investment point of view (the accountant’s) and the expense point of view (the entrepreneur’s), agreement on assumptions, method of analysis and sales projections should be established soundly.  And, how do we that? Firstly, establishing the numbers using the foot traffic count and secondly, performing location analysis based on the traffic count.

Foot Traffic Count Surveys in the Foot Traffic and Location Analysis

Following are sets of profiled traffic count surveys made in offices, public libraries and hospitals to name a few. Typical counts are also conducted in schools, manufacturing plants and senior living facilities:

Large Office in Dallas, Texas
Foot Traffic and Location Analysis
A Profile of a Large Office in Dallas
Public Library in Lewisville, Denton DFW
Foot Traffic and Location Analysis
A Profile of a Public Library in Lewisville
Foot Traffic in Flower Mound DFW
Foot Traffic and Location Analysis
A Profile of a Public Hospital in Flower Mound

Prospective Customer Classification

Normally, the manpower complement is basically divided into two classifications, the internal customers and the external customers. The internal customers are generally office employees and customers in offices and public libraries, and patients/patrons categorized in hospitals and senior living facilities, and are categorized as prospective customers who stays inside the office. The external customers are field employees, contractors and suppliers, and are categorized as prospective customers who come and go in the office.

Computing the Foot Traffic Count

After tabulating the actual foot traffic counts for each manpower complement over the days intervals, say Mondays, Wednesdays and weekends, you will have to average the counts of the chosen days intervals for each manpower complement in preparation of applying the established drop-in rate. After applying the drop-in rate, the estimated sales over the weekdays and weekends are obtained.

Finally, the total count of the foot traffic count is achieved by summing up the estimated sales count per day column. And, that is the number you’ll decide whether a placement of a vending machine in the location under study is a go or no go!

Looks simple enough, right?

Establishing the Drop-in Rate in the Foot Traffic and Location Analysis

It is worth mentioning the drop-in rate in this article however it is lengthy in scope and requires deeper analysis to appreciate its value in foot traffic and location analysis. Drop-in rate analysis requires insights on the location where the vending machine(s) will be placed and experience in vending machine sales and operations. As prologue to this topic, it should not be isolated foot traffic and location analysis at any rate. It is just a topic worth being its own article.

In Essence…

Gone are the days assuming certain locations is a go without making a study. If so, investment figures and payback periods will suffers. And, thus definitely, hurting your ROI. At this point, it is imperative, the lack of sound assumptions, method of analysis and sales projections will hurt the entrepreneur deeply.

On future posts, we will analyze the profit and loss based on the outcome of the Foot Traffic and Location Analysis. After all, these articles come hand in hand.