With all the furor about vending micro markets it is easy to forget about the origin of automatic merchandising, traditional vending. Usually that consists of soda, snack, juice, and other machines that accept money for individual items. It is also easy to forget that sometimes traditional vending is the most appropriate choice for your company. Micromarkets are not always the best fit for everyone.
First, vending micro markets usually require a minimum of 100 employees at a location. The operator generally cannot make a profit without that kind of volume due to the investment he/she must make in equipment. In some instances, it is possible for a company to offer a vending micro market with less than 100 employees, however the company will generally have to pay a subsidy to the operator to help cover his/her costs.
The second reason to consider traditional vending is space. Traditional vending machines take up less space than vending micro markets. There are new combination machines that offer a variety of unrelated products in the same machine. Often limited space in an office dictates that traditional vending be used.
Third, once must consider who will be buying items from either your vending micro market or your traditional vending machines. In a vending micro market shrinkage can be a problem. It is kept to a minimum by the use of security cameras and DVRs. However, if your vending micro market will be located in an area with a lot of public access it, such as a car dealership, or some other venue where the public has access, it might be wiser to offer traditional vending machines.
Schools are another situation where it might be wiser to offer traditional vending. Again, the students may not set out to steal but if the opportunity presents itself might be tempted. Also, most schools require that vended items meet USDA requirements for vended items in schools with respect to calories, fat, saturated fat, etc. per item.
With today’s modern vending machines some of the advantages of vending micro markets are present, such as electronic payment with a credit card, and healthy items. In many cases vendors leave a fund on site to replace money lost in machines. Traditional vending is not all bad. It has its place and is here to stay.