If you are in the vending business, you are surely aware that multiple vending companies struggle with implementing “Prekitting” i.e. packing the exact amounts of goods for field service in advance necessary to fill machines for each vending location. By trying to implement prekitting, the workload on their warehouses rises exponentially.
Packing the stock for the field service, or as we like to call it “merchandiser routes” is a pretty daunting process in itself even for “Realtime” routing i.e. picking exact stock amounts in the filling location thus carrying a lot of extra products in the van, let alone for prekitting merchandiser routes.
Packing for your prekitting vending routes
For prekitting to work the VMS (Vending Management System) needs to report on the status of stock in the machine live and provide a prediction of the stock level on a set date that we are planning on doing our route. On the other hand, our warehouse needs to have those products needed for machine filling, available to be reserved in time, so we don’t end up with a lack of supply when packing starts.
Let’s assume the merchandiser route was planned with a vending management system like Televend Cloud or some route planning tools. The stock telemetry values in the machine are based either on the real-time data or sales predictions in the moment of route planning.
The exact stock quantities that are on hand in the warehouse are in most cases unknown. To know this precisely at all times, it would require an integration of your route planning tool or your VMS with an ERP or WMS (Warehouse Management System) that has an up to date warehousing inventory data. If the supply chain reporting is insufficient for any reason, warehouse workers encounter situations in which they can’t meet the telemetry values, meaning the products available in the warehouse might not be enough or right for the stock needed for routes.
Solve your prekitting troubles with Televend Pick & Pack
The problem we’ve just described is a base value proposition for the new Pick & Pack app. Pick and pack will help you keep an always up-to-date status on the stock needed for routes and products available in the warehouse, leaving no room for any mistakes. Some of the reasons why Pick and Pack works:
- The packing process is integrated with Televend Cloud VMS
- Fully flagged communication with Televend Dynamic Routing module for an end to end merchandising process
- Machine filling is done based on exact quantities that were available in the warehouse
- There is less warehouse work due to multiple machine packing options
- Prekitting to boxes or palettes as an option for complete route or on the machine level
- Optional stock warehouse module as complete Televend ERP solution for merchandising
Read more about Pick & Pack here.
How does Pick & Pack help with field service of prekitting routes?
As a one use case, let’s assume a vending company has a standard “U” shaped warehouse and working in a Prekitting business model. With traditional tools, like excel sheets for picking lists or even good old pen and paper, the challenges include packing the correct stock as well as multiple times walking around the warehouse. You need to look at each machine individually and go back and forth through the warehouse multiple times, packing the same product over and over again. If the same company would utilize Pick & Pack tablet app, they would easily pack multiple machines in one go (i.e. 4 at the time) and pack only the available stock in the warehouse thus no corrections would be needed in the field. This way the packing process is reduced significantly and field service made much less prone to an error.
As a second use case, we can demonstrate the usage of the palettes for packing the stock for the Realtime routes. With the “predict pickup” option in the Televend Dynamic Routes, the system can predict the telemetry values for the route start date, thus effectively providing a great resource for “sort of” prekitting the real-time routes. The idea here is to pack all machines from the route in the same physical space, or as we call it a palette. This palette can be anything but most often it is the merchandiser van. Working this way, the company makes great savings by reducing the total stock in the van, but still packing the stock as a group ready for picking in the field i.e. on filling location.
As demonstrated, Televend Pick & Pack Android app is a great tool for any vending company, whether it is a family-run business or a huge multinational corporation. Our client portfolio includes a wide range of companies from both ends, so don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.