Factories, hospitals, fitment centres, business reception areas, schools and offices all have one thing in common – they are filled with people looking for a quick on-the-go snack that they won’t have to queue or wait for. Vending machines offer the perfect answer to this demand, and it makes sense that their popularity continues to grow. In fact, many businesses value the opportunity to host snack vending machines as it reduces “time away from the desk” with employees wandering to the snack shop or canteen during office hours. From an investor/aspiring entrepreneur’s point of view, vending offers many opportunities and advantages. You can start small, and add machines as your cash flow increases; it’s low maintenance, and you can run your entire business from home. And with technological advances such as plug-and-play remote management systems and debit and credit card readers as optional extras, much of the physical handling has been streamlined.
Partnering for success
The key to a successful vending business is to partner with a company that is thinking ahead to the future, leaving you to focus on your day-to-day management. Vending Solutions, with 18 years’ experience in the industry, is such a company. “We know that our clients are looking for convenience when it comes to operating their machines,” explains Frank Lewis, head of technical services. The plug-and-play system, for example, allows operators to see how much of each item is selling, when machines need to be refilled and the accumulated cash, all from their PC. And with the move towards a cashless society, card readers not only eliminate security issues but have also indicated a 25% increase in turnover due to added accessibility.
Vending Solutions will help individuals with every aspect of setting up and running an independent vending service, including recommendations on how and when to expand and what equipment is needed for individual sites in order to obtain the highest returns. Speaking of sites they provide a professional locations service which negotiates and procures great locations for their clients. “Even once your business is running, we will provide ongoing help without imposing restrictions, leaving you free to expand and develop at your own pace,” comments Caroline Buckley, key accounts manager for the company.
The bottom line
Vending Solutions sees their role as solely to supply the equipment, at trade prices, and give all the advice necessary for a business to be successfully operated – they believe that their investors’ success contributes to their overall success. Their turn key approach of providing quality equipment, location, delivery, installation, training and, most importantly,ongoing technical backup leave the vending entrepreneur with the manageable job of installing the machine, keeping it stocked and collecting the cash.
Vending Solutions estimates that a highly favourable Return on Investment of +-40% can be achieved on the cash purchase of a machine. On average, one machine makes an operating profit of around R 2000 – that is a R24 000 profit per year. “One could comfortably maintain around ten machines a month, generating a profit of R240 000 a year – and this still as a part-time business,” says Caroline.
Set apart in the market
An additional factor that sets Vending Solutions apart is that it also supplies coffee machines and water coolers making them the sole supplier of choice to many businesses. They are the only company in the local market which has the ability to customise its machines. With customers wanting many alternative items such as razor blades, tinned fish, and safety equipment just to mention a few, Vending Solutions’ customisation department will allow just about any item to be stocked. “We are one of only a handful of suppliers able to do this – we work in conjunction with clients and their agencies directly to create unique bespoke machines,” adds special projects manager Mike Du Plessis.
And with the African market opening up, and operators and machines now set up as far north as the DRC, being able to offer the same fully-customised machines and packages into neighbouring countries and beyond is an exciting development for the team.
- Buy new or refurbished machines: VS has an enormous range of brand-new and fully refurbished machines available. Machine quality has been crucial to Vending Solutions’ success and the company has always supplied the best machines which are manufactured to international standards and industry best practice.
- Add A Cashless System- By adding the Nayax Debit, Credit and In house Card reader to your vending machine you not only can increase your turnover by 25% or more, you also automatically get the remote online back office management system as part of the package.
- Rent– VS allows companies and organisations to rent machines directly on a self-replenishment basis. This is also great way for companies to promote Enterprise Development and very cost effective.