Route Optimization

One Source Office Refreshments Empowers Its People with Seed Data!

October 11, 2017 | By Elyssa Steiner

One Source Office Refreshments Empowers Its People with Seed Data!

It all started with connecting our world. Ever wonder if that machine got stocked on the 7th stop with Dr Pepper last Tuesday? Well, we did, and all the time. As our company continued to get bigger we knew we had to evolve,” said Tim Greble, Director of Markets at One Source Office Refreshments. Adding Seed (a telemetry device) to our machines turned the organization a full 180 degrees as they saw the impact of a connected world on their operations.

“There was full transparency, accountability and success could finally be defined by data, not by whether or not we got a call from an upset customer today who was missing their Dr Pepper in the machine,” said Greble. With data came new ways of understanding their operations. “The data was more than just data, it was a way for us to start defining standards and determining what was good quality work versus areas of improvements in our operations,” said Greble.

With Seed, One Source was able to redefine what efficiency meant to them. “I care about effectiveness – is my return on my investment and cash flow on my P&L where I want it to be?  I leverage the data generated by our Seed connectivity for transparency and accountability to ensure my team is hitting their targets and goals,” said Greble. Effectiveness and efficiency can be seen in the numbers – before Seed they were running routes that were operating 40 – 50 hours per week and doing about $500,000 – $600,000 in revenue a year. Now, those same routes and same hours (more or less), are making $750,000 minimum per year.

The results didn’t end with just increasing route productivity and volume. In the past, One Source would have challenges hiring route drivers because it was typically in response to an emergency, like when an employee quit or was terminated. “Hiring route drivers for us always seemed unplanned,” said Greble. This presented a challenge around training because the drivers that had left had all the vending machine nuances in their head.  They’re the ones who knew the answer to ‘what’s your 7th best-selling snack on your 9th machine on Wednesday?’ How do you train a new driver to know the answer to that without spending a lot of incremental time doing so?

“Because of the systems and processes we now have in place we are able to more proactively define what success looks like and hire the right driver. With the implementation of Seed, we have taken our training cycle down from 90 days to 10 days for route drivers,” said Greble.

The results didn’t end there. One Source was also able to define better success metrics for drivers by leveraging the data to ensure drivers were servicing the right machines with the right product, all at the right time. “Five years ago we would have written someone up if they stocked five rows with Doritos Nacho Cheese – because we didn’t know any better.  Technology has allowed us to know whether or not the driver was correct for putting Doritos Nacho Cheese in five rows. It has enabled our team to train on inputting and extracting data out of the Seed Mobile App versus having to train on servicing an account and the nuances of doing so,” explained Greble.

Through access to real time data and better processes in place at One Source, they have actively been able to empower their people. Managers are now able to delegate tasks so they can focus on other business objectives. “The ability to explore new possibilities within our organization and do things as simple as train our employees to go beyond just identifying problems, but understanding how to drive resolutions to solve those problems, has been one of the rewarding benefits of giving our people real time data to do their job” said Greble.

Employees who are empowered tend to have greater job satisfaction because they can define their own happiness. “People get a set of priorities and then are given the freedom and support needed to accomplish those goals. It helps us develop people for our business, which is sometimes more important to us than just retaining,” said Greble.

Today, One Source operates 2,000+ vending machines and 45 micro markets. If you had asked them five years ago what their goals were you might have heard a broad answer around making money. Today, One Source has very clear goals to continue to improve their internal processes, hire and retain quality employees, and continue to redefine the customer experience in vending, and of course in doing all of this, make money.

“We have evolved from impulsive decision making to data driven decisions, and are now able to create a business plan and execute that plan based on the data and what that data is telling us.  It has become the foundation of who we are and what we do,” said Greble.  It all started just four years ago – when One Source connected their first vending machine to a Seed device and the little orange box lit up. 

Want to empower your vending operations to take data driven decisions just like One Source did? Contact USAT today.

Author

Elyssa Steiner

VP of Marketing

Elyssa has over 9 years in the unattended retail industry and was among the first to be a part of launching the micro market concept into the vending channel. She is passionate about sharing both her knowledge in unattended retail and marketing with industry associations such as NAMA and Frost and Sullivan’s Marketing professionals.

Elyssa Steiner LinkedIn