Approach your customers about vending solutions before they ask you to ensure you're meeting all their needs, according to Mark Hill, owner of I M C Supply Co., Memphis, TN, a distributor of industrial metal working supplies, and the founder of vending machine supply company 1sourcevend, in Top 5 Mistakes Distributors Make with Vending.
“As a supplier of vending machines, I've seen distributors succeed with vending, and I've seen them fail,” Hill says. “Over the past 10 years, I've witnessed many blunders that sabotage vending-powered VMI programs.”
One of those blunders is not taking the initiative to start offering vending solutions before your customers realize they need it.
“If the only action you've taken to protect your business from your vending-capable competitors has been to badmouth them to your customers and deny vending's potential benefits, you may walk into one of your accounts one day to find Fastenal’s or another competitor’s machine installed,” Hill says.
Implementing vending in a timely fashion can ensure not only mutual benefits for both the distributor and customer but could also stave off more established competitors. “Fastenal in particular is extremely aggressive in promoting its vending program,” Hill says.
Read more vending pointers in Top 5 Mistakes Distributors Make with Vending.