Next Up

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-06-21 Print this article Print

: Canning the Bum Vending Machines"> "Margin Minder jumps off the page at you, and its all on one page. Other systems you had to bounce around in it or click tabs to get the information you need." Next in store is for RC to look at routing tools to get the most out of salespeople and trucks. Metten said that RC is looking at tools that will help to plot out routes to see whats most efficient—of particular importance in these days of rising fuel costs.
"We go too often, unfortunately, to our customers," he said. "If we could call on them two instead of four times a week and not hurt volume, it would help as far as a cost-cutting measure."
RC will also be using UXT to study what vending machines are paying off and which are becoming big, humming paperweights. "We found, we place a lot of vending equipment on full service, which is, we put a vending machine in front of a beauty shop or factory," Metten said. "Our driver delivers the product, we take the money out, and we pay a commission on the right to sell drinks. "We have 6,000 pieces of equipment on the market. We have a commitment to purchase 500 annually. We found that with many that weve placed, companies have changed, and a lot of pieces of equipment werent paying out anymore." RC could use Salients tool to target the nonprofitable vending machines, identify their location, call on the customer to see if theres a better way to service the equipment, or maybe just go and pick it up and put it somewhere else where the company could make some money off it, Metten said. "It took me five minutes to identify a customer, where previously it would have taken five months," he said. And that is time that RCs managers can devote to what truly matters—inventing and distributing more fizzy and nonfizzy things to drink. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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