When Mark Houseknecht, VP of Operations at Crickler Vending Company, arrives at work each morning, his day starts with three key programs. “I have three programs open each morning – email, our vending management program, and Salient’s software suite,” said Houseknecht.
Normally it only takes a few emails before he’s driven directly into Salient’s dashboards, looking for answers to business questions he previously couldn’t solve. “Any question I have, I can usually answer in the dashboards. I’m probably hopping in anywhere from 2 to 20 times per day,” he said.
Crickler, an innovative vending solutions company, offers traditional vending, micro-markets, and more. With an abundance of data, but no easy way to analyze it, Houseknecht knew something was missing in the time before implementing Salient’s software suite.
“Our vending management system did not present data well. It was great at collecting data, but there was no way to present it nicely,” he said.
After implementing, Salient’s software suite has become a critical component of business operations.
“In a little over a year, we’ve improved shrink in our micro-markets by about 60%.”
VP of Operations
Crickler Vending Company
“Recently I was reviewing shrink with our loss prevention manager and in a little over a year we’ve improved shrink in our micro-markets by about 60%. That’s a big number and it’s direct to the bottom line,” said Houseknecht. The improvements haven’t been limited to just loss prevention and shrink. Salient’s solutions are being utilized by a variety of departments across Crickler Vending Company.
In human resources, the manager has removed hours in manual work per week calculating route commissions. Client relations managers are able to easily see which accounts are least profitable, structuring their days to specifically attack and improve underperformers.
In operations, finding food machines that are underperforming based on a 10% spoilage rate now only takes seconds. “The 20 things I wanted to analyze every day weren’t even possible in our vending management program. The two reports I’d get out of it took me hours and hours to produce. We needed something more powerful,” he said, “personally I’ve saved probably 3 to 4 hours a day.” The time savings has allowed Houseknecht and team to focus on real business initiatives, solving problems faster and easier than they could before. “Before we used to have to run a report for every machine and hope you found the right one,” he continued, “now for spoilage or for low sales volume, it’s sorted by exactly what we’re looking for and it’s right on top.”
Disclaimer: This is based on a conversation from September 2019 with Crickler VP of Operations, Mark Houseknecht.