Predictive Scheduling and Loading is a feature that aids users in determining the necessary product to load and fill in vending machines based on past sales history. There are three basic tabs in the interface:
- The Planning Tab
- The Routing Tab
- The Loading Tab
The Planning Tab
The planning tab allows you to preview the Fill Rate, or the current predicted emptiness level, as well as which machines the tool is recommending you service. It includes machines based on replenishment thresholds that are set on the warehouse record.
You can decide how many past tickets to be considered in the calculation using the Use last _ tickets field in the upper left corner. The value can be set from 3-10.
There are two main windows in the Planning tab. The top window shows the Replenishment Needs for all machines for the selected day/warehouse. The bottom window shows the Equipment Detail for the selected machine in the top window.
There are number of useful columns in this screen. They can be filtered, sorted, and grouped in the standardized eoStar format. There are Include selected and Exclude selected hyperlinks that decrease the amount of time spent selecting/deselecting machines. When used in conjunction with the filtering and sorting columns, these buttons are very handy tools.
Columns in the Replenishment Needs Section
- Next PV date – If a machine already has a predictive vending order waiting to be fulfilled, the date will be displayed here. This is included to help to prevent the router from accidentally scheduling a visit to a machine that is already scheduled to be visited in the future.
- Fill Rate – The percentage of the machine that is empty.
- 0% = Full
- 100% = Completely Empty
- At Risk Brands – Brands whose quantity is expected to be lower (emptier) than the replenishment trigger on or before the selected date.
- Scheduled – Machines/customers that are checked are not dynamic. If checked, the customer has a vend driver that is scheduled to visit the customer on a specific day, which is not necessarily the selected day.
- Note: Dynamic routes allow vending to be scheduled as needed based upon the customer’s predicted vending needs.
- Customers are checked as dynamic on the Customer Record Schedule panel in the Vending Driver schedule window.
- Include – The user has control over this column. Machines are automatically included/excluded based on warehouse settings. However, the user can override any machine as necessary.
- Note – Notes can be entered in this field that can be seen on the driver’s Route Card printout in eoMobile.
Columns in the Equipment Detail Section
- Machine par – The total par for the flavor in the machine. If there are two separate columns for the same flavor in the machine, the values will be combined in one line. For example, one column of product X with a par of 24 and another column of product X with a par of 48 will show as one line with a machine par of 72.
- Sales Rate Per Day – The number of units being sold per day on average across all columns of that flavor.
- Days to empty – The number of days until the flavor is completely depleted.
- Expected fills – The predicted amount of the flavor to be filled by the driver on the selected day.
The Routing Tab
In the routing tab there are 3 windows. Stops can be moved from one route to another in this tab.
- The top left window displays all routes with stops.
- The top right window displays a pin for each stop on the selected route in Google Maps.
- The bottom window displays the stops for the route selected in the top left window.
The Loading Tab
The loading tab also has 3 main windows. This tab is used to verify the quantities of product that are going to be loaded for the selected routes.
- The top left window displays all of the routes with included stops for the selected day.
- The top right window shows the suggested load for product for the route selected in the top left window. You can manually adjust the load quantity in this window in the column Qty To Load. It defaults to the suggested load but can be overridden.
- The bottom window shows which machines are expected to need the product currently selected in the top right window, as well as how much of that product is expected to be needed.
Using Predictive Scheduling and Loading
- Go to Vending>Predictive Scheduling and Loading.
- In the Planning tab, select the Warehouse.
- Select the Date.
- Select the past number of tickets you want to be considered in the calculation in the Use Last _ Tickets field.
- Click Compute.
- Review the equipment that is predicted to need product. You can override the predictions by checking a machine that is not predicted to need product or unchecking a machine that is predicted to need product.
- Click the Routing tab.
- If you need to move a stop from one route to another, click the current route in the top left.
- Select the stop(s) to be moved in the bottom window.
- Select the new route in the drop down menu.
- Click Move.
- Click the Loading tab.
- Set the buffer amount, which allows you to bump up the predicted inventory to be loaded. This can be useful on a holiday or any day that is busier than usual.
- Select either Update preorder minimums or Generate transfers.
- Note: Update preorder minimums and Generate transfers work in conjunction with a table on the employee record called Vend route mins. You can establish loading minimums in this table on a per item, per day basis. If the predicted values are ever below the route minimums, the quantity to load will automatically be bumped up. If the predicted quantity is higher than the minimum, the value in the route minimum table is ignored.
- If you opt to update preorder minimums, the HH Preorder panel on the employee record is updated with the predicted values.
- Note: The driver can verify these values on the handheld and upload the preorder as they would a normal preorder. It is not necessary to full sync to pull these values down, as eoMobile automatically attempts to fetch the updated values when the user accesses the order. If the handheld can’t find an internet connection after 15 seconds, it will display the last preorder levels it pulled down.
- If you opt to generate transfers, eoStar puts a transfer into the transfer tracker for the necessary product upon posting.
- Click Compute.
- After computing, you can override the suggested load for any given item by entering a different quantity in the Qty to Load column.
- Click the command button Post.
- This will create a Vend Replenishment order.
- Once the replenishment order is fulfilled, a Vend Ticket is created.