7 Ways to High ROI with Industrial Vending: #6 Purchasing Cost

industrial vending machines

When your employees are on the clock, are they being productive right off the bat? If the answer is no, you are likely losing an hour of productivity a day from each of your employees.  In North America, it is estimated to take an average of 15 minutes for an employee to travel from his work center to the tool crib or stores area, stand in line, request his items and then return to his work center. If you need to track down a crib attendant, the process can be much longer.

When you calculate the hours that are being wasted, the numbers may make you want to change your system. Consider a plant that has 125 employees, each averaging 4 trips per day at 15 minutes per trip.

15 minutes × 125 employees = 1,875 minutes

1,875 minutes × 4 trips per day = 7,500 minutes (125 hours)

125 hours × 230 work days = 28,750 wasted hours

Now, let’s take it just a tad further.  What are long trip times costing you? Let’s assume that you pay your employees on average $20 per hour.

28,750 hours × $20 per hour = $575,000

With 125 employees making four 15-minute trips per day, you are looking at an average of 28,750 wasted hours, which equates to $575,000 wasted a year.  But, why is this happening?

Journey to the Tool Crib

One reason may be that there is a considerable distance between their work station and the tool crib.  Items are centralized in a large tool crib and it takes your employees time to walk to and from each time they need to check out an item.  To reduce travel time, consider decentralizing frequently used items by having several point-of-use vending machines spread out in your plant.  That way, your employees don’t have to travel quite as far to get what they need. By having more access points, you are contributing to shorter lines and making sure your employees get back to work as fast as possible.


Chances are your crib attendant is not always at his station when he is most needed. Waiting for an attendant can leave your employee without the tools he needs and walking around searching for the crib attendant.  By simply using an inventory vending machine, you eliminate the time spent searching for someone to give your employees the items they need. Your workers get exactly what they need by using their pin code or mag-stripe ID card. Not to mention, your crib attendant won’t waste time searching for items when the necessary tools can be automatically retrieved. Your employees can access items 24/7 by selecting an item from a list or menu.

Cut the Chit-Chat

When employees have to complete a journey to their tool crib or stores area, often they will engage with their fellow co-workers.  Not to say it isn’t good that your employees are getting along, but often employees will linger a little longer while they are conversing with their work buddies.  By implementing an industrial vending system, the unauthorized breaks are eliminated.

By implementing an inventory control system, you can decrease your trip time from 15 minutes to an average of 4 minutes.  That can cut wasted time by about 60- 70%, resulting in more productive hours.  Give your employees what they need and get them back to work.

Write a comment