Office Coffee Service managed through the Parlevel VMS allows for easier tracking of your customer orders, invoices, and inventory. Below is a quick guide to the topics covered in this article. For more detail on each topic, scroll down to the appropriate section.
Quick Guide to this article
- Creating VMS users, routes, accounts, and locations for OCS
Products and Price Tiers
- Activating/adding products
- Organizing products into OCS Price Tiers
Supplies/Equipment & OCS Stations
- Creating Supplies and Equipment for tracking
- Creating OCS Stations
- Assigning Default Orders per Station
Creating Customer Orders (Non-Default)
Routing Customer Orders
Foundations for OCS
First you will need to determine who will be responsible for the day-to-day OCS operations. If they are not already, you will need to navigate to Settings > Users and create user accounts for these employees. There is a section in our Quick Start Guide with instructions on creating user accounts.
Next you will add Routes and Accounts for your OCS customers.. You can find these under Settings > Routing > Routes, and Settings > Customer > Accounts. These will be set up as outlined in the Quick Start guide linked above.
Next, OCS Locations will be created. Navigate to Settings > Customers > Locations. You will need to specify the Vending route and Account for the OCS location. This can be done under the General tab and should contain the new routes and accounts you created for OCS. Then, go to the OCS tab and check the OCS Location box, seen here on the right.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the OCS tab, there will be an option to mark an OCS location as a Managed Location, which marks the difference between an OCS location that is serviced on a regular schedule (checked) and one that is serviced only when the customer places an order (unchecked). This becomes important when creating Default Orders, which will be covered later in this article.
You will need to set the Coffee Route for the OCS location (This can be the same as the Vending Route if you are running OCS & vending on the same route), set up the servicing schedule, delivery fees, and other relevant information in the fields laid out. Most fields will have a next to it to assist you in entering the data.
Click Save Changes.
Products and Price Tiers
Next you will make sure that all of the products you offer to your customers are active in your product catalog. Navigate to Settings > Warehouse > Products to view the products active in your catalog.
On the right-hand side is the Status column. You can change your viewable products from the default Active to All. Use the filters to search for products you need and activate them by clicking the red Inactive to change to green Active. All products that are Active can be assigned to a price tier and made available to your customer. Our knowledge base has a helpful video on using the Product Catalog that can be viewed at Video - Using Product Catalog.
If you have searched the inactive products and still do not see what you need, please put together a list with an image and other product information and give to either your Customer Success representative or the Hero Support team, who will enter the product(s) into your catalog.
Please confirm that all information is correct for your products, such as sizes, flavors, etc. After these products have been entered into Price Tiers, it will be difficult to adjust if the wrong version was used.
Now go to Settings > OCS > Price Tiers. A Price Tier is a set of products at a given price that are assigned to one or multiple locations. Your VMS will contain one default Price Tier automatically. The size of your operation and the complexity of your pricing system will determine how many Price Tiers you make.
On the Tier Settings tab, you can bulk update the price of a product across all Price Tiers. For now we will focus on the Tier List tab.
You can create a new Price Tier by clicking New Price Tier. You can easily copy a Price Tier if it will have similar products by clicking the on the right.
Click the Price Tier name or the to edit the tier.
On the left you will see all of your products, and on the right, the products currently assigned to the Price Tier, if any. You can filter the Unassigned products by using the search bar at the top, or by Product Family, which will be listed in the dropdown, as seen below.
To add products to the Price Tier, click the blue + for each product, or drag and drop the product to the right side. You can assign a price to each product, remove the product from the tier by clicking the , or update all tier prices in bulk by clicking the Tier Price link. Using the Options dropdown will allow you to rename the Price Tier, or view/download the Price Tier in PDF format.
Save your changes.
You will assign Price Tiers for each OCS location from the Edit Location page underneath the OCS tab and Price Tier dropdown.
Supplies/ Equipment & OCS Stations
If you rent or provide equipment such as coffee brewers to your locations, you may want to keep track of them in Settings > OCS > Equipment. You can click New Equipment on the top right and fill out the following information. Brand, model, serial number, and photos are all useful fields to specify here. If you have other items that you provide that do not have serial numbers or are less valuable, you can also track these in Settings > OCS > Supplies; for example, things like racks or caddies.
Finally you will create your OCS Stations under Settings > OCS > Stations. Click New Station on the top right. Fill out the simple information following, such as name and assigned Location, and click Create and Continue.
Clicking the to the right of your new Station will allow you to organize its operational details. Many of these details are controlled at the Edit Location page (service schedule, frequency, route, and Price Tier). The Edit Station page is the only place to assign the Station's equipment, supplies, and Default Order.
A Default Order is the range of products regularly delivered to the OCS Station.
- If the station belongs to a Managed Location, then the Default Order will have fields available to designate parlevels, regulating the amounts stocked of each product.
- If the location is not marked as Managed, you may assign products to the Default Order with no parlevels indicated.
These orders can be modified by drivers from the Stock app when servicing the Station.
Click the green + to move a product from the Price Tier to the Default Order. Mark the default number of units on the order in the Parlevel field, and then click Save Changes on the bottom right.
Tax Groups and Classes are the basis for many parts of a successful vending operation and are complicated enough to have their own article, which can be viewed at Quick Guide to Setting up Taxes. If you have any issues while setting up your taxes in the VMS, please feel free to reach out to either your Customer Success representative or a Hero Support member. Once this portion of your VMS has been set up properly, you can move on to the next section.
If all of your OCS locations are managed on a set schedule, you may not need the Customer Orders feature. If you will be creating your Customer Orders manually, then you will need to navigate to OCS > Customer Orders.
To begin, you must click + New Order at the top right, and on the following page you will mark the Account, Location, and Station for the order, as seen below. Your Default Order will appear in the left field, and you can click the green + to add them to the New Order field on the right. If you need to add more items, you can click Show Price Tier to show the other items in this Station's Price Tier, and add them as you need. You must set a Service Date for when you need this order to be delivered. Click Save Order when finished.
Planning a route for OCS Stations is very similar to planning a vending route. Our Routing article covers all the details for planning and managing your routes if you are unfamiliar or would like a refresher.
Most of the planning of your route will remain the same from vending to OCS stations, but when planning for the route, you will be able to see which Stations have a pending order, marked with a red Order button. If the button is blue, then you can click it to route the station's Default Order.
Stations with a set service schedule will automatically be checked off for service if they match the date you are planning. You can uncheck them under Planned if you need, or add unchecked Stations also. If a station does not have a pending order, the system will use the station's default order when it is planned for service.
Clicking the View/Modify Order button in either case will allow you to change the order's items, quantities, and prices.