You can access Consolidations details in your VMS by going to Routes > Service History, and then clicking the date in the Consolidated on column. This will bring up the Route Consolidation page, detailing machine statuses and service actions, expected and collected bills/coins, and any unexpected differences as Overages/Shortages (referred to from here as O/S).
It is important to note that single instances of overage/shortage do not indicate substantial evidence of error (either human or machine). Miscalculations of expected/collected sales, jumps in DEX data (resulting from Manual Parlevel, for example), and even simply mislogged/unlogged financial data in the Stock app when servicing a machine can all cause discrepancies that either balance out over time or are easily corrected.
To pinpoint recurring issues, patterns should be established over time. This can be done in a number of ways.
- Pulling up the machine modal for a machine with suspected problems and navigating to the Service History tab will display a list of that machine's collective service details over time, including O/S's, so that it can be confirmed that issues are recurring and not standalone.
- Cash meters provide more accurate data when comparing expected/collected profits, the alternative being based on sales alone, which does not account for all variables involved. If cash meters are not displaying in the Consolidation details page, the machine cabling may need to be checked, or check to see whether the cash meters are being used instead of sales meters. You can uncheck the option Use Sales Meter in the Machine Edit page > Basic Info tab to ensure the cash meters are used.
You can also check to see whether a machine has ever reported cash meters in the past by going to Analytics > Vending Financial > Consolidation, where cash meters, if present, would be displayed in the Cash to Collect column.
- By running a report by route or by machine under Analytics > Vending Financial > Consolidation, you can filter through the results to establish patterns regarding O/S's. This includes looking for discrepancies in Expected vs. Collected amounts, consistent rises or falls in collections over time, and singular machines or routes that regularly turn up under or over.
Eliminating Change Added from Over/Shortages
One important area to consider affecting O/S's is regarding how to restock change in the coin mech. Best practices dictate that when a machine calls for the coin mech to be restocked, the refill should come from the Petty Cash bag. A Petty Cash bag contains a regular, small amount of bills and coins - typically about $100 - used to make change but separate from the collected currency in a machine. When the coins are added to the coin mech, an equal amount should be taken from the bills stack and added to the petty cash bag so that its initial amount is the same, and the driver should record the change added in the Stock app.
In order to make sure that the change refill amount is subtracted from the O/S calculations, please ensure that in your Company Settings > Route Planning tab, the option Account for Change Added in over/shorts is toggled on.
A common mistake is that a driver may pull the change refill for the coin mech from the machine's coin box. Seeing as the coins in the coin box are Expected Collected Coins, pulling from the box will result in a shortage, which is the reasoning behind the use of the Petty Cash Bag above. Additionally, double-checking the initial amount in the Petty Cash bag helps ensure that an accurate count is maintained.
If you have any concerns regarding irregular consolidations and substantial overages/shortages, please reach out to Parlevel Hero Support to confirm the discrepancies and provide possible additional information.