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Canteen intern improving efficiency of vending program

By The Auxiliary Services Team

Vending machines at UH offer a quick bite to eat between classes or during a late-night study session. Canteen is the company that provides and stocks the snack and fresh food vending machines, as well as hot beverages (coffee and hot chocolate) offered across campus.

Canteen Intern PhotoCanteen has 30 route drivers that deliver products throughout Houston, but UH is one of their largest clients, along with companies such as Texas Children’s Hospital and Chevron gas stations. Selecting the best food options for each location and keeping the vending machines stocked can get complicated. That’s where supply chain professionals, such as Berenice Arroyo, come in.

Arroyo is a senior supply chain management major at UH and she works as the route manager intern for Canteen. She has been with the company for about two months now and has been able to apply her studies to real-world experience.

“Supply chain management is all about finding ways to improve efficiency in processes and through that work, saving the company time and money,” explained Arroyo.

Improving efficiency for a vending company often means adjusting inventory of products offered in machines based on sales as well as planning the best routes for delivery drivers.

During deliveries, Canteen drivers use hand-held devices they plug in to the vending machines to download sales data. This data is brought back to the office, where Arroyo evaluates the numbers each week to see how different snacks are selling. They may add more rows of a product that’s selling quickly or remove an item that isn’t selling to make room for other options that better appeal to customers.

Vending Machine GraphicUH and Canteen also maintain health-conscious options in the campus vending machines as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle for faculty, staff and students.

Another one of Arroyo’s main responsibilities is consolidating driving routes for deliveries to save Canteen time and money while keeping up with their customers’ needs. The delivery schedules often have to adapt depending on the time of year. During finals, the vending machines at UH sell out faster and drivers may need to make additional trips to campus to keep the machines stocked. Arroyo discusses these types of changes with drivers one-on-one as well as when she presents at their monthly meetings.

More information about the vending machine offerings on campus can be found on the UH website on the Administration and Finance page.


posted: Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017