Retail giant invests in count-by-weight technology
PARKnSHOP is one of the leading supermarket chains in Greater China, operating over 350 stores in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. They are part of A.S. Watson Group - the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe with over 13,500 stores in health and beauty, food, electronics and wine.
Operational efficiency and customer satisfaction are key deliverables for the whole business and value for money is at the core of PARKnSHOP’s mission.
As with many retailers in Hong Kong, PARKnSHOP was counting almost all cash and vouchers manually – in large volumes, often several times each day. This level of cash handling, combined with manual recording, translated to substantial time being spent on the task along with a high risk of human error.
We were confident our count-by-weight technology could revolutionise the cash-handling process and deliver significant operational benefits.
Despite being unfamiliar with count-by-weight technology, PARKnSHOP immediately recognised the potential benefits it could bring to their business and was keen to explore the Cashmaster One product offering.
There was a clear link to the company’s objectives of driving cost savings, improving cash management and delivering enhanced operational efficiencies. Additionally, the technology could enhance the customer experience in its stores e.g. by reducing queueing times at shift changes.
A pioneering approach
PARKnSHOP’s corporate values include a commitment to innovation and technology. True to those values, PARKnSHOP’s adoption of count-by-weight technology has not only improved efficiency but has also achieved a step change in its process controls, the accuracy of records and security around cash handling.
Auditable records, provided by each unit’s integrated printer, now allow cashiers and managers to sign-off on cash counts, adding much greater levels of accountability and control, without added complexity.
The introduction of Cashmaster One Max products has resulted in significant time savings and reduced error rates compared with previous manual processes, freeing up in-store resources for more important, business-critical duties. Additional benefits can be seen in shorter queues for customers and more productive staff.
By pioneering Cashmaster technology in their stores, PARKnSHOP is delivering outstanding results which reflect the business foresight and innovation for which it is renowned.
Trials and analysis
Working closely with PARKnSHOP’s finance and operational teams, we agreed on a pilot approach across five stores. Store trials demonstrate the measurable benefits of introducing count-by-weight technology, particularly where the concept is new.
Each of the five trial stores were chosen to reflect different operational profiles. Key staff members in the stores received comprehensive training, backed up by ongoing support via WhatsApp, telephone, and email from our regional team in Hong Kong. Staff were able to post videos with questions on the WhatsApp group while they were working, allowing Cashmaster’s local team to provide an immediate response to troubleshooting and queries.
Careful analysis, including time and motion studies, in-store observations and video analytics involving the five trial store locations confirmed the likelihood of significant time and cost savings being achieved by using Cashmaster technology across PARKnSHOP’s retail estate.
Solutions and training
The success of the trials demonstrated that Cashmaster technology could provide the significant operational efficiencies as well as the time and cost savings that PARKnSHOP was looking to achieve. Also important, was the Cashmaster One’s ability to count noncash items such as vouchers and coupons.
In conjunction with the operations team, and after adopting learning from the trials process, we identified the best configuration for PARKnSHOP which reflected its particular retail environment - from front-of-house tills to cash storage in safes. Over the period of the trial, different configurations were installed and assessed resulting in a customised solution which perfectly matched PARKnSHOP’s unique cash-management requirements.
Our recommended solution, the introduction of the Cashmaster One Max cash-counting device and integrated Cashmaster One printer, was accepted by PARKnSHOP and soon rolled out across 300 stores in Hong Kong and Macau.
Training designed around client needs
Training was key to ensuring a smooth transition to Cashmaster technology and was specifically aligned with the in-store roll-out of the Cashmaster One devices. We delivered the units to each of the stores the week before the scheduled supervisor training. The aim was for staff to complete their training, go into their store the next day, and be able to use the technology immediately.
Over a period of six-weeks, our Hong Kong-based team held 25 separate 90-minute training sessions (delivered in Cantonese). Each session involved comprehensive demonstrations, ‘hands-on’ exercises and troubleshooting scenarios.
Almost 300 PARKnSHOP supervisors and managers were trained to use the Cashmaster One device. Feedback has been extremely positive and there have been immediate benefits to the business.
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