Nothing stands still for long in the world of retail technology, and retail operations professionals face the ever-present risk of investing good money today in solutions that might be rendered obsolete in what seems like months rather than years. This is certainly a concern we often hear in the many conversations we have with retailers and fast food chains.
At Cashmaster, we don’t profess to be futurologists, but with 40 years’ experience in developing cash management solutions, we do have a pretty good handle on the technology challenges facing retail businesses.
So, what are the key considerations when deciding on new cash counting technology for your business, and ensuring your investment decision is one you can stand by in the years to come?
Apart from the actual build quality of the hardware itself, which must be able to withstand the rigours of everyday wear and tear, other attributes merit close scrutiny.
The following short guide includes our recommendations for the main features you might wish to assess prior to making your purchasing decision.
1. Speed and Accuracy
Speed and accuracy have got to be at the top of the must-have list. After all, you want to save as much time as possible on cash counting so that your staff can be deployed on more profitable and customer- focused activities. When thinking about speed, check whether the manufacturer’s stated time to complete a till count is the absolute time and includes all the steps involved in the process:
- Does the device need to be plugged in – how long does it take to find a power source and connect?
- Does it take time to boot up from switching on?
- How long does it take to count the till?
- Is extra time required to print the till count receipt?
- How quickly, if at all, can the data be prepared and transferred to your main system? Accuracy of the count is paramount – after all, why choose automated cash counting if 100% accuracy is not guaranteed.
- Does device need to be re-calibrated on a daily basis?
- Drafts, air conditioning or vibration can affect both the speed and accuracy of counts, so it’s important to check that the device has built-in miscount technology, as this feature will ensure accurate results regardless of the environment or conditions in which it is operated.
Compact design and portability are important considerations. Getting this right will give you a huge amount of flexibility for using the cash counting device across the entire store.
Opt for a model that can be used at the cash desk rather than a bulky model which relies on a direct power supply, as the use of these can be quite disruptive, making them really only suitable for back-office use.
The right device should enable you to carry out the following operations right at the cash desk, checkout,or indeed anywhere you choose:
- Prepare cash floats
- Carry out till counts
- Make cash pick-ups
- Conduct quick spot checks as part of your loss prevention process
- Prepare and transfer data to your main system
- For a completely portable, wire-free solution, check out models with an integral, long-life, rechargeable battery and the option of a neat integrated printer.
3. Ease of use
- A device that’s not easy to use will more than likely be used incorrectly or not used at all! Factor in the time and cost of training staff on using new devices – often training is an overlooked cost.
- An efficient and more cost-effective approach is to opt for a device that provides a completely intuitive user experience. One where there is no steep learning curve for your staff (or training costs for you).
4. Integration and connectivity
For some businesses, a stand-alone cash counting device may be all that is required. While for others, removing multiple levels of manual processing of data will be essential for quickly accessing real-time information in order to make faster business decisions. If you are in the latter camp, look for the following capabilities:
- Does it have a quick method for preparing and transferring count data, including traceability parameters such as cashier ID and till number from the cash counting device to main system?
- Security of data transfer – one that doesn’t need to access your wi-fi network will mean that the security of the data transfer itself and the integrity of your systems are never compromised.
5. Adaptability to changing business requirements
A device capable of absorbing the shocks of possible changes to your operating procedures and processes will future proof your investment.
- Not all businesses are the same, so it’s important, that your cash counting devices can be configured to work in the way you want them to without costly IT intervention.
- Ease of update, whether this is to align with a new process your business is putting in place, or dealing with the introduction of new currency, such as the Bank of England’s polymer £20 note, the updating process should lack complexity and be quick to activate.
Check out the following table to see how the Cashmaster One range of devices meet the above criteria.
When you have completed your research and looked at the various product options for introducing efficient automated cash counting into your business, remember:
“…the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” (Benjamin Franklin).
So, go for the option where benefits and quality are priced into the product: choose Cashmaster.
If you'd like to find out more or request a free trial of a Cashmaster One device, give us a call on +44 (0)1383 416 098