An Insider View on the Impact of Cash Management

| Customer Experience, Retail Technology

An inside look at how changing your cashing up process can greatly benefit your staff and store profitability.

So, what does the average day look like for an employee working in a customer-facing business? We have some insight from a former retail employee on the impact manual cash management has on an employee’s day-to-day activity and morale.

In today’s world, working within any consumer-facing business is never a walk in the park. It can be physically demanding, mentally draining, and constant. With an ever-growing list of day-to-day operations and customer service-related tasks, time can flash by in an instant. To be successful it is essential you get the balance right between investing time in your team and customers and do so with commercial intent.

Most store managers wear many hats, and their remit will cover anything and everything from operational policies, hiring, training, and managing employees and ensuring a high level of customer service is adhered to.

"Initially upon working within retail I was trained up to set up and balance cash drawers manually in-store. and if everything ran smoothly and there were no discrepancies, this task would usually take around 10-15 minutes per register. As Store Manager in a medium size retail clothing store, I would usually have 2 registers to set up, although our other larger stores could have up to 6 registers, meaning setting up the registers in the morning could take a single person up to one and a half hours alone.

At the end of each day, and after the store had closed, it was my responsibility to cash up for the day. I had been allocated an hour after store closure to work through the days takings and balance the cash drawers. This usually was enough time for me but there was always the worry that the registers wouldn’t reconcile accurately and that sorting them out would leave no time to complete other tasks.

With 2 registers in our store, I was spending around an hour and a half each day counting cash, although this would increase dramatically on days were store footfall increased such as Black Friday or Boxing Day. During big ticket shopping days, we also carried out midday register pick-ups. A register count, for the uninitiated, involves counting all coins and bills manually, then entering each total into the POS system one after another.  Once entered, the system tells you if you are over, short or in balance.  On average, the tills balanced 70% of the time, but when they were over or short, a re-count was required. This meant every denomination was double and sometimes triple checked. Recounts, I recall, were extremely tedious and frustrating at the end of a shift when you were tired and ready for home! 

Recognising that the process was frustrating, the company introduced a small discrepancy tolerance rule; a good move when our store was handling in excess of thousands of dollars in cash in a day.  However, the management team quickly recognised that the real inefficiency lay in manual counting itself, not just the double/triple counting involved in reconciliations.

As an example, counting a small sum can take almost a minute (assuming you don’t lose track of the count halfway through) so you can imagine the concentration and time it takes to count 2 full tills, containing thousands of dollars! Then factor in the process of entering each count into the POS system, and then manually calculating the correct start bank total, and you can start to get a clear picture of the amount of time that is invested into doing these counts manually and more than once a day – and all of the opportunities for small mistakes! 

After management began to investigate more effective and efficient ways of managing cash, our company went on to trial electronic cash counters in each store. This was my first insight into how a smart cash handling process can improve efficiency quickly and easily.   

Looking back at the store I managed, the counts would have taken just 60 seconds per register and I would have had over an hour extra every day - either to do something else, or, more often than not, to leave my shift on time. And then there is the impact on staff morale – which gets a real boost when you are given tools to help you do your job more effectively and efficiently. The impact on the larger stores which have 6 or more registers on bottom line profits will have been even more significant. “

If you recognize the above scenario and are interested in discussing the merits of a cash counting solution or new ways of managing cash in your business, please get in touch. We are always happy to share our experiences and knowledge and discuss how a cash management solution can improve your business.

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