Economic uncertainty and the harsh grip of the recession have created tough conditions on the high street. Retailers must balance tight budgetary constraints with the need to find increasingly innovative ways of protecting and generating profits.
Taking control of your cash to deliver reduced shrinkage and greater process efficiencies can have a significant impact on your profits, often with surprisingly low levels of investment.
Heavy job losses and stretched budgets are resulting in fewer numbers of customers in stores and greater numbers of people making bad choices by committing crime. In these difficult times, you can’t make customers spend more money but you can prevent unnecessary losses by handling cash intelligently from the moment the customer hands it over at the point of sale, to the minute it arrives at the cash centre.
Volumatic supplies a range of cash handling solutions that are now more relevant than ever to the retail, banking and leisure industries.
Keeping Counterfeit Notes Out of Your Till
The Bank of England announced that the total value of forged notes seized in 2007 was £5.8 million; and 95% of those seized were £20 notes. Current market conditions are likely to make more people attempt to pass forgeries on the high street.
The Volumatic TruScan is a forgery detector that can be used with both Sterling and Euros and will pay for itself with the first few detected counterfeit notes. Tested in February 2009, it detected 99% of all known forgeries. The TruScan uses infra-red detection, magnetic ink, magnetic code and 2D size recognition. This forgery detector could be your first line of defence in protecting your profits and making sure no counterfeit notes slip into your tills.
Keeping the Cash Safe
Statistics from the Global Retail Theft Barometer* attribute 34% of retail shrinkage to employee theft, including cash stolen at the till. Minimising the number of people who handle the cash and number of times it is touched on its journey through the system can help prevent shrinkage and protect profits.
Volumatic’s CounterCache™ range provides secure cash storage at POS by way of a portable drop box mounted underneath the till. Used by many of the biggest high street names, Volumatic has installed over half a million CounterCache™ units in the UK and Europe, protecting over £1 billion a day.
Notes are deposited securely out of sight, leaving only necessary change in the till. CounterCache™ helps protect both cash and employees by reducing the risk of opportunistic till snatches and internal theft. It also saves time by removing the need for cash skims throughout the day.
The CounterCache™ range has different models to suit customers’ needs. The CounterCache Basic is a simple drop box option where notes are deposited directly into the unit through a vertical slot and compressed to assist counting.
The CounterCache Classic model has all the functionality of the Basic but with the addition of an internal tamper-proof cassette. The inner cassette accepts up to 500 notes and can be removed for the safe transfer of cash to the cash office.
The Compact CounterCache™ offers more advanced security featuring an inner cassette or pouch and an anti-fish deposit drawer. It works on a dual key principle, meaning that the door can only be opened with a key to the unit and the internal cassette can only be accessed and removed using a keyplate, which slides into the roof to form a sealed box. The use of cassettes and pouches ensures cash arrives safely at the cash office, ready to be counted.
Counting the Cash Quickly, Accurately and Safely
From POS the cash is usually transferred to the cash office and counted. This step in the process can leave cash vulnerable to thieves and mistakes. Of the £3.7 billion total shrink in the UK, £0.7 billion, or 17.8%, was attributed to Administrative error (Global Retail Theft Barometer 2008). Cash-driven businesses are recognising the importance of accuracy and speed in the cash management process and automatic cash counters and sorters are increasingly being used as standard practice. The less time the cash is left out in the open, the less vulnerable it is.
Volumatic offers two cash counting machines, the CountEasy™ and the MultiCount™.
The CountEasy™ has been adopted by many retailers to automate the three main cash processes of counting down a till, preparing a float and preparing the takings to the bank. Simple to use, accurate and fast, it can count daily takings in less than a minute, reducing human error and the need for recounts. It is also pre-programmed to count both coins and notes in sequence and with a running total on screen.
The Volumatic MultiCount™ cash counter is specifically designed to cater for multiple till drawer reconciliation of all payment media (cash and non-cash items). It can be fully integrated into an existing count and reconciliation system and be used as a stand-alone or linked product.
CounterCache intelligent – the Future of Cash Handling at the Point of Sale
Combining all these protective measures against shrinkage into one unit, Volumatic has recently launched the CounterCache™ intelligent (CCi) as a single solution for higher risk environments. Mounted underneath the till counter, the CCi effectively moves the validation, data recording and secure storage of notes to the front line allowing cash to be processed more quickly, less expensively and more securely. Once the banknote has been deposited into CCi, the cash does not need to be touched again until it reaches the CiT, cash centre or bank.
The CCi not only acts as secure storage for notes at POS, it scans and validates all banknotes that are inserted. Tested in February 2009, the CCi detected 100% of all known UK forgeries. Notes are deposited leaving less in the till and reducing the threat of employee theft or opportunistic till snatches. It also saves time by negating the need for till skims or spot checks.
As notes are added to the CCi, they are counted and automatically stacked in a Volumatic patented opaque plastic pouch called the Trupouch™.
When the pouch is removed from the CCi, the amount of cash is known and recorded by the CCi and, if used, a host computer. The pouch is sealed and tamper-evident, meaning that it is obvious if anyone has attempted to open it. There is no need to open and recount the cash until it reaches its final destination.
The CCi provides a continuous timed transaction log, with full note count. All operations including opening and closing the CCi door, removing and inserting the pouch carrier and power losses are monitored and logged and this data can be electronically transferred and accessed via RS232, USB, Bluetooth or Ethernet communication ports to a host computer in the back office or to a wireless PDA that can be carried by a supervisor or manager.
It is possible to track the status of cash taken at tills in real time across different stores in multiple locations. A global estate of CCi’s can be managed centrally, enabling quick identification and instant reaction to any problems or changes in circumstances as they occur.
Alpha Retail’s shopping outlets at Birmingham International Airport were one of the first to install CounterCache™ intelligent systems from Volumatic, with a clear brief to eliminate losses at the point-of-sale.
Phillip Logan at Alpha Retail commented, “The Volumatic CCi unit is a clear winner just on time savings alone and represents an excellent addition to our point-of-sale systems installed in our outlets. They provide security along with instant updates of cash changes within the unit. Fewer people handle the cash and this will reduce shrinkage and contribute significantly to our overall loss prevention strategy.”
It is vital, particularly during hard times, to be proactive in protecting profits. For any commercial outlet the counting, movement and reconciliation of cash can be risky and a costly process to manage. Volumatic’s products provide retailers with intelligent cash handling solution that will deliver a positive impact to the bottom line.
Volumatic has over 30 years of experience in delivering security and efficiency in cash handling and is the leading supplier of cash handling equipment to household names in the retail, leisure and banking industries.