Super U - Truchtersheim, France
The region of Alsace is located in northeastern France nestled between the Vosges mountains and the Rhine plain. It is most famous for its wines and unique homes and castles which sit atop mountain summits. The regional capital, Strasbourg, is home to a renowned cathedral and is the seat of European Parliament. Just north of Strasbourg is the small town of Truchtersheim.
Since its opening in 1998, the Super U in Truchtersheim has grown from 700 sq meters, to an impressive 4200 square meters. It includes a petrol station, garden center, flower shop, bakery, patisserie and cafeteria.
The supermarket is well-regarded for its impressive collection of rare wines. Michel Nopper, the owner and President of the Super U Truchtersheim, explains the store’s focus on unique specialities of the region. “We have a key strength in wine, since a good part of our customers come from all over Alsace to buy our wines. We have a special complement cellar with almost 3000 varieties.”
“Another key strength is the butchery, since we have 17 butchers and meat cutters, this service attracts a lot of people, especially during holiday periods. People come from all over the Lower Rhine to buy our fresh products.” adds Nopper.
With an expanding shopping footprint and growing cash volume, the store wanted to take advantage of the benefits offered by ARCA's newest retail cash automation solutions.
The Super U Truchtersheim owns and operates many smaller specialty shops on the premises. In addition to the grocery checkout lane, all of the tills from the other shops are managed by the central cash room for an average of 30 tills and 40 cashiers.
“We have a garden center of more than 1000 square meters, which includes three cash registers, a drugstore with one cash register, a cafeteria with one cash register, a bakery and pastry display with three cash registers, and a flower shop with two cash registers. Therefore, our cash register line counts 18 cash registers, plus two other ones at the reception.” says Josiane Schneider, Administrative and Financial Director.
Streamlining cash handling operations would allow the store to allocate more resources to enhance its offerings. When the store first automated the central cash room with ARCA cash dispensers, it was an innovative decision. “We set up the ARCA automation in 2007 in order to facilitate the cashiers work and the central cash register, and of course, also, to have complete traceability of our cash.” says Nopper.
Having already experienced the benefits of ARCA cash automation devices, the store wanted to take advantage of additional features offered with a newer retail cash solution to address its growing cash volume and number of tills.
Céline Berline, the cashier manager, discusses the challenges prior to using ARCA cash automation systems. “I’ve been working at Super U for 17 years. I’ve been a manager for four years, so I could see the evolution before and after the ARCA system. Before automation, it took us a long time to count the withdrawals, prepare the cash floats, and prepare their (cashier) requests for denominations. We also often recounted the cash registers at night because the cashiers (were) mistaken.”
Upgrade the existing ARCA cash automation system with their latest retail solution to include coin recycling and integrated, sealed deposit bagging.
As the store has continued to modernize its grocery offerings to adapt to the latest industry trends, it has also upgraded its cash automation technology by replacing cash dispensers with cash recyclers and keeping those solutions updated. With a growing number of tills, the cashier manager was spending too much time resolving balancing errors and preparing deposits for the cash transit service, taking time away from other responsibilities.
While the previous ARCA solutions significantly improved efficiency and security in the central cash room, Super U wanted a solution that would also address coin handling and offer additional accountability and efficiency to deposit preparation and cash pickups. So the store upgraded their recyclers to the newest ARCA retail solution which featured a cash recycler with secure deposit bag, a coin recycler and cash management software.
Part of their decision to implement the new solution was its secure deposit bagging feature. It offered automated deposit preparation that would save time and add additional security by eliminating manual counting and reducing physical contact with cash deposits. Having a coin recycler would allow the store to recycle its own coin inventory to reduce dependency on coin deliveries and pickups.
The recyclers produce transaction receipts that cashiers use to validate their tills against the store accounting software. This identifies discrepancies immediately and helps cashiers resolve them more quickly. Berline describes the process, “Once the cashier has counted, she only has to enter the amount on (our internal accounting software) in order to validate the accounting.”
Speaking about the accountability and security, Berline adds, “Each cashier has a specific code... We take care to regularly change our passwords so that there is no possible usurpation.”
An updated cash automation solution that included automated deposit bagging and coin recycling allowed the store to further streamline their cash handling activities and realize even greater security benefits and time savings.
“We estimate that each cashier saves 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.” said Berline. With an average 30 tills and 40 cashiers, the store has saved hours of time that cashiers can spend better serving customers. “As the cashier manager, I estimate that I save three hours per day of working time since we introduced automation. This time saving has allowed us to organize the way we work differently.”
The ARCA recyclers are also compatible adapted to the boxes of the cash line which allows cashier to independently manage their tills. “Cashiers are completely autonomous. When they arrive in the morning, they take out their change funds. Withdrawals are made similarly during the day. They deposit them, they also make a change fund withdrawal during the day. And it’s the same in the evening; they deposit cash (to the recycler). There is no need to call the cashier manager.” says Schneider.
Their current recycler solution is the third generation of ARCA back office automation for Super U - Truchtersheim. The CM18B has automated deposit preparation and there is no longer any contact with the cash between the time cashiers deposit notes to the recycler and when the CIT collects the sealed bags. Now the cashier manager removes the sealed bag and hands it to CIT and cash is no longer exposed during this exchange. The deposit bags are also in compliance with standards set by the Bank of France. “We have all the supporting documents for this deposit and the counting organization only uses that.” explains Berline.
“As our Head Cashier said earlier, we can no longer do without the ARCA solution because of its significant time saving and well-being as compared to the cashiers' line of our checkout line, and especially to that our Head Cashier. I recommend the ARCA solution to other merchants, stores, and especially the U System, for the well-being of all cashiers.” says Schneider.
As a long-time ARCA customer, the Super U Truchtersheim has experienced the benefits of cash automation for many years. Their latest ARCA solution has delivered the additional benefit of coin recycling and automated deposit preparation resulting in increased efficiency, accountability and security of cash handling throughout the store. And the store has been able to allocate more resources to enhancing its product and service offerings while improving the customer experience.