Cash Recyclers and Walmart: How Back Office Efficiency Equals Better Customer Service
As the world's largest retailer, Walmart is leading the way in automating back office cash operations with cash recyclers. The retailer recently announced its plan to move displaced back office staff into positions on the retail floor. Not surprisingly, the move has drawn the usual criticism you hear when a company appears to replace people with machines. No matter the motivation for the decision, in the year of the customer, it's not surprising that a retailer is focusing resources and efforts on improving customer experience.
As brick and mortar stores of all sizes face increased competition from online retailers, they need to figure out how to provide an in-store customer experience that's as smooth and convenient as online shopping. And the best way to improve customer service is by capitalizing on the one thing the web can't offer: hands-on shopping guided by knowledgeable associates.
So, How Does a Cash Recycler Affect the Back Office?
A cash recycler is an automated, certified safe containing all the technology required to process banknotes. It identifies and authenticates cash and sorts the notes to secured containers — saving valuable time by automating these manual tasks.
At the beginning of a shift, associates can use cash from the recycler to fill their registers. During the shift, cashiers can trade large bills for smaller ones. Smaller bills are recycled back into operating cash inventory, reducing the need for change orders and providing an audit trail for each transaction. A recycler can also lock down larger denominations as associates deposit cash, while re-distributing smaller bills through a recycling cassette.
At the end of the day, cashiers empty the contents of their registers. All transactions are recorded, and the recycler communicates deposit totals to the bank providing same or next-day deposit credit.
Cash handling consumes 45 minutes to an hour and a half per employee each day. That's equivalent to nearly a full day each week — time that could be spent assisting customers and increasing sales. Manual cash processes create logistical headaches, reduce staff productivity and carry enormous risk. Every retailer that manages cash is looking for solutions to reduce these costs and risks and maximize staff productivity.
Hands Have Better Things to Do Than Handle Cash
Cash automation literally takes the hands out of cash handling. These devices increase the speed and accuracy of cash processing and virtually eliminate human error. And by limiting physical exposure to cash and creating an audit trail, they reduce shrinkage and robbery risk.
But cash recyclers and other cash technologies don't have to replace valuable employees. In fact, recyclers allow retailers to put customer service in the hands of their most trusted staff. When machines handle the cash, people can take a hands-on approach to delivering amazing customer experience.
Walmart is just one of the first large retailers to realize these benefits, but certainly not the last.