March 11, 2014 MT. Prospect, IL — According to The Wall Street Journal, consumer spending continued a steady upward trend. Citing data from the U.S. Commerce Department, the newspaper reported that overall retail sales climbed 0.2% in December of 2013. In fact, many U.S. households ended 2013 on a relatively strong note compared to previous years, which is a major indicator that 2014 might offer even further economic growth.
Such an expansion would largely come as positive news for the retail industry. However, a growth in sales volume may also lead to a variety of unexpected cash-office challenges. Cummins Allison, leading innovator of coin, currency and check processing technology as well as ATM solutions, explains how, as retail sales grow, dual purpose cash and check scanners can help retailers overcome these challenges and maximize efficiency.
Managing large quantities of cash and checks on a daily basis is already one of the major obstacles to business growth¹ — and in addition, retailers may face challenges from a growth in sales volume for a number of reasons:
Cash and checks are still a major part of sales: Many people overestimate the widespread nature of electronic transaction technology – in fact, 43% of U.S. residents still do not own a credit card.² Even though most American consumers have embraced electronic payment methods, general growth in the volume of retail transactions still means most stores will be handling a large amount of cash and checks every day. Store owners may not be fully prepared to count cash or process checks in a way that doesn't negatively impact overall productivity.
Manual processes are inherently inefficient: Many of these businesses are already trying to do more with less. Without advanced tools such as dual purpose cash and check scanners, the process of manually counting money every day can lead to operational inefficiencies. Managers simply can't afford to spend hours in the back office performing tasks that could otherwise be completed in minutes by updated technology, particularly if sales are expected to grow in the coming months.
Slow cash and check management leads to safety issues: Processing currency faster and more accurately also has major implications for overall financial security. When large sums of cash or checks sit idle for long periods of time, businesses often run the risk of losing out on long-term growth opportunities.³ Instead, retailers can use technology to reduce the time it takes to count money or deposit checks and turn it into capital.
Technology Provides Valuable Advantages
Technology trends, as well as rapidly evolving consumer behaviors, have made it necessary for businesses to enhance operational efficiency and flexibility. And because the retail industry may be on the cusp of a long-term sales boost, technology such as dual purpose cash and check scanners may make all the difference in allowing managers to fully prepare for this growth. Cash and check scanners create new opportunities for retailers to make better use of time spent in the cash office, and incorporating such technologies eliminates many of the inefficiencies associated with running a retail business.
Because companies are trying to reduce the time they spend performing financial tasks, any opportunity to save time comes as a major advantage. Streamlining the deposit process will free up a significant amount of time in the daily schedule to focus on other important initiatives, and the same machine can also be used to count cash. Maximizing efficiency will also lead to real overhead spending reductions that can be used toward efforts to improve consumer-end projects.
Adaptability is crucial in today's economy, and the right tools will make retailers more flexible than ever before. For more information on how technology can help retailers make better use of time spent completing financial tasks, visit www.cumminsallison.com.
¹²³ New Solutions for Optimizing Cash in the Retail Industry, Bank of America Merrill Lynch White Paper.
About Cummins Allison
Cummins Allison is a global leader in developing solutions that quickly and efficiently count, sort and authenticate currency, checks and coin. We also offer a complete line of full-function automated teller machines (ATMs). Our leadership in technology and product innovation spans more than 125 years. Cummins Allison serves the majority of financial institutions worldwide, as well as leading organizations in retail, gaming, law enforcement and government. Ninety-seven percent of our customers would recommend our products and services. The company holds more than 350 patents and invests double the industry average in R&D. Our world-class sales and service network includes hundreds of local representatives in more than 50 offices in North America, wholly-owned subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ireland and Australia and is represented in more than 70 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.cumminsallison.com.
Carol Moore – Vice President Marketing
Cummins Allison Corp.
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