March 5, 2014 MT. Prospect, IL — The grocery business can be brutal. With profit margins razor thin, today’s grocery store managers are also challenged with the need to meet customer demand for a more enhanced in-store experience, diversifying the services offered to stand apart from competitors and squeezing out operational efficiencies without adding to their overhead costs.
Cummins Allison, leading innovator of coin, currency and check processing technology as well as ATM solutions, shares tips for how grocery store managers can utilize technology to stay ahead of the competition and streamline daily operations.
Leverage Front-of-Store Opportunities to Enhance the Customer Experience
Grocery store managers are tasked with figuring out ways to enhance the customer experience such as providing additional services without taking up valuable retail space. According to Marshal Cohen, a retail analyst at NPD Group, “The competition has gained momentum, and consumer behavior has shifted. If the grocer doesn't change with them, they'll get further and further away.” One solution could be putting a self-service coin counter in the front of the store, located directly past the checkouts, which allows customers to easily see the machine or promotional materials advertising the service.
“Self-service coin machines are now part of our customers’ shopping experience,” said Clint Woodman, vice president of Woodman’s Markets. “The self-service coin machines are providing a fast, efficient service, enhancing the customer in-store experience and driving income.”
With over 18 million U.S. households redeeming an average of $200 per year at grocery stores1 ‒ today’s customers clearly expect their store to offer a self-service coin machine. Yet, not all grocery store managers can or want to purchase a coin counting machine. By partnering with a vendor that offers multiple procurement options, store managers have the ability to lease, rent or own a coin counting machine or have the machine placed in their store by the vendor. This flexibility enables grocers to select the option that’s right for their store and delivers the most profit per square foot.
Adopt Dual Purpose Technology for Enhanced Back-Office Efficiency
When grocery store managers are required to put in long hours manually counting currency or depositing checks, it usually becomes harder to keep other aspects of the business running as smoothly as possible. Stores can benefit from utilizing one machine that can easily perform all of these tasks.
Commenting on the close relationship between operation complexity and overhead costs, John Ferretti, CEO of the Delaware-based retail merchandising firm Foxfire Printing says the more steps staff members have to take to get their jobs done, the harder it can be for supermarkets to generate sustainable revenue levels in the long run. Operating a successful store requires managers and employees to pay full attention to issues such as marketing, pricing and how products are displayed throughout the aisles of the establishment. Yet, adding time-consuming cash-office tasks on top of these priorities can lead to an overwhelming amount of work ‒ especially for organizations with only a handful of employees.
Grocery store managers who take advantage of efficiency-boosting tools such as cash and check scanners will better protect their businesses from unnecessary overhead costs. With labor being the highest single expense of the grocery industry², store managers can benefit from an automated machine that performs multiple functions. By consolidating back-office tasks, store managers can experience enhanced efficiency in the cash room so more time can be spent out on the floor with customers.
Today’s grocery store managers can use technology to differentiate their store, reduce costs and increase efficiency. For more information on front-of-store services visit www.cumminsallison.com/moneymachine, or for more information on dual-purpose cash-office technology visit www.cumminsallison.com/cashdrawer
1 Branmark Research Report, 2011.
² Houston Chronicle, “The Industry Standard for Gross Margin in Groceries”
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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