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Cash-strapped national parks find savings in automated money counters

Cash-strapped national parks find savings in automated money counters

The U.S. National Parks Service is in a unique position to benefit from the many conveniences of automated cash counter technology. The teams responsible for managing each of the 401 parks throughout the country usually generate large quantities of cash from entrance fees on a daily basis. This makes it necessary for employees to dedicate a significant portion of the day to counting and sorting this income in a secure and accurate way.

Parks experience employee shortage, budget cuts
However, the U.S. economy hasn't exactly favored these organizations. The NPS has fallen victim to several ongoing budget debates in Congress as lawmakers look for ways to uncover even the slightest amount of money to pay for large deficits and other pressing issues. The results have taken a toll on the ability of certain parks to continue their operations as normal. The Great Falls Tribune, a daily newspaper based in Montana, recently reported on a growing applicant shortage for open positions in the NPS system. The problem has affected not only the parks themselves, but also many of the private companies that target visitors. For example, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a Colorado-based business that operates lodges, restaurants and gift shops in prominent national parks, is struggling to fill 4,000 seasonal positions.

Without the right automated technology, an employee shortage means managers and current staff will likely have to spend more time completing administrative back office procedures such as counting cash and searching for any potentially counterfeit bills.

Excessive budget cuts also have an impact on the ability to properly take care of park property. The online publication National Parks Traveler recently revealed that the national sequester that reduced funding for the NPS has led Yellowstone National Park to seek outside help to maintain Beartooth Highway, which circles a large portion of the preserved land. The organization simply doesn't have the money necessary take care of the roadway on its own.

Public agencies often gave a hard time trying to make the most efficient use of their available resources amid budget cuts. With an advanced cash counter, park managers will no longer have to worry about overworking their staff or mismanaging time throughout the day. By automatically counting money and scanning serial numbers, employees will have much more time available to focus on the projects that make the visitor experience as memorable as possible.

February 27, 2014