Economic Recovery Squeezes Retailers

As the economy reopens, many businesses find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Costs are rising, including areas such as packaging, raw materials, and shipping. In addition to these expenses, many employers cannot get the workforce they need to meet the growing demand. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% in June after gaining 0.4% in May. McDonald’s announced that it was boosting wages at company-owned stores by 10%. Not to be outdone, Chipotle says it will raise its average wage to $15 an hour. Wage growth for private workers in the first quarter of 2021 was the strongest on record since the 1990s. From retail to financial services to hospitality, almost every industry feels the squeeze of higher wages and scarce labor as we enter economic recovery.

Could cash automation be the key?

The answer is an unequivocal yes! The COVID-19 pandemic redefined the commerce landscape. It accelerated the adoption of e-commerce and showed how quickly employees and customers were willing to embrace new solutions. Many of the commerce habits and transaction processes that became commonplace during the pandemic are here to stay. Implementing further automation allows companies to increase productivity and job satisfaction while reducing overhead costs and inefficiencies. Retailers and other customer-facing businesses must consider cash automation to address the dual challenges of rising wages and a tight labor market.

Cash Automation Offers Solutions

Automated cash handling uses specialized machines to dispense, count, and track cash in banks, retail or hospitality outlets, casinos, or other customer-facing environments. Here are some of the immediate benefits of cash automation:

Reduce labor costs – In today’s tight labor market, retailers are struggling to attract cashiers. Customer-facing recyclers and self-service kiosks can eliminate the need for a dedicated staff member at each till. Cash management technology also speeds up the counting, tracking, and reconciling of cash. Cash automation reduces the number of employees needed and the hours of manual work required each day.

Attract and retain better employees – Workers demand more job satisfaction, safer environments, and higher wages. By automating cash-related tasks, retailers can deliver on all of these demands. Workers can improve customer service and productivity instead of repetitive, menial tasks like checking out customers, handling cash, and making changes. Businesses can provide better-paying jobs that increase employee satisfaction and retention.

Eliminate human errors – Cash recyclers automate the acceptance and dispensing of the day’s floats. Managers and employees no longer need to conduct manual counts, reconciliation, deposits, or other cash drawer operations, thus reducing the possibility of miscounts or errors.

Security against theft or shrink – One of the strongest arguments for cash automation is loss prevention and theft deterrence. By reducing the number of touchpoints with cash, businesses can ensure that their cash is accurately accounted for and securely stored.

Visibility across locations – Retail chains or franchises with multiple locations can benefit from the data visibility that cash automation offers. Having real-time access to the cash situation at each store can help managers make more informed decisions across operations, treasury, loss prevention, and asset protection.

Better customer experience – Customers have not only become accustomed to the presence of cash automation at retail outlets, but they have come to expect it. If businesses want to remain competitive, they must give customers the ability to make contact-free, automated purchases by card, cash, or coins. All forms of payment must be accepted at all points of purchase.

Future-proof the business – Technology and automation saved many companies from going under during the current pandemic. Although the economy is recovering, it is unlikely that things will return to their previous state. Continuing to implement the right automation can protect businesses from future disruptions.

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