Cannabis Industry

CIMA’s 5 Ps of Doing Business with the Cannabis Industry

Since the first recreational dispensary opened in Colorado in 2014, the retail cannabis industry has steadily gained momentum across the country. There are more than 7,000 dispensaries across the United States and over 12,000 cultivation licenses for growers. The industry generated $26.5 billion in sales in 2021 and is projected to top $32 billion in 2022. CIMA is proud to be part of this industry, and we are guided by our 5Ps of doing business with dispensaries:

Practices

With the staggering amount of money to be made supporting the cannabis industry, it is no surprise that many companies display a green leaf on their brochures and promote their services and products to dispensaries and growers.

CIMA is different. We understand that the cannabis industry needs dedicated techniques, tailored recommendations, and industry-specific procedures. To best serve the needs of the cannabis industry, CIMA approaches each client situation without a preconceived notion because we realize that no two businesses are the same. Learning the specific challenges of each establishment is integral to CIMA’s multi-step approach:

  • Discovery: We dig deep to uncover a particular cannabis business’s unique challenges. Cash handling procedures, cash volume, security concerns, number of locations, reporting requirements, and many other variables are important factors in determining the best suite of solutions.
  • Consultation: We draw on our industry experience to identify possible products and services that meet the business’s cash handling needs and budget.
  • Collaboration: We work with our engineers, installers, the customer, and trusted CIMA certified partners to implement the best configuration of hardware, software, and ongoing support that will increase efficiency and reduce the cost of handling cash.

If you’re like me, I was going crazy dealing with the cash in my retail locations. My life changed after I put the CIMA cash machines in. Cash is secure; my staff is on the floor with customers, not dealing with cash issues in the back office. I would never open a store without them.” -Tom Denha, CFO/CEO of JARS

Partnerships

CIMA is dedicated to helping the cannabis industry thrive. As a heavily involved manufacturer, CIMA is always working with our partners to strategically dive deep into each client. Whether engaging with partners and clients, networking at industry events, or staying informed about cannabis-related legislation, CIMA has proactively built relationships and developed expertise in the sector. Our customers benefit from our extensive experience working with cannabis retailers and our industry connections. We have a number of partnerships and are always exploring new partner relationships as we focus on finding the most knowledgeable and respected service companies and industry minds, investing in our partners as a result.

EMC
CIMA is active with The Emerging Markets Coalition (EMC), a non-profit organization that advocates for the normalization, electronification, and increased accessibility to complete financial services for cannabis-related industries. EMC members are cannabis-related industry players who proactively drive relationships and workable legislation, regulation, and public perception. CIMA supports EMC’s strategy of making cash transparent, traceable and taxable.

MJ Bizcon
CIMA is excited to join other innovators serving the cannabis industry again at MJ BizCon in Las Vegas this November. The premier event is attended by over 35,000 cannabis executives worldwide. Professionals from all levels gather to make deals, hear the latest industry trends and insights into the current political landscape, source the right solution providers, and gain knowledge from leaders in the industry.
Visit our booth in the South Hall Upper #10125.

Are you interested in learning more about CIMA’s involvement in the cannabis industry or exploring ways to partner? Click here.

Products

One thing that has not changed in the cannabis industry is the dependence on cash. Due to federal regulations, most of the billions spent on recreational marijuana are cash-only transactions. Dispensaries must keep track of every dollar and maintain meticulous records to remain in compliance. CIMA offers a broad range of solutions that have proven to be effective tools for the cannabis industry:

    • Point-of-sale cash recycling kiosks
    • Back-office recyclers
    • Smart safes
    • Cash handling machines
    • CIMA software: C-Link, CAOS

CIMA machines are equipped with dedicated software that sets user permissions, creates electronic records of all transactions and is configurable for specific needs.

Please click here for more information on CIMA’s cannabis line of products and services.

People

Vik Devjee is the Vice President of CIMA America, and he has collaborated with cannabis clients on their cash handling procedures from conception to completion. In this role, Vik has helped dispensaries and growers navigate the complex cash handling regulations of the industry. Vik recounts how the sector has grown, and his early experience with the cannabis industry:

“Learning about the cannabis business has been exciting. You can watch a whole industry emerge from the shadows and into the legitimate business space. It’s very community-based and has a spirit of grass-roots cooperation.”

Vik knew what was needed as this business sector grew for CIMA.

“I realized that it was essential for CIMA to find someone who was laser-focused on this sector – someone who could lead the charge in customer service and advocate for the cannabis industry, as well as help them manage their cash handling challenges. And I’m happy to say that we have found that person. We recently welcomed Julie Cudd as our Business Development Manager for the cannabis sector.”

As CIMA’s Business Development Manager for the cannabis sector, Julie will be responsible for developing strategy and support initiatives for cannabis businesses throughout the United States. Julie approaches the challenge from a consultative and collaborative standpoint, and her ultimate goal is to help businesses thrive, not just sell CIMA’s products and services.

“As a family-held company with global recognition as a leader in cash management solutions, CIMA’s emphasis has always been on relationships,” says Vik. “And Julie has the perfect personality to develop those relationships.”

“I’m thrilled to be part of this business,” says Julie. “The people who make up the cannabis sector are the most passionate industry experts. It is a pleasure to work with them. I can draw from my background in fintech, retail management, security, cloud technology, hospitality, payments, and training. I’m excited to help cannabis businesses reduce their cost of managing cash, but more than anything, I value these businesses and love this role because it allows me to be a trusted business advisor in an industry that often deals with a lot of grey. Cash management is painful for cannabis businesses. My goal is the make that the most simple streamlined part of their business.”

To contact our team of dedicated professionals, or to learn more about Julie or Vik, click here.

Purpose

CIMA is dedicated to helping businesses reduce the cost of managing cash. We accomplish this through continuous investment in innovation, best practice manufacturing, and collaboration with our worldwide business partners.

For cannabis dispensaries, CIMA works with business operators to reduce time, control costs, increase revenue and accuracy, and increase security when managing cash. Our solutions are delivered through a network of highly capable partners to implement and support our solutions for the cannabis industry. CIMA Cash Handling America supplies a broad range of solutions to businesses across Banking / Financial Institutions, Retail, Hospitality, and Gaming – not just cannabis.
To learn more about CIMA, click here.

TCRs Improve the Banking Experience

The face of the retail bank branch is undergoing a drastic shift. Brick and mortar banks and credit unions are shrinking from the typical 8-teller operation to 2 tellers. Now, 700-900 square foot neighborhood branches with open floor plans replace the sprawling lobbies and private offices. One thing that hasn’t changed is that bank tellers are still the front line of customer interaction. Instead of simply handling transactions, tellers are now responsible for branding the bank, selling products/services, and educating visitors. Deploying or upgrading their Teller Cash Recyclers (TCRs) improves the staff and customer experience.

What is a Teller Cash Recycler (TCR)?

teller cash recycler, or TCR, acts as both a cash storage vault and an automatic drawer that sits at the teller line. Each TCR typically supports two tellers. Since the introduction of TCRs to the market, the technology has improved and the cost has decreased. Today’s TCRs efficiently handle a range of teller and vault transactions with near 100% accuracy:

  • Accepts cash for tellers
  • Sorts bills by denomination
  • Screens for counterfeits
  • Counts and verifies the total
  • Stores large volumes of notes
  • Dispenses or recycles notes
  • Maintains an exact current balance
  • Runs internal audits

How TCRs Help Bank Branches

Investing in TCRs provides almost immediate benefits for bank branches, employees, and customers. Mark Suacillo, the VP of IT/Security & Facilities at CCFCU, shared his credit union’s experience since installing TCRs. CCFCU is a California-based credit union that serves the employees of the Co-Op Market Chain, Alta Bates hospitals, and the faculty, staff, and students of UC Berkeley. According to Suacillo, the new TCR machines improved the customer and the employee experience.

“Adding the two new CIMA AST7000 TCRs allows our tellers to spend less time manually counting money and more time speaking directly with members – discovering other areas where the credit union can help them with their financial needs,” he says.

In addition to freeing up tellers to engage with customers, the TCRs also helped the bank save money on overtime.

“Instead of an additional hour after closing to balance cash each day, employees are out the door in as little as 15 minutes,” Suacillo explained.

For banks and credit unions, a TCR offers numerous benefits over traditional cash drawers:

  • Saves labor costs by reducing the number of tellers needed
  • Saves time by automating transactions
  • Increases the accuracy of all transactions
  • Improves the customer experience
  • Reduces fraud and shrinkage
  • Secures cash for recycling
  • Decreases number of vault visits

What’s the right TCR for you?

The cost of implementing new TCRs has decreased significantly; additionally, banks can depreciate the investment over time. If your institution is interested in a new installation, then the volume of cash, customer traffic, and branch layout are factors to consider when selecting the right TCR. If your tellers are working with first-generation TCR machines (circa 2014), you are likely facing the end of their technical support and parts availability. Replacing/upgrading these machines will be necessary before they become obsolete or inoperable. Banks operating a fleet of devices across multiple locations should look for solutions that offer remote visibility, analytics, device management, and reporting.

CIMA TCRs

CIMA manufactures a range of TCRs that suit any retail banking environment. For institutions that don’t need “bells and whistles,” CIMA offers an entry-level series that provides a functional and cost-effective bank branch recycling solution. CIMA’s AST7000 is an affordable, fit-for-purpose recycler with eight rolled storage recycling drums. The AST7016 offers flexible recycling functionality with 16 rolled storage recycling drums and a capacity of up to 8,000 notes. The 7000 series features under-counter or behind-the-teller line installation.

CIMA’s feature-rich AST9000 is ideal for large volume and cash-intensive bank environments. The cassette-based recycling and storage technology provides much higher capacity and speed. The AST9000 is designed with a look and feel suited for open-plan branch layouts.

CIMA includes two software solutions in its banking portfolio. CashUp is the on-device teller application providing transaction interaction in a stand-alone environment. C-Link is a remote device management platform designed for larger businesses with multiple TCR machines in different locations.  All CIMA TCRs are also compatible with leading middleware software providers for complete core integration.

About CIMA – America

CIMA serves its U.S. customers and partners by helping businesses reduce the cost of managing cash. CIMA Cash Handling America supplies a broad range of smart safes, back office/front of store recycling systems, and software to businesses across Banking / Financial Institutions, Retail, Hospitality, and Gaming. CIMA Cash Handling America, Inc. is based in Houston, Texas.

Cannabis and Cash: Best Practices 2022

Cannabis and Cash: Best Practices 2022

Legal cannabis is poised to become a $30 billion U.S. industry in 2022. At this point in the commercial cannabis timeline, only 18 states have legalized the plant for medical sales, recreational use, or both. Unlike the earliest cannabis dispensaries, retailers entering the market today can hit the ground running. Businesses in the cannabis space can draw from examples of successful retail programs, best practices, equipment, and vendor partners with relevant experience in the industry.

Although the retail cannabis industry has become more sophisticated, streamlined, and experienced, one thing has not changed – the use of cash for most transactions. The SAFE Banking Act protects financial institutions and other professional service firms from federal liability for conducting commerce with legal cannabis businesses. However, the Senate ultimately removed the SAFE Banking Act from the December 2021 defense spending bill. Bipartisan cooperation at the federal level is unlikely this year which means that cannabis dispensaries will continue to operate almost exclusively in cash, at least for the near future.

Several dispensaries now utilize automated cash handling machines that integrate hardware and software for a seamless cash management solution. The cash automation systems best suited for cannabis outlets include back-office cash recyclers and smart safes. A reliable cash automation system from a trusted manufacturer checks many boxes for cannabis retailers:

Complies with regulations

Cannabis businesses are highly regulated, and accurate record-keeping is critical to meet compliance. Dispensaries must keep track of every dollar and maintain meticulous records. By automating with cash management devices, dispensaries can produce accurate, auditable records of cash flow in the business. All CIMA cash handling machines equipped with dedicated software set user permissions, create electronic records of all transactions, and are configurable for specific needs.

Recycles and stores cash securely

Taking cash payments and returning change for every single transaction requires a large capacity of reserve bills and coins to use throughout the day. It is not safe or prudent for employees to shuttle cash to and from the safe to replenish or store money. A cash recycler not only secures cash like a safe, but it also dispenses bills. Machines like CIMA’s Platino or Diamante back-office cash recyclers allow dispensaries to reuse smaller denominations for change or replenish tills. Surplus bills securely stored in self-sealing stacking bags allow CIT companies to transport cash easily.

Reduces labor costs

Depending on volume, dispensaries using manual methods may have to dedicate two or more employees to spend hours on register reconciliation each day. With the current labor shortage, automation makes more sense than ever. CIMA cash handling machines can dispense floats, reconcile tills and track cash quickly and accurately. The dispensary can focus employee attention on customer service and sales activities instead of cash management.

Improves security

Cash-intensive businesses are targets for crime. From outright smash-and-grab robberies to employee skimming, the risk of theft is very high. Cash recyclers and smart safes deter crime and keep records of all users and transactions. Counterfeit note detection is built into the machines and adds another layer of protection from fraud.

Provides industry knowledge from experienced partners

The market is crowded with companies wanting a piece of the cannabis pie. Identify vendors and partners with experience and expertise in the cannabis space. Look for a track record of delivering solutions to the cannabis industry and excellent customer support. By partnering with experienced companies, new and established cannabis businesses can benefit from industry knowledge and machines suited to the cannabis marketplace.

CIMA has worked with many dispensaries. Learn more of how we can help you. Contact us to discuss options. 

5 Shifts Driving Cash Automation

The U.S. economy is struggling to recover after more than two years of upheaval. As the pandemic recedes, the nation faces several social and economic shifts. These changes will steer the direction of commerce and shape our new normal. Hospitality, fast food, gaming, grocery, cannabis, and retail banking outlets must pivot to accommodate new customer and worker behaviors. Here are five shifts driving cash automation:

Labor Shortages

In the latter half of 2021, the “Great Resignation” rippled across many sectors. The phenomenon decimated lower-paying hospitality and retail jobs. By the time the dust settled, over 1 million hospitality workers and nearly 5% of retail workers had quit. Retailers report that it is now almost impossible to hire enough staff to keep up with business.

The cash automation solution:

Retailers can deploy cash automation machines quickly and fill many of these menial jobs. Front-of-house transactions and backroom counting activities are more reliable, accurate, and faster when done by machines. Cash handling devices such as recyclers, smart safes, and kiosks remove the unpredictability of human labor and reduce employment costs. Businesses can offer better wages to a much smaller workforce while improving the bottom line.

Increases in Crime

From coast to coast, criminal activity is increasing at an alarming rate. Businesses are reporting a surge in crimes from armed robbery to cash shrink from employees. Even counterfeit operations are in high gear, churning out near-perfect reproductions of U.S. banknotes.

The cash automation solution:

Cash automation machines act as deterrents to criminal activity in many ways. Armed robbers don’t want to risk the time needed to break into smart safes, cash recyclers, or kiosks. These machines accurately track money flow inside the business, allowing managers to see which employee used the machine, total transactions, and total cash deposited or withdrawn. Shrink from theft or human error is immediately visible. Built-in scanners also detect counterfeit notes and separate them for removal.

Inflation

Although financial experts proclaimed that inflation would be transitory, it has surged to historic levels with little relief in sight. Everything from materials to labor is more expensive than ever before.

The cash automation solution:

Cash recycling hardware is a fixed investment that will last for many years. A self-service kiosk will not ask for a raise or drive up health insurance premiums. Automating all cash handling activities is a wise investment that will quickly pay for itself.

Increased Tech Acceptance

The pandemic sped up the acceptance of automation, self-service, and technology in retail spaces. Customers and workers are less resistant to using machines to complete transactions. Even older Americans have become accustomed to using technology to make purchases. Retail outlets that do not recognize this shift in consumer attitudes may get left behind.

The cash automation solution:

By now, most consumers are familiar with the process of using a point of sale kiosk. Many people prefer the self-service option. These customer-facing kiosks require fewer tellers to oversee transactions, saving money without diminishing service. Workers can spend more time on high-value activities such as interacting with customers or upselling merchandise.

Touch-Free Transactions

Many nations worldwide are beginning to look at Covid as endemic instead of pandemic and are adjusting their regulations accordingly. However, many of the lessons and habits from the pandemic may take time to recede. Regular cleaning of surfaces, aversion to contact, and a preference for “touch-free” options will likely remain for some time.

The cash automation solution:

Certain customers may continue to avoid excessive touchpoints, particularly during the annual cold and flu season. Customer-facing kiosks and self-service checkout stations give customers and workers a touch-free option to complete their transactions.

Avivatech Partnership

CIMA Announces New Strategic Partnership with Avivatech

Houston, TX, January 2021 – Avivatech, LLC and CIMA Cash Handling America, Inc. are pleased to announce a strategic partnership in the US retail cash management marketplace. This partnership is the result of CIMA’s long-lasting relationship with Benchmark Technology Group, which was acquired by Digital Check Corp., in February 2021.  Shortly thereafter Avivatech was announced as a cash automation solution provider.

This relationship enables Avivatech to provide its clients with CIMA’s innovative back-office recycling products such as its self-sealing stacking bag technology across its cash recycling and smart safe portfolio.

“CIMA and AvivaTech represent two of the industry’s foremost innovators. Combining Avivatech’s software solutions with CIMAs innovative cash management products will offer retail environments with a seamless back-office cash management solution,” states Vik Devjee, Vice President of CIMA Cash Handling America.

”I am pleased to have a company like CIMA embrace our retail cash automation strategy and be willing to partner with us on bringing state-of-the-art hardware and software technologies to the marketplace”, according to Jeff Hempker, President at Avivatech.  “Together, our products help retailers automate and track their cash wherever they count.”

About Avivatech

Avivatech delivers a comprehensive solution of the best products, training resources, and dedicated support technicians for cash automation and check automation management for banking and retail environments. We help our clients advance and achieve their goals through our adaptive custom solutions and services. avivatech.com

 

 

2021

2021 End of Year Message

As we get close to the end of another year, I want to take a moment to wish all our partners, mutual CIMA clients, staff (both in-house and outsourced) a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Thank you all for your support, commitment, and partnership in 2021, and we look forward to growing with you in 2022.

December is always a crazy month, isn’t it? We reflect on the previous months, start planning for the New Year, rush and hustle to close the year off as strong as possible, celebrate our wins, etc. So, as we end 2021 and plan for 2022, I wanted to reflect on the year gone by and share some thoughts for the year ahead.

Reflection

The first thing that comes to mind is gratitude. Despite continued COVID issues and its widespread impact on business, we continued to deploy our technology at a consistent pace throughout the year. 2021 was filled with talk about supply chain challenges and shortages of products across so many segments. Thankfully our business continued to produce and supply machines with minor supply disruptions.

I am also grateful for the record number of new companies that we are proud to call “CIMA Partners.” It’s so good to see our brand, innovation, and solutions resonating so well in the US market that partners see value in working with us. We look forward to engaging with you all closely to enable your teams and deliver best-in-class cash automation solutions across retail, hospitality, gaming, and banking.

Last but certainly not least, I am grateful for my team. For me, my team is made up of my local team in Houston, my team inside our outsourced relationships for marketing, legal, and accounting, and of course, my extended team in Italy made up of our family owners and a support team of the smartest people in the industry I have ever known. Nothing is possible without this network of talented people all on the same mission for CIMA to become the leading cash automation brand in the country. No doubt we will get there!

2022…Here we come!

What excites me every day is the amazing innovation that continues to come out of our team in Italy. Next year will see a huge focus and, with the help of our partners, the adoption of our technology portfolio across some exciting new markets. 

Firstly, our customer-facing range of cash recycling solutions is building momentum, and we will see several new deployments in segments we typically have not participated in. Some of the seeds we have planted in 2021 will undoubtedly bear fruit in 2022 as projects mature and we go from pilot to rollout.

We will continue our relentless mission of helping the market understand, appreciate, and embrace the value of automating the “last mile” of cash handling…the cash pickup process with our self-sealing stacking bag technology. We have had some early adoption in 2021 with great success. This will undoubtedly continue as more retailers and CIT partners see the value of taking cash automation one step further and gaining even more efficiencies in their cash management processes. 

We have had an awesome year deploying several back-office note and coin recycling solutions. I am extremely confident this will continue in 2022 with continued demand from the cannabis sector and mid-sized grocery store.

Our Teller Cash Recycler portfolio for banks and credit unions remains a significant part of our business, and 2022 is set to be a massive growth year for us in this sector. Our AST9000 cassette-based unit will be fully certified across all major middleware providers, which will certainly allow us to penetrate the market further. 

And finally, I could not be more excited about expanding our software solutions. This year we enhanced our on-device software, CAOS, with several new features making it the most flexible and scalable cash automation device application in the market. Furthermore, we just launched C-Link Cloud, the next evolution of our device management, monitoring, reporting, and analytics platform. Previously available only as an on-premises solution, C-Link’s powerful platform capabilities are now available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription-based model. Customers will be able to gain enormous visibility and insights into the performance of their devices, flexible transaction reporting, and centralized, remote management of machines. This will deliver even greater returns on investment for our clients.

I look forward to some downtime over the next couple of weeks, and I am excited about where 2022 will take us. CIMA remains hyper committed to the US market with plans for greater investment in our team, products, and infrastructure to support our growth. Thank you for your partnership, and look forward to working with you all in 2022.

Vik Devjee, Vice President

Cash Automation Software

The Importance of Cash Automation Software

Cash automation software ensures that downtime is minimized, the function is optimized when managing cash.

Before the advent of modern cash automation, retailers manually moved cash from one receptacle to another, more secure receptacle, until it could be safely transported to the bank and counted. Imagine going back in time and telling a mid-1960’s shop owner about today’s cash automation. The shop owner might not believe that the cash register of the future will talk to the safe, the safe will communicate with the bank, a kiosk will automatically dispense change, and the machines will know the difference between managers and tellers. Furthermore, the devices will automatically compile, exchange, and relay data to business owners, who can determine precisely how much cash is coursing through a chain of stores at any point in time. 

All of this is made possible by the software. Without the right software, the tills, kiosks, safes, and recyclers are just receptacles for cash or highly mechanical counting machines. True cash automation adds layers of function, communication, accountability, and visibility to the cash management cycle. Since 1955, CIMA has innovated the cash management industry and continues to be at the forefront of new developments. In addition to industry-leading hardware, CIMA delivers on three primary categories of cash automation software:

On-device Software

Businesses demand much more than simple transaction processing. The on-device software allows users to interact with the cash handling machine and accomplish various tasks. The software application should be readily configurable to meet the needs of different businesses and should meet several standards: 

  • Improve cashier efficiency
  • Facilitate deposits into smart safes
  • Facilitate deposits and cash dispensing in cash recyclers
  • Set user permissions based on employee category
  • Create electronic records of all transactions

CIMA has dedicated on-device cash automation software for retail called CAOS and a solution for the banking segment called CashUp.

Integration Software

Cash management technology does not function in isolation. Systems should be able to communicate with each other and compile data from multiple areas. Business departments, managers, and third parties should have access to the relevant data. Integration software, or API’s, allows many possibilities:  

  • Cash handling machines can deliver specialized data to other systems 
  • Smart safes/recyclers can inform the CIT company of the exact cash to bring to pickup  
  • Cash machines can send deposit information to banks to facilitate provisional credit. 

Device Management and Analytics Software 

Uptime is critical in retail and banking operations, and when machines break or malfunction, sales can be lost, and customer service is at risk. Device management software ensures that downtime is minimized, the function is optimized. The best device management and analytics software for cash automation applications should offer several functions:

  • Receive alerts when a machine is offline or needs service attention 
  • Enable remote device configuration 
  • Remotely update cash automation software
  • Centrally manage a population of devices for multi-store environments

And last but not least – analytics software is an integral part of cash automation. Businesses need to identify relevant data insights, then relay the information to the correct departments. Analytics can instantly accomplish tasks that improve the bottom line:

  • Collect, analyze, and organize transactions by day, store, employee, or other parameters
  • Provide a real-time view of the cash position for all stores
  • Provide historical data and identify trends
  • Deliver the correct information at the right time to the right stakeholders so they can make informed business decisions

CIMA has built a feature-rich and highly functional platform called C-Link that manages a network of devices and consolidates information to present the right decision-making insights.

CIMA Last Mile CASH MANAGEMENT Website

The Last Mile of Cash Management

What Does “Last Mile” Mean?

The Last Mile typically refers to the final stage in a commercial, industrial, or delivery process. The term was first used in the telecommunications industry to describe the final stretch of wiring that delivers services to customers. Telecom companies realized that the last mile was the least efficient and expensive part of the installation and delivery process. Other industries soon identified most of their own “last mile” problems. For retail, manufacturing, transportation, and supply chain, the last mile refers to the challenges that arise when a product goes from the final distribution center to the customer. This final part of the delivery tends to be the most complicated, inefficient, and expensive part of the entire operation.

Did you know cash management also has a last mile problem?

Cash management solutions have been around for a long time. Businesses can choose from various smart safes, cash recyclers, and other machines that validate, count, sort, deposit, and dispense banknotes. The technology and process are familiar to almost anyone who has worked in retail, hospitality, gaming, or other industries that accept and process cash. Let’s follow the path of cash management through an establishment:

  • At the start and end of each shift, check the tills in and out (dispensed/deposited)
  • Count, validate, and sort the cash in the back office
  • Place the cash in a smart safe or recycler
  • The CIT crew removes the cash cassette from the machine
  • Cash must be bundled, bagged, and sealed before being transported
  • Cash is transported by the CIT and processed at the depot
  • At first glance, this may seem like a reasonably efficient and straightforward cycle of events.

However, a closer inspection shows that the store’s final steps of cash management are fraught with inefficiencies and expenses.

A typical cash recycler or smart safe utilizes bulky cash cassettes that require significant manual effort. The CIT crew, with store management supervision, removes the cassettes from the machines. Next, they must bundle and bag the notes. Not only is this process time-consuming, but it requires additional staff to supervise. It also exposes the business to human error or theft.

In some cases, actual store staff removes and bundles the cash. Once the cash arrives at the CIT depot, the bundles of cash or loose notes must be processed, adding time and labor costs. We call this manual end process “The Last Mile of Cash Handling.”

CIMA Innovation Streamlines the Last Mile

CIMA smart safes and cash recyclers use an entirely different technology. CIMA machines deposit notes and tightly stack them into a heat-sealed bag inside the safe. The result looks like a shrink-wrapped block of notes. No more bulky, breakable cassettes! Do away with the cassette system and realize greater efficiencies:

  • Less risk of theft or human error
  • More transparency and accountability for cash transactions
  • Minimize third-party fees, such as CIT fees and banking fees
  • Reduce cash-room/back-office activities and related costs
  • Eliminate manual bag processing for CIT collection
  • Cut depot processing time significantly. No need to deal with bundles of notes.

CIMA’s self-sealing stacking bag technology addresses many of the issues that arise in the last mile of cash management. This innovative technology is available across all product categories, including teller cash recyclers, smart safes, recyclers, and customer-facing recycling solutions.

 

Experienced Cash Handling for Dispensaries

Experienced Cash Automation for Dispensaries

The future of pot looks very green

On New Year’s Day 2014, Colorado opened the first regulated recreational marijuana market. In the years since, recreational cannabis has been legalized in 18 states, plus the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam. Recent surveys show that nearly 22% of U.S. adults have used some form of cannabis in the previous 12 months. Seniors citizens are the fastest-growing population of marijuana users. There is an exponential growth of retail dispensaries opening their doors to serve the growing number of consumers. According to industry research, the U.S. cannabis industry will reach $30 billion annually by 2025.
 

Jumping on the bud bandwagon

The cannabis market is attracting a flood of peripheral businesses claiming to address the unique needs and solve the specific problems of retail dispensaries. From technology to shop fitting to security and cash automation, vendors are jockeying for their own market share. Some of these support businesses are legitimate. Others see dollar signs and are jumping onto a lucrative bandwagon. The market is becoming crowded with startups, fly-by-night businesses, and enthusiastic entrepreneurs clamoring to offer a solution to any number of dispensary challenges.
 

Buyer beware

While startups and entrepreneurs are undoubtedly the lifeblood of technology and innovation, cannabis businesses must be careful with cash automation.  Take time to research and evaluate if a particular company is genuinely solving a problem that no other vendor in the space has already addressed. Or, is this a money grab to take advantage of the huge demand?  If a business offers an inferior solution to gain market share, dispensary operators can create long-term problems. It is up to dispensary owners and managers to conduct thorough due diligence. 
 

Cash automation and cannabis

Dispensaries in the current market can only accept payment in cash due to federal restrictions.  As a result, dispensaries have invested in a range of solutions to collect, manage, account for, and secure the considerable volume of cash that passes through the business each day. Providers of everything from simple safes and currency counting machines to more sophisticated full-blown cash automation solutions are racing to the market to convince dispensary owners that their product is better than the next. The demand is increasing, and owners need immediate answers. Companies with little experience in cash management are making grand promises yet falling short of expectations. 
 

The right partner can make or break your business

Dispensary owners, take note – do your homework before you decide on a cash automation solution. Do you want to put your cash – your lifeblood –  in the hands of an inexperienced startup? It falls on you to find providers with a confirmed track record of delivering solutions and solving complex cash handling problems. At the very least, you should look for the following qualities:
 
  • Proven track record
  • Excellent customer service and support
  • Comprehensive line of products 
  • Integrated hardware and software solutions
Cash automation management in retail is not new. Cannabis dispensaries are fundamentally retail businesses with a more significant cash management headache. The cash automation industry is a mature market of providers. Many have been around for decades. They know how to deliver and support sophisticated cash management machines. Leverage that experience and solve your cash management problems with a trusted partner, not an inexperienced opportunist. 
 
“If you’re like me, I was going crazy dealing with the cash in my retail locations. My life changed after I put the CIMA cash machines in. Cash is secure, my staff is on the floor with customers, not dealing with cash issues in the back office. I would never open a store without these!”
Tim Denha, CFO, JARS

Cash Management – What You Need to Know

Managing Cash for Businesses

Cash handling in retail stores is essential, but some business owners don’t realize that poor cash management could be costing them a lot of money. Costs can be in the form of increased labor, mistakes, and theft. Cash automation addresses these and other associated costs of handling cash. By incorporating machines, retail outlets can prepare floats, provide change and perform end-of-shift balancing without manual handling and do this far more accurately.

What Is Cash Automation?

Automation involves implementing at least one of several different kinds of cash handling machines to take over the work of humans. The cash automation hardware has program software that works with a company’s processes and financial institutions to improve accuracy. There are several kinds of cash management machines available:

Smart Safes

A smart safe is an excellent solution for businesses that store any amount of cash on site. The machine accepts, validates, records, and stores cash securely. Unlike traditional safes, smart safes connect to the internet or cash management technology. The smart safes reconcile the cash automatically, so employees don’t spend time on reconciliation at the close of each day. An intelligent safe can record many data points:

  • Who deposited the cash, and at what time
  • How much cash is stored by denomination
  • Who removed the cash

 

Back-Office Recyclers

In a high cash volume retail establishment, staff members spend valuable time in the back-office cash room. Under management supervision, employees prepare floats, conduct drawer swaps, count, reconcile, and facilitate collection by the CIT company. There are many opportunities for mistakes, miscalculations, and theft. A back-office cash recycler streamlines the entire process and transmits accurate records directly to the CIT or financial institution.

Point of Sale Recyclers

Placing a POS recycling machine at the checkout line allows the use of the device by cashiers or directly by customers. The point of sale cash recycler accepts money and returns change for each transaction. It also stores excess bills, checks for counterfeit notes, and records all transactions. As self-service becomes commonplace, customer-facing recyclers can reduce the amount of labor needed to handle customer payment transactions.

Why Automate Cash Handling?

Cash automation streamlines procedures and offers many benefits:

Labor – The more time employees spend handling, sorting, and counting cash, the more it costs the business. Cash automation means that fewer people spend less time handling transactions.

Security – On a busy day, cashiers might handle large amounts of cash, posing a security risk from external and internal theft. By automating cash procedures and securing surplus banknotes, businesses can add a layer of protection from criminal activity.

Accuracy – Cash automation reduces the number of human errors. Cash handling machines will count, sort, and tally banknotes to prepare the deposit faster and more accurately than an employee could.

Accountability – Cash management technology keeps better records and makes it easier to track how much cash runs through the business. Automation also improves oversight.

Ultimately, any business that manages cash can take advantage of automating manual cash handling processes. Reducing the costs and risks associated with managing cash can deliver significant bottom-line benefits.