January 26, 2017
Every minute counts in stores and at corporate
In retail, every single minute your employees spend with customers counts toward customer experience and your bottom line. With minimum wages rising sharply across the country, your employees’ time is about to account for a larger portion of your operating costs than ever before.
How do you want your employees spending that increasingly precious time? More and more retailers are starting to consider this and making moves to shift employees to customer-facing roles, but that’s always difficult in a business with so many balls to keep in the air.
The never-ending stream of tasks required to keep your stores running range from the exciting to the mundane, the concealed to the on-display: stocking, merchandising, ringing up transactions, taking returns, fulfilling online orders, helping customers, and the ever-burdensome currency management.
Currency management is dominated by manual processes and reports at the store level, and by managing and interpreting these reports at the corporate level. It’s a process that eats away at not just minutes but hours of your employees’ valuable time, effectively keeping key people hidden behind a desk, away from tasks that affect customers directly (like helping to find a product or ringing up a purchase) and indirectly (like making sure merchandise is organized and fitting rooms are clean).
The toll currency management takes on employee time and customer experience is more obvious in stores, where daily tasks like reconciling funds, preparing deposits and change orders, and completing reports for corporate can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. And since your most trusted employees are often your most experienced, taking them away from customers not only means missing out on their knowledge and charisma, but paying more to have routine activities completed as well.
You probably know how long these currency management tasks are supposed to take – but what actually goes on could be quite different because they’re rarely completed in a linear fashion. When managers are counting funds or creating a bank deposit and get interrupted by a more pressing task, how does that affect the speed and accuracy of the currency management task they were performing? We all like to think we’re great multi-taskers, but studies have shown that only 2 percent of us are and that when we try, we can lose as much as 40 percent of our productivity.
Consider how manual currency management affects corporate as well. Corporate employees often need to spend huge chunks of time chasing down reports from stores, aggregating the information they get from the reports, and investigating missing or incorrect data. The time spent on these tasks can then keep corporate employees from investigating loss in a timely manner – an area where speed is everything.
Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your employees’ time is well spent, both in your stores and at your corporate offices. The white paper Every Minute Counts shares more information on how inefficient currency management affects your stores, corporate offices and employees, and guidance on how to optimize your processes. After all, this is retail, where every minute counts.