To say Carrie Fields is always on the go would be an understatement. As the front end operations specialist for Reasor’s, an 18-store grocery chain based in Oklahoma, she’s in stores every day to observe, coach employees and generally handle any problems that arise.
Deposit management sounds simple, right? Your stores send deposits to the bank, and the funds show up in your account. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of ways your deposit process can go awry.
When I talk to retailers about their challenges, the cost of accepting cash doesn’t usually top their list of concerns. Typically, it’s for one of two reasons: either they don’t realize how the cost snowballs based on a wide variety of factors, or they’ve simply decided that there’s nothing they can do about it. Most retailers I speak with aren’t even sure what their cost of cash is in the first place. But in some retail verticals, the cost of cash is higher than the cost of accepting credit.
A former Chipotle employee was just awarded $8 million after she was accused of stealing $636. How can I protect my company from this kind of situation?
— Regional Director, Audit
If you know anything as a retailer, it’s that shoppers want what they want when they want it. We want to shop from our couches at 11 p.m., or we want to drop into a store and have an experience; we want to get things delivered, or we want to pick them up the same day. We want every option so we can create the experience we want and need in the moment.
My company implemented self-checkouts a few years ago. Customers seem to love them, but they’re a challenge to properly manage. Any tips?
— Director, Store Operations
An excerpt from Bad Stores and How to Fix Them
Lack of compliance with currency management procedures is a natural consequence of the industry’s high turnover — if staff is always changing, procedures get sloppy. But even without an ever-changing team, procedures and the ability to govern how and when they’re executed can suffer without the proper tools.
As more and more of us take care of our banking needs online or on mobile devices, the need to go in to a local bank branch and see a friendly face is fading fast. In the first half of 2017, more than 1,700 bank branches closed their doors, and the second half of the year continued the downward trend.
The decrease in branches raises two interesting issues for retailers:
- How could this change individual stores’ deposit procedures?
- Should you offer cash back to meet customers’ cash needs, and if so, how do you manage each store’s cash on hand?
To say retail scheduling is a headache is an understatement. In my retail days, we had a fairly sophisticated system for scheduling that took into account stocking time, previous months sales trends, previous year same week trends, holiday lift, week of the month, average sales per customer, customer count trend, time to transition to or from holidays, and much, much more. But in the end it’s at best 90 percent science — the rest is instinct, a little bit of luck, and looking for opportunities in unexpected places.