Regardless of the type of retail business you’re in – apparel & accessories, fast food, gas stations, auto parts or another ‒ fluctuating variable costs present continuous challenges for franchisees, meaning that it can be tough on the budget. But smart business owners are increasingly learning to offset these costs with innovative technology that drives efficiency and reduces costs, such as self-service checkouts, RFID-based inventory control or even touchscreen money counters.
Let’s talk about the competition and how lines are being increasingly blurred between what products and services a business provides. Franchisees have always had one another to compete with, and that hasn’t changed. In fact, if you are a food-service franchisee, chances are there’s another restaurant a stone’s throw away. But competition today penetrates from avenues that didn’t exist a decade ago.
For instance, many convenience stores today offer hot, made-to-order food and specialty beverages, which infringes upon the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant territories. Amazon set off seismic waves throughout the grocery industry recently – and the entire retail world – with its purchase of Whole Foods.
And while it stands to reason that increasing a business’s profits is as simple as increasing sales, it isn’t always that straightforward. Increasing sales usually comes with a corresponding escalation in costs – more inventory, longer operating hours and additional staff, for instance. So, to increase profits without increasing sales and costs, it makes sense for franchisees to try to reduce their expenses – especially the variable costs.
In order to do this, franchisees are increasingly finding that they have to invest in retail technologies to help reduce costs, retain customers and continue to survive and prosper in today’s marketplace.
Retail technology is everywhere – from beacons to inventory monitoring systems to digital kiosks. But many of the systems come with a steep price. Franchise owners likely already have large business-related loans to pay and will have a tough time convincing a financial institution to lend the money to purchase costly retail technologies.
Most likely, your franchisor already requires that you invest in specific technology systems. Perhaps it’s mandatory that you buy a certain Point of Sale (POS) or inventory tracking software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) technology, digital menu boards, and so many other options.
But there are other forms of affordable retail technology that can help your business run more efficiently and save money by reducing or reallocating labor costs.
A touchscreen money counter, for instance, is an inexpensive device that counts an entire cash drawer in less than 60 seconds. But what makes it incredibly attractive to franchisees is that it is a fully connected machine that provides insight into your business’s cash through the Tellermate Touch Viewer. And this data is even accessible remotely through the app.
By gaining instant access to store dashboards and cash count summaries through the Viewer, franchise owners can use this data to reduce some of their variable costs, such as cash in transit (CIT) collections. Ordering CIT collections, especially emergency ones, is costly. But the ability to see how much cash is on hand – broken down by denomination in each store – can greatly reduce the money spent on these collections.
Similarly, franchise owners can reduce or even eliminate the variable cost associated with bank deposit corrections caused by inaccurate manual counting. The Touch is so accurate that businesses using it are assured their counts, and therefore deposits, are right the first time.
How else can this money counter machine help? If you are a franchise owner who splits your time between more than one location, this connected device lets you know whether cash handling procedures are being followed. Such as whether cash drawers are closed out on time, if money in the safe has been counted, or if a particular cashier is not using the device.
The Tellermate Touch cash counter even wirelessly connects to your office printer or a Tellermate printer – giving you a time- and date-stamped paper audit trail at the end of each shift that each cashier can then sign. Which helps franchisees pinpoint when and by whom a cash discrepancy occurs.
The count-by-weight cash counter additionally helps reduce variable costs that include labor hours and overtime. Since it increases efficiency by counting the entire till in less than one minute, you won’t need to pay your staff for the time it would take to manually cash-out or prepare the start-of-day and bank deposits. It even identifies discrepancies so you can act on them quickly and efficiently.
Looking for ways to help you reduce the variable costs in your business – and keep ahold of more of your hard-earned profits? Find out more about the Tellermate Touch.