Q&A: A Product Manager’s Take on New Technology

Justin Ray TellermateTellermate has now launched its newest technology, LiveDrawer, to the global market. Available as both a sliding drawer and flip top, this intelligent cash drawer is able to provide retailers with an accurate representation of how much cash should be in each of their cash drawers at any time.

In this Q&A session, one of Tellermate’s product managers, Lawson Davis, gives his thoughts and insight on LiveDrawer and how this technology could revolutionise the way cash is managed in the future.

What’s different about LiveDrawer and what are the benefits of it?

LiveDrawer is a completely unique product that allows you to do something that has never really been done before. It gives you a full picture of every single transaction that’s going in and out of the drawer. LiveDrawer allows the retailer to keep track of every individual transaction. They can identify trends and look at things at a much more finite level than they have ever been able to do before.


So LiveDrawer provides a retailer with some good data?

Yes, absolutely. It is a wonderful piece of equipment to have so that a retailer can track down every coin and  bill that goes in and out of their cash drawers. It even tells you when a cash drawer needs more change, or when something has been taken out of the drawer that shouldn’t have been. It definitely gives a retailer much tighter control on their cash.

Does LiveDrawer help save a retailer time?

Absolutely. LiveDrawer is really invaluable to any retailer. They will be able to reconcile any of their cash drawers as it’s happening as opposed to someone having to count the cash. LiveDrawer will also notify retailers when each individual cash drawer is getting low on any given denomination or when the drawer is approaching its pre-set content limit allowing cash office managers to issue change before a register/drawer/till  runs out.  Due to real time reporting, overs and shorts are shown instantly notifying the cashier if a mistake has been made so corrections can be made without shutting down a lane to count the register.  Retailers can act before it’s too late as is usually the case.

How does a customer convert these great time savings into a benefit to them?

Well, anyone in the retail business would tell you that being in front of customers is one the most important things to bring in sales. So if the manager is able to reallocate time in other places, be it out on the shop floor or performing other managerial duties, then this is a massive benefit of LiveDrawer without a doubt. In addition to all of the managerial activities that are going on throughout day to day processes, you are actually alleviating all of the extra steps that you have to do with cash; everything from maintaining the tills, to going through and making sure they have the correct start banks .

From a shift change perspective, you don’t have to swap out entire drawers. LiveDrawer allows you to add a new cashier to the same cash drawer at the touch of a button.

What sort of roles would be interested in employing LiveDrawer intelligent cash drawers?

The operations department will reap massive rewards, as it really does shorten processes from an operational standpoint. From a loss prevention perspective you have a way of looking at things at a much higher level and can identify how much money should be in your cash drawers at any time. If money does go missing from the point of sale, managers will be alerted.

How do you think a cashier will feel about operating an intelligent cash drawer?

I think that for a cashier, at the end of their shift they will be 100% confident that with LiveDrawer, when they hand over to their cash drawer to the next cashier it  will be  completely accurate. If a cashier’s drawer is consistently being flagged up for discrepancies, management can scrutinise them a bit more as well. If there is an issue somewhere, with LiveDrawer we can see where it is coming from. It gives management more of an insight and reduces the amount of unwarranted and uncomfortable conversations that take place between management and cashiers about cash anomalies. It could be something as simple as coins being put in the wrong compartment that could flag up an error so it is good to know that as an employer before making any sort of assumption toward an employee.

This is a change in direction for cash drawers and I would imagine that they will take a bit of time to get used to and for businesses to learn how to leverage this new technology to think about it in a different way.

Cashiers will not really notice the difference between their old cash drawer and LiveDrawer, as LiveDrawer is made to fit in to existing furnishings. The only thing that they will really have to take care of is making sure they put the right coins and the right bills into the right compartments. If they don’t adhere to that process, then errors will be flagged up to back-office.

But it is still a change and change can be hard, there is the trust aspect that nobody wants to admit, but you have to build trust with your customers and that is something Tellermate does with ease. Customers have to trust what is happening with the technology and that it is being tested and remains true to what it says it does. Essentially you are simplifying the daily life of a business but at the same time they are more dependent on a technology. What good would it do to have this amazing technology but no trust? The client would still be counting the cash by hand at the end of the night and that is not what LiveDrawer is about.

Now talking about Tellermate and Tellermate’s heritage, the company is known for weight based cash counting. How would you see this transition from one to the other? Do the technologies cannibalise each other? Do they replace each other?

No , not at all, quite the contrary. I believe that they can happily co-exist. There are still instances where you would want to be able to use a cash counter. You still have to do your deposit bags. You still have to verify incoming cash. You still have a safe that you need to verify. Those tasks can all be performed by our cash counters to provide even more benefits to retailers.

In terms of introducing any new technology there will be teething problems. Is there anything that you can identify that has arisen during the implementation of LiveDrawer or problems that have been solved along the way?

We are currently piloting LiveDrawer in several locations, so we are constantly learning from it.  We are in the early stages of trials and so we are benefiting from the process too, as we are learning how retailers do things and what makes sense in their world.

This must be a good thing for Tellermate because it means that what you bring to market is more difficult to replicate because there is a lot of thought and sophistication behind it?

Definitely. We carry out a full needs analysis prior to installation of cash management solutions. It’s one thing to just send out a machine and state “your ROI will be XYZ at the end of a month’s trial”. That’s not really looking at the business as a whole and I think that’s why some businesses, particularly our large retail customers really favor us much more than our competitors.  They know that we look at the broader picture and that we really get our heads around what they are doing on a day to day basis in order to provide suggestions on how to better things.

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