Technology speeds up service and cash counts at Antwerp bakery
An APG case study: POS solution with SMARTtill
Speed is essential in a retail bakery. Peckish patrons don’t want to wait in a queue too long for their pastries and croissants. But speed can lead to mistakes, as cashiers make change for customers in a hurry to get to the next customer. At the end of the day when cash is counted, that’s when the mistakes turn up.
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Wanting to speed up queues and eliminate cash losses, Nora Dekeirsmaeker, owner of Bakkerij Nora in Antwerp, Belgium, asked her POS integrator, Hasselt-based QNH, for a better checkout solution. The integrator recommended a complete POS system with its OmniQstore POS software and the SMARTtill Intelligent Cash Drawer from APG. When she heard what SMARTtill Solution® could do, Dekeirsmaeker reacted by saying, “Impossible.” But that changed when she saw the solution in action.
Speeding up cash counts
In business for 27 years, Bakkerij Nora is an Antwerp institution. Everyday customers pop in to buy the sandwiches, bread and pastries that made the bakery popular. Typical for this environment, cash represents 50 percent of the bakery’s transactions. While most transactions are for relatively small amounts of money, the bakery handles a lot of cash.
Handling cash, as any retailer knows, is time-consuming, and Bakkerij Nora was no different. “We were counting cash by hand once a day, at the end of the day when we closed the store,” says Dekeirsmaeker. “We compared the figures with the data in sales reports and if they didn’t match, sometimes we had to count the cash again.”
When the till didn’t add up, there was no way to determine the source of the error or who was responsible because multiple cashiers use the same POS stations. The store had two cash drawers, each taking an average of 30 minutes to count and reconcile the float.
Once installed, the SMARTtill Solution® delivered immediate results, making the whole operation more efficient and addressing cash discrepancies. Additional benefits included a reduction in the time required to count and balance the till at the end of day. This labour savings were reapplied to the front end and helped improve customer service.
Less work, more control
Dekeirsmaeker knew an intelligent cash management system would deliver significant improvements. SMARTtill Intelligent Cash Drawer keeps track in real time of cash amounts in each till compartment, no matter the currency or denomination. It produces a record of every transaction with time signature and cashier name, so discrepancies are easy to spot and fix.
“Some bakeries use weighing machines, some count cash manually, some take the cash to headquarters for reconciliation, and some would like to use more sophisticated cash management solutions. But they are expensive, costing €15,000, and slow down the transactions as they don’t accept all notes, and in bakeries speed is everything,” says Peter Debrier, QNH Account Director of Retail.
Debrier says installation of the first system was fast and mostly trouble-free. End user training was quick because the system is intuitive and straightforward. The client is happy with the outcome of the installation because it delivered the desired results – “less work, more control,” he says. For instance, end-of-day cash counts are no longer needed, saving managers up to an hour at the end of the day, which is a great benefit after a busy day.
No more end-of-day cash counts
The SMARTtill Solution® speeds up transactions by making cashiers more efficient and minimizing mistakes. In the past, with four people working the till each day, it was easier to make mistakes because employees have to work fast to avoid long queues. Speed is especially important on Saturdays and Sundays, when the bakery is busiest.
“Now if there is a mistake, it is quickly sorted with SMARTtill Technology,” Dekeirsmaeker says. Another positive result is employees are now more cautious making change for customers because they know they can be held accountable.
Best of all, from Dekeirsmaeker’s viewpoint, patrons know when they step into Bakkerij Nora, they get a delicious treat – and they’ll get it fast!