As much as marketing strategies, productivity and customer service determine business success, how you manage the cash you make, is what makes or breaks a business. Whether you are one of the few who have automated the management of the cash in store or not, now is a great time to turn over a new cash management leaf.
Crime in general, and cash crime specifically, is a real business risk in South Africa. The Global Cash Index report, released in June 2017, confirms that cash is still used in the majority of retail transactions worldwide. In South Africa alone, there is around R140 billion cash in circulation at any given time. And nothing gets the criminal juices flowing like a target consisting of cold, hard and unprotected cash. One of the biggest favours you can do for your business, your staff, your customers, and your bottom line, is to automate your cash management and payment processes.
According to Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect Management Solutions, automated retail cash management should be the retail solution of choice.
“It saves money and time, enhances efficiency, improves cashflow and greatly improves the store’s risk profile while allowing owners and managers to focus on core aspects of running the business,” he says. “Our new age technology delivers essential benefits and savings that no retailer should be without”.
An automated cash management and payment solution is up to four times faster than a manual cash handling system. Business owners can save up to 70% of their business day, as they no longer have to count and recount the cash, spend hours on recons and preparing bank deposits. Cash deposited in store converts to value on the same day and even instantly, on demand!
Implementing an automated cash management solution should be a well-considered business decision. Make sure the solutions on your shortlist tick these boxes before you make the final choice:
10 Tips to improve your business cash flow this New Year
1. Save time, money and resources
The solution has to improve business efficiency by addressing all the staff touch points associated with manual reconciliations and banking, counting, shrinkage, double-count supervision, and in-store as well as in transit cash insurance and overhead costs. You want a system that is fast, accurate and error-free.
2. No concerns around cash
Is your cash guaranteed from the moment it is deposited into the cash vault until the value reflects in your bank account? The provider you select has to take full responsibility for your cash, including while it is in transit.
3. Devices and procedures that reduce risk
The complete solution – from the cash vault to the cash collection process – has to help de-risk your business. Consider not only the risk of cash losses, but the broader harm that a violent armed robbery will do to your staff, customers and brand.
4. Focus on your core business
Your provider has to lift the full burden of cash handling and management from your shoulders, leaving you free to give your undivided attention to growing your business.
5. Same-day access to cash
It can take up to three days for cash to become available after being deposited the traditional cash handling route. Your automation provider has to guarantee that the cash will reflect in your bank account on the same banking day that the cash-in-transit company collects from your premises. This reduces your cost of funds and the opportunity cost related to cash.
6. Reputation as a crime deterrent
The trauma of living through an armed robbery often results in employees leaving because they feel unsafe. Likewise, even loyal customers can choose to rather shop in an environment they perceive to be safer than a shop that had been targeted. Businesses report a trade recovery period of up to six months after a violent attack. This can be avoided by choosing an automated cash management and payment solution with cash vault technology strong enough to act as a deterrent.
7. No-nonsense, 24/7 support
Unlimited in-field technical support and round-the-clock access to a professional first-line customer support call centre are non-negotiable requirements.
8. Reporting that supports decision making
An accurate and real-time picture of your cash situation is critical. Make sure your chosen provider delivers an easy-to-use record of all transactions via a user-friendly online information portal. You must be able to track your cash every step of the way.
9. Transparent costing
Ideally you want a one-price-covers-all rate with no hidden additional costs. Check that the quoted fee includes consumables, communications and maintenance.
10. Value-added extras
We all want as much value as possible for the money we spend on service providers. Your preferred cash automation solution shouldn’t be an exception. Two examples of such extras are the quick and efficient access to unsecured finance that Cash Connect Capital offers its existing clients, and the benefit of Instant Access to the cash whilst in your vault.
While Cash Connect Capital allows retailers to take advantage of an unsecured finance offering to increase stock levels or purchasing bulk stock at discounted rates, Instant Access gives retailers access to the cash whilst still in their vault to improve cash flow for urgent supplier payments for example. These are the kinds of invaluable benefits your cash management service provider should provide to ensure business efficiency, growth and success.
By simply changing the way you handle the cash in your business, you can improve profitability, staff morale and retention, and your brand reputation. You don’t have to be part of the cash crime statistics in South Africa. Instead, join the ranks of successful businesses that trade in a safer and more efficient retail environment.
Herman Mashaba To Talk On City Of Jo’burg Job Creation Initiative
Herman Mashaba to talk on City of Jo’burg job creation initiative at 2019 Business Day TV SME Summit.
Leading organisations at the SME Summit
SME Insurance Checklist For New Year
Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers, advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies.
Business owners who are planning for the year ahead should not overlook the importance of reviewing their insurance policies to ensure they are adequately covered against insurable risks.
Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers says, every year businesses face unique challenges ranging from credit and market risks, technological disruptions, compliance, operational and regulatory risks, amongst others. As a matter of precaution, insurance policies should at least be reviewed or updated once a year.
He advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies:
- Employee movements – if there are any employees who have left or joined the company, ensure that your policy is updated accordingly.
This type of cover normally depends on the role and contribution of the employee to the business. For instance, directors may be covered for Key Person Insurance and Directors & Officers Liability insurance.
- Protest Actions – this year is the national election year and leading up to elections we can expect to see an increase in the frequency and severity of protest actions, riots and strikes. Thus, it is essential to ensure that adequate special risks cover is in place from the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA).
SASRIA provides cover to both individuals and businesses against special risks like civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism at affordable premiums.
- Cyber risks – it is essential to communicate with your insurer or broker and find out if there are any new risks that your business should be protected against. Cyber incidents continue to be a major risk for businesses especially in the SME sector. Over the last couple of years there has been a major increase in the number of reported cyber incidences.
More businesses are now facing increased cyber threats due to their increased dependency on technology, relating to their internal and customer data being compromised by fraudsters. It is therefore essential to have some form of cyber risk insurance cover and/or enhancement of data security protocols.
- Regulatory changes – every year there are a number of regulatory changes that impact businesses directly or indirectly, which may result in fines and penalties for non-compliance.
- Natural catastrophes – the increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions, coupled with intensifying natural catastrophes will continue to have a significant impact on businesses.
Businesses should ensure they are adequately protected against these risks to avoid incurring sever financial losses.
- Business changes – should a business consider moving to a new location, purchasing new premises or venture into new business activities, these types of changes could have a major impact on its risks profile. As a result, the policy needs to be updated accordingly.
- New and Enhanced products – An innovative culture has taken over the insurance industry and ever so often we see the introduction of new products or the enhancement of existing products. Get in touch with you broker to advise you on any new products that might add value to your existing insurance portfolio.
“Reviewing your policy regularly gives you peace of mind knowing that you can focus on running your business effectively, without worrying about unforeseen risks,” concludes Maupa.
Seven Reasons Businesses Should Promote Flexible Working
By Paul Burrin, VP, Sage People
What hours did you work yesterday? Chances are, it wasn’t 9-5.
The world of work as we know it is changing. With new technology making it easier to work anywhere, anytime, the traditional 9-5 is effectively dead.
Having flexibility in their working schedule is now a key priority for employees, helping them to successfully juggle work and personal responsibilities.
In fact, more than 80% of 3,500 employees Sage People polled globally placed importance and value on flexible and remote working.
Valuing a work life balance has become increasingly important – whether this is to meet family needs, personal obligations or just to avoid rush hour – it is clear that giving employees increased control over their work schedule is good for employees, making it good for business.
With that in mind, here are seven reasons business leaders should be embracing the benefits of flexible working.
1. The world of work has changed
The line between work life and home life is much more blurred than it was just a few years ago.
For example, it’s now common for people to demand virtual meetings, the ability to work from home, and even have ‘duvet days’ when required, rather than having to suffer through the dreaded commute for hours every day.
Furthermore, modern work responsibilities are often cross-functional, requiring staff to interact with more people in different time zones.
As a result, constraints on how, where and when we work should be updated to reflect this cultural shift.
Businesses must be prepared to accept that the working world has changed if they want to truly motivate and engage employees.
2. There’s a war for talent
With top talent becoming more challenging to attract and retain, many industries are facing widespread skills shortages.
This means in-demand employees can be more selective – and the desire for flexibility is a key factor.
For example, a recent study found that 54% of people would be willing to move jobs to gain greater flexibility.
Employers who offer flexible working will attract the best talent and will also be more likely to retain these employees for longer.
3. Flexible working boosts productivity
Workforce productivity has become a global issue. Our research shows that employees are typically working only 30 hours a week, which means there’s a whole day when they’re in the office, but not actually working.
What’s more, most people who work a 40-hour week feel they are productive for only 3.75 days out of the 5-day working week.
Revolutionising productivity in new ways, such as giving employees the freedom to work in the way that best suits them, could go a long way towards narrowing the productivity gap and enabling businesses to get the most out of their staff.
4. Flexible working empowers employees, and shows you trust them
Our research also found that workers want to feel valued and recognised, with two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed seeing this as the most important aspect of their working life.
For many, this is more vital than office perks like games in the office or free food.
Giving employees the freedom to work in their own way shows they are a valued and trusted member of the team. It also empowers them to perform to a high standard and be as productive as possible.
5. It supports worker wellbeing
The health and wellbeing of staff has become more of a priority for businesses in recent years, while also being increasingly vital for employees themselves.
Over a third of employees polled (39%) believe HR and people teams could do more to improve wellness at work, with initiatives such as providing fresh fruit or offering a subsidised gym membership now proving popular.
Flexible working can help in this area by reducing stress (no more mad dashes in heavy traffic), making it something companies need to pay attention to.
6. Employees want flexible working
One of the most important reasons for businesses to embrace flexible working is simply because it’s what staff want.
According to Fuze, nearly 50% of workers across all generations want to be more mobile at work, rising to 70% for those aged 16-44.
Employees want to be able to pick up their kids from school, start and finish early if they have international calls first thing in the morning, or be able to head to a doctor’s appointment without fear they may be considered to be slacking.
Businesses would therefore be wise to listen to what their employees want and respond accordingly.
7. Technology has changed
The most straightforward argument for remote working is that staff simply no longer need to be in the office to do their jobs effectively.
Most workers now have all the tools they need on their smartphones and tablets, which means they can comfortably work from anywhere – a coffee shop between meetings, their home, or somewhere they can work undistracted.
For example, cloud technology gives employees secure access to documents externally, while collaboration and communication tools enable staff to work together from opposite sides of the globe.
Isn’t it time the way we work changed to reflect these capabilities?
Ultimately, enabling flexible working should be a focus for all businesses. From aiding talent retention, to creating positive workplace experiences – which is important to 92% of people – the long- and short-term benefits could prove invaluable.
Most importantly, giving employees flexibility will result in a happier, more engaged and more productive workforce.
In an age of continuing disruption and increasing competition, that’s not something businesses can afford to ignore.
Download Sage People’s research on what employees really want from their employers.
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