safe at work

Armor Safe is urging retailers to utilize their financial resources on cash management systems that help reduce internal theft and maximize employees’ time.

A CSD Staff Report

Missing deposits, shortages, security concerns and the time spent handling cash are constant problems for busy convenience store managers. Armor Safe understands the growing demands of today’s store employees and has developed its “no excuses” CacheSYSTEM 7000 Series dispensing safe with audit trail and optional cash counting. The safe drastically decreases many of these issues by tightening money handling, reducing cash exposure and streamlining coin needs.

“The Armor Safe solution allows storeowners and district managers to focus on store operations, knowing everything is accounted for,” said Susan Marshall, vice president of national accounts for Armor Safe Technologies, based in The Colony, Texas. “Their quality of life also improves because they are not dealing with so many money issues; productivity goes up. The system is on call 24 hours a day.”

In its many years of experience in the convenience store industry, Armor has come to realize a few truths about employees: 10% will never steal, 10% will always steal from you and 80% will steal if believe they can get away with it. Traditional safes are ineffective because there is no audit trail that can help managers and owners track missing money. Armor Safe’s solution provides a deposit system that allows managers to track the flow of money from the time it leaves the customer’s hands at the cash register.

“Our audit trail and cash counting is a major deterrent. It allows managers to always know who did what and when,” Marshall said.

All three CS-7000 Series models track transactions through each user’s personal identification number (PIN) and provide a thorough audit trail that puts financial accountability on each employee. More than 30 different receipts and reports can be printed on the system’s high-speed printer. The change fund and cash are always concealed, but accessible, thus increasing employee accountability and security. With bill acceptors, money is stored in cassettes and is already counted, so deposits can be prepared in minutes, not hours.

Plus, all CS-7000 Series models come with 120-tube vending magazines (10 columns, 12 tubes in each column). Physical inventories are done visually—no dipstick used. Every model comes with an inner-locking compartment located inside the main safe vault. No getting on your knees to gather contents. Manual deposits are securely stored inside a locked compartment with access to contents only by authorized personnel.

When needed occasionally, the safe drop drawer allows cashiers to manually deposit damaged currency, checks, miscellaneous coins, coupons and credit card slips, which are individually accounted for. A printed receipt confirms drop amounts entered by the user.

“With internal theft such a difficult situation to monitor, the big question retailers face is, ‘How much money are companies without audit trails loosing?'” Marshall said. “If you have a great staff and fully trust everyone, it’s not as much of a problem. Hiring reliable employees you can trust is challenging and becomes more so with more stores and bigger staffs.”

According to Marshall, Armor Safe tailors each safe to the customer’s operational requirements. Onsite programming is simple and modifications can be easily made, as business needs change.

Getting results
Scrutinizing money management has immediate short-term benefits, Marshall said. Take one large Southeastern-based chain for example. With hundreds of stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Texas, the chain has thousands of honest employees. But clerks at one particular store apparently lost their direction resulting in deposit shortages.

“We got a call from this chain, which had recently started using our CS-7000 dispensing safe with two bill acceptors. We compared the POS summary and end-of-day reports,” Marshall said. “Within minutes you could see one person balanced their drawer to the penny. However, the other two employees were short.”

Thanks to the audit trail, it was determined one clerk reported a manual drop of $401.17. But when the safe was inventoried, there was just one drop for $1.17. All his cash drops through the bill acceptors were correct. When asked to explain the false manual deposit, the employee admitted to stealing. The employee was terminated and the missing money was returned.

A second employee was very short on their cash deposit for the bank. The audit trail showed no cash drops in the bill acceptors for several hours. Again, when confronted with the audit trail, the employee confessed, was immediately dismissed and returned the money.

No time was wasted by spending hours determining what went on in the store. The new district manager was able to know exactly which employees caused the shortages. The culprits were identified and the shortages resolved in less than 12 hours of their occurrences.

“This is a typical scenario whether it’s an owner/operator with one or two stores or the district manager of a 500-plus store chain,” Marshall said. “Managers and owners are confident they know what’s going on in the store when they are working, but when they leave, ‘things’ can happen. Our product helps mitigate losses by minding the store when they are not there.”

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