Rutter’s Farm Stores are known for the high-quality and outstanding customer service. At each of its 54 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Rutter’s features a robust, extensive foodservice offering and touch-free restrooms. Even the size of the stores–about 5,300 square feet–puts them in an elite class of convenience store operators. All of this translates to an average sales ticket that is quite a bit higher than the norm for the convenience-store industry.
Despite the amenities, Rutter’s stores are exactly like most convenience stores in a very fundamental way: they are selling convenience. Regardless of size or the breadth of its product lines, a well-run convenience store allows customers to make purchases quickly and go on their way, barely breaking stride from their daily routine.
“A large part of what we sell is time; that’s what people value,” said Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutters. “As a result, people are actually willing to pay more to capture that time. In this economy, many people are working two jobs. For those people, time is even more valuable. Anything that can be done in the convenience store industry to preserve people’s time is where the industry should be focused.”
That time-saving philosophy served as the catalyst behind Rutter’s implementation of Telequip’s T-Flex Coin Dispenser about six years ago. The T-Flex Coin Dispenser requires the cashier to ring in the customer’s order on the point-of-sale system in order to execute the transaction and dispense the correct change. It streamlines the cash management process, allowing faster shift changeovers and less coin replenishment throughout the day.
With a sleek design that integrates seamlessly into any business environment, the T-Flex accelerates speed of service, reduces shrink, and minimizes customer wait time. More specifically, it improves cashier productivity, cash management efficiencies and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.
Each of Rutter’s 54 stores has three to four cash registers at the checkout area and T-Flex Coin Dispensers are installed on every register. The dispensers interface with each register’s point-of-sale system. Hartman said that integrating the dispensers to other new store equipment was a “seamless” operation. More importantly, he noted that the dispensers are performing exactly as promised.
“While we can’t share exact metrics, the dispensers definitely speed up each transaction by at least a couple of seconds,” Hartman said. “That’s because the time that it takes a clerk to count the coin into his or her own hand, let alone to hand it back to the customer, is eliminated. When the clerk cashes out a transaction, the coin is sitting in the bowl faster than the customer can react.”
The precision of the dispensers is another benefit that cannot be overestimated. “The accuracy does seem better – the amount of overshot in the cash drawer has improved considerably. Plus, I think the customers probably trust that the piece of equipment is going to be more accurate than a person would be. The customer knows exactly what they’ve received in the way of coinage and is free to count it.”
Benefit for Employees
Customers aren’t the only ones who have benefited from the dispensers. “Our employees know to reload the canister during any slow or off-peak time. It seems to make counting the cash drawer down at the end of close as efficient or more efficient than before, in terms of having to count all the individual change in the drawer.”
Because Rutter’s stores are typically some of the higher-volume stores in the industry, it recognizes that a key to success is being able to move people through the stores quickly and easily. Consequently, the company continues to put the T-Flex Coin Dispensers into all of its new or remodeled stores as part of their normal equipment package.
“We actually use a phrase that we have trademarked which is ‘convenience at the speed of life,'” said Hartman. “That trademark phrase is something that we put in our ads, and we have even mentioned the Telequip Coin Dispensers in those ads. They play a big role in our ability to live up to that phrase.”