Even with the increased frequency of other forms of payment, quick-serve restaurant operations are still largely cash-run enterprises, with cash accounting for more than 30 percent of all transactions. But as cash flow grows, so does the risk. Over 80 percent of small and medium-size businesses fail because they either lack, or don’t understand the need for, cash management.

Choosing the right provider that offers the right suite of solutions is more important than ever for the success of quick-serve operations. The problem is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Here are five key benefits that your business should be getting from an effective cash management provider.

Reduced risk

With margins already tight, loss or theft—from both inside and outside the operation—can devastate a quick-serve business. In 2017, the U.S. lost nearly $50 billion in shrinkage costs. Employee theft accounts for 75 percent of quick-service restaurant industry losses—a staggering $36 billion worth of annual sales. Cash management solutions, such as smart safes, use automation to help reduce the risk of loss and theft by eliminating touch points in a business’ cash-handling processes.

Many cash management providers also implement a custom armored cash-in-transit pickup and delivery schedule to make sure the operation always has the right amount of cash on hand. Too little cash and businesses can experience crippling shortages. Too much money in the safe can create a liability for customers and employees and increases the risk of potential robbery. Not only does a smart safe solution keep cash secure, it also helps eliminate the need for employee trips to the bank, further reducing the chance of either internal or external theft.

Streamlined processes

Not only does a reduction of touch points reduce risk, it increases operational efficiency and cost savings. With cash management solutions in place, employees spend less time training or having to learn complicated, often outdated cash-handling processes. Many smart safe solutions include built-in tutorials, which free up employees’ time for tasks that are more vital (and more profitable) to the core business. And built-in diagnostic systems help employees troubleshoot potential issues, helping minimize safe downtime for maintenance.

Faster access to cash and data

Transparency is one of the key benefits of cash management. Streamlined and automated processes, and solutions such as smart safes, give businesses faster access to their cash. More technologically driven cash management providers also offer real-time access to reporting data and account information through online customer portals. This visibility can facilitate better decision-making, allowing businesses to more effectively manage and scale their operations.

No more downtime

In the fast-paced world of quick-serves, no one can afford downtime, whether from cash shortages, human error, or maintenance issues. Superior cash management capabilities can help eliminate the possibility of downtime with advanced monitoring and diagnostics. Features such as predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics reduce the need for in-person visits from techs. Remote system monitoring and built-in wireless connectivity help the provider stay on top of possible issues and solve problems before they happen. This helps ensure that the whole system is up and running at optimal efficiency.

Customizable solutions

No two operations have the same needs. And there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all cash management solution. The right cash management provider should be able to accommodate a business’ specific needs, whether it’s a small local chain, a larger regional operation, or a national corporation. Designing the best system can include developing a tailor-made cash-in-transit schedule, outfitting restaurant units with the right smart safe configuration, and giving businesses better, quicker access to their reporting information.

A true partnership

Ultimately, the goal of cash management is to help businesses save—and make—money. It’s in the cash management provider’s best interest to make sure its customers are happy, safe, and profitable. That involves really knowing how the business runs and asking the right questions. The provider will then be able to offer recommendations on the best solutions for the business operation. And service shouldn’t stop at installation. Cash management providers should also offer outstanding customer service and support, helping solve, or even anticipate problems, giving businesses added peace of mind.

Lenny Evansek is the SVP of Business Development for SafePoint at Loomis, the world’s leading provider of cash management solutions. He is responsible for developing and leading sales strategy for the entire U.S. SafePoint Business Development team. Lenny has experience in global supply chain, cash logistics, retail automation, treasury management services, and secured transportation. Lenny has spent time in consulting, sales, and sales leadership roles at industry leading companies including FedEx, Brink’s Inc., and Fifth Third Bank.
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