By Loomis Partner
Timewise c-stores are not strangers to using smart safes. In fact, until recently, they operated both smart and non-smart safes of varying technology and age. Yet having both safe types proved problematic for store employees and the home office, with manual and daily reconciliation methods across stores that caused inconsistent accuracy. And when coupled with a less-than-reliable cash in transit service, the company lost more than time—they lost patience.
Chuck Miller, Operations Director for Landmark Industries, wanted that time and precision back.
“Accuracy is important in any business,” he said. “But it’s especially important when you’re talking about cashflow.”
Before switching to Loomis, he explained that a total reconciliation could take 7 to 10 business days, from multiple cashier and manager reconciliations at the store to a constant comparison of reports and other accounting paperwork at their home office. Finding any variances happened only after the bank posted deposits, meaning more time sleuthing.
Their cash in transit provider at the time also added to the waste with missed pickups, billing issues, and overall declining service. Something had to change at every level.
One solution for all
By switching to an integrated Loomis SafePoint solution, the entire company could train and manage one system. Across all 230 Timewise locations in several cities, this meant simplifying the cash management and handling process while eliminating the need to manage multiple safes. At Landmark headquarters, having online access to near-real-time safe information resulted in more accuracy, less time searching for differences, and more transparency throughout the process.
Miller said he and his team can now see what’s happening at each store, from cash and coin availability and determining the need for pickups to seeing how cassette space is being used, letting him make more insightful decisions and even help better train employees.
The quick access to data has been especially useful in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a nationwide coin shortage, leaving Timewise operating at 10 percent of their normal coin amounts. And for a c-store, having change on hand is critical.
“The ability to pull up 40 or 50 stores doesn’t take long at all,” Miller said, “and I can actually see how many dimes, nickels, and quarters everyone has. I can use that to judge how we’re doing as a whole. From an operations standpoint, this is a tremendous tool.”
For Miller, one Loomis feature that stands out is daily provisional credit, which credits a business’s account to reflect cash deposited in a smart safe prior to armored transport and bank deposit. Compared to traditional transport and deposit methods, this process gives businesses access to their funds much faster.
“With provisional credit,” Miller said, “it gives me the flexibility to customize that store, put in the safe I need, and get the number of pickups per week that works best for our company. From an accounting standpoint, we’re more efficient with our cash flows. We can pay bills and do payroll quicker. We can do more with our cash.”
Switching to a reliable partner
Finding a new cash management partner meant looking for proven experience that Timewise could trust.
“We looked at some of [Loomis’] current clients and talked to them,” he said. “And Loomis definitely had a reputation for reliability of the routes as well as their great level of IT.” After a pilot program, during which his team had a chance to try out the safes, he said the added value of the additional services, safe maintenance, and reporting spoke louder than words. “The choice was pretty easy.”
But when it came to transitioning to Loomis service, a few obstacles got in the way. Miller and his team knew there would be overlap as they reached end of contract with their previous CIT provider. But they didn’t anticipate a worldwide pandemic occurring during their transition phase.
Miller said COVID-19 forced them to add additional precautions, protocols, and planning as they switched out their smart safes, including having fewer people in the store for social distancing reasons. Much to his delight, both Loomis and Timewise crews performed amazingly, from planning to execution, and met their original schedule to add all 230 locations in just over 30 days, with few hiccups along the way.
Since then, Miller has been equally impressed with the customer service. When he has questions, he gets answers. Loomis’ IT resources get him support when he needs it. And he only has one word to describe the execution of schedules: “fabulous.”
“I expected with the amount of stores getting added that there might be issues,” he said, but after getting the safes installed there have only been limited snags. “No real downtime.”
To learn more about solutions like the one for Landmark Industries, visit loomis.us/services/safepoint