- GLORY GLOBAL SOLUTION & Bunnings NZ
- Cash Service Center – Enterprise Cloud
- Bunnings Debbie Perano, Loss Prevention Manager, Australia & New Zealand
In 2016 Glory NZ won a tender from a large hardware retailer in New Zealand to supply the cash infinity range of products. As part of this collaboration Glory NZ agreed to investigate ways for managing the cash collection and ordering on behalf of the retailer.
Although the devices supplied were highly functional in cash handling and reconciling for the end users there were still several issues to overcome when managing the cash and the cash held in the devices. These issues included:
1. When ordering cash from the CIT (cash in transit) company, the amounts ordered were based on speculation and manual calculations. Often, they would be wrong resulting in over or under ordering. Under orders would lead to additional cash deliveries and costs. Over deliveries would create additional manual handling and storage issues for the client.
2. When the deliveries were completed, the CIT companies would often not complete critical functions such as emptying overflow boxes in the CI10, which would only be noticed when the devices would generate errors.
3. The cash levels needed to be maintained at the highest levels meaning the devices often had cash in overflow containers and cassettes that was not necessary and was an added expense to the business.
4. It was complex and labor intensive to manage CIT ordering on a larger scale with multiple locations and track their delivery cycles.
5. Cash Collections had to be done based on a schedule, meaning the cash collections were based on a date and not on the actual level of the device which would often lead to collect virtually no cash and risk to the site.
6. The retailer wanted an integrated system that reduce admin task from their business and optimised costs associated with CIT across their large network or stores.
At the end of 2017, research began looking into ways that the issues could be overcome. Solutions and designs that were researched included looking at cloud-based stock management solutions and designing and implementing our own solutions. I had a personal background and experience in designing and implement stock ordering solutions for retail systems.
After 3 months of investigation, we found that there were no existing solutions that could achieve anything that was needed and the initial cost to build our own solution was prohibitive, so a joint venture was agreed between Direct Services and Glory NZ Software Services. Direct Services agreed that they would use their existing solution, CSC and enhance its existing capability.
The proposed solution was to take the existing CSC solution. The solution already had applications in place that could read data and events from a Glory device and send them via the internet to the Direct Service monitoring environment. This information included financial states and transaction information. The objective was to use that information to calculate and predict how much cash was required for each denomination, day and device. The calculation is confidential, but it catered for every scenario that could be considered. From public holidays to the smaller scale devices that had lower than normal volumes.
In April 2018 we agreed in the principles, the calculations and work began. Direct Services were a pleasure to work with and over the course of 9 months they developed, we tested, and they released. Because of the difference in time zones we would send test results in the afternoon and the next day there would be feedback or fixes in place. The way this was done, reduced the development timeframes and increased efficiencies around communication.
As part of the development requirements, Glory also implemented sending real-time updates to the Clients corporate banking team. Once tested, piloted and approved, we started to deploy the complete client solution (DS Connect) across the 56 stores remotely. This allowed us to test CSC without going live but with real time data and existing history for the calculations.
In December 2018 whilst it was believed the system was ready, we held back going live until the new year to avoid any disruption to the Christmas trading period. At the time we were already processing live orders which were being diverted away from the CIT Companies. Live comparisons were able to be made allowing for Glory to test the accuracy of the automatic ordering system and show the differences between manual and automatically generated CIT orders.
On January 20th, 2019, CSC went live ordering to its first CIT company for one site. That site ordered without missing a beat for 2 weeks and between February and March, we kept extending to more and more stores. During the first month of the pilot we paid attention to replenishment patterns around public holiday peak trading weekends. One issue was experienced where an order for a store was missed, this was quickly resolved, learnt from and there were no further issues to manage. In the middle of March, the customer was more than happy to sign off and go for a full deployment. The comment we received was “We didn’t think you could get it done but you surprised us”.
Today,” CSC is ordering cash for the 56 stores and not missing a beat”.
When we first implemented the solution and because the client was used to reviewing their cash levels manually, we would receive calls from the customer raising concerns that the system didn’t order any cash. We would be able to explain that they either didn’t need an order yet or there was an order generating for the next day. The phone calls disappeared once the understanding and confidence in the system was evident.
Every morning CSC looks at the cash levels of the devices, calculates if it needs an order and then if the order is required it will create the order for review and confirmation.
It takes around 10 to 20 minutes to review the orders for all 56 stores, which are then automatically sent to the configured CIT Company’s around New Zealand.
Some of the features and benefits for the system include:
Not running out of cash and being able to predictively order cash for a just in time or as required basis minimizing the risk to the business. Trying to figure out how much cash to order by a feeling became a thing of the past.
Ordering cash collections by schedule or automatically within periods of time. The difference is that the scheduled will always pick up excess cash, but the automatic will only pick up when the cash levels reach configured levels. Both options would only order cash if it was required.
The cash levels could be reduced to levels that would still allow for maximum efficiency but would .
Any areas that the CIT company did not complete became obvious as it would be highlighted and escalated by CSC. Quickly we found that there was a training issue within the CIT company whereby not all of them understood that they needed to empty the coin overflow bin. The documentation and training were updated, and the issue was resolved immediately mitigating risk with device failures.
The CIT company received the orders on time, every time and they were able to enter the orders in the system without delay. They originally had concerns that the orders were coming a little late for them to enter manually into their system. We made a small configurable adjustment and changed the time the orders went out to suit. Eventually once the CIT company is capable, we will be able to send the orders via an API.
The result of the solution has meant that Direct Services has taken a very complicated and emotional environment and made it simple, and fast.