Cash Wrap Improvement and Throughput Considerations

Customers hate to wait. And, according to M.I.T. operations researcher Richard Larson, widely considered to be the world’s foremost expert on lines, their perceived wait time is longer than actual wait time by as much as 36 percent…

To remedy this, retailers have employed many tactics over the years to reduce customer wait times and perception.

For example, …

  • Moving from multi-queue to single-queue
    • This eliminates that frustrating feeling that we all have experienced at the grocery store when the person in front of us seems to be paying with pennies and fumbling with their coupons
  • The move towards self-checkout to provide customers with a do it yourself, you are in control experience
  • Adding the merchandise throughout the queue to distract customers with the added hope of incremental sales via impulse buys
  • Mobile checkout options

And while these tactics can help, many retailers are taking it much further by looking to  simple Industrial Engineering concepts that can save seconds and to impatient customers, seconds add up…

  • Cash Wrap:
    • Verifying that every cashier has the supplies and items they need to effectively process transactions
  • Process Improvement:
    • Improving or eliminating existing transaction process steps
  • Workflow:
    • The order that the customer transaction is processed and the sequence of customer prompts to drive desired behaviors
  • Technology / POS Updates:
    • A more logical flow of screens and steps within the POS or the reduction of button presses.
  • Labor Standards:
    • Know the cashier expectations
      • Manage to those expectations and track Cashier performance

Since the Cash Wrap is the last experience the customer has with the retailer; retailers need to consider the value of seconds…Not just as a freed labor opportunity, but as an opportunity to increase the customer throughput and reduce lost sales due to line abandonment.

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Nathan Steadman

Nathan is a Director for the Connors Group, specializing in developing labor improvement initiatives for organizations across retail, distribution and manufacturing channels. Key focus on optimizing labor deployment and staffing/service levels using engineered standards to staff the right people at the right time. Nathan specializes in execution and management of projects which focus on analysis, design, and implementation of LEAN process improvements, best methods migration, task-based engineered standards development and work area layout changes. More than 16 years of consulting experience. He has directly worked with 120+ clients across 15 countries.
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