By Jerry Soverinsky
This article is brought to you by American Security, a NACS member.
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Kalpesh Patek had a problem. As the sole owner of a Southern California gas station, his work was never ending—certainly far more than a full-time job. He faced a cascade of tasks each day, none more important than managing cash. But for the veteran fuel marketer, the cash management process had been fraught with challenges. Sure, he could tackle the chore himself, but as a multistore owner, he was like the proverbial worker bee in the midst of a nonstop buzz of activity who had to react to any number of problems that might arise each day—on site and off—making his availability unpredictable at best. And cash management was a daily priority.
Delegating the task, though, carried its own challenges. His few employees were on the honor system and carried little accountability when transferring cash from the register drawer to the store’s “dumb” safe in a back room. Not to mention, the process for his streamlined operation took up valuable time—a scarce resource.
He prioritized finding a solution to automate the time-consuming manual cash management practices, one that would incorporate both security and accountability. “Ideally, the solution would allow me to manage all aspects of the cash we take in from a remote location, such as my off-site office,” he said. “This would free up more of my time each day and allow me to focus on my other businesses.”
After much searching, he joined an expanding group of retailers who have found help—and security—with a smart safe.
“Smart safes have really grown with the convenience store industry in the past 10 years,” said Rony Ghaby, director of operations for SecTran Security Inc., a cash-in-transit (armored truck) company. “It’s the perfect solution for retail locations that handle cash.”
A smart safe automates many of the daily time-consuming cash management tasks, such as cash counting and transfers to a store safe. Additionally, it provides the transparency that time-strapped operators like Patek look for when overseeing operations, allowing them remote access to how much cash is handled daily—without fear of miscounts, counterfeits and internal theft. It’s quickly becoming the de facto solution for operators who need an improved cash management process.
“Patek is one of 200,000-plus smart safe owners now in the U.S.,” said Donny McKay, vice president of marketing and engineering for American Security, one of the longest-established U.S. custom safe manufacturers. With more than 75 years of experience designing and building high security safes for businesses and residences, American Security entered the smart safe business in 2013 with its CashWizard™ safe, the model that Patek chose for his stores.
The CashWizard safe hit all the key areas that Patek was looking to address, as well as a growing industry issue: shrink. “The smart safe market is critical to combating shrink, a problem for all businesses,” McKay said. “Smart safes help operators gain efficiency. It comes down to hours and accountability. Traditionally, when people take cash, they put it in the till, the till gets full, a manager takes the money to a back office multiple times a day and then prepares a deposit at the end of the day. Now cashiers are putting the deposit directly into the Smart Safe.”
This article is excerpted from “Safe and Secure” in the October 2021 issue of NACS Magazine. Read the rest of the article here.
Jerry Soverinsky is a freelance writer and NACS Magazine contributing writer. See his work at www.jerrysoverinsky.com.