Since 2003, Garda’s CashLINK cash management system has allowed the UDF to greatly improve its ability to focus its employees on their commitment to making affordable, quality ice cream and selling it with fast, friendly service in its (almost) 200 clean bright stores throughout the Midwest.
For more than 60 years, United Dairy Farmers dairy stores have been committed to making affordable, quality ice cream and selling it with fast, friendly service in clean bright stores. In 2003, UDF discovered a way to greatly improve its ability to focus its employees on that commitment. That was the year that UDF began installing Garda’s CashLINK cash management system in its now almost 200 stores throughout the Midwestern United States.
“Using CashLINK is a very efficient way to do business,” explains UDF Senior Vice President Frank Cogliano. “We continually focus on improving our customer service and CashLINK enables us to do that. It eliminates a lot of issues. Before we installed the system in our stores, our managers spent a lot of their time on cash management. Now they can focus on training the staff and enhancing our customer service.”
CashLINK is a closed loop cash management system that controls cash from point-of-sale to the bank. Cashiers deposit cash into a smartsafe installed under the counter where it can be credited automatically to a store’s bank account that same day. At regularly scheduled times, Garda collects funds from the safe and deposits them in the bank.
With the complete CashLINK service, Garda provides secured armored transportation, deposit consolidation, equipment maintenance and reconciliation information, as well as the smartsafe units. UDF stores are equipped with a smart safe and a Change Dispensing Unit (CDU) under the counter near the cash register. The safe accepts currency and is programmed to work with an easy-to-operate user interface. Cashiers enter their Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the user interface and feed notes into the smart safe. They follow the prompts to deposit money into the safe, which reads and secures each note.
The smart safe greatly reduces the amount of money cashiers need to keep in their registers and avoids the laborious envelope drop process traditionally used. Replenishment of change for the cash registers is performed by cashiers in a dollar for dollar exchange by inserting bills into the CDU.
At United Dairy Farmers, the company carefully studied the process to make sure the CashLINK system would pay for itself through cost savings over time. “There are a number of ways the CashLINK system pays off,” says Dan Burke, UDF’s Vice President of Retail Store Operations. “It frees up a lot of hours in the stores. Managers no longer need to count the cash, sort drops, do the reconciliation, prepare deposit slips and take the money to the bank. They can be on the floor during the rush periods.”
UDF cites the elimination of cash variation as the most important reason why it adopted full CashLINK service, including armored transportation, at its stores. With the CashLINK system, one person handles the cash at the point-of-sale, greatly reducing the errors that occur with multiple people counting and handling cash. The smartsafe provides an accurate detailed record of all deposits.
Armored transportation also greatly reduces cash variation and provides a significant labor savings as well, eliminating the need for store personnel to leave the store to make the bank deposits.
“We also liked the fact that the Garda system keeps the change funds completely separate from the cashier drops,” Dan explains. “It is a much better process.”
“Unlike other smart safe offerings that provide only a deposit solution, Garda provides a change fund program called EvenXchange that, combined with a separate change safe, provides a complete solution that removes all the headaches of managing change funds,” adds Michael McSpadden, Garda’s Vice President and Group Head for Product Development and Optimization.
“Any time you can take a necessary task away from front-line workers and let them focus on customer service that is money well spent,” Frank concludes, “and a good investment for United Dairy Farmers.”