Secure your success
March 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Security Services & Risk Management
With a struggling economy, 2016 has been tough for consumers and business owners. It was a long and hard year for our retail sector, particularly those recovering as victims of business robberies.
Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect Management Solutions, says: “The national crime statistics for the last year show a reality of 54 armed robberies against South African businesses and retailers each day. Retail stores, where cash is accumulated in large volumes, are particularly vulnerable to armed robberies, and these businesses need to take action to mitigate this risk.”
As 2017 gets underway with its own challenges, this is an ideal time to make your business more secure. Here are a few tips for you, the business owner, when considering how to make your business more secure and successful in 2017.
1. Start within
You might have a productive and highly efficient workforce, but take note that criminals make a point of planning their attack using information obtained from employees of the target store. Security professionals agree that more than 90% of business robberies occur with insider-participation and that the multitude of hands involved in manual cash processes create additional risks for fraud, theft and cash shrinkage.
2. Safeguard the shopper
Shopping centre management and high street retailers consider the safety of shoppers a priority. It is common for a retailer to suffer a material drop in turnover for as much as six months after a violent and aggressive armed robbery attack.
3. Robust cash safes
Over the past 18 months there has been a marked increase in bombing attacks against cash deposit devices. Lightweight cash deposit devices are the most vulnerable as they are easily opened with very little effort. Cash vaults built to minimum SABS category 4 standards continue to be very effective and deliver on the level of deterrence and defence necessary to discourage a repetitive incident of violent crime. “Over the past 12 months slightly more than 1% of our estate has been attacked, of which 52% of attacks have been defended,” says Phillips. “When the criminal has to retreat with no reward for his effort, he is likely to try softer, easier pickings elsewhere.”
4. Cash counting
Business owners should consider the cost and risk that traditional cash handling processes pose. The traditional way of manually counting, re-counting and reconciling cash, produces a greater margin of human error while valuable man-hours are lost in the process of trying to keep the custodians of the cash honest.
An automated cash management system reduces your back-office costs and allows you to deploy your staff to more productive roles within the business.
5. Fast cash settlements
Opt for automated cash management solutions that can improve your cash flow and that can guarantee the cash in the bank, allowing your business to operate more efficiently.
6. Cash management fees
Manual cash handling is expensive. Cash deposit fees, insurance, cash shrinkage, loss of interest, cash flow and back-office costs combine to put pressure on already thin margins. Consider an option that can offer you competitive cash management fees, saving you money, reduce your risk and drive down your overheads.
Automated cash management solutions can take the pain out of managing the supply chain, including the cash-in-transit logistics. Businesses should consider a solution that takes the cash risk and guarantees the value from the moment it is deposited into the cash vault, while in transit and until it reflects in the bank account.
8. Track your cash
Track your cash every step of the way, by making use of an online system. You must be able to view transaction history via an easy-to-use online client portal and track real time deposits and payments, as well as the history over any required period of activity. Ideally, an online system can track individual teller activity and make daily reconciliation a breeze.
9. Reduce cash crime
Phillips adds that every year our retail sector faces increased armed robberies. With the current cash in circulation figure of around R130 billion, businesses with high cash turnover remain vulnerable.