Cash Recycling Solutions and the ‘Buffet Table’ Approach
In recent years, we have seen a number of new teller cash recycler [TCR] entrants in the North American marketplace. Each one claims superior performance at a low price. The hardware and software elements that comprise these cash recycling solutions are generally delivered to the market through a network of dealers. Often, these resellers carry multiple competing recycler brands in sort of a buffet table approach, and promote this as an advantage to a potential buyer. However, offering multiple cash recycling solutions also has a downside. What seemed like a good idea at first blush can bring both complexity and risk into play…Caveat Emptor!
Which One to Choose?
First let’s look at needs assessment. How do you determine which of the devices from the buffet table is the best option for you? At the buffet, you need to pick from a wide variety of options and have the dilemma of either consuming too much, or making a bad decision about your entrée. At the buffet, you can usually go back for another choice. However, at the technology buffet, you get one shot to make the right choice. So the key question now becomes, “Can the supplier help you in weighing the options and, if so, how does that process work?”
Visible Means of Support
TCRs are mission-critical technology since their operation directly impacts the customer in-branch experience. As such, equipment and software performance are always in the forefront. Vendors vary widely in service and support delivery capability, and a company generally becomes proficient with service and support over time by focusing on four areas critical to long-term success: training, experience, provisioning, and proper support infrastructure.
Training – Different manufacturers have different technical training approaches for hardware and software training. Are the service provider’s field techs trained to diagnose and fix issues at the factory during hands-on training sessions or by some other means? This is a good question in need of a good answer.
Glory factory trains and certifies all technicians on our TCR products at our North America Operations Center in Wisconsin. We believe this is indeed a best practice. Buffet table suppliers need to have techs trained by multiple manufacturers on each one’s proprietary technologies. In some cases, one person from the local dealership goes off to training at the manufacturer’s facility and then returns with the assignment of training other local technicians. Beware of these or any other short-cuts involved in tech training that dilute its effectiveness.
Experience – We generally get better at doing something by doing it repetitively over time…practice makes perfect as the saying goes! A high level of experience is critical to the rather complex business of servicing teller cash recyclers.
Now, back to the buffet…No doubt that the buffet offers both variety of selection alongside quantity. However, if you want the dish prepared to order, you might choose to go elsewhere for an experienced chef rather than a line cook. In the case of the buffet supplier of TCR technology, variety may prove to be a detriment to building needed experience that leads to real expertise.
Provisioning – It is impossible, for even a fully-trained and experienced technician, to repair a device if they don’t have the right repair parts available. It is expensive to stock-in a full complement of repair parts for a teller cash recycler as some components are quite costly. Base TCR repair parts stock for a single technician can carry a retail value up to $14,000. That is a major cash outlay for a local dealer, indeed, even at wholesale prices! Is the buffet supplier of TCRs who sells two or three different brands of Teller Cash Recyclers willing to lay-out two to three times that amount of cash to equip each technician servicing these products? An investment like this is required to ensure the proper level of provisioning in support of field technicians delivering a high level of customer service.
Proper Infrastructure – Support success for the long run relies on having the proper infrastructure backing-up the field technicians, even after the training, experience and provisioning requirements have all been addressed. Parts logistics that put the right parts into technicians’ service vehicles and efficiently backfill parts utilized is paramount. Proactive machine monitoring, that can resolve some issues without an on-site technician and provides valuable insight in cases where a technician has to be dispatched, is also beneficial. Call dispatching itself, machine service history reporting, delivering a range of SLA agreements with performance monitoring and, last, but not least, professional Help Desk and technical support resources all add-up to the required level of support readiness.
Glory provides all these supporting services as part of our comprehensive business model. Can you imagine how complicated it would be for a local buffet table Dealer to navigate the unique infrastructure elements, assuming the availability of same, for two or three separate manufacturers’ offerings?
Help Yourself to the Buffet!
With teller cash recycling as well as other bank branch technologies, being a generalist or offering variety can pose a significant disadvantage. We have seen several prominent financial industry technology providers, whose core expertise and focus was other technologies, enter and later exit the TCR market space. We have also seen resellers sign-up with a manufacturer and later add others into the mix. There are also cases of a reseller abandoning one manufacturer for a ‘better deal’ with another. What happens to all the customers who invested in the now abandoned product? There is certainly some risk in each of these scenarios that the buffet table TCR supplier could become “a jack of all trades, master of none.”
The idea of making an initial TCR choice among a variety of options certainly has some appeal. However, this assumes the supplier has a proven process to help you select the best option among several, as well as a comprehensive program for long-term service and support. Limitations in these areas sometimes come into play with the buffet table dealer business model.
Prepared to Order…Properly Seasoned…Well-Served
In contrast, Glory’s comprehensive business model provides a proven success track record, which has delivered consistently in all the critical support categories. This high level of performance has been repeatedly reaffirmed by our market leading results. With teller cash recyclers, Glory not only leads the way globally, we have the proud distinction of having installed nearly twice as many TCRs in the USA than all other manufacturers combined.
Robert Allexon is an Independent Business Analyst and Consultant. His career spans five decades in technology-based durable goods sales and marketing and he is an expert in cash automation.