Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Choosing a Cash Drawer for Your Retail Environment - Breaking Down the Different Options [Guest Blog]

Choosing the right type of cash drawer for your retail environment is an important decision with implications for your business's success.

There are many choices and decisions to make even for something seemingly simple like a cash drawer. If your business has high traffic you will need a cash drawer that's durable and dependable to keep up with the heavy use. You don't want to invest in new cash drawers or hardware, only to find they need to be replaced after a few thousand transactions.

Check out the common components of a cash drawer below to help determine what type of cash drawer is best for your business:

Cycle life: Cycle life is the main factor in determining whether a drawer falls under the heavy duty or standard duty category. One cycle = a drawer opening and closing once (one transaction).
A heavy duty cash drawer will last longer and will require little or no maintenance.  A typical life expectancy of a heavy duty drawer is 4 million cycles while a standard duty drawer will last 1 million cycles.

Suspension System: The suspension system in a cash drawer allows it to open and close. Many heavy duty drawers have industrial grade steel slides which include large ball bearings running in a heavy gauge track for smooth, consistent, and quiet operation. Standard duty drawers are built with a roller wheel suspension. Roller wheels are made from plastic and are not as durable. Some roller wheels actually have ball bearings in them making them more durable than most standard duty drawers.
Latch: A latch is what keeps the cash drawer closed. The type of latch used in a drawer often affects the cycle life. Choosing the right materials along with a robust design will determine the life of the drawer. Unfortunately, just looking at the latch may not tell you if it will last or not.

Why choose a heavy duty cash drawer?
If you'll be using your cash drawer in a high traffic environment, you should consider a heavy duty cash drawer. High traffic is usually characterized by constant use of your cash drawer or by periods of extremely heavy use.
Heavy duty drawers are found in fast food, grocery, hospitality, and convenience stores. The following characteristics of an APG Heavy Duty Cash Drawer were implemented to meet the needs of your high traffic environment, bringing you peace of mind at a low cost of ownership.

  • Industrial-grade steel ball bearing slides for maximum dependability.
  • Fatigue resistant latching/opening system.
  • Durable mechanical and electrical components tested to last four million operations.
  • Two-year to lifetime product warranty depending on the product chosen.

Why Choose a Standard Duty Cash Drawer?
If you'll be using your cash drawer in a light to medium traffic environment, you can consider a standard duty cash drawer. Low to medium traffic is characterized by low or infrequent use of your cash drawer. Standard duty drawers are found in environments such as mall kiosks, farmer’s markets, craft shows, and specialty shops. The following characteristics of an APG Standard Duty Cash Drawer were implemented to meet the needs of your low traffic environment, bringing you a reliable drawer when low cost is your priority.

  • Reliable, roller wheel suspension, adequate for low cash drawer use.
  • Electronic components tested to last over one million cycles.
  • Manual components to last 300,000 cycles.
  • Two-year product warranty.­
After you select the level of drawer durability, you can move forwarded to more straight forward options such as color, size, and interface, etc. Below are a series of other questions you might want to ask yourself.

· How the drawer will be opened (from the printer, serial, USB, or Ethernet?).
· What does your software require to open the drawer?
· How much room is available for the POS equipment at the checkout counter?
· How will the flow of customers and product relate to the location of the drawer?
· Should the drawer be mounted under the counter?
· Will the drawer need to have all of the other POS devices located on top of it?
· Should the cables be hidden from view?

Hopefully these questions will help you narrow down what drawer will match your retail environment. Knowing the operational expectations will help determine what type of cash drawer is right for your business. Whether you need one cash drawer for infrequent use or several cash drawers that will be used continuously, there is a product solution to meet your needs.

ImageBreanna Brown
Marketing Coordinator
APG Cash Drawer, LLC

One Step Retail Solutions is ranked as one of the top resellers and service providers for some of the most comprehensive and state of the art retail POS software solutions in the industry. For a free retail technology consultation, click HERE.