In an era of efficiency, automation is the only way forward
Intelligent automation solutions increase efficiency both within cash centers and in logistics and transportation across the cash cycle. Standardization and integration with software ensures that processes are optimized, now and in the future.
Globally, cash in circulation continues to increase. However, according to the World Payments Report 2019, cash payments’ share of total volume is declining in many countries. This highlights the need for the cash cycle to innovate and reduce the overall cost of cash in order to remain competitive and ensure that societies continue to use this secure, reliable, and inclusive form of payment.
A study by McKinsey, “Attacking the cost of cash,” identified high manual labor in the distribution and processing of cash as one of the major contributors to its rising cost. To cut the cost of cash operations, the article recommends streamlining cash handling processes, applying software and analytical tools to better forecast fluctuations, reducing the number of trips needed for cash transportation, and encouraging greater cooperation between players. One of the most effective ways to realize these goals is to apply lean principles and increase automation in cash centers. Automation enables cash processing operations to become significantly more efficient by facilitating constantly productive, error-proof operations and eradicating time-consuming manual steps.
A banknote processing system is already highly automated as it removes manual labor. But we are pushing automation ideas far beyond to think more holistically.«
The efficiency imperative
The NotaTracc® loading module is an example of an automated solution that performs much of the job of the operator and eliminates the step of manually stacking, aligning, and feeding banknotes into a processing machine. This not only increases productivity by up to 20%, but also provides operators with more time to focus on value-added tasks such as doing a re-pass of banknotes and reducing the number of rejected banknotes in this case by 50%.
Dave Lea, Operational Development Manager from the National Westminster Bank (NatWest), reported that the switch to the BPS® M5 and NotaTracc® significantly eased operators’ stress and simultaneously facilitated consistent high-speed processing. “While we processed the worth of about 1 million pounds per hour on our 12-pocket BPS® 1000, we now achieve 1.5 million pounds per hour on the 20-pocket BPS® M5 when combined with NotaTracc®,” said Lea.
When used in combination with the standardized NotaTracc® trays, such automated solutions have even greater potential to streamline logistics between actors in the cash cycle. Process steps are simply eliminated; less packing and unpacking of banknotes results in less hands-on-cash, which leads to higher security. Efficient cash centers incorporate automation in receiving, shipping, storage, and retrieval, as well as transport and processing. They also use cash management software to constantly monitor cash inventory. An audit in an automated cash center, for example, is no longer a physical or intellectual challenge, but a routine task controlled by software and executed by automated vaults and transportation. The movement of cash throughout the cash center is triggered by the touch of a fingertip.
The recipe for intelligent automation
Christian Huber, Head of Business and Product Management – Business Line High-Speed Processing Systems at G+D, says that transparency in today’s cash handling and on future needs is fundamental to intelligently optimizing and automating cash operations. “Integrating best-in-class logistics components like automated guided vehicles and linking them seamlessly to cash processing solutions is the key to operational efficiency.
Three elements are crucial:
1) scalable automation solutions,
2) standardization, as provided by the NotaTracc® trays, which is a prerequisite for cost-efficient cash automation, and
3) an integrated software suite that controls all systems and processes, from cash management to material handling. A holistic view beyond the cash center is also a must. This includes lean and adaptable end-to-end processes, which can be developed by pursuing greater collaboration with other actors in the cash cycle.”
Automation is no longer just a benefit for the cash cycle, but an intrinsic part of its advancement. The cash industry must innovate, standardize, and eliminate waste to make processes more streamlined and efficient. Automation, and its integration with digitalized solutions, answers this need for all players.
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Logistics standardization with NotaTracc® pays off
Learn how intelligent automation goes hand in hand with efficiency and sustainability at National Westminster Bank