How Are Your Cash Drawer Sales?
The need for more media storage space is debatable, according to vendors. However, it's just one of the features you can offer customers to boost your bottom line.
What are your customers looking for in a cash drawer? More media storage space? A low price? Reliability (however it's defined)? Custom colors and sizes? How are you selling cash drawers to your customers? By price alone or by the drawers' features? Can you sell drawers that are one-size-fits-all? To effectively sell cash drawers in today's market, VARs must answer all these questions, say two vendors.
Meeting Your Customers' Specifications
"Customers want more value add when it comes to cash drawers," says Bruce Mann, vice president of marketing and engineering for APG Cash Drawer (Minneapolis, MN). APG, a privately held company, manufactures cash drawers. For many customers, this means some form of customization, such as color, size and available storage space. "The cash drawer often serves as a base for other point of sale (POS) components, such as monitors and printers, to rest on," says Mann.
Robert Benavides, vice president of Indiana Cash Drawer (ICD) (Shelbyville, IN), agrees that cash drawers commonly function as a POS system base. ICD manufactures and distributes cash drawers. Benavides says his company sells the POShoe to hold POS system components. "Many customers want both the shoe and the cash drawer customized to a specific size, based on the peripherals they've chosen," says Benavides.
No Recent Cash Drawer Innovations
In the past several years, Benavides says, cash drawer manufacturers have not produced products he would consider innovative. Most drawers are variations on the same theme, he says. "As an industry, we've recently overcapitalized on the proliferation of credit and debit transactions and the idea of a cashless society," says Benavides.
The idea that end users need more media storage space is touted by many cash drawer manufacturers, he says. Not every application requires such a drawer. It's not wrong for VARs to sell drawers based on this one feature. However, he advises VARs to take into consideration other factors as well. These factors include the quality of drawer components, such as steel vs. plastic housing and linear bearing slides vs. plastic rollers.
When it comes to cost, Benavides points out that the price of mid- to high-end drawers has remained stable for the past several years. Manufacturing costs, especially of plastic drawers, have come down considerably. "VARs are still paying the same price for a plastic drawer that they are for a steel unit. Manufacturing costs, however, have been cut almost in half," he says.
Changes In System Architecture Lead To New Interface
APG's Mann says end users' need for more storage space is more than a marketing spin. He points out that gift certificates, phone cards and lottery tickets are commonly stored in cash drawers, as well as currency and coins. Media storage space, while an important feature, is taking a backseat to new POS industry standards in terms of importance.
"End users are adopting Windows 98 and NT operating systems in POS applications. These new operating systems change the way CPUs act with POS peripherals," says Mann. The universal serial bus (USB) interface is one remedy to that problem. This interface enables CPUs and peripherals to communicate without substantial changes to the application software. Peripheral manufacturers are just beginning to add the USB interface to their products. It will be a viable interface, particularly for use in thin client applications, predicts Mann.