Employee Training: How To Get the Most Security Out of Your Staff

Employee Training: How To Get the Most Security Out of Your Staff

With security, you get out of it what you put in. This is true with the financial investments into quality security hardware, but it is also true with employee training. There is no better security than an employee who is trained on reporting and dealing with these types of issues. This covers everything from witnessing theft to finding flaws in everyday procedures. It is up to their training to create and nurture these skills. So here is how you can get the best security possible out of your staff. 

Issues With Procedure 

Every time an employee is trained, this is the perfect time to reassess operational procedures. Use this opportunity to make sure that there are no flaws in terms of money handling, opening/closing, merchandise handling, etc. However, you should also be open to the concerns of existing staff. Make sure that training consists of expressing a culture of listening and caring. If an employee sees an issue that may be exploited or compromise security in some way, they should know where to go to report it.

In terms of security, these issues are especially important when it comes to cash flow. How the revenue is moved throughout the company can always be refined to lower the chances of both internal and external theft. Be aware that procedural issues may also center around the extreme nature of certain security measures. Certain security procedures may be too cumbersome or restricting to the daily operation of the company. When a procedure makes an employee’s job too difficult, it increases the chance of that precaution being ignored or worked around. Try to anticipate this issue before security is ignored, and create a corporate culture that rewards the voicing of such concerns. If you do not work with your staff, this may lead to distrust and even disdain. 

Observed Theft 

Employees should always be trained on how to deal with witnessing a theft. They may not have time to alert a supervisor or another employee before intervention would be needed. Which means that they may intervene, and that may not be in line with company policy. Workers need to know how to deal with the theft in the moment that it happens and also how to deal with the fallout. They must know who to contact first and the time frame that they are expected to act in. 

Theft can be from an internal threat just as easily as it could come from outside the business. But both these types of theft are certain to need different procedures in terms of both intervention and reporting. There is also the issue of institutionalized theft, which may create a culture of closet criminality. This means that there should be alternative channels for reporting an internal theft. For example, if the manager is the one stealing, there must be a way to report this to a higher up. The better trained your staff are on this procedure, the quicker they will be to come forward. The more this part of training is stressed, the more importance will be placed on this aspect of security in the mind of your staff. 

Physical Security Concerns 

Issues may be systematic or sporadic, but they could also consist of issues with hardware. Often employees make due with doors that stick, or even work around something as severe as a broken lock. Training should consist of instilling a reporting procedure for these issues. It also requires something to be done when these issues are brought up. A staff member is always being trained, just like a human being is always learning. When you tell an employee to report something and their report does not lead to any change, you are implicitly training them not to follow that procedure.

This is very important for a business’ security because having functional safes, locks, doors, and other physical security measures means having better security. When something does not work every time, it is not providing reliable security. In fact, it is leading to instances where a lack of functionality is expected. These type of issues significantly increase the vulnerability to every type of security threat. This even poses potential safety risks, such as ineffective emergency exits. In cases of safes and cash storage hardware malfunctioning, your revenue is in significant peril. Any security cameras which are buggy can also lead to product theft as well as issues with cash flow. Make sure that workers know that they can report these issues and have them fixed. 


Procedural considerations will vary from industry to industry, but one thing will alway remain true. That is, your workers need to know those considerations, and they also need to know what to do if things are not working. Security is about preparation, and in the case of employees, that means training. The more you train someone, the less you are leaving up to chance. Rather than hope that workers do what you want, you have to tell them what you want and show them that it matters to follow procedures. If an employee does not trust that something will be done by them reporting an issue, they will often choose to not rock the boat. Train them with your actions. Take security seriously, and so will your employees. 

Grocery Stores: Overcoming Challenges Affecting Profitability

Managers and owners of grocery stores - both individually owned or part of a large chain - need to keep acquiring new customers while retaining the existing ones. In addition to offering quality products at reasonable prices, every store needs to ensure customer satisfaction by providing a seamless buying experience to visitors. Customer satisfaction is a critical aspect that depends on multiple factors including courtesy of the staff to efficient cash management. Let’s review a few of these challenges and possible solutions for each.

#1 Increasing Labor Costs

Unlike other businesses, grocery stores survive on volume of sales with low profit margins, and therefore, increasing labor costs are always a concern. In fact, many grocery stores often cut down on labor, which adversely affects customer experience and satisfaction. To overcome this challenge, storeowners need to play it smart when it comes to choosing people to manage their business. While you may hire highly skilled employees, it is equally important to provide them with the latest in technology to optimize productivity and profitability.

#2 Increasing Competition and Customer Demands

The increasing number of grocery store chains, supermarkets, and hyper-local shopping apps, reminds us of the theory of ‘survival of the fittest’. Consumers hate to wait - be it for a pizza delivery, booking a taxi or a movie ticket - no direct retail business can flourish with slow-paced transactions, and the same is true for grocery stores. When it comes to grocery shopping, today’s customer has countless options to choose from, and therefore, any delay on your part is almost certain to drive them to one of your competitors.

#3 Dated Store Management Technologies

A recent study shows that only 30 percent of retail businesses explore new avenues when it comes to store management technologies. The other 70% compromise their operating efficiency by continuing to use traditional tools and solutions, somehow sustaining their business on rather dated technologies. Be it cash management safes or POS systems, failing to keep pace with changing trends and technologies is certain to spell doom. Compromising with inefficient technologies slows down your business transactions, affects your operating efficiency and eventually leads to poor customer experiences. Other reasons to upgrade include:

  • Old systems pose connectivity issues, and are costly to maintain
  • Management tools, if not cloud-based, require recurring maintenance and scaling costs
  • Older applications make it challenging to add new devices and protocols

#4 Operations Management Challenges

Due to their low-profit margins, grocery store owners need to optimize their investment on payroll costs. At the same time, they often have numerous scheduling issues. All in all, the operation management challenges include: 

  • Attendance tracking
  • Payroll management
  • Punching management
  • Cash management
  • Legal compliance

Summing Up

In this digital age, customers demand easy, affordable and quick solutions to their needs, and grocery shopping is no exception. Therefore, it is imperative for storeowners to provide seamless shopping experiences, in order to thrive in this increasingly competitive landscape. Stores need to ensure that all key elements of their operations, ranging from employees to cash management safes, are tuned to deliver exceptional customer experiences that keep shoppers coming back for more. To learn more about how smart cash management safes can help your business, get in touch with one of our representatives.

Cash Flow is King

No matter what type of business you run, cash flow is vitally important.

It's critical to know the status of your cash flow in order to understand the liabilities your company can afford and to assess the overall financial health of your business. Having cash readily on hand at any given time provides flexible, meaningful buying power, but it could lead to a false sense of security without a comprehensive familiarity with how cash moves in and out of your business.

Why is cash flow so important?

Your cash inflow is the amount of money funneling into your business. This is typically the result of purchases (non-pending) of products or services by customers, money contributed by investors, and interest on savings. Tracking your positive cash flow on a day-to-day, month-to-month and year-to-year basis allows business owners to better assess what investments they can make to grow the business – whether that’s increasing inventory or hiring new employees.  

Contrarily, cash outflow includes all the money leaving the business. This includes rent on facilities, wages for employees, purchases of inventory, buying office equipment, and the like.

Clearly, maintaining a positive net cash flow (inflow less smaller outflow), and preferably a significant positive cash flow, is the holy grail. A consistent, positive cash flow should give you the confidence you need to make critical purchasing decisions without the worry of putting them off because you’re unsure you can make the money next month to justify an immediate loss.

Keys to maintaining a healthy cash flow:

  • Keep constant and accurate track of your inflows and outflows on at least a month-to-month basis: As obvious as this might seem, having the numbers in front of you on a consistent basis will give you increased flexibility to make complex financial maneuvers when needed. Having only a general idea of your monthly cash flows could make a mistimed investment costly or leave you with less cash than expected in the long run.
  • Be aware of consistent fluctuations: Many businesses are affected by seasonal cycles of business. Knowing exactly what cash flow you can expect in peak and valley months will give you a better understanding of how healthy your business is, especially as it relates to competitors’ performance.
  • Encourage prompt or upfront payments: Immediate knowledge of the inflow of cash is a beautiful thing, and cuts the risk of obtaining the money in return for a product or service. Setting incentives for customers to pay quickly to get cash in the door, or adjusting payments for a long-term project into smaller pieces, will help you keep a more consistent and stable cash inflow.





Internal Theft and Loss Prevention

The risk of internal theft is a grievous reality for most revenue-generating businesses within any modern industry. Employee dishonesty is a major concern for retail organizations of any size that often results in crippling losses, particularly for up-and-coming small businesses.

According to ACFE’s 2014 Report to the Nations, an annual publication detailing world-wide fraud and abuse, 85.4 percent of all studied fraud cases are the result of asset misappropriation (for the purposes of cash-handling businesses, this includes cash larceny, skimming, theft of cash on hand, and the like). In a sample size of nearly 1,500 cases of fraud, 48 percent of them occurred within the United States.

Notable points from the study:

  • 77 percent of frauds involve persons in seven departments: accounting, operations, sales, executive/upper management, customer service, purchasing and finance.

  • Only 14 percent of businesses made a full recovery from losses due to fraud.

  • Banking and financial services, government and public administration, and manufacturing industries maintain the greatest number of fraud cases reported.

  • Small businesses are disproportionately victimized and under-protected by anti-fraud measures, making them especially vulnerable.    

Keys to loss prevention:

  1. Be aware of the warning signs of fraud and internal theft - Employees with a propensity for dishonest practices share a distinct set of identifiable characteristics. These can include immediate lifestyle changes (expensive cars, clothes, etc.), sizable personal debt, and behavioral changes related to drug or alcohol abuse.   

  2. Be thorough in hiring practices and background checks -  Drug screening, reference checks, credit checks, and criminal background checks play a significant role in reducing the risk of fraud.

  3. Implement a fraud reporting mechanism - Hotlines, a method for employees to hold others accountable, are statistically the most effective means of fraud prevention. Fraud instances within organizations implementing hotlines were 41 percent less costly and companies detected problems 51 percent faster.

  4. Establish a culture of integrity - Check to see if fraud prevention goals are met and if the organization has established a process for the oversight of fraud risk. Educate employees about the cost of fraud and constantly evaluate to see if their job performance expectations are realistic.

Murphy USA and Armor Safe Technologies Celebrate 9 Year Partnership

Murphy USA and Armor Safe Technologies Celebrate 9 Year Partnership

Armor’s smart safes prove to be the best solution for long-term durability and reliability

THE COLONY, TX, February 3rd, 2015 — Murphy USA has selected Armor Safe Technologies as their exclusive safe supplier citing the reliability, customer service and lower total cost of ownership of Armor’s safes at existing Murphy USA locations as the reason for choosing to sole-source from Armor. Additionally, the two companies have entered into a multi-year support agreement for all of their existing smart safes.

Larry Robinson, President of Armor Safe Technologies, says “We are honored that Murphy USA has awarded us this multi-year support contract and to further strengthen our partnership with Murphy USA. We work hard to provide world-class support to all of our customers, large and small, and that hard work is paying off with Murphy USA’s continued faith in our company. They have been a tremendous partner over the years and we are thrilled that they regard Armor as the best smart safe supplier to meet the needs of their retail gas stations.”

Armor Safe Technologies and Murphy USA have shared a partnership for nearly a decade. Early on, Armor worked closely with Murphy USA to design and manufacture a custom solution suitable for Murphy USA’s operation and the footprint of their kiosk locations. It was the first safe on the market to fit all of the functionality of an intelligent cash-counting and cash-dispensing safe within the 21” wide footprint typical of cash-controllers, the preceding cash management technology. While cash controllers could only dispense cash and coin and control a door on a time-delay, they lacked an audit trail to track user activity, bill validators to count and validate cash deposits, and detailed reporting capabilities, features which dramatically simplify tasks such as closing out shifts, ending business days and preparing bank deposits. Armor’s design allowed them to replace their aging cash-controllers without making any counter modifications.

Today, Armor Safe Technologies’ innovative CacheSYSTEM 7000 Series safes are deployed in approximately two-thirds of Murphy USA’s locations, a figure that will continue to grow over the coming years as Murphy’s preexisting safes need replaced.

About Armor Safe Technologies, LLC

Armor Safe Technologies specializes in the development, manufacturing and servicing of the industry’s most innovative cash-management systems. Armor safes validate, count and secure cash in cassettes ready for delivery to the bank, establishing an effective closed-loop solution to many of the toughest challenges facing retailers: loss prevention, employee accountability and financial transparency. Retailers around the world rely on Armor’s intelligent safes as a crucial component of their cash management processes. For more information, visit www.armorsafe.com.

About Murphy USA

Murphy USA, Inc. operates over 1,250 retail gasoline stations under the Murphy USA and Murphy Express brand across 23 states in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.murphyusa.com.