Jeff Duce, Senior Manager Product Management
While there are numerous things to keep an eye on while managing your store, measuring cashier performance and reviewing essential cashier metrics must be a high priority. Remember, this hard-working group of employees make the last impression your customers have of your store. We will save for another time how critical it is to invest in proper training for successful customer interaction with your front-end employees. Today, let’s talk about performance and key metrics relating to the cashiers that control the money coming in and going out of your store.
The importance of measuring cashier performance
Good cashier training lets employees know how to perform all the relevant processes, but it’s also important that they do those processes efficiently and accurately. So, while some cashiers may cringe at the thought of their performance being monitored and measured, the better cashiers are more likely to embrace the information. Having such reporting or information provides documentation supporting formal periodic employee reviews, but it’s also a great communication opportunity for letting cashiers continuously know how they are performing as compared to other cashiers in the store or across the organization.
Most people are competitive in nature. Posting a results report that ranks cashiers on their ability to process items and customers quickly can be an incentive for them to improve their abilities to go faster while maintaining accuracy and without sacrificing good customer interaction, such as making sure the customer has found everything, and, of course, thanking the customer for shopping at their store. Perhaps you only want to post the highest performers. This posting of superior performance is still a great way to communicate to all the cashiers. It gives you an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding performance, but it also gives you the opportunity to identify those cashiers who may need retraining for them to improve their rankings. They will notice their absence. No one likes to be surprised by having their supervisor talk to them about needing improvement on how they are performing their job especially if there have been no prior results communicated. Posting results will help to ensure there are no surprises.
Essential performance data: Detailed TLOG
TLOG or Transaction Log is a file created from your Point-of-Sale system (POS). The configuration of the TLOG and what it captures can vary from system to system. Ideally, time stamps are associated with all the data and captures everything that the cashier does on the register from logging in to when the drawer is closed at the end of the order. TLOG data can provide details for every cashier on how many customers or transactions they have conducted in a particular amount of time, how many coupons they are taking and the value of those coupons, number of refunds or voids and the value of those processes. Meaningful reporting, however, requires that the data be interpreted either in-house or by a third-party vendor that has expertise in reading all the lines of information. The list of what can be gleaned from the TLOG is almost endless when it’s well configured and you work with experts who can pull essential information from the logs.
Key capabilities from mining TLOG data
If TLOG data can be updated constantly, it can provide near real-time information. The frequency of the data updates can be immediate, daily or weekly. Since there is typically a lot of data processing involved, daily or more frequent is ideal.
Data can help with risk management and provide alerts to metrics that fall outside the normal range compared among cashiers in the store or cashiers across the organization. Friends and family discounting, commonly known as “sweethearting,” is a real problem. Monitoring key indicators may help this profit killer. Elements can help alert on unusually high coupon values, high quantity of coupons for a cashier, high voids, high discounts, high frequency of the drawer opening, and unusual weighed and price per pound item relationship (steak at the banana price).
Although many other areas can benefit from TLOG processing such as production management, shrink management, inventory management and product management, below is a list of key metrics that can benefit cashier performance.
- Register ring hours (compare to scheduled time)
- Average dollar per hour (ranked comparison to other cashiers)
- Average items per minute (compared to other cashiers)
- Average seconds per tender (compared to other cashiers)
- Average seconds between customers (measurement of unproductive time)
- Average seconds per customer vs. Earned Average seconds per customer
Additional statistical information is also possible with the details from the TLOG including:
- Number of transactions for a day or week
- Reward transaction percent for those companies that have a customer loyalty program
- Percent of items scanned, keyed, or weighed
- Average refund dollars
- Average coupon dollars
- Average coupons per customer
- Number of times the drawer was opened without a sale
- Number of items hand keyed to a department
- Percent of voids
I encourage you to add this type of reporting to your list of dashboards and reports. Your cashiers will benefit, and your stores will certainly benefit. If you do in-house reporting and don’t have this on your list, consider adding it. If you have a third-party vendor that you work with or a labor management and solutions vendor, see if they provide reporting as described here. This is a great effort to invest in and will provide valuable results.