Penny pinchers news

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A while back we repriced everything in our store so that *after* tax all prices ended in quarter increments: x.00/x.25/x.50/x.75. The new pricing structure has worked very well. We have been able to increase our speed of service without giving up one bit of quality. The bean-counter guy also noted that our daily cash reconciliation has become almost error-free because of this small change. 

We also got rid of another nuisance: we don’t EVER need any more rolled pennies, nickels, or dimes from the bank. We thought we’d found the solution to all change-bank issues. Alas, the ordeal wasn’t over.

While we weren’t returning any coins other than quarters to our customers, our customers gave us all their change — maybe a by-product of their general economic woes. Nowadays we seem to see at least one customer a day who pays for her entire coffee with coins. Because we have no outlet for the small change, time and again we find our till overflowing with … pennies. We’re talking hundreds of pennies. Counting pennies at the day’s closing went from being a small chore to a major time sink.

From my days in the field of industrial supplies I remembered that the folks in the warehouse never counted all those little screws, nails, grommets, and sprockets. It was much faster to weigh them. Yesterday, our own little weight-to-count-conversion spreadsheet went live. The counting of coins which used to take 300+ seconds every night has become a weighing of coins. Time used to weigh / count 1,500 coins: 54 seconds. Yahoo! 

Next we need to find a funnel to put all those loose pennies into little paper rolls; and off they go to the bank.

Photo Credit: Frog Museum

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