Believe it or not, all cash drawers are not created equal. Considering this, it is important to know the factors involved in choosing the right drawer for your business, factors that will have the greatest impact on your productivity.
Cost may be the main factor in determining what cash drawer is right for your business. Drawer costs vary from about a hundred dollars up to $390. When considering cost, you also have to think about the number of drawers you will need, the quality desired, your overall security requirements, along with compatibility, design, and aesthetics.
First, you will want to take a look at your space requirements. It is important to determine if your drawer is going to sit on top of the counter or be mounted below. You must also take into account how much counter space you will need once the drawer is installed, along with the distance of ejection when the drawer is open.
There are many different elements of cash drawer quality. Durability, reliability, and length of warranty are just a few factors. Heavy duty cash drawers typically feature steel ball bearing slides, sturdy latch mechanisms, long-lasting till design and a finish capable of withstanding daily environmental abuse. Most heavy duty drawers are designed to last millions of cycles, such as APG or MMF drawers, and usually come with a multi-year warranty. This type of drawer is typically suited best for those businesses with high traffic or periods of heavy use.
Standard duty cash drawers are ideal for businesses with light to medium traffic. These drawers are designed to open manually or electronically (or both) and are typically tested reliable to around one million transactions electronically or 300,000 manually. You will also find that some of these drawers come with up to a 2-year warranty. With standard drawers, you will find reliable, roller wheel suspension designed to last with light to medium use.
Compatibility is a factor that must not be disregarded. Imagine going through the process of purchasing a cash drawer and installing it only to find out that your Point Of Sale system is not compatible with the drawer. Since there are so many different software packages available, you must always make sure to research what type of hardware components will work consistently with your system.
Along the lines of compatibility, you should also consider the type of power your drawer requires, unless you choose a manual, stand alone design. Some cash drawers can be powered through your computer via the computers or printers serial or USB interface while others need an AC outlet. Always make sure that if you purchase a drawer designed to be powered by the computer or receipt printer, your components have the necessary accommodating elements.
When purchasing a new cash drawer, you will also want to think about drawer space. Some drawers come with extra space under the till for coin storage or secure storage of large denomination bills. You will have to decide for yourself if that feature is necessary. When considering drawer space, you may also want to check out compatible tills. While some tills come standard, other tills come with options, such as adjustable sections, bill hold downs, and removable coin trays.
Some POS systems are designed to automatically open the cash drawer upon any transaction requiring a receipt, while others are designed to open only upon cash transactions. If you have a system that does not open for credit card transactions, you will then need to purchase a drawer with media slots. Media slots are located on the face of the drawer and are designed with either single, dual or triple slots. These slots are designed to allow you to slide in credit card receipts, checks, documents, etc., without opening the drawer itself.
Loss prevention is key to running a successful business, which makes security a major factor in choosing a cash drawer. To help you decide what level of security you will need, consider the following factors: How many employees use the drawer; how often is the drawer left unattended, and how much money is typically kept in the drawer. Security features range from drawer locks (manual or automatic) and locking tills, to hidden locked compartments and heavy steel design.
One other not well known, but useful feature will prevent a transaction from being run if the cash drawer has not been fully closed. Not all drawers or point of sale software will support this feature, so be sure to do your research if it matters to you.
The aesthetics of your cash drawer is something that only you can decide the importance of. Cash drawers come in many different colors, sizes and styles, but overall, I would recommend you consider the above factors first. Cash drawers are must-have items for the majority of businesses and knowing how to choose the right one for you can save you time and money, all while creating a more secure and productive business.
Written by Alicia Conover
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