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Africa Outlook

Cash Connect
Africa finance
Africa supply chain
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finance logistics
cash management
Africa retail
retail cash management

CASH CONNECT

Cash Connect’s role as the pre-eminent South African manufacturer and service provider of automated cash management solutions for businesses and retailers continues to have a positive impact far beyond its own internal confines

Facilitating Trade Efficiency and Security

Writer: Matthew Staff

Project Manager: Callam Waller

 

As the pre-eminent manufacturer and managed service provider (MSP) of automated cash management solutions for business and retailers in the South African market, Cash Connect’s influence has grown rapidly and extensively over the past 10 years; and is subsequently celebrating its landmark anniversary via a strive towards continued organic growth and concerted expansion over the next few years.

Providing an end-to-end cash management and logistics solution to three of the largest banks in the country, Cash Connect’s 2016 forecast is to process more than R40billion on behalf of its clients, with a growth rate exceeding 30 percent.

To that end, the Company can boast a role as the largest independent supplier of its type within the retail cash management domain, with some of the leading retailers, wholesalers and online operators basking in the Company’s astuteness.

“Cash Connect’s expertise, technology and experience encompass the entire spectrum of automated cash deposit technology, validation, settlements and diverse payment streams,” confirms the Company’s Joint Chief Executive Officer, Steven Heilbron. “It is an approved service provider to blue-chip companies such as the Spar Group, Shell, Engen, Pick ‘n Pay and OK, to name but a few.

“Our brand promise is ‘We take the risk’. From the moment you deposit the cash in our robust cash vaults, whilst in transit, and until it reflects in your bank account, we have you covered. It’s like we move the bank to your store.”

Ultimately, Cash Connect’s goal is to enable businesses to operate more efficiently and securely by providing a safe trading environment to carry out such necessary transactions, and the business therefore hones in on a customer-focused performance culture, “which seeks to not only deliver reliable technology and a dependable service, but equally, provide highly responsive support if and when needed”, Heilbron iterates.

Joint CEO and expert in cash management and logistics, Richard Phillips adds: “Our clients’ businesses are distinguished by being retail stores where the staff and their customers are no longer intimidated by the fear of attack and where the focus of attention has shifted to improving the working and shopping experience in every way.”

Based in Johannesburg, and complemented by branches in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban - where the manufacturing plant is based - all nine South African provinces are catered for by the business, and with international expansion a very real prospect, the significance of such an offering is constantly being added to from a value perspective and through its ever-diversifying product options.

“We provide a variety of payment options to our diverse customer base who, depending on the volumes involved, will make use of one or more of our cash vaults: Connectr 3000.u; Connectr 5000.s; Connectr 10 000.s; and our Bulk Deposit Acceptor,” Heilbron explains. “We also provide direct payment solutions and facilitate consumer payments for airtime, pre-paid electricity, lottery, TV licences and remittances, to name a few.”

Next-generation range of products

With the most robust cash devices in the SA market, the Company has mastered the ‘art form’ at the pinnacle of technological development, with Pierre Liebenberg, General Manager of Development and Manufacturing, proud of the evolution that the business has enjoyed to reach this stage.

“Cash Connect introduced the first categorised cash vault to the South African market. This vault was borne out of necessity, and mainly because of South Africa’s unique crime situation,” he says. Cash Connect developed the categorised cash vault because they believed that conventional design available at the time would ultimately not stand up to the rigours of a generally aggressive and violent environment.

“We believed that for the technology to succeed in an increasingly demanding and hostile setting, it had to offer a meaningful and scalable deterrent to attack over and above being accurate, reliable and easy to use. All our automated cash vaults are built to SABS Category 4 standards, making them the most robust cash devices on the South African market.”

Liebenberg continues: “Our focus on continuous improvement and operational excellence derives largely from the manufacturing facility, which is yearly upgraded to meet increasing demand; and compounded by a progressive and dynamic R&D team which has grown immeasurably to meet innovation expectations as the surrounding technologies similarly evolved.”

“This is evident in the fact that our current product range, which includes several legacy products, is in the process of being replaced with next-generation solutions based on our recently launched and very successful Connectr 3000.u product, also known as the N3K.

“This new range of products includes the introduction of high-speed bulk note accepting cash vaults, aimed at replacing our current Connectr 5000.s and Connectr 10000.s products.”

Just the beginning

Cash Connect realises that recruiting ‘right’ the first time around is the first step of building a cohesive team that by virtue of its commitment, passion and hard work; enhances and builds on the Company’s culture.

“We have an extensive recruitment process to test competencies, trainability and coach-ability, as well as commitment levels,” Heilbron says. “We also offer an extensive staff induction programme. For example, sales executives receive a comprehensive, induction and product training, thereafter in-field and on-the-job training is provided.”

Regular training is provided to not only staff, but also technicians to align with the new technologies and processes being embraced within the Company, and Cash Connect has a total of more than 100 on-site field technicians working out of 26 points of presence to fall under this remit.

“There is also a strong local influence comprised within this area of the business,” Heilbron continues. “Cash Connect is committed to recruiting in line with the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment guidelines in South Africa, and has also initiated an internship programme, which specifically focuses on young, black South Africans.”

When combining such a refined workforce with a comprehensive network of business partnerships throughout the value chain, a market-leading offering, and astute awareness of the business realm in which it looks to aid industry players, Cash Connect’s optimism for even more concerted growth in the future looks more than justified; and initial ambitions to grow the device population by more than 20 percent and the total value of processed cash by more than 25 percent is sure to be just the beginning.

(Ten) 10 Acts of Kindness Paying it Forward Campaign

“As part of our 10-year celebration, we’ve decided to ‘pay it forward’ with 10 acts of kindness during 2016.

“At Cash Connect, we take an interest in social issues and believe in making a difference in the lives of people in our community. Therefore, it is important that we offer our time and effort and love to lend a helping hand, and not just choose the easy way out by making monetary donations. We believe that our social upliftment endeavours will have a life-changing consequence for the recipients, as well as boost the morale of our employees.

“We are passionate about making a difference and constantly challenge other businesses to invest in our community. We reached out to the elderly, abandoned babies, intellectually challenged and various disadvantaged youth groups.”

– Sumay Herbst, General Manager, Marketing

Cash Connect’s 10-year milestone is indicative of various factors on which the business has been built over the years. Some of these include values which are shared by both CEOs below as simple tips to grow any business into a success.

Richard Phillips:

Transparency, honesty and integrity: invaluable for business success

No one buys from a company that’s not trusted, and trust is only possible if there’s complete honesty and transparency. According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, 58 percent of people around the world trust companies, but that leaves 42 percent that are less sure. Being more open is one clear way that a business can close that gap and ensure that it is trusted.

Build a network of complementary skills relationships

No man is an island and neither is a company or employee. A business is the sum of all its parts. Collaborating with a network of skills that complement your business brings new ideas, greater expertise and knowledge-sharing.  These fundamentals lie at the heart of a company’s success.

Employees build a business

Investing time in your employees and giving them the tools and direction they need to develop is incredibly important for quality output, morale and staff retention. There also has to be an element of integrity, accountability and ownership, which should be instilled from the start.

Goodwill and a good work ethic are inseparable

Generosity is a key driver of success.  Managers and leaders generously share information readily, give credit when it’s due and look for everyone in the team to present and substantiate their views as part and parcel of the process of transferring skills, responsibility and confidence. The result is that trust and respect becomes an underlying characteristic of the business. 

Steven Heilbron:

Encourage meritocracy

In an era where entrepreneurship is the norm, meritocracy must be encouraged, recognising and rewarding individuals for the value they bring to the table. This is based on merit and encourages performance and the desire to improve oneself. A meritocratic environment is the very hallmark of a successful entrepreneurial business.

Build a culture in business

According to a published survey of 365 companies across Europe, Asia, and North America, 81 percent believe that a company lacking a high-performance culture is doomed to mediocrity. Fewer than 10 percent succeed in building one.  For both customers and employees, companies are respected for their thriving and coveted corporate cultures.  A culture that aligns with a company’s core values has to be created.  Such a culture takes work and nurturing, as well as the freedom to evolve.

Never settle for second best

In our crowded commercial environment, there is no place for second best.  Yet, to be truly successful one needs to set one’s sights on being number one. This can only be achieved by learning from the best and improving on those working formulas that define success. Also never just agree, but challenge the status quo.  Strive to become the new leader in the market.

Quality, service excellence and efficiency are key

These are the main building blocks of any successful business. To achieve them one has to be realistic.  Start by having three focus areas, and work them to achieve optimal results. Very few businesses reach their full potential when there are too many focus areas to consider at once.