For financial service organisations around the world, the importance of gathering, storing, and understanding data is significant. Not only can it help reduce risk and evaluate fraud patterns, but can be analysed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.

Yet, where banks, banknote printers, and cash in transit companies see huge benefits from data, is through performance, and behaviour analysis to help streamline operations.

In short, when data is managed well, it can provide remarkable insights to help improve operational efficiency.

Here, we explore ways in which data can improve efficiency in your cash processing operation.

How can data improve efficiency?

Understanding machine performance is critical to achieving optimal efficiency. We can use data from the machine to identify any issues affecting performance, act on these issues, and ultimately track performance improvements.

The key measurements we can obtain from the data are machine availability, yield (machine output), and reject rate. Together, these measurements create a metric called Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

Monitoring your overall equipment effectiveness is an extremely effective method when it comes to improving efficiency. As we mentioned before there are 3 main key measurements that we can analyse to monitor OEE; utilisation, rate and yield. We’ve explained what each of those metrics means below.

1.     Driving operational improvements

End-to-end operational performance is a huge deal for cash processing operations, and with the use of data, performance can be optimised throughout. By understanding both machine and overall process performance at a greater level, you’re able to make necessary improvements to increase efficiency across the board.

Data analysing machine performance looks at various key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to calculate the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). These consist of:

  • Utilisation – Essentially, how often the machine(s) are used. This is calculated through overall shift time, minus stops, scheduled downtime, and maintenance.
  • Rate – This refers to what the machine(s) have achieved whilst running.
  • Yield – Takes the rate above (what the machine(s) have achieved) minus any rejects. For example, a 5% reject rate results in a 95% yield.

Once the overall effectiveness of your equipment has been determined you’re able to focus on what really matters – this is known as pareto analysis (aka the 80/20 rule).

Pareto analysis is a statistical technique in decision-making used for the selection of tasks that produce significant overall effect. But what does this mean for your operation?

Effectively, this highlights issues affecting performance the most, allowing you to fix 80% of the problem with changes to only the top 20% of underlined problems.

Moving on to operational performance, data can be used to emphasise any roadblocks in efficiency that aren’t machine related. This could involve issues with a particular operator, or even an entire shift. Perhaps your night shift operators aren’t as efficient? If so, could this be due to lack of training?

All in all, data allows you to really dive deep into your operation, target performance improvements and ultimately, achieve optimal efficiency.

2.     Less time spent manually collecting and analysing data

Many cash operations still spend time and effort recording data manually via spreadsheets. While this could be seen as practical several years back, we’re now in 2021, and technology has advanced specifically to optimise such processes.

Successfully using software to collect banknote data removes the need for manual data collection. As a result, employees will have more time to focus on other tasks for improved efficiency across the entire operation.

3.     Better data equals better decision making

As mentioned previously, the volume and accuracy of data helps make active, informed business decisions. What’s the good in trying to adapt and optimise an operation based on little to no data?

Think of it from this perspective: If no banknote data is available to analyse and influence important decision makers, any necessary changes could take longer to roll out, causing delays across the business. In short, the more data you have available as a company, the quicker you can implement effective adjustments to your operation.

4.     Improved quality of service

Following on from the point above, data can be used to improve quality of service and customer experience. By gaining a deeper understanding into what your customers want and how they use your service, you’re able to tackle any apparent issues quickly and successfully.

What kind of data can be collected?

Using software solutions to effectively collect data through the cash cycle, cash processing operations are able to evaluate:

Machine/operational data

  • Reject volumes – Typically, there can be twenty to thirty reasons why a banknote can be rejected. Data can work alongside machinery to detect banknote rejects and record volumes for greater analysis. This enables you to gain a wider understanding of the reasons behind each reject and how often they occur.

  • Feeder state – By collecting feeder data from each machine in the process, you’re able to work out how machines are performing from a rate perspective. This helps answer questions like: How long was machine ‘x’ feeding for? Was feeding stopped due to no currency? And were there any technical faults that caused delays?

  • Preventative maintenance – Software can also be used to log machine downtime in the form of preventative maintenance. By tracking time taken to service each machine in the process or any other work that causes machine interruption, you can gain a wider understanding of where time is being lost.

Data solutions for cash processing

At CPS, our software and hardware solutions are developed with data in mind. We build bespoke data solutions for our customer’s needs, based on serial number recording for per-note data analytics. If you’re interested in learning more about our offering and how we could enhance your cash processing operation, contact our expert team today, we’re always happy to help.