Tom Aldridge knew there was a better way.

As a successful franchise owner of multiple George Webb restaurants in the Milwaukee area, Aldridge built his business through a mix of quality people, efficient operations (enabled by technology) and a commitment to C.Q.C. – Courtesy, Quality and Cleanliness – the core values of the iconic Wisconsin-based chain.

Aldridge knew much of his success was due to quality team members who were focused on delivering C.Q.C. to guests 24 hours per day. “We have been fortunate, a significant core team stays with us for a number of years, but 20 percent are turning regularly,” Aldridge said.

“There is a lot of new competition in our industry, which brings new competition for people. We are consistently recruiting, doing background checks, on-boarding new hires, training managers – it takes a significant percent of our resources.”

While the pressures to recruit, train and retain quality people were continually increasing, Aldridge identified one area that was keeping his managers away from this critical responsibility (and customers) – cash management.

Aldridge’s managers were committing multiple hours per week to manually counting the high sums of money deposited in their on- site safes, creating additional stress for managers and inaccuracy in tracking cash.

“I thought, there has got to be a better system, where managers do not have to manually count money, except for their small manager fund,” Aldridge said. “With the old way, we would have to count and verify large cash drops for accuracy by hand. There were all kinds of problems. From the security of taking the money out of the drop safe, to the stress of handling and counting – and the accuracy.”

After a little soul searching and extensive research, Aldridge discovered that better way…smart safes. Ultimately, Aldridge identified the AMSEC CashWizard smart safe as being the right fit for his operation, given its focus on customized solutions and analytics.

“With CashWizard, managers do not touch the cash, ever,” Aldridge said. “The cashiers enter the cash into the safe and managers, and corporate, can monitor reports. There is no safety issue for all involved. And there is no point of dissension between the cashier and manager.

“The system counts the bills and we have a cash reconciliation weekly when armored car collects the cash once per week. The CashWizard reports the numbers in the safe – it is very comprehensive – and we just plug it in for reconciliation. To get to that number in the past we would have to count tens of thousands of dollars. Now, we just plug that number in. It is a beautiful product.”

What Aldridge also found beautiful was the collaboration with the AMSEC team. Aldridge wrote his own custom software to manage cash flow and reconciliation within each of his restaurants. He worked with the AMSEC team to customize cash management reports tailored to his business.

“Our managers are of the same opinion as me,” Aldridge said. “They absolutely love the CashWizard and for good reason. It is a foolproof system. From a cost relative to benefit standpoint, over the long-term, the savings in labor, less stress and of course, security, it is worth it.”