What throughput is and why you need to perfect it immediately

waiting for pay at the pump dispenser

Throughput is a critical part of any successful business. Prioritize it in order to maximize efficiency and revenue. In simple terms, it means how many customers you can take care of in a specified amount of time. It’s a very well known fact that customers hate long wait times and long line ups. So what to do?

Increasing your throughput not only increases sales, but also solidifies your image with customers as the quickest and easiest alternative. Simply put, increased throughput makes it easier for your customers to spend their money. In turn, it makes it easier for you to meet higher sales targets. It is essentially an improvement for your revenue and overhead while maintaining the same labour, space, and utility costs. Your staff will be able to help more customers per hour with the same amount of effort.

How do I improve the throughput at my business?

There are multiple ways to increase throughput but the best alternatives will easily integrate without interfering with operations. Overhauling or renovating the physical setup or structure of your system is expensive and doesn’t guarantee a return on investment. Extending hours of operation is another alternative that may not necessarily work for every business. Schedules are difficult to change and labour hours would increase costs. This alternative may also not work very well since some businesses experience ‘rush’ and ‘lull’ periods throughout the day. Increasing the amount of customers during rush periods is the only way to increase your throughput without having to re-structure.

Another option is increasing the number of lanes available for your customer to use by purchasing more cash registers. This may not work either, since it would mean increasing staffing and taking on the additional costs of more lanes. These seem like the only alternatives to increasing customer volume if you don’t account for the payment infrastructure.

What if I don’t have space for another lane?

The simplest, most efficient alternative to increasing throughput without increasing overall operational costs is to make it easier and quicker for your customers to pay. The most noticeable bottleneck in most transaction based businesses is the checkout portion, and resolving this issue is as simple as making payments happen faster. Adopting tap and chip technologies is a given in today’s world since consumers are easing away from carrying cash and prefer to have their transaction done in the split second it takes to tap a card to a terminal.

Customers spend time looking for, counting, and handing cash to an attendant. Cut this out by giving that customer the ability to simply reach for their card or phone, tap, and go. These seconds to minutes saved between transactions means that more transactions can occur within the same time frame. If a client only has their debit or credit card on them and the business doesn’t support it, that client will choose a different business next time.

This creates a bad reputation for your business, and easily reduced throughput. Installing a suitable CPI and EMV certified payment method with tap and chip capabilities removes this issue and decrease the amount of time a customer spends paying.

Look into a new system to help you manage throughput effectively before you need it. Contact one of our team to learn more about our offerings for improved throughput.

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