Cash register Operation

Updated March 2012 by Paul McMorran
Counter Sales – Operational Procedures

Introduction

This job description contains a lot of detail. Only 10% may make sense initially. It is important to keep this job description and read it again after a week and again after a month. Your training program as a new counter sales staff person will entail spasmodic training over several weeks by the office staff. You will receive training in invoice writing, cash register allocation and basic selling in all areas of the nursery.

The cash register area at Bulleen Art & Garden is a lot more complex than normal cashier work. You are there to welcome customers to Bulleen Art & Garden, to direct and help customers, assist in the coordinating of deliveries and, importantly, to help coordinate customer enquires.

It is very important that you are completely familiar with the operational procedures and the pricing book and that you adhere to the guidelines written, for the garden centre to function efficiently and effectively.

When you are on counter sales it is very important that you give customers waiting to pay preferential service. They will not tolerate waiting at the register to pay while you diagnose other people’s plant problems etc. Direct customers with inquiries to the staff in the appropriate section or to the nursery information stand. Make sure you follow this course of action up by watching the monitor and calling for assistance if there is no response from nursery staff. Because you are the first staff member customers see when they walk in the door, a lot of inquiries will be directed to you. Be polite and efficient and control the area.

We expect you to be working in the shop area when not serving, check with the manager for appropriate work or refer to the jobs list posted at the R4 desk. On weekdays the hardware or irrigation manager will always have work for you.

General rules & procedures

Receipts

Receipts are to be given to all customers and the cash register display is to face the customer at all times. Clerk on and off every time you use the register, you are responsible for every transaction that occurs under your code.

Cash
Cash in any one register should not exceed $500.00. If the money in the registers does exceed this amount consult the manager for a clearance.

The Register
Never leave the register area without getting someone to replace you, customers will become frustrated and money can be stolen, especially on the weekends. This applies for gift-wrapping as well – the next customer in line is more important and the wrapping will have to wait. If a customer needs help with lifting to their car, call for assistance over the PA. Make sure you specify whether the lifting is heavy or light, so that junior staff know whether or not they can assist. It is a major waste of labour when you call for staff and interrupt work programs for lots of staff. Contact staff specifically whenever possible. Ask office staff for register assistance before putting out a general assistance call.

If on weekdays you are specified as the main cashier for the day, ie. R1, use Register 3 only, and when possible nobody else should use that register. If it does not balance it is your responsibility. Your breaks should always be taken at the early time ie. 10.00; 12.00; 3.00. When you come back from your break and while the R2 is still there you should do a quick trolley run and return the shopper baskets to their proper sections.

Turf / Paving
Instant turf, paving and special orders are not ordered without payment in advance. Collect money by credit card over the phone when necessary.

R4
All payments for which an invoice has been written, paving or instant turf payments are to go through R4. They must be written into the payments book and the details rung into R4. If you forget to write payments up it costs office staff time and the business money. This is very important.

Landscape Supplies payments

Generally customers will pay for yard materials in the yard, however there will be the odd occasion when a customer will want to purchase plants and bulk materials at the same time. This is perfectly acceptable as long as they purchase the plants and bulk material at the front desk PRIOR to picking up the materials for the yard. Nobody can leave the yard area without having paid for anything that they have collected.

Refunds, returns and register errors.
All refunds must be clearly explained on a return slip and attach the relevant cash register receipt. Returns slips must be signed clearly. No cash (including EFT or Cheques) is to be refunded to the customer without the authority of the manager and a register receipt. Products can be exchanged without a receipt only if the section manager gives authority. The refund key is never to be used. All returned products must be authorised by the section manager or duty manager. Returned stock must be clearly labelled with a note explaining what the problem is and sign that you have authorised the return. This saves a lot of headaches for weekday staff. Faulty sprinkler timers and more expensive parts must not be refunded immediately, but leave a note for weekday staff to follow this up.

Gift vouchers
If a customer purchases a gift voucher, you must enter the details in the gift voucher book and ring the purchase up on the register as a nursery purchase. When a customer purchases goods with a voucher ring it up as if the voucher was cash and leave the voucher in the register and DO NOT write up a return. When a customers purchase is only part of the value of the gift voucher a gift voucher should be written for the remaining amount and the amount of the transaction noted on the old voucher.

Till rolls
Never toss out till rolls. They are to be stored in the box under the counter. Replace rolls as soon as the red warning ink appears on the roll. Do this at quiet spells, as this will save time if the roll runs out when you have a lot of customers.

Lifting
Ask your supervisor for a demonstration of correct manual lifting techniques when you begin work. Always plan your lift and never lift beyond your comfortable capacity. Seek help from other staff when lifting heavy items and use lifting aids such as the fridge trolley, trolley jack or fork lift where possible. Never lift items with a customer. It is dangerous as they do not know about team lifting and can cause injury to staff.

Counter price book
You should be completely familiar with the counter books, report any problems with pricing.

Gift Wrapping
If you work on the register we expect you to be good at gift-wrapping. Ask other staff to show you if you are unsure. Gift-wrapping is to be kept simple and quick and customers wanting to pay are always to take priority. You should familiarise yourself with the gift-wrapping policy in the pricing book and it doesn’t hurt to suggest that the customer does it themselves free of charge if we are busy.

Cheques
We do not accept cheques. If there is a problem refer to a manager

Spare Time
If you are on the register you have to tidy the general area before going onto anything else. Continually return products and tools to the correct location. This is the first impression customers get of Bulleen Art & Garden. It is only a small area so there is no excuse for lack of tidiness. If the area is not continually organised and tidied it will not function properly. Keep the R4 counter tidy. Make sure that the necessary items are at the register, eg returns books, calculators and pens and that all else is returned to its correct area ASAP. Be well prepared, especially on busy days. Make sure you have plenty of change in the cash register, plastic bags, till rolls and EFT rolls at the start of each day and check again whenever there is a quiet spell. The displays in the shop also need continual maintenance throughout the trading day. Greenstock should be checked for water and benches wiped. Other jobs which frequently need attention are wiping pots and other products in the shop area, wiping hardware benches and products. When there is a build up of trolleys and after your breaks return all plastic baskets to their correct location in the Nursery. Check with the Hardware manager to see if there are products that need to be put away. Sweep the entrance to the shop area in the driveway, at all times make sure you are in view of the cash registers.

Sold or hold products
Never leave these products in with other stock, put them in the appropriate reserves, always indicate on the product if paid for or how much is owing, and when they have to pick it up by. There are specific plastic tags for this purpose located in the plant reserve and at the front counter. All details on the tags must be filled in and the tag must be firmly secured to the product. For awkward objects fix the tag on with string eg through the hole in the base of a pot. Never stick the tag on with tape alone, as it will fall off. Move the sold object to the appropriate reserve, securely tagged, and then enter the product details in the order program for that type of product – plants to the nursery computer order system and for other goods in the product order program. This ensures that the managers of particular areas are aware of on hold or stored sold product. Sale or special items cannot be put on hold only purchased in full and stored for pick up.

Out of stocks and customer requests that we do not stock.
Record these for the appropriate buyer. Plant orders on the nursery computer and sundries/pots/sprinkler orders program.

Customer orders
When processing customers who have ordered something in, first ask them “has a staff member contacted you to say that the product is in?”. If there has been no contact, the product is probably not in yet. If a customer wants to order a pot or sundries product which we don’t normally stock, he/she must leave a 20% deposit if the product is over $20. An invoice must be written and clearly note the deposit paid and enter the payment in R4. Make sure the customer gets the white copy as a reference for pick up

Restocking
During the week you are expected to help with restocking and on weekends it is important that hard goods are restocked from the store or potting mix taken up from the back area when necessary. Never leave used or mistake price stickers lying around the counter or floor. They stick to benches and floor areas and are very difficult to remove and clean up.

All stock up should remain on trolley for restocking, nothing on R2 ever, first and last job every day. Stock on bottom shelf, pricing on top New indoor trolley was to eliminate all the mess around R2 – it has not – it is still constantly an embarrassment and impossible to use R2

Suggestions for improvements
Staff and customer suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. They can be entered through the web page start up. You can also discuss any ideas with a manager, which is also appreciated.

Discounts

Retail Discounts
Never offer a discount to a retail customer. Refer to the pricing book for details if a customer asks for discount. When a retail customer presents a discount voucher take the voucher from the customer. We need them for our records and they are intended for use once only.
However if a customer asks if we have quantity discounts when they walk in they are potentially going to make a large purchase. They should become priority customers, refer them to the expert in the area they are interested and refer to the book for retail discounts.

Trade discounts
Trade discounts are listed in the counter book so there is no excuse for making mistakes. Always check the discount page in the price book no matter how sure you are of a trade discount. Never guess. Tradesmen remember discounts that they are given and will become annoyed if we are not consistent with the discounts we have advertised and discounts given previously. Staff are never to give discounts in excess of the discounts listed in the counter book. Ask for identification if you do not know a trade customer and do not hesitate before referring to a manager. (Remember that builders are only given discount on yard materials, nothing else.) Customers and family of tradespeople are not allowed to get discounts using the tradesperson’s name.

Do not give trade discounts to anybody but legitimate trade customers.

Discount Procedure
If a discount is given it must be entered through our discount keys: no discounts are to be deducted prior to keying it into the register. We want to know about every discount that is given.

Customer relations

Frequently you will be the only staff contact our customer has. It is therefore important that you:

Make eye contact and greet the customers when they come in the door.

Be polite when serving the customer and explain any delays that may occur. Never get angry with customers. Avoid disputes, be honest and support other staff. Refer any disputes or tricky situations to the duty manager.

Thank the customer for shopping at Bulleen Art & Garden before they leave.

Point the customer to the right section. Call for a specific person via the cordless phones before using the PA. Thoughtful control of this area can save a lot of interruptions for other staff and significantly contribute to the smooth running of the nursery. Refer nursery customer inquiries to the key nursery sales person at the info stand. Put a call out for service as soon as the bell rings. This lets the customer know that we know they are there. It is important that you follow up responses to the bells, simply putting out a call that service is required in the yard/nursery is not good enough. Keep an eye on the screen and give a follow up call if service is still required. Always ring the nursery mobile first when service is needed at the info stand when it is unattended.

Selling
Learn where general products are so you can direct customers to them, eg. Compost bins, seedlings etc. You should work towards being proficient in selling lawn care, irrigation, instant turf and paving. The key is in understanding the products and giving honest advice to the customers.

Environmental Policy and expectations of staff

Bulleen Art and Garden aims to deliver a service to its customers that recognises the importance of environmental issues, both local and global. In this respect, concentrating on long-term custom, we are prepared to sacrifice individual sales to offer customers a range of environmental gardening options and outcomes.

Bulleen Art & Garden is prepared to sacrifice sales, but not customers on environmental issues. For example, if a customer asks for a more toxic spray than needed, we expect staff to suggest an alternative, even if it means not selling a product at all. However, we do insist that staff do not get into arguments over the environment with the customer, which may lead them to shop elsewhere. Our policy is strong customer education.

Bulleen Art and Garden aims to take the lead in respect of retail nursery practice, to encourage customer interest in an environmentally friendly approach to gardening that encompasses the following issues:

– To foster the concept that our land and gardens, however large or small, are not ours to ‘do with as we wish’, but rather, something we have the responsibility to care for and enjoy, leaving it good health for those who follow us.
– Fewer adherences to strictly formal garden design.
– Increased interest in produce gardening.
– Increased awareness of the environmental benefits of using native and indigenous plant species within the garden.
– A style of garden design and practice that encourages the use of water
and soil conservation principles.

In light of these aims, staff at Bulleen Art and Garden are encouraged to consider the environmental implications of any advice they give to customers. It is hoped that staff will avail themselves of environmental information and literature available at the nursery, so they are able to give informed advice to customers.

Staff members are also encouraged, where possible, to draw to the customers notice environmental initiatives, information handouts and signage throughout the nursery. Read through the Bulleen Art and Garden Environmental Policy

Below is a very similar JD, check for dupes

1 Introduction
The cash register area at Bulleen Art & Garden is a lot more complex than normal cashier work. You are there to welcome customers to Bulleen Art & Garden, to direct and help customers, assist in the coordinating of deliveries and, importantly, to help coordinate customer enquires.

It is very important that you are completely familiar with the operational procedures and the pricing book and that you adhere to the guidelines written, for the garden centre to function efficiently and effectively.

When you are on counter sales it is very important that you give customers waiting to pay preferential service. They will not tolerate waiting at the register to pay while you diagnose other people’s plant problems etc. Direct customers with inquiries to the staff in the appropriate section or to the nursery information stand. Make sure you follow this course of action up by watching the monitor and calling for assistance if there is no response from nursery staff. Because you are the first staff member customers see when they walk in the door, a lot of inquiries will be directed to you. Be polite and efficient and control the area.

We expect you to be working in the shop area when not serving, check with the manager for appropriate work or refer to the jobs list posted at the R4 desk. On weekdays the hardware or irrigation manager will always have work for you.

2 General rules & procedures

2.1 Receipts
Receipts are to be given to all customers and the cash register display is to face the customer at all times. Clerk on and off every time you use the register, you are responsible for every transaction that occurs under your code.

2.2 Cash
Cash in any one register should not exceed $500.00. If the money in the registers does exceed this amount consult the manager for a clearance.

2.3 The Register
Never leave the register area without getting someone to replace you, customers will become frustrated and money can be stolen, especially on the weekends. This applies for gift-wrapping as well – the next customer in line is more important and the wrapping will have to wait. If a customer needs help with lifting to their car, call for assistance over the PA. Make sure you specify whether the lifting is heavy or light, so that junior staff know whether or not they can assist. It is a major waste of labour when you call for staff and interrupt work programs for lots of staff. Contact staff specifically whenever possible. Ask office staff for register assistance before putting out a general assistance call.

If on weekdays you are specified as the main cashier for the day, ie. R1, use Register 3 only, and when possible nobody else should use that register. If it does not balance it is your responsibility. Your breaks should always be taken at the early time ie. 10.00; 12.00; 3.00. When you come back from your break and while the R2 is still there you should do a quick trolley run and return the shopper baskets to their proper sections.

2.4 R4
All payments for which an invoice has been written, paving or instant turf payments are to go through R4. They must be written into the payments book and the details rung into R4. If you forget to write payments up it costs office staff time and the business money. This is very important. Please read Counter Sales – Invoice writing Operational procedures for instructions on how to create invoices and process payments

2.5 Landscape Supplies payments

Generally customers will pay for yard materials in the yard, however there will be the odd occasion when a customer will want to purchase plants and bulk materials at the same time. This is perfectly acceptable as long as they purchase the plants and bulk material at the front desk PRIOR to picking up the materials for the yard. Nobody can leave the yard area without having paid for anything that they have collected.

2.6 Refunds, returns and register errors.
All refunds must be clearly explained on a return slip and attach the relevant cash register receipt. Returns slips must be signed clearly. No cash (including EFT or Cheques) is to be refunded to the customer without the authority of the manager and a register receipt. Products can be exchanged without a receipt only if the section manager gives authority. The refund key is never to be used. All returned products must be authorised by the section manager or duty manager. Returned stock must be clearly labelled with a note explaining what the problem is and sign that you have authorised the return. This saves a lot of headaches for weekday staff. Faulty sprinkler timers and more expensive parts must not be refunded immediately, but leave a note for weekday staff to follow this up.

2.7 Gift vouchers
If a customer purchases a gift voucher, you must enter the details in the gift voucher book and ring the purchase up on the register as a nursery purchase. When a customer purchases goods with a voucher ring it up as if the voucher was cash and leave the voucher in the register and DO NOT write up a return. When a customers purchase is only part of the value of the gift voucher a gift voucher should be written for the remaining amount and the amount of the transaction noted on the old voucher.

2.8 Till rolls
Never toss out till rolls. They are to be stored in the box under the counter. Replace rolls as soon as the red warning ink appears on the roll. Do this at quiet spells, as this will save time if the roll runs out when you have a lot of customers.

2.9 Lifting
Ask your supervisor for a demonstration of correct manual lifting techniques when you begin work. Always plan your lift and never lift beyond your comfortable capacity. Seek help from other staff when lifting heavy items and use lifting aids such as the fridge trolley, trolley jack or fork lift where possible. Never lift items with a customer. It is dangerous as they do not know about team lifting and can cause injury to staff.

2.10 Counter price book
You should be completely familiar with the counter books, report any problems with pricing.

2.11 Gift Wrapping
If you work on the register we expect you to be good at gift-wrapping. Ask other staff to show you if you are unsure. Gift-wrapping is to be kept simple and quick and customers wanting to pay are always to take priority. You should familiarise yourself with the gift-wrapping policy in the pricing book and it doesn’t hurt to suggest that the customer does it themselves free of charge if we are busy.

2.12 Cheques
We do not accept cheques. If there is a problem refer to a manager.

2.13 Spare Time
If you are on the register you have to tidy the general area before going onto anything else. Continually return products and tools to the correct location. This is the first impression customers get of Bulleen Art & Garden. It is only a small area so there is no excuse for lack of tidiness. If the area is not continually organised and tidied it will not function properly. Keep the R4 counter tidy. Make sure that the necessary items are at the register, eg returns books, calculators and pens and that all else is returned to its correct area ASAP. Be well prepared, especially on busy days. Make sure you have plenty of change in the cash register, plastic bags, till rolls and EFT rolls at the start of each day and check again whenever there is a quiet spell. The displays in the shop also need continual maintenance throughout the trading day. Greenstock should be checked for water and benches wiped. Other jobs which frequently need attention are wiping pots and other products in the shop area, wiping hardware benches and products. When there is a build up of trolleys and after your breaks return all plastic baskets to their correct location in the Nursery. Check with the Hardware manager to see if there are products that need to be put away. Sweep the entrance to the shop area in the driveway, at all times make sure you are in view of the cash registers.

2.14 Sold or hold products
Never leave these products in with other stock, put them in the appropriate reserves, always indicate on the product if paid for or how much is owing, and when they have to pick it up by. There are specific plastic tags for this purpose located in the plant reserve and at the front counter. All details on the tags must be filled in and the tag must be firmly secured to the product. For awkward objects fix the tag on with string eg through the hole in the base of a pot. Never stick the tag on with tape alone, as it will fall off. Move the sold object to the appropriate reserve, securely tagged, and then enter the product details in the order program for that type of product – plants to the nursery computer order system and for other goods in the product order program. This ensures that the managers of particular areas are aware of on hold or stored sold product. Sale or special items cannot be put on hold only purchased in full and stored for pick up.
2.15 Out of stocks and customer requests that we do not stock.
Record these for the appropriate buyer. There a product request form on the BAAG internal website

2.16 Customer orders
When processing customers who have ordered something in, first ask them “has a staff member contacted you to say that the product is in?”. If there has been no contact, the product is probably not in yet. If a customer wants to order a pot or sundries product which we don’t normally stock, he/she must leave a 20% deposit if the product is over $20. An invoice must be written and clearly note the deposit paid and enter the payment in R4.

2.17 Restocking
During the week you are expected to help with restocking and on weekends it is important that hard goods are restocked from the store or potting mix taken up from the back area when necessary. Never leave used or mistake price stickers lying around the counter or floor. They stick to benches and floor areas and are very difficult to remove and clean up.
All stock up should remain on trolley for restocking, nothing on R2 ever, first and last job every day. Stock on bottom shelf, pricing on top.

2.18 Suggestions for improvements
Staff and customer suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. They can be entered through the web page start up. You can also discuss any ideas with a manager, which is also appreciated.
3 Discounts

3.1 Retail Discounts
Never offer a discount to a retail customer. Refer to the pricing book for details if a customer asks for discount. When a retail customer presents a discount voucher take the voucher from the customer. We need them for our records and they are intended for use once only.
However if a customer asks if we have quantity discounts when they walk in they are potentially going to make a large purchase. They should become priority customers, refer them to the expert in the area they are interested and refer to the book for retail discounts.

3.2 Trade discounts
Trade discounts are listed in the counter book so there is no excuse for making mistakes. Always check the discount page in the price book no matter how sure you are of a trade discount. Never guess. Tradespeople remember discounts that they are given and will become annoyed if we are not consistent with the discounts we have advertised and discounts given previously. Staff are never to give discounts in excess of the discounts listed in the counter book. Ask for their BAAG trade card or identification if you do not know a trade customer and do not hesitate before referring to a manager. (Remember that builders are only given discount on yard materials, nothing else.) Customers and family of tradespeople are not allowed to get discounts using the tradesperson’s name.

Do not give trade discounts to anybody but legitimate trade customers.

3.3 Discount Procedure
If a discount is given it must be entered through our discount keys: no discounts are to be deducted prior to keying it into the register. We want to know about every discount that is given.

4 Customer relations

Frequently you will be the only staff contact our customer has. It is therefore important that you:

4.1 Make eye contact and greet the customers when they come in the door.

4.2 Be polite when serving the customer and explain any delays that may occur. Never get angry with customers. Avoid disputes, be honest and support other staff. Refer any disputes or tricky situations to the duty manager.

4.3 Thank the customer for shopping at Bulleen Art & Garden before they leave.

4.4 Point the customer to the right section. Call for a specific person via the cordless phones before using the PA. Thoughtful control of this area can save a lot of interruptions for other staff and significantly contribute to the smooth running of the nursery. Refer nursery customer inquiries to the key nursery sales person at the info stand. Put a call out for service as soon as the bell rings. This lets the customer know that we know they are there. It is important that you follow up responses to the bells, simply putting out a call that service is required in the yard/nursery is not good enough. Keep an eye on the screen and give a follow up call if service is still required. Always ring the nursery mobile first when service is needed at the info stand when it is unattended.

4.5 Selling. Learn where general products are so you can direct customers to them, eg. Compost bins, seedlings etc. You should work towards being proficient in selling gifts, hardware, lawn care, seeds and irrigation. The key is in understanding the products and giving honest advice to the customers.

5 Environmental Policy and expectations of staff

Bulleen Art and Garden aims to deliver a service to its customers that recognises the importance of environmental issues, both local and global. In this respect, concentrating on long-term custom, we are prepared to sacrifice individual sales to offer customers a range of environmental gardening options and outcomes.

Bulleen Art & Garden is prepared to sacrifice sales, but not customers on environmental issues. For example, if a customer asks for a more toxic spray than needed, we expect staff to suggest an alternative, even if it means not selling a product at all. However, we do insist that staff do not get into arguments over the environment with the customer, which may lead them to shop elsewhere. Our policy is strong customer education.

Bulleen Art and Garden aims to take the lead in respect of retail nursery practice, to encourage customer interest in an environmentally friendly approach to gardening that encompasses the following issues:

– To foster the concept that our land and gardens, however large or small, are not ours to ‘do with as we wish’, but rather, something we have the responsibility to care for and enjoy, leaving it good health for those who follow us.
– Fewer adherences to strictly formal garden design.
– Increased interest in produce gardening.
– Increased awareness of the environmental benefits of using native and indigenous plant species within the garden.
– A style of garden design and practice that encourages the use of water
and soil conservation principles.

In light of these aims, staff at Bulleen Art and Garden are encouraged to consider the environmental implications of any advice they give to customers. It is hoped that staff will avail themselves of environmental information and literature available at the nursery, so they are able to give informed advice to customers.

Staff members are also encouraged, where possible, to draw to the customers notice environmental initiatives, information handouts and signage throughout the nursery.

6 Conclusion
This operational procedure contains a lot of detail. Only 10% may make sense initially. It is important to keep it and read it again after a week and again after a month. Your training program as a new counter sales staff person will entail spasmodic training over several weeks by the office staff. You will receive training in invoice writing, cash register allocation and basic selling in all areas of the nursery.

Don’t forget to smile and have fun…they can smell fear

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