How C-Stores Can Leverage Automation with Labor Shortages

Our friends over at CStore Decisions recently posted a blog discussing how c-stores can integrate automation into their business to “help reallocate labor to more important tasks.” While automation certainly helps address labor shortages, the blog raises some interesting points about how maintaining a “human touch” is essential for customer-facing businesses.

With automated intelligence (AI) like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and its growing applications, there is a question of what other automations are available to businesses and how they can bridge gaps with labor shortages and drive ROI.

 

Rise of the Machines

In the CStore Decisions blog, they discuss the introduction of the Ice Cobotics Cobi 18 robot, which cleans “5,000 to 7,000 square feet of floorspace per hour.” This keeps c-stores clean and provides a better environment for customers. It is also a reliable employee, as it can run multiple times a day and frees up time for other employees to stock, engage with customers, and focus on other areas of the store.

The blog also references robots being rolled out in distributor warehouses. C-StoreMaster, a distributor serving independent c-stores, has three separate robot technologies in its 130,000-square-foot warehouse. These robots handle tasks like wrapping and product transport. C-StoreMaster confirmed that picking productivity has increased and there is less risk with humans having to lift heavy objects.

Machines like Cobi are becoming more commonplace in different industries. They can remove human error, show up on time for their shift, and never take a day off work. While Fintech can’t help keep your floors clean, we have automations of our own that can help c-stores create efficiencies.

 

Alcohol Payment Automation Integration

Fintech’s PaymentSource allows c-store managers to run their business knowing all alcohol invoice payments are made on time, whether via COD (cash on delivery) or credit terms. This saves time and resources by eliminating the need for someone to either go into the back office or cut a check at the front register for each alcohol delivery.

PaymentSource’s automation also supports a line-item invoice data integration into a back-office system like QuickBooks or PDI, for example. This addresses labor shortages associated with hiring someone to run admin work manually inputting each invoice into your accounting system. For many convenience store managers who input that information themselves, this automated integration allows them to put that time elsewhere.

For example, S&G Stores has implemented PaymentSource in 69 of its locations throughout the Midwest.  The PaymentSource implementation ensures that all of the alcohol distributors within their network are automatically paid per the terms provided on the invoice and supports compliance with different payment regulations across state lines.

 

Bridge the Labor Gap with PaymentSource – Your Next Best Employee

Automation is your friend. It handles the manual processes that clog up your schedule and frees you up to lean into customer engagement, experience, and retention. The convenience store landscape is perfect for leveraging automation, whether it be a cleaning robot like Cobi or an intuitive alcohol payments processor like Fintech.

Request a demo today to learn more ways integrating Fintech’s alcohol payment and line-item data automations can improve your convenience store business.

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