The banking and financing industries are among the most sophisticated, automated businesses there are. Every day billions of dollars zip securely from the Federal Reserve to banks, who send it to other banks, who send it to customers, who send it back again.
The whole system is slick as slugs through a goose, right up to the point that someone has to touch the actual cash. Then all those encrypted, redundant, transaction-monitored systems give way to the same process used to haul supplies into your building or trash back outtruck drivers carrying bags full of stuff for delivery and signed slips of paper to prove they did it.
Loomis, Fargo & Co., the nation’s No. 2 armored-car company, would like to modernize the whole process and become more of a cash-management service than a delivery company.
Some of the things holding it back are physicalshifting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of change is hard to do without a little physical labor. Some are organizational: The Federal Reserve requires that some parts of the process be handled within its walls, so Loomis can’t shift parts of the operation onto its customers sites to reduce travel and lag time.
The toughest part, though, is getting an industry with strict rules and good justifications for them to adapt to new ways that owe less to muscle power than they do to slick logistics management.