Reducing paperwork when we’re cashing up

Remember that new cash paperwork that came out the other week? That’s one cool thing that came from Leading the Way (LTW). We know how much paperwork you have to deal with and we want to remove as much as we can.

How I ended up on Leading the Way

LTW aims to make life easier for colleagues in stores. It’s really important that the programme includes field colleagues who know the reality and challenges of working in a store day-to-day. Having people in the team with first-hand experience of that means we can focus on what store colleagues actually need, not what we reckon they need.

That’s why myself and the other workstream leads are here – we all have experience out in shops and know them inside and out.

I started as a CTM at the Co-op over 10 years ago. I became a team manager while I was studying and then took on my first store manager role. I looked after a number of stores including one that was less than 500 square feet (a shoe box!) and one that went through a Gen2 re-fit. Then I successfully applied for the Shining Stars programme and got seconded to an area manager role, eventually looking after Leeds.

Our mission

It’s simple really.

We want to help store colleagues with the things they need to do, in the time they have, and give them the freedom to be great Co-op shopkeepers.

How do we do that though? We’ve started with 7 different projects or ‘workstreams’, with the intention that each one will tackle a different instore area. My workstream is called Simple Stores and focuses on how we make admin, paperwork, back office systems simpler in the day to day running of a shop.

This year we’re looking at what we can simplify quickly, and we’ll also to begin to think about how we transform entire parts of our operation over the next few years.

Simplifying cash paperwork

Our Simple Stores workstream is looking at how we can simplify cashing up. I’ve been cashing up since I was a CTM and one of the things that really bugged me was the number of bits of paper.

photo of 5 forms that used to be used during cashing up

They add unnecessary complexity. If we just had everything on one document, we wouldn’t have to print all the bits of paper off every week – better for the environment and cheaper for the store. Plus it’d just be much neater being able to complete all tasks needed to cash up on one page.

The central cash team, Helen Holland and Pauline Wilton, were really keen on helping out and we worked together to create the simplified document.

photo of Dave Tyas holding one sheet of paper. this is the new condensed version of the cashing up forms.We tested the new document in our Green Quarter store – thanks guys! We listened to feedback and changed the document based on recommendations. After we had it right, we rolled it out to 2 areas for final feedback before we rolled it out further.

This was the first piece of work that we sent to our ‘stores of excellence.’ These are stores that try out new things first and then help the other stores in the area if we roll out the new thing out further.

It’s gone down well. Here’s some of the feedback:

“I now find that in terms of recording, the paperwork is much simpler to use and easier to follow.” – Mike, SM

“Better visibility for colleagues. Easier to chase discrepancies. Welcome the change!” – Kath, TM

“The new cash document is great and easy to use, which results in less of a paper trail.” – Carole, TL

What’s next?

Simplifying cashing up is just the start for the Simple Stores workstream. Here’s what we’re looking next:

  • How can we completely revolutionise how we cash up using technology and digital tools?
  • Do headsets make life easier for store colleagues?
  • How can we get rid of all paper from the office and make it digital?
  • Can we make the back office systems mobile so we can access them wherever we are?

We want to hear from you

We’re running ‘Listen Act and Fix’ sessions in 26 locations across the country. The aim is to bring colleagues together to talk about how we can make things simpler.We’ll keep you posted about the details.

We’re already hearing some brilliant suggestions, ranging from how we can sign up members more easily at the checkout, to how we make our store processes simpler. If you have ideas on things that could make life instore simpler, let us know by emailing

We are listening!

Dave Tyas
Workstream lead