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How Security Dealers Can Bag More Retail Business

Learn how to attract more retail clients while acheiving newfound business intelligence rewards in the process.

Many POS systems in addition to NVRs will perform people counts, both entry and egress, using cameras along with the right video management system (VMS). Using video analytics, along with the enormous data processing power and storage capacity inherent in today’s computer systems, management is able to determine which entrances get used the most, thus positioning displays as well as greeters accordingly. The objective here is to increase the store’s opportunities to convert foot traffic into sales.

“Cameras tie into a common network using the same IP group of addresses and subnet masks. For example, 192.1.1.1 to 192.1.1.255 the NVR would be in the same group so they can be seen,” says Ken Oberst, vice president, central region, American Society of Certified Engineering Technicians (ASCET). “As long as the correct ports for transmit and receive are open through a firewall, the cameras can be plugged in virtually anywhere in the world that has Web access. Thus, the simple idea of plug and play.”

To highlight a few examples of what is possible with video content analytics, retailers can determine customer dwell times and movement patterns, apply it to POS integrations to record and follow what is happening with the money at cash registers, and with access control systems to manage direct-store deliveries.

These systems can save an organization considerable money, given the marketing department may otherwise outsource the installation of additional cameras and recording equipment. The power of network technology in this regard is that the security integrator can likely provide the same service at less cost simply because the infrastructure is already in place.

EAS Spearheads Loss Prevention Efforts

EAS system components usually consist of disposable tags, reusable tags, benefit denial tags, deactivators and detachers and RFID tagging. Research firm TechNavio forecasts the global EAS systems market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.82% over the period 2013-2018. By comparison, loss prevention solutions provider Checkpoint Systems estimates the addressable market size for EAS systems is about $1.1 billion and is forecast to grow at 2.9% annually through 2016.

EAS systems can be included in an all-encompassing integrated security system. When alerted to an EAS alarm event, security personnel would normally have to pull up nearby camera views manually to see what’s happening at the associated EAS portal. However, in a fully integrated environment the associated camera views are automatically displayed on one or more spot monitors for security to view.

In fact, the central VMS can be programmed to display the images recorded at the time the EAS alert happened. Security personnel can therefore radio the description of an offender to loss prevention officers situated in the store.

“If the EAS has a simple annunciation then adding an output trigger would only associate each activation to the entry cameras like a magnetic door contact, still a worthwhile au
dit resource to expose organized theft or loss of goods,” says Florence.

EAS data also can be shared with other systems on the network, especially the POS central system, for an even more complete picture of activities that go on within the retail establishment.

“If the EAS tag can associate the SKU number and the reader can build a database, eConnect POS integration can then also track goods entering or exiting,” Florence says. “The entering piece could be useful to investigate refund fraud, particularly if it can drill down to the revenue center the goods originated.”

Software-Driven Loss Prevention

The nature of retail loss prevention is constantly in flux. Whether it’s video surveillance, EAS, hold-up alarms, intrusion detection or any other aspect of integrated security, the one underlying element that appears across the board is network technology.

“Day to day we’re pretty much on a LAN [local area network] connecting with-in a site. Sometimes we’re working side by side with corporate IT and sometimes we work alone,” says Richard Cantor, CEO of Amerigard Alarm & Security Corp. of New York City. “When we deal with large retailers, we may also find ourselves working on a WAN [wide area network]. It really varies from client to client.”

Software-driven loss prevention solutions provide managers with more than traditional security sets could ever render on an individual, nonintegrated basis. For example, in an integrated environment, camera systems, EAS, intrusion and other connected systems become part of a Big Data picture that loss prevention and other stakeholders use to evaluate events and their corresponding affects on the business. EAS integration with POS is a good example of this.

“eConnect offers people counting and associates that data to POS and other business transactions, so the likelihood that an EAS solution could be integrated would depend on the EAS provider having an SDK that they would share to build the data sets,” says Florence. “So the activation could be associated to video on most VMS [applications] available today and could generate SMS and text messaging as well.”

About the Author

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Colombo is widely known for his technical and marketing articles in a variety of magazines. Some of them include Security Distributing & Marketing (SDM), Security Sales & Integration (SSI), Electrical Contractor (EC), Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I), Locksmith Ledger, National Locksmith, and others.

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