June 22, 2017

Getting the most out of your video surveillance system



On almost any television police drama, video surveillance is essential to crime-solving. Investigators can pan, zoom, and clarify security footage at impossible levels to find the culprit. In real life, it doesn’t quite work that way. Often, crimes don’t stay unsolved due to lack of footage or because the surveillance cameras weren’t trained on a particular corner they stay unsolved because nobody’s quite sure there even was a crime, let alone what happened.


This is particularly true in retail, where it can be hard to tell something is missing among thousands of products and even more dollars. In your stores, theft is just as likely to come in the form of an employee double-ringing a return for cash as it is a customer sneaking product out of your store under her jacket. If you only realize that something doesn’t quite add up once you’re reporting at the end of the day (or, even worse, week), reviewing all the video footage to find the cause of the discrepancy might seem like a pretty daunting task.


However, when you choose a retail video surveillance system after careful consideration of a few key factors, and combine it with an automated currency management solution, you can identify loss at the front end and keep an eye on the back office as well.


Loss Prevention Media says that video-based operations audits “have helped many businesses increase ROI and boost sales, revenues and profit by finding shrink they didn’t know existed. They also uncover operational, compliance, and employee performance issues, which if left unchecked, can impact your brand and reputation.”


According to LPM Insider’s Doug Montgomery, there are four key ways to determine how video surveillance can help your stores:

  1. Identify what you’re hoping to achieve. Is it catching theft, monitoring the quality of customer service, or keeping tabs on your employees’ productivity in the back office?
  2. Make sure the footage covers all areas of your store and is quickly accessible for audit. Loss occurs in all corners of a store, not just behind the register.
  3. Enlist someone knowledgeable about your locations to review the footage. An action that looks completely innocent to an outsider, like a third-party auditor, might be a red flag to someone from your company who’s familiar with the ins and outs of the store.
  4. Insist on high-quality video. “There’s no point conducting an operations audit if the images are blurry and you can’t make out what’s taking place in the video. Make sure the solution you select offers clear, high-definition video with the level of detail required for investigations and a successful litigation defense, if needed,” says Montgomery.


To really take loss prevention to the next level, pair retail video surveillance with a software platform that connects all your currency operations, from the register to the back office. An integrated platform with automated reporting gives you an immediate, complete view of your entire enterprise so you can see what’s happening across the organization. Then, when the platform alerts you that you need to investigate an incident, reviewing the security footage will be much faster and more effective.


You wouldn’t monitor your stores with VHS tape, right? So why stick with the same old currency management processes? Comprehensive currency management coupled with appropriate video can help you proactively address issues before they become bigger problems.




Image: iStock