Retail CCTV Business Analytics Matter. Here’s Why.

Over the last decade, the retail industry has experienced a transformation. As consumers spent more dollars shopping over the internet, traditional brick and mortar stores had to reevaluate their strategies and direct their focus on customer experience, store operations, and improved efficiencies in addition to loss prevention. It is a subtle shift with giant implications.
Traditionally, retailers have used CCTV and video surveillance primarily for physical security and loss prevention. Now, with the availability of high-powered computing platforms and advanced analytic algorithms CCTV and video surveillance help retailers make informed decisions that provide a competitive edge.

What Else Can Business Intelligence Do?
Loss prevention is a huge part of retail video surveillance, but retailers can get much more out of their investment—business intelligence. Business intelligence provides the insights retailers need to enhance sales and profit margins that affect the overall bottom-line.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Until recently, retailers had to rely on learning customer shopping trends through loyalty cards and POS transactions. While it did provide information on end-result shopping trends, it did not provide information about demographics, in-store behavior, or customer experience. Business analytics show how long customers spent in the store, what displays made the most impact, how long they waited in line, and whether or not the experience was positive. Knowing these things can help a retailer make better decisions in the moment and adjust strategies in real time.

Better Performance

Leveraging business intelligence provides key performance metrics so retailers can identify trends, or problems. They can also use the data to help compensate and incentivize performance.

Optimize the Workforce

One of the biggest costs in retail is staff. Staffing is also one of the most difficult aspects to manage. Overstaffing increases operational costs and understaffing can mean poor operations, dissatisfied customers, and ultimately- lost sales. By having a full view, and detailed analytics, business owners and managers can monitor shopper traffic and customer behavior to make better operational decisions for scheduling and staffing needs.

More Effective Merchandizing

Whether it is the right product, wrong placement or an altogether flop of a product, video business intelligence gives retailers an immediate understanding of customer behavior. The right information provided in the right time can make a dramatic improvement in sales.

Better Store Layouts

Comprehensive data about in-store movement patterns quickly reveal areas of bottleneck, hot spots, and areas that are infrequently visited. With this information, retailers can modify the store layout to better accommodate the shopper and drive shoppers through the store and to areas they might not have otherwise visited.

Today’s retail environment is competitive and leaves little room for error. Business analytics help retailers meet customer needs by zeroing in on customer experience and convenience—and drive sales. S-TRON specializes in retail loss prevention, CCTV and business intelligence and understands the needs of the retail business.

Why Should a Business Owner Opt in to Professional CCTV Systems vs Big Box DIY?

The integration of security technology into the business landscape has grown so quickly that it has become commonplace. Whereas once business owners debated whether or not to use security cameras and wondered if it could have a negative impact on their business, now CCTV security camera systems have become standard security equipment for businesses of any size in every industry. With the wide availability of DIY security options, the new question becomes, “Why should a business owner choose professionally installed CCTV systems over a DIY option?” There are some important answers.

There is a Difference in Equipment Offerings

Just like with any technology, there is a wide range of prices, quality, features, and operability between any given product type. Those differences are not necessarily apparent at first glance but become so while in practical use. There is a vast difference in security camera CCTV systems made for the professional market from those made for the commercial consumer market. Those differences can be critical when it is time to capture a crime on video and use the images in court.

Placement is a Science

Camera placement is tough. It takes an understanding of how to capture images in any given space as well as a vast knowledge of the capabilities of many different brands and types of cameras. I a commercial and business environment, it is essential to cover as much space as possible and use the correct cameras to cover critical areas, such as POS.

CCTV Systems are not One-size-Fits-All

Every business facility has a unique layout and orientation with different lighting issues. It is impossible to meet all of the needs and requirements of a business with a general DIY system or without a high level of knowledge and specificity.

They Must be Installed, and Integrated

Every CCTV surveillance system must be installed and should be integrated with the rest of your security and automation system. This means understanding system requirements, compatibility and capability issues—all of which impact the system wide functionality.

DIY Does Not mean Budget Friendly

One of the main reasons businesses consider a DIY system is price, thinking that the initial cost is much lower. In some cases, this can be true—initially. Keeping in mind the difference in equipment quality, DIY systems might have a lower initial cost in equipment, but that’s where it stops. The true cost comes in the time and effort involved in installation, integration, maintenance and all too soon, replacement. Even worse, poor quality images or not having covered an area where a crime occurred can also end up being quite costly in court.
Big box does not mean big savings or quality. When it comes to something as important as commercial security, it saves time and money doing it right the first time. S-TRON is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies, serving specialized needs with just as specialized solutions.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Video Surveillance System for Retail

As a retail establishment owner, it is easy to come to the quick conclusion that you will need a video surveillance system. The problem is knowing what you need and which options work best in your environment. To help figure this out, there are some things to consider when choosing a video surveillance system that will help you ask the right questions, and end up with a perfectly suited system.

What Do You Want the Video Surveillance System For?

That might seem like an oversimplified question, but defining your goal will help you choose the right components and not get lost in a sea of really amazing technologies that all seem like must-haves. List your goals, and prioritize them. Is it safety and security, loss prevention, to help minimize risks such as false injury claims? Perhaps you’d like it to help improve processes and productivity. Whatever your goals, define them.

 

What Areas of Your Retail Establishment Do You Want and Need Covered

It might be that you want every square inch of the property covered with surveillance, or you may only need certain areas covered. Determining what areas you want to be covered and prioritizing the list will help in choosing how many and what kinds of cameras later.

Attach a Retail Security Goal to a Specific Area

The areas of a business are used differently from backroom to the floor. That means each area is likely to have a different security objective. The spaces also vary in size, set-up and lighting. All of these things will play an important role in choosing surveillance system components. For example, a wide area might need a pan-tilt-zoom camera , and a storage area might be better suited for a bullet camera. Your goal might be to reduce loss at the register so using a DVR to record transactions could be an option.

What Surveillance Options Do You Need?

The bells and whistles available in security technologies and video surveillance systems is incredible. You will have options such as infrared technology, waterproof, dustproof, vandal resistant, tilt, zoom, remote monitoring, field of view, low or high resolution, and much more. You will not need every option in every location and determining your real needs can help you manage costs.

How Many Cameras Do You Need?

By knowing your goals, defining the area and purpose, and determining the need for each area you can determine how many cameras you need. A larger area does not necessarily mean a larger number of cameras. Choosing the right cameras can actually reduce the number you need. For example, depending on what you need to see, a pan-tilt-zoom camera that covers an expansive area might reduce the number of fixed cameras you need.

S-Tron is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies. Specializing in an industry means we keep current on every trend, changes, challenges, and advances so we can address your specialized and unique needs.

7 Benefits of Restaurant Security Cameras

Restaurants make for very successful businesses, but with that success comes plenty of opportunity for crime. Some of those may come to mind immediately, like employee theft. Others may not be as obvious. There are many ways for employees, customers, and even intruders to commit crimes, however, and restaurant security cameras have a very important role in preventing them.

Restaurants Face Unique Security Challenges

Restaurants face a large range of security challenges on a daily basis, such as a high employee turnover rates, a constantly changing customer base, theft, and more. Restaurant security camera and CCTV systems can help reduce the losses commonly associated with owning and running a restaurant.

Top Advantages of Restaurant Security Cameras

Hospitality establishments make up the largest segment of the retail industry and because of this, a run a greater risk of crime and loss. It is easy to assume that security cameras will enhance safety, but there are many additional benefits for the hospitality and restaurant industry. Here are the top advantages of implementing a security camera system in your restaurant establishment.

1 Prevent Employee Theft of Product

Theft of product can happen in countless creative ways, and it is nearly impossible to spot all of it in the moment. Security cameras can deter theft, but also allow you the information you need to spot it and correct the problem. Employees are less likely to steal and you are more likely to catch it if they do.

2  Reduce Fraudulent Lawsuits

Restaurants are also a frequent target of false injury claims because they are busy and setting the scene with spills is fairly easy. A professionally installed security camera system will cover areas of vulnerability, while crisp HD camera images will make sure that your evidence stands up in court.

3 Prevent Overpouring

It can be tempting to overpour when doing so can result in higher tips. The best way to combat this problem is by always having an eye on the tables and bar.

4 Aiding In Customer Disputes

Fights are common in crowded restaurants, especially ones with bars. Restaurant security cameras can help reduce fights, and in the event of violence, help police identify the responsible parties.

5 Curb Sexual Harassment Issues

The number of sexual harassment claims reported to the Equal Opportunity Commission has reached nearly 10,00 cases annually, the number of events are likely much higher. The monetary benefits paid each year as a result of sexual harassment claims is in excess of $43 million. In addition to being motivated by a concern for the wellbeing of employees, using surveillance cameras can help curb the incidence, and provide evidence so you can formulate a response.

6  Boost Productivity

Studies show that security cameras in the workplace can help boost productivity significantly. Not  only does it motivate employees, it means management can spend less time monitoring and more time doing other more beneficial tasks.

7 Reduce Workplace Violence

In 2011, 17 percent of fatal work injuries were the result of  workplace violence. That’s about 780 fatal work injuries a year. Surveillance in the workplace discourages acts of violence and aids law enforcement in solving crime.

There are many considerations around implementing restaurant security cameras. S-Tron is expert in deploying a variety of tool and technologies to help secure the restaurant industry.

 

Critical Reasons Your Retail Business Needs End-to-End Security

A recent industry study noted that most businesses (nearly 60%) monitor less than half of their valuable assets with video surveillance systems. This statistic does not include how many businesses thoroughly and effectively safeguard other aspects of the business, such as POI, entrances, and exits, or the overall business. This means that critical aspects of most businesses are left under or unprotected.

How Businesses Fail

In addition to under-utilizing security cameras and CCTV, responders to the survey reveal another problem—a failure to utilize analytics. Fewer than half actively monitor footage or use it to gain important business insights. The majority of users only store the footage and review it if a crime is suspected. Additionally, businesses fail to upkeep and upgrade security equipment frequently enough, resulting in incompatible technologies and low-quality images, among other issues.

Sharp Images Matter

Just having a video surveillance system is not good enough. The system must be able to provide quality images to be of ultimate advantage. Sharp images are necessary for identifying crime and those who commit them as well as in gaining important business insights that can help improve things like customer service and profitability.

Analytics Are Priceless

When most think of video surveillance and CCTV, they think of it in relation to deterring or spotting crime. However, these systems can also provide incredible insights on how the business works, or doesn’t. By tapping into that information, a business owner can spot issues in productivity, quality control, or traffic flow.

End-to-end Solutions Improve Security

Even better than security cameras and CCTV alone, when paired with intrusion detection and access control systems security and other advantages are multiplied exponentially. Together, problems are identified sooner and an emergency response initiated much more quickly.

Better Solutions Put Time on Your Side

Surveillance, security, and access control integrated systems put time on your side. While surveillance systems can spot someone committing a crime or in a restricted area, it still takes someone to see it to initiate a response. When paired with access control, you can be alerted to activity and initiate a response immediately.

End-to-end Solutions Improve the Cost Model for Security

Investing in security is important and businesses want to get the most out of their system as possible. Having and end-to-end solution makes that possible.  For example, having quality cameras means you can cover more area effectively which allows you to delegate funds toward access control solutions. Together these reduce loss more significantly than one or the other alone.

S-TRON Security Electronics is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies. For more information, call us today.

Practical LP Tips To Keep Your Business from Becoming a Statistic

If you own a business, you know that theft is a serious threat, from both outside and within. But being aware of the intricacies of the problem can help you combat it with wise choices in security technologies and reduce your risk of becoming a statistic.

Valuable Statistics About Outside Threats

The FBI crime statistics report that a business in the United States is burglarized every 12 seconds. Those thefts combined result in more than $3.1 billion in property and personal loss. Those crimes didn’t just happen. They came about as a result of planning on the part of the criminal, and opportunities provided by the victim.
Here are some important facts about how burglars make entry into businesses.

  • Six in 10 burglaries involve forcible entry.
  • One third were unlawful entries.
  • Just over six percent were attempted forcible entries.
  • The primary ways burglars gain entry were through open doors and windows or forcible entry through doors and windows.
  • Only one in eight burglars report picking locks or using an acquired key to gain entry.
  • Most commercial burglaries happen at night, weekends and on holidays when the business is closed.

Here are some important insights about employee theft:

  • More than six in 10 businesses have been victims of employee theft.
  • Over 40% of thefts involving employees are of money, ranging from $5 to $2 million dollars.
  • The average amount stolen is $20,000, which is a devastating loss to most businesses.
  • Around two in 10 thefts involved products sold by the business, most were of materials that go into making final products.
  • Six percent were of office supplies.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

No business has to remain vulnerable. Here are some important ways you can reduce the chances of becoming a crime statistic.

  • Conduct thorough background checks on all employees.
  • Install access control systems and grant access to only those areas necessary to perform the duties of the job.
  • Use security cameras in places of vulnerability such as stockrooms and point of sale.
  • Do not keep excess cash on the property. Make bank deposits daily.
  • Close and lock doors to areas where valuable products or supplies are kept.
  • Use fencing and locked gated to protect equipment.
  • Keep all areas of the property well-lit.
  • Cover all areas of the property with video surveillance.

If you own a business, you know how seriously theft can impact your bottom line. S-TRON helps keep businesses from becoming a crime statistic with highly technical electronic security solutions. For more information, call S-TRON today.

Vulnerabilities that Ruin Businesses: Protect Your Business from the Top Five

As crime becomes more sophisticated, business owners are faced with some serious considerations when it comes to security. Whether it is a restaurant, retail, grocery or convenience store, all experience the same five top vulnerabilities; and these vulnerabilities have the power to take down any business.
In order to protect your business, consider these top five vulnerabilities.

Burglary and Robbery

A business burglary happens every four minutes somewhere in the United States. Both burglary and robbery put your business, and the lives of your employees and customers in extreme risk.

Employee Theft

Employees steal $50 billion a year from their employers and up to 75% have stolen at least once. One third of all business bankruptcies are a result of employee theft.

Liability

It is no secret that con artists are looking to make a fast– and dishonest—buck by claiming they were harmed by your business. Many of them are so exceptional at their craft that proving them wrong is near impossible without the right tools in place.

Fire and Emergencies

Fire and other emergencies have a devastating impact on your business. Some are beyond your control while others are preventable. In either case, being proactive in prevention as well as having a plan of action in case of an event can limit damages and protect lives.

Vandalism

Vandalism may seem like a minor problem but each act of vandalism encourages another. Not only does removing spray paint and fixing windows add up over the long haul, all it takes is someone damaging a critical piece of equipment to cripple a business for days, or even permanently.

Preventing the Big Five

We understand that knowing and understanding your vulnerabilities is not enough. You need practical and strategic solutions you can implement immediately. Here are those solutions.

  • Keep entries and parking lots well-lit so they can be seen from the street.
  • Keep landscaping low to prevent creating places to hide.
  • Use security cameras indoors and outdoors of the property. Security cameras serve as a strong crime deterrence.
  • Install Panic buttons.
  • Use a motion intrusion system.
  • Install deadbolt locks on exterior doors and keep locked when not in use.
  • Use fencing.
  • Use access control systems to and only give access to areas necessary to do the job.
  • Keep security cameras focused on registers, stock rooms, and other critical areas.
  • Use access control to prevent visitors from going in dangerous areas.
  • Discourage loitering outside your business.
  • Monitor food prep areas.
  • Keep recorded video at least 30 days. Consider cloud storage.
  • Have a monitored fire and environmental alarm system.
  • Train employees on emergency procedures.

Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Melville, NY, S-TRON is an electronic security integrator with national reach. S-TRON serves its clients with best in class equipment installations, ongoing service, maintenance and support.

Is Security Technology Worth the Investment?

It is a question many restaurants and retail, grocery, and convenience stores face immediately. Is retail security technology really worth the investment? While the answer may seem obvious, with budgets stressed to the limit it is a question many owners have to consider carefully.

Undoubtedly, electronic security is a valuable tool, but is it one that actually pays off? The answer is yes. The restaurants, retail, grocery, and c-store industries face billions of dollars in losses each year to employee theft and shoplifting alone and electronic security provides numerous long-term, cost-effective solutions to reduce shrinkage and maximize profits.

Shoplifting is Not a Small Crime

If you are debating the value of security cameras and CCTV, one jaw dropping fact is probably enough to convince you—

  • The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention estimates that over $13 billion worth of goods are shoplifted from retail stores each year. That is about $35 million in losses daily.

So why do security cameras and CCTV play an important role in prevention and apprehension? A visible security system is always a deterrence as thieves do not want to get caught. Veteran shoplifters are so experienced that they often elude the attention of loss prevention security, but they cannot elude being caught on camera. This is important when it is time to have proof.

Employee Theft. We don’t Want to Believe it but it’s True

Even when the employees have passed exhaustive background checks and interviews, it is still important to have security cameras to serve as theft prevention. In the event you suspect employee theft, having video proof can help you rule out suspects.

There is No Love in Sweethearting

Sweethearting, or giving friends and family discounted or free items can be very difficult to catch as employees learn ways to be very discrete ways to commit the crime. But when employees give unauthorized discounts or fail to scan items, it costs you money. Video can give you a bird’s eye view of point of sale so you can spot trouble in the act.

Some Flash Mobs are Not Inspirational

Flash mob theft is a relatively new tactic but is becoming a major problem, particularly in larger cities. During a flash mob theft, a large group of people, usually young adults or adolescents, raid a store all at once, some screaming and threatening, others breaking and throwing objects, and still more stealing products. While it is never advisable to intervene in a life-threatening situation, having video footage of the event can be helpful to law enforcement in apprehension and conviction of the perpetrators.

Don’t Forget Organized Crime

Yes, large underground shoplifting rings are active all across the US. The perpetrators are so skilled that store owners, management or employees may not even notice until they see empty shelves, but security cameras capture all the action and give law enforcement a chance to identify the thieves.

Your security is a big deal and worth the modest investment. If you have any questions about security for restaurants, retail and grocery stores, give S-Tron a call. S-Tron is a national security systems integrator with local, professional service and installation.

Why Your Business Should Not Settle for One-Size-Fits-All Security

Every business is vulnerable to crime, but not every business is vulnerable in the same way. This is a huge concern for business owners, and often discovered after experiencing theft or other crime events. As a business owner, we understand your time is pressed from all sides and we want to honor that by providing the specific security information you need as concisely as possible, especially when providing information about the risks of one-size-fits-all security.

The Stats

Every business is vulnerable to crime, and one of the top crimes is theft. In 2013, there was an estimated 345,031 robberies nationwide. Most of those incidents involved forced entry. While that statistic is a stark picture of business vulnerability, it is also very general in nature. Each of those crimes was unique and faced by different industries with different needs and vulnerabilities.

Unique Risks

Every business faces unique risks based on such things as location, building size, daily activities, number of employees, and type of industry. The daily operation of your business also presents unique risks such as losing cash or theft of inventory, and involve threats from both inside and outside the business. For example, a restaurant may face significant point of sale loss, while a grocery store might be particularly vulnerable to inventory loss. Convenience stores may have increased safety needs.

Owners Also Have Unique Needs

Owners of multiple businesses may need remote monitoring to keep an eye on things while on the go, while an owner of a single convenience store may need to be able to see the exterior as well as inside the property. The business may also need levels of access to help control products or information.

Seek Specific Solutions

All of the many facets of your business add up to a very specific and complex security picture that cannot be addressed well unless they are addressed specifically and individually. To do this, you must find professionals who are expert at identifying your risks and highly knowledgeable about the vast amount of technical solutions.

Every business has varying security needs as well as clear security risks. S-Tron is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies and specializes in meeting the needs of the industry with systems that meet each need individually, and precisely. If you have any questions about security solutions, please call us today.

S-TRON Becomes Certified Partner with March Networks

S-TRON, a leader in Advanced Security with Business Intelligence for National Retail is poised for continued growth with expansion of its partnership with March Networks.

Melville, NY: S-TRON is pleased to partner with March Networks to offer our retail clients continuing best of breed technology in video surveillance and NVR solutions. Watch this video to find out why some of the world’s largest organizations have made the switch to high-performance Hybrid Network Video Recorders.

Uncovering theft and locating missing inventory with one complete solution for unprecedented retail insights. This is the mission of S-TRON Security to the retail industry, and why we have chosen to partner with March Networks, a leading provider of IP video software and systems.

Built for rock-solid reliability and available in 32, 16, 8 and 4-channel models, these video recorders make it easier for organizations to migrate from analog to high-definition IP video on a single recording platform.

With March Networks, S-TRON delivers on client solutions designed to to enhance security, mitigate risk, and reduce losses from theft and fraud. We then deliver on the true power of video with integrated applications that let regional and national retail operations see what’s happening in their organization, and make informed decisions to improve performance and profitability.

Synergies with March Networks and S-TRON provide a practical approach to innovation that always starts with a fundamental question, “What business problems are our customers trying to solve?” The result is forward-thinking products and solutions that help organizations leverage their video for success – now and in the future.

S-TRON is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies. Established in 1995, and headquartered in Melville, NY, we have served thousands of retail locations with best of class equipment installations and backed them up with our ongoing service, maintenance and support. Our brand promise is “Service excellence” and we deliver.

Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.