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.

Is Mobile Security Management a Necessity? 6 Reasons Why You Need It.

One of the top concerns of a business owner is keeping the business safe. As important as this is, it is a tough task and heavy burden when trying to manage this and all of the other needs of the business at the same time. It is even more difficult if you have multiple locations.

For any business owner, having integrated Mobile Security Management can help balance the obligations. Rather than “one more thing” to have to think about, it is an easy application that allows you to access your security system from anywhere, anytime. But how do you know you need it? Here are six reasons it can take a load off your shoulders.

You Spend Time Away from Work

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, spending time away from work can create some problems in managing security and operations. This is one reason so many business owners are so reluctant to be away from the business even for a day. Mobile Security management solves the problems by allowing owners to set up text alerts and emails and receive them directly to a smartphone. Not only are you the first to know if something goes wrong, you can act by arming or disarming the system or changing administration codes on the go, remotely.

You Want to Avoid Opens or Early Closes

If you are away from your business, it is hard to know if your employees are adhering to business hours. Shorting hours is a problem that can seriously bite in to profitability but one that is easily solved with Mobile Security Management. It allows users to monitor site activity 24/7 vis alerts so that you always know that employees follow the proper schedules.

Receiving Packages and Product Delivers or Schedule Maintenance After Hours

Providing access codes is always a risky proposition and scheduling an employee after hours creates a whole host of problems. By using the mobile application, you can disarm the security system as needed and arm it again once the delivery is complete or maintenance job finished with just the touch of a button.

You Have Multiple Locations or Plan to Expand

As a business owner, you wear many hats and your time is stretched to the limits. This may make you wonder if managing the security of multiple sites is even a possibility. Mobile Security Management makes it makes it easy to interact with multiple sites, cutting down your work and worries.

You Would Like to Know What is Going on While You Are Away

It is a natural and predictable reaction—people perform better when there is the possibility of being watched. Mobile security provides this advantage through alerts and video clips. Additionally, having the ability to see what goes on in your absence can help you improve productivity and customer service in addition to streamlining your security.

You’d Like a Better Balance Between work and Life

Work is an important part of your life, but it is not your whole life. Even if work requires your attention 24/7, you can still use the management tools to transform your time away. With Mobile Security Management, you can stay completely informed without sacrificing down time.

S-TRON understands the needs of the grocery, retail, c-store, restaurant and hospitality market, and delivers solutions that alleviate the problems and empower the owner. If you would like strategies and tools to deal with ongoing security challenges, Call S-TRON today.

7 Ways to Maximize Your Security Investment

As a business owner, you have done all the right and practical things to protect your business like keeping the grounds well-lit, and keeping landscaping simple, cut back, and low to the ground. You have also invested in a security system with features such as intrusion detection, access control and video surveillance that help keep your employees and customers safe.

Security systems are a necessary and worthwhile investment, but did you know that your security equipment can do much more than provide protection?  This same equipment can give you a competitive edge and improve your business.

Security is Your New Superpower

Security systems aren’t just for security any more. That same system can be one of the most powerful tools you have in mitigating risks, reducing cost, and improving productivity and customer service. Here are just a few of the nearly endless ways you can maximize your security system investment.

  • False liability claims are one of the costliest problems a business can encounter. A quick review of your high definition recorded video can help to quickly alleviate or reject those costly claims, and keep the swindlers out of your profits.
  • You can also use your security system to gain marketing insights by remotely viewing how customers react to product placement, in-store marketing, and store-layout. Gaining this insight lets you make swift adjustments to help increase your sales and profits.
  • Rather than be over or under staffed, know the ebb and flow of each day in the month and schedule accordingly.
  • Remote video surveillance can also provide insight about where employees need more training. Proper training can help reduce loss, costs, and injuries.
  • Another valuable way to use your security systems is to ensure excellent customer service. One bad experience can send a customer to the business down the street—for good.
  • Great security can also prove you are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws showing that your employees are performing critical duties as they should.
  • Video surveillance can also provide insight on what employees do when business is slow, such as find a job to do or hop on their cell phone.

Stretching Your Investment

Improving security was probably your main objective in choosing your security system. But the money you spent to protect your business, employees and customers can serve other important non-security needs that can maximize that investment and make your business as profitable and competitive as possible. The great news is that it does not take anything more than you already have to provide huge additional advantage!

S-TRON is an electronic security integrator serving regional and national retail and hospitality companies. S-TRON delivers real solutions that help alleviate the real world problems and challenges these industries face.

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.

What are the Most Stolen Items This Season? Find Out

CCTV and video surveillance systems are useful all year but during the holidays they take on even more significance as retailers try to keep would-be shoplifters off the naughty list. During the holiday season, incidents of theft go up significantly all across the nation, resulting in loss for both businesses and consumers. And this year, shoplifter have their eyes on some specific items.

Topping the List

According to the 2016 Retail Holiday Season Global Forecast, shoplifting is responsible for 37 percent of a store’s annual shrink loss. This year, apparel, children’s toys, electronics and electronic accessories are expected to be the most stolen items this holiday season in the U.S.

Holiday Shrink Rate to Double

Most retailers book a significant amount of all margin dollars during the holiday season at one-third of the year’s retail sales registered in just three months. Retailers book around 32% of all margin dollars during the holiday season. However, the rate of margin decreases to 29% during the holiday season which is an 8% decline. According to the report, the holiday shrink rate in the US is expected to double over the prior two quarters.

Contributing Factors to Holiday Shrinkage Include Need for More Oversight

Stores are building holiday inventory earlier and earlier for popular, and high-risk items. This leads to increased shrink. Other factors include the need to hire seasonal staff who may not be trained in loss prevention techniques, as well as insufficient surveillance coverage of critical areas, such as in storage areas.

The High Cost of Crime

The 2016 retail cost lost is expected to be $132 per person, of which $50, nearly twice as much as in other calendar quarters, is incurred during the holiday season. These losses place increased pressures on retail establishments, as well as on honest consumers to whom some of the burden is passed on through higher prices.

Better Security Solutions

Preventing shrinkage is a full-time job for retail establishments and one which takes on added importance during the holiday season. One of the best ways to reduce shrinkage is to increase security controls such as implementing CCTV and video surveillance technologies. These technologies reduce incidents of internal shrinkage and shoplifting serving as a strong deterrence as well capturing acts of theft in progress.

S-Tron is an electronic Security Integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies specializing in loss reduction. Call us today to see what makes us different.

Important Tips for Preventing (and Catching) Employee Theft

Whether it is taking an extended lunch or taking products for personal use, it all constitutes employee theft. Of course we always want to believe the best about our employees, and while there are many honest employees, a shocking 75 percent of employees steal or have stolen from their employer according to a 2009 United States Chamber of Commerce study.

Every business, regardless of the size is susceptible to employee theft, and that theft can deeply impact the business. So how can employers deter and detect employee theft? Here are some important tips to move your security in the right direction.

Security Controls that Make a Difference

Security controls are helpful in both deterring and detecting theft. Theft occurs based on a risk assessment; the greater the threat of getting caught, the less likely someone is to commit theft. So having the right security measures in place is crucial. Consider these security measures to protect your business.

  • Use access control systems to limit employee access to areas required to perform their duties.
  • Consider using access codes so you know who is accessing different areas at different times of the day or night.
  • Install a video surveillance and cctv system. A well-placed and visible video surveillance system is enough to deter most instances of theft and able to catch acts of theft in the process.
  • If you use a traditional lock and key system, make sure you limit the number and keep record of people who have the key and that you change the locks each time an employee leaves or is dismissed.

Valuable Internal Security Practices

  • Screen each employee prior to hiring them.
  • Conduct regular audits of inventory.
  • Split duties such as issuing checks, making deposits, managing inventory, and reconciling accounts.
  • Rotate tasks among the employees.
  • Have more than one employee closing each night.

S-Tron has over 20 years of uncompromising quality of service in retail and hospitality security coast to coast. We provide custom scalable access systems, redundant video surveillance systems, intrusion detection, analytics and more. Whether you need the highest levels of security for multiple sites or just one, S-Tron is ready to serve you with excellence.

Retail Theft On the Rise, But So Is Apprehension

If you ever had any question about the value of video surveillance and cctv in retail business, your questions have been answered. According to the 28th annual Jack L. Hayes International Retail Theft Survey, 30% of survey participants reported an increase in shrink in 2015. The good news is that apprehension has also increased steadily over the last decade.

Retail Theft is a Huge Problem

Studies show that retail theft by both shoplifters and employees continues to plague the retail industry and according to the most recent compiled data, resulting in $32 billion lost in 2014 alone. Even more shocking, up to 47% of the loss is due to employee theft.

Apprehension Rates Are Up

While the problem of theft is not going away, the good news is that apprehension of shoplifters and dishonest employees has gone up 9 out of the last ten years. In 2015, 1,170,056 shoplifters were apprehended, up 2% from 2014.

Video Surveillance and CCTV Plays an Important Role in Loss Prevention

In any retail business, video surveillance and cctv systems play a critical role in theft prevention. Here are three important ways a sophisticated video surveillance and cctv system provides layers of protection against retail theft.

Visual Deterrence

Visible video surveillance systems are a strong deterrence against theft because thieves do not want to get caught. If there is overt surveillance the assumption is that there are also covert cameras as well as other security measures in place.

Mobile Access

Mobile video access allows retail store owners to check in on the daily operations of the business or be notified when prohibited areas are accessed.

Business Insights

Having a clear physical view of the store can provide valuable information about how theft is happening which provides a clear direction on how to correct the problem.

S-Tron Security is a national security systems integrator with local, professional service and installation. Our clients include national grocery store, c-store, and retail store franchises.

Why A Lack of Security Can Be A Big Problem For Retail

If you are a business owner having adequate security is more than just a good idea. Property owners are lawfully required to provide guests with adequate security, and a lack of it that leads to an assault or injury can lead to a premises liability lawsuit.

The Law Requires Proper Security For Retail Operations

The law, which covers instances of lack of security as well as improper and negligent security,  requires all property owners maintain a reasonably safe environment which includes keeping visitors safe from outsiders, even in parking lots.

Here are some examples inadequate or negligent security.

  • A woman is assaulted in a dark and unprotected area of a parking lot
  • A man is badly beaten by a burglar when he enters a hotel room easily due to failing locks and lack of security
  • A man is badly beaten in a parking lot in an area known for gang activity

A Recent Example of the Importance of Restaurant Security

Sometimes the seriousness of a threat only becomes real when we can relate to it personally. Recently, a Texas jury awarded parent of two local college students $27 million when McDonald’s was found liable for failing to provide adequate security in their parking lot. One teen, Denton ward, was attacked and killed by a mob in the parking lot and his friend, Lauren Crisp, was killed in a car crash trying to take Ward to the hospital. Lawyers for the victims’ families argued that McDonald’s failed to employ a security guard or install surveillance equipment even though the area was known for fights.

Evaluating Security Needs

The McDonald’s lawsuit and others like it provide a wake-up call for all public facilities to re-evaluate their current security solutions. Here are some solutions to consider implementing, if you have not already.

  • Monitored security systems
  • Access control systems
  • Panic buttons
  • Visible security presence
  • Warning signs
  • Security risk assessments

To learn more about security solutions, give S-Tron a call today. And if you want more valuable tips, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter!

Retail Security Solutions: A Laser Focus on Safety

Retail establishments have become a target of violence like never before, and businesses are responding with increasing levels of security solutions. In order to adapt to the changing security climate, theses methods must involve a laser focus on the integration of the most appropriate security solutions, advanced technologies, and unparalleled customer service.

The Changing Face of Retail Security

In the retail and commercial sector, security solutions were once primarily about curbing loss.

Today retail security must balance solutions focused on retail needs along with a strong emphasis on ensuring the highest levels of safety for its customers and staff.

This difficult task includes these considerations:

  • Allowing access to some areas while restricting access to others
  • Managing open access
  • Monitoring customers and guests
  • Overt and covert surveillance
  • The ability to lock down the establishment

Site and Establishment Specific Needs

There is no one-size-fits-all security solution, and there shouldn’t be. Each facility and business has a set of needs completely unique to them, though they may have some traits in common. For example, quick-service retail — from fast food to convenience stores — generally have two things in common: easy access and lots of cash. That makes them a prime target for theft and robbery, from both external and internal threats.

Advanced Technologies Meeting the Need

Retail owners have the huge job of balancing the needs of running a business while meeting security demands and the growing trend toward violence in the marketplace. Fortunately, today’s security technologies are able to meet the need. Technologies like access control, video surveillance, perimeter controls, and asset management systems all work toward better control, for their specific needs.

Whether it is a restaurant, grocery store or convenience store, S-TRON understands the complex security needs of the commercial and retail environment. We believe that every establishment needs a site specific security solution to meet that facility’s very unique security needs. It is essential that retail establishments have a security system that not only integrates advanced technologies, but also prioritizes vulnerabilities.

S-TRON delivers the solutions that will alleviate possible problems and deal with ongoing challenges. Visit our website today to start a free trial and discover the S-TRON difference for your retail operation.