By Trenton Thoms, Milestone Systems, Inc.
In the increasingly competitive retail space, there is a constant need to implement, expand and improve loss prevention programs to secure assets, decrease shrinkage and increase customer safety. With that, budget cuts in the manned loss prevention (LP) staff industry in all store ranges – from mom and pop shops, to big box retailers – have retailers exploring the latest in efficient and affordable LP management through video surveillance and the vast amount of add-on monitoring and analytic programs.
According to loss prevention and inventory shrinkage consulting firm Jack L. Hayes International, in 2012 nearly 1.15 million shoplifters and corrupt employees were apprehended, up more than seven percent from 2011. The threat is real, but the cost of managing these issues is easily streamlined by technology currently available to nearly every retail manager in the business.
Milestone Systems’ partners cater to end users in all retail environments looking to expand or improve surveillance systems, offering a complete solution, backboned by Milestone XProtect. XProtect meets virtually all retailers’ needs because of its open platform technology, which provides retailers with the freedom to choose from a nearly unlimited number of possibilities when it comes to retail surveillance solution hardware or software.
As budgets are cut, working with legacy monitoring equipment is vital to save costs while keeping a store environment safe and shrinkage down. Channeling a store’s video feed through mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, however, gives managers the ability to monitor goods, customers and employees from anywhere – even the back office!
Milestone Mobile offers retailers the ability to view security system output in any store -- whether stand-alone or on a corporate or franchise level -- through mobile devices. Live video and playback can be viewed at all times with an Internet or Wi-Fi connection. With Milestone Mobile’s Video Push feature, live video can be sent from a mobile device’s camera directly into Milestone XProtect, for immediate awareness of incidents, or shared from other cameras in the system.
With the ability to create and watch video exports on the go, Milestone Mobile provides operators with expanded remote capabilities, allowing them to take immediate action during an incident, or quickly review footage to gather evidence. Outputs, such as opening and closing doors and switching on lights, can also be controlled through the mobile devices.
With the open platform integration capabilities, Milestone’s video sequences can be linked with personnel, goods, receipt and transaction data gathered from POS, ERP or ATM systems. Video linked with each transaction can be integrated within the system to help reduce fraud by identifying and sending alerts to mobile devices about suspicious activity, including deceptive use of gift cards, discounts, fraudulent or stolen credit cards and refunds.
However, the benefits of mobile surveillance extend beyond loss prevention to include many aspects beyond security! Integrations with numerous analytic offerings can add valuable marketing tools like people counting, traffic patterns and queue management or product placement aids.
Video monitoring through mobile devices can also ensure manufacturing, packing, shipping, and logistics, are running smoothly within a retail environment. Milestone has been installed in a broad range of production and distribution centers around the world to increase full-chain visibility for managers, executives and other decision makers.
IP video can also be an essential component in the day-to-day operations of an online retailer, especially when authorized personnel have access to live and recorded video on a smartphone or tablet. From the second an item is removed from a warehouse shelf, it can be monitored through the conveyor system, measured, weighed, tagged and made ready for shipment, all with video surveillance insurance and proof of processing. Management knows and can document exactly what is happening at every point to assure quick and effective delivery of its in-demand products.
Milestone VMS solutions are versatile and effective tools for retailers large and small. No longer does an internal security team have to worry about downloading evidence to USB drives, or spend hours watching tapes to search for an event. Many retailers have seen the extraordinary benefits of IP-based surveillance and the cost efficiency and flexibility of Milestone Mobile, helping retailers stay up to date with store locations’ vital information.
Read the full article about Milestone VMS.