Page 89 - Security Today, July/August 2018
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Adding audio integration to the intrusion system can also result in a message sent to the store security personnel’s two-way radio when a panic button is pushed or a bill trap sensor is activated. If no security guard is onsite, video monitoring services can allow the monitoring center to intervene through audio, alerting the perpetrator that his or her actions are being monitored and that the authorities have been contacted. This may cause the offender to flee the area, helping to mitigate the safety risk as well as the po- tential for loss.
High value displays. Protect high-value or frequently-stolen items, such as electron- ics, using video analytics integrated with au- dio communications. For example, a person standing at a display for longer than a pre- defined time or touching items on display can trigger a video snapshot to be sent to the store manager and an audio message to play through a nearby loudspeaker, such as: “Thank you for your interest in our smart- phone selection; an associate will be there soon to assist you.”
This not only alerts potential offenders that their actions are being watched, it also serves to improve customer service for legiti- mate shoppers—as a retail floor associate is notified that a customer may need assistance.
Cash office. An access control reader at the door to the cash office restricts access to only authorized individuals. Integrating video can automatically capture an image of the person requesting access for verifying an employee’s identification prior to grant- ing access or for retrospective analysis in the event of a theft.
Exit doors. If an employee props open a back door—either for easy re-entry after a break or to allow access to another person with intentions of theft—integration of the intrusion detection system to the video and audio system can significantly reduce risk of loss. For example, the intrusion detection system can monitor doors for abnormal con- ditions, even when the system is disarmed.
A door left open for longer than a pre- defined time can cause an alarm on the in- trusion panel, which can trigger a nearby camera to send a snapshot of the open door to the store manager and trigger the public address system to play a pre-recorded mes- sage through a nearby speaker. This prompts the employee to close the door, reducing risk of theft.
Coolers and freezers. Loss isn’t just about theft. Loss can also occur when a cooler or freezer malfunctions or when the door of one of these units is accidentally left open. The same concept for monitoring exit doors can also apply to doors for coolers and freezers to prevent spoilage. A cooler or freezer door monitored by the intrusion detection system can trigger an alert or chime to play in the
area to remind an employee to close the door or to alert the store manager to the issue.
Serving a Dual Purpose
While the technology solutions previously described positively impact loss prevention in a retail store, they can also extend beyond security to improve health and safety, and enhance customer service as well as customer engagement and sales.
For example, while securing a store’s main entrance with IP cameras featuring on-board video analytics, retailers can use the meta- data from the cameras to gather business statistics like counts of people entering the store. This data can help them understand peak days and times when making decisions about staffing. Also, while providing surveil- lance of the cash register area, the camera’s video analytics can also be used to trigger an alert in case the number of people in a queue exceeds the pre-defined threshold.
At this point, the same public address system and loudspeakers used to play back- ground music to enhance the shopping ex- perience could be activated to broadcast a message to request another cash register to be opened, improving store operations.
For security and loss prevention purpos- es, video analytics can also be used to ensure that no one enters or leaves the retail shop using the emergency exit. To address health and safety issues, these same cameras can also trigger an alarm if that emergency exit is blocked by an object—improving the safety of customers and employees.
Metadata generated by the cameras can also be used to gather information that when processed with sophisticated algorithms in the cloud can show trajectories of the paths that shoppers take as they travel throughout a store as well as heat maps indicating where
they walk, stop and dwell—all while protect- ing the privacy of individual shoppers. This information can be used by merchandisers to evaluate the success of displays and store layouts, which directly impacts customer en- gagement and sales.
When systems are used for and deliver data for purposes beyond security, other de- partments may be willing to contribute to- ward the cost of the system. This provides an added benefit by relieving some of the cost burden from security or other operational budgets.
Product Selection
Integration is becoming easier through the use of standards and expanding indus- try partnerships. However, in some cases, choosing systems from a single vendor that are designed to work together can help to speed and simplify installation, while also reducing system costs for both the integra- tor and the user. Regardless of the products chosen, it will be important for a retailer with many locations to have consistency in the type of equipment installed at each site. This makes support easier and enables a more uniform response to incidents that happen at various stores.
As many retailers already understand, there is no silver bullet to reducing loss. However, a combination of the right technologies working together to prevent shrink and improve investigative capabili- ties can result in smarter
and more effective loss
Dan Reese is the director of vertical market appli- cations at Bosch Security and Safety Systems.

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