As with a lot of other things, when it comes to surveillance equipment, not all systems are created equal.
In an age of the Cloud, the Internet of Things and Big Data, companies must take steps to systemize their operations in a measurable way. And that requires turning away from outdated technology and embracing new advancements.
Compared to other technologies, such as the aforementioned cloud computing, loss prevention technologies have made remarkably little progress in the past decades. Analog and electronic-based tools are still prevalent in most retailers across the country.
These archaic surveillance methods leave much to be desired. Their inherent lack of intelligence, analytics and integration makes it easy for theft to occur — from casual shoplifters to organized retail thieves.
Each of these aspects plays an important role in the imbalance of equality.
Electronic-Based Systems Lack Intelligence
Electronic-based EAS systems are ineffective because they rely on your employees’ motivation to test and monitor them to prevent theft. According to a study by Hayes and Blackwood, only 60% of EAS pedestals were able to read products with a soft tag inside — and even more shockingly — in 91% of stores visited, there was no form of acknowledgment by any person in the store when an alarm was activated!
When an alarm sounds, theft prevention depends entirely on whether someone chases down the customer and asks them to open their bags. If this doesn’t happen, people learn they can steal things from the store without repercussions.
Meanwhile, no data gets communicated or stored into your ERP. This leaves you lacking insight into potential weak areas. What if you knew that more thefts occur during peak hours in the middle of the week? You could increase your staff accordingly. Or which item was stolen, so you could replace the floor model in order not to lose more sales.
But you don’t.
Relying on an electronic-based system creates gaps where items get lost or stolen, and no one knows about the losses until the next inventory audit. It’s simply not an efficient way to run your business in today’s society.
You Cannot Measure, Analyze or Report On Anything With Electronic-Based Systems
Measuring, analyzing and reporting are critical factors to the success in today’s extremely competitive retail world. But electronic-based surveillance systems do not provide these capabilities.
You can’t get any insights into the performance and health of your security systems. You can’t see how your customer dwell times and peak shopping times play a part in your security strength.
Instead, you’re left guessing and hoping that your protocols and technology work.
And this inequality is another area that makes software-based solutions stand out. Modern surveillance systems are equipped with retail analytics that allow you to:
Monitor store locations remotely.
Access vital information 24/7 from the web or mobile device.
See real-time analytics, reporting and dashboards on loss prevention performance.
Benchmark and compare all stores within your organization.
This level of monitoring allows you to start focusing on what really matters.
Electronic-Based Systems Do Not Integrate With Other Systems
In the era of big data, it’s important that all your solutions communicate with one another. This helps to keep everything aligned, systemized and unified.
With software-based solutions, you get access to a complete suite of integration technology. Processes such as enterprise resource management, warehousing, point of sale systems, staff planning and customer relationship management can all work alongside your loss prevention solution. This opens the door of opportunity for a wealth of knowledge and insight.
On the other hand, electronic-based solutions cannot communicate and integrate with other technologies at all which keeps it isolated from other valuable information.
Having solutions interconnected helps them reinforce each other and gives you valuable insight. It’s a win-win situation that you just can’t achieve with electronic-based systems.
Are You Ready for Software-Based Solutions?
More and more retailers will turn to software-based systems in the coming years. It’s the only logical pathway along this journey of technological advancement.
If your company isn’t thinking about the future, it will get stuck in the past. And that will not only lead to an increase in shrinkage but will do immense damage to the entire infrastructure.
It’s time. Start making plans to pitch a loss prevention upgrade to the C-Suite at your company. They’re the biggest thing standing in the way of your vision.