Editor’s Note: Once again, the security industry has stepped up to the plate for the Security Technology & Design Innovation Awards. For the third year, ST&D solicited the “best of the best” among innovative security applications, and we were again swamped with impressive examples. This year’s crop of entries for the Security Innovation Award covered a wide spectrum of vertical markets — educational institutions dominated the entries, but corporate campuses, city-wide surveillance and high-profile facilities were also represented.
The Innovation Award “Gold Medal” winner, selected by a panel of security industry experts including ST&D editor/publisher Steve Lasky, represents a security application that included many technologies to solve the unique problems in a low-margin retail environment — the security upgrade of DD Franchise Group, owner of multiple Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in the New Jersey area. Ever Santana, the group’s vice president of operations, spearheaded the effort to secure multiple retail outlets and a central baking facility.
The Dunkin’ Donuts project, submitted by access control provider Brivo and integrator Professional Security Technologies (PST), scored high marks with the judges in the three major categories of innovation, collaboration and project scope. “The thought process that came through in this submission was impressive,” one of the judges wrote. “A business leader with minimal understanding and use for ‘security’ actually became a cheerleader for the improvement that was made to his bottom-line business results.”
Wrote another judge: “This was an excellent collaboration between the end-user and the vendor. I was impressed that the security system solutions were tailored to the customer’s overall security and business needs.”
Our second-place finisher is no stranger to Innovation Award success. IQinVision took top honors last year with its Loyola University submission (see the Sept. 2007 issue); and has earned a “Silver Medal” this year with its Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools submission. The culmination of a six-year security rollout, the installation featured a host of technology and service providers.
This year’s “Bronze Medal” goes to security integrator Johnson Controls for its work on the security expansion of The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., home of the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils. The arena used the integrator to put together a comprehensive security and building management system.
The Silver and Bronze medalists will be featured in the October and November issues of ST&D, respectively.
“All three of our finalists truly showed how the end-user/integrator partnership should work,” Lasky says. “But I was most struck by our winner from Dunkin’ Donuts, since they really approached their problem from both a risk and a business perspective.”
We will recognize Ever Santana, PST and Brivo with an awards ceremony at this month’s ASIS Intl. show at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 16 in booth 1042. The editors of ST&D would like to thank all of the innovative companies that submitted an entry.
- Paul Rothman, Managing Editor
Summarizing a lifetime of food service experience, Ever Santana says, “Most restaurant owners think they see everything — they actually miss a lot.” Santana is vice president of Operations for the DD Franchise Group, a northern New Jersey-based owner and operator of 18 Dunkin’ Donuts franchise locations and a central baking facility, which services a vast number of stores. The company’s Fort Lee, N.J., location is one of the largest stores in the Dunkin’ Donuts system.
The Cost of a Dozen Donuts
As vice president of Operations, Santana focuses like a laser on cutting costs, improving productivity and enhancing revenues. “We deal with small margins in this business. We’re always thinking about the factors to keep our cost of a dozen donuts as low as we can.” Two years ago, Santana probably saw little connection between his relatively limited security system and the cost of a dozen donuts.
Today, DD Franchise Group and its integrator partner, Professional Security Technologies, have installed integrated security packages in about 10 retail locations and the central bakery. At the center of each security system is Brivo ACS WebService, which is used both for access control, and as a highly effective management tool to improve operational efficiency, cut waste, protect against liability, deter theft and improve employee training.
“I knew what I wanted to accomplish, I just didn’t know how to get there,” Santana says. It was Bill Brenner, vice president of Professional Security, and his team’s job to help Santana get where he wanted to go. Santana had some cameras, DVRs and limited electronic access control, and he wanted to standardize on a number of key systems so that one store’s security system could be operated just like any other store.
An Integrated Security Plan for Each Location
“Security starts right at the front door with customers entering,” Brenner explains, “Point-of-sale activity, customer-service areas and dining areas are all captured with dome and mini-dome cameras.” There is also internal and external video of the drive-up window and coverage of food preparation areas, production areas, the manager’s office and the rear door. Each location has between 14 and 16 cameras. The Brivo system covers the back door for deliveries and the manager’s door for strict access management. In each location, Brivo access control is integrated with Speco DVRs. As Santana puts it, “The video was a marriage that evolved over time — how do we see the events that the Brivo system is giving us data on? It was a natural progression.”
The natural progression of the relationship between the DD Franchise Group and Professional Security is such that after one year Brenner has developed a standard integrated security package of cameras, access control, DVR, alarms, hold-up button and other equipment for each Dunkin’ Donuts location. “The technology at each location is the same, but each package is then modified to fit the configuration and needs of each location,” Brenner explains. Video is recorded and monitored in the manager’s office and the Brivo data is transmitted wirelessly, so as not to intrude on the company’s secure network used to send sales and inventory data to Dunkin’ Donuts headquarters.
At the central bakery, or “kitchen” as Santana likes to call it, the Brivo system covers 15 doors, including 10 truck delivery bay doors and internal doors for the cafeteria, restrooms and the administrative offices. Seventeen cameras cover the entire 25,000-square-foot donut-making facility and are monitored in the office on premises.
It Only Starts with Security
The motivation for the plan that would become an integrated security package started at the kitchen with Santana’s drive for better security. When Brenner introduced Brivo, Santana immediately saw potential, “I saw a lot of value in the retail end, but immediately here at the kitchen. With a large number of employees, 10 bay doors and a lot of people coming in and out — I wanted to know who is in this building at all times, from a security standpoint, management standpoint and insurance standpoint.” That was easy enough. Then he asked for more.
“I’ve got a vending guy who comes in at different times,” Santana says. “If we fit him with a key fob, he can access where he needs to go, I don’t need to have anyone here, but he can only go where I want him to go.” Soon, all the different professionals and outside delivery personnel had access fobs that recorded their entry and exit, limited their access to only where they needed to go, and no one on staff needed to let them in or monitor them closely.
In addition to service providers, bakery management wanted to better monitor and manage their production staff. The Brivo system monitors access to the cafeteria and the restrooms, as well as the door to the biometric time-and-attendance device for clocking in. Now management has valuable data. “We use it as a very effective productivity tool,” Santana says. “We can easily see, and run reports on, the number of times specific doors are opened, by who and when. We know where our employees are, and particularly in the bakery, how they are moving about the facility doing their jobs. With the data we collect, we can improve operations with targeted training and feedback.”
Similarly, Santana has a record of all truck activity arriving and leaving the kitchen as they make their way in delivering donuts twice a day to their retail outlets.
Innovation and the Deterrent Effect
In the retail locations, video surveillance provides important data in the event of a robbery or other incident, and it is also protecting against lawsuits from slip-and-fall injuries and customers tampering with food. Point-of-sale surveillance provides a check against employee dishonesty through theft and sweetheart sales or giveaways.
Shrinkage and theft are huge issues in a low-margin business. As Brenner puts it, “Santana and his managers don’t want to arrest employees; they want to deter dishonest behavior.” The integrated access control and video systems are used to measurable effect for this deterrence. Arqui Trenado, a former district manager now in charge of training and development, on one occasion saw a Brivo access report that a manager of one store had tried to access the back door of another Dunkin Donuts location. “I called that manager and asked him, ‘What are you doing over at the other store?’” Trenado says. “That’s what we’re looking for, the deterrent factor — because that manager will talk to his colleagues about how well protected our stores are.”
At each retail location, the manager’s office contains highly valuable equipment and reports. Each office is covered by Brivo access control and video surveillance. No one can access the manager’s office unless they are explicitly authorized. Trenado has delegated creating access control groups to the managers for each individual store.
Most stores are operating 24 hours a day for deliveries, baking and finishing donuts. So, controlling access and having a clear record of access activity is critical. The back door of all locations has an external Brivo-controlled reader and video surveillance. Store and district Managers have a clear record of the deliveries by the 30 DD Franchise Group drivers — person, entrance, duration in the store and exit — and there is video back-up to ensure the key fob and the person match up. This data on deliveries, combined with data from other stores and the bakery, provide an audit trail used to improve productivity, deter mischief and investigate any incidents. “If my delivery is late, I can call the kitchen and ask what happened,” Trenado says. “I have a record I can refer to.”
Project Innovation Highlights
• The integrated security package has been rolled out to 10 stores and the bakery thus far. The Brivo system monitors more than 35 strategic internal and external doors and is integrated with the data from more than 150 surveillance cameras.
• Santana wanted standardization, and Professional Security devised a security package that is deployed in each store. In an industry where turnover can be high and store managers and district managers are moving around, there is substantial value in using the same systems throughout the entire network of stores and in the bakery.
• The DD Franchise Group brings a new store online, on average, every six months. For Santana, key success factors are constant innovation and improvement on the comprehensive systems throughout his stores. The integrated security package has proven so effective both for increasing security and as a management tool that Santana plans to offer it to other Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees as part of his company’s consulting services.
• Professional Security and DD Franchise Group have developed a productive partnership. Brenner and his team create a design and security package for each new store and then sit down with DD Franchise Group management to discuss system improvements. Such collaboration has resulted in tweaking point-of-sale cameras to catch more incidents; installing access control on walk-in cooler and freezer doors to more effectively monitor inventory; expanding Brivo automatic notifications to provide managers with more real-time, actionable information. With each new installation, the security system is honed and the management tools are more effective.
• In the beginning and at the heart of the the DD Franchise Group’s security is Brivo ACS WebService. “I have multiple managers in several different locations accessing the system for any of our stores to monitor and manage personnel,” Santana says.
• The deterrent success of the integrated video and access control is critical in the food service industry. “Our employees realize rather quickly that you have the ability to catch them doing the wrong thing,” Santana says. “Not only do we see our security systems from a productivity standpoint, but after a few high-profile incidents, we see a marked drop in thefts and the like. It’s powerful.”
• In addition to using security for cutting costs and improving productivity, DD Franchise Group is also using their video for training purposes. “We had what started out as a small fire, but we almost lost the store,” Trenado recalls. “The employee made bad decisions and I could use that video as a training tool on what to do in this situation and what not to do.”
• Other technologies deployed include Everfocus, Honeywell, Pelco and other domes and mini-dome cameras; and a Radiant POS database management system.
Ever Santana is vice president of operations for DD Franchise Group. Bill Brenner is vice president of Professional Security Technologies.
The ST&D Security Innovation Award is an annual competition recognizing excellence in cutting-edge security innovation and installation. To enter the 2009 competition or for more information on the contest, e-mail editor-in-chief Steve Lasky at email@example.com.