When the industry was siloed, with different systems operating on different platforms, it was much less effective than it is today. With the move to networked, IP and browser-based surveillance and access control systems and services, security has become more of a business and management tool and that’s good news all around.
Manufacturers realized early on that recording was just an inkling of what they could provide the end-user. Products such as DVRs have stepped up big time to meet the needs of the increasingly integrated marketplace. Many now have built-in analytics, search engines, embedded biometrics and other practical management features.
The continued evolution of recording as a management tool comes at a good time for many verticals, especially the restaurant industry, which needs to add value in every penny it spends. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2009 Industry Forecast, while overall restaurant industry sales were slated to increase in current dollars by 2.5 percent over 2008, the numbers actually represent an inflation-adjusted decline of 1.0 percent. Restaurants overall haven’t grown and are feeling the pinch from consumers who may not have the disposable income they once had for eating out. That translates into the hospitality, restaurant and retail end-users looking for more value from security as well as tools they can use to increase their efficiencies and accountability.
NAVCO Networks and Security, Anaheim, Calif., one of the largest privately-held systems integrators in North America, prides itself on having the knowledge not only of the security side of the business, but the value-add associated with networking and converging and integrating products. And that’s just what they provided Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza as a dealer-integrator installation partner.
“We recognized early on that customer’s like Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza needed to get more out of their surveillance systems,” said Ryan Haley, regional sales manager-West, NAVCO. “In the case of Sammy’s, they wanted to tie exception-based reporting with point of sale. They had an existing DVR installation and to go about marrying the two technologies--recording and POS-- was tough, we’ll admit. But we reached out to the manufacturer, 3VR Security, and they were able to collaborate with us and write software to implement the application just the way the end-user wanted it.”
NAVCO, in partnership with San Francisco-based 3VR, created a unique software and hardware-based video management point of sale and reporting system based on the company’s searchable surveillance product. With an open approach to data/systems integration, the resulting 3VR SmartRecorder video management device connects to virtually any transaction, POS, intrusion, access control, ATM, teller or other system.
Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza is a restaurant group with locations throughout southern California and Las Vegas, and selected 3VR solutions early on to bolster its retail security, customer service and loss prevention capabilities. The upgraded software that has resulted in the 3VR SmartRecorder surveillance platform features capabilities specifically designed for the needs of retailers, including new solutions aiding loss prevention and addressing organized retail theft.
“We put our heads together with 3VR and wrote a program; that’s the kind of company and support we get from this manufacturer,” Haley continued. “After testing the software with a pilot program we implemented it in one Sammy’s and then rolled it out to the others. The end-user was so elated that they were able to upgrade their current stores and the existing 3VR DVRs.”
Haley said NAVCO has a long-term relationship with Sammy’s as their go-to provider for the installation of its full-surveillance suite, including cameras and connectivity, and it wanted to be able to help them scale up as necessary and provide value as a consultative partner.
“We asked the end-user: ‘how do you use technologies to help run your business?’ We helped them look at key performance indicators for the business and how that could be tied to technology. For example, we can tie the surveillance to their use of coupons, when they are being used most, etc. and that ultimately helps them with their marketing and promotion. Today, it’s all about efficiencies and performance. Sammy’s is now using video technology to help achieve their performance indicators,” he said.
Additionally, the 3VR SmartRecorder integrates with Hospitality Solutions International’s (HSI) point-of-sale (POS) security solution, which is currently in use at all Sammy’s locations. The integration offers business analytics options that allow companies to report and search on exceptions such as manager “comps” and other anomalies.
“This implementation gives us the ability to greatly improve our customer service through the monitoring of staff metrics, while simultaneously bolstering the security of our business,” said Patty Hernandez, corporate controller of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. “The unit rapidly integrated with our HSI/POS system and the sophisticated features and capabilities will provide improved business dynamics, service and safety in all Sammy’s locations.” (All 3VR SmartRecorders feature video analytic, biometric, data integration and search capabilities, in addition to advanced motion and facial surveillance designed specifically for return desk and organized theft fraud.)
“Retailers operate on slim margins and they are concerned about what they are spending,” said Whitney Glockner, director of Marketing at 3VR. “We can deliver more value than with a traditional DVR. Searchable surveillance can be use for so many things—customer service, food safety, liability, auditing and more. Search-based alerts can monitor a business and provide detailed reporting, with text overlays on video images at point of sale and registers,” she said.
The system is quite impressive from a POS point of view, according to NAVCO’s Haley. “It can virtually read text and keys and therefore knows what the employees are punching in to reduce fraud or theft of services. For example, employees cannot ring in a lesser amount for a certain item, without having that transaction accurately recorded and perhaps reviewed at a later time.”
Comprehensive surveillance platforms are fast becoming table stakes for any company looking to more efficiently combat fraud and improve the overall security and profitability of their operations.
“We base our system solutions on video and now, our customers can have more of a return on investment. It’s more than video. It’s a tool to run your business. The end-user can see an immediate benefit from this integrated technology,” Haley said.
Video surveillance upgrade:
the end-user’s perspective
When you talk to Patty Hernandez, corporate controller at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, about the work that NAVCO and 3VR did, what excites her isn’t the idea of catching an armed robbery. In an interview with SecurityInfoWatch.com, Hernandez was more interested in using video surveillance to solve the following challenges:
1. Employee cash register fraud
2. Consistent food preparation
3. False safety claims (made by either
patrons or workers)
4. Guest experience/customer satisfaction
“It doesn’t really have a dollar value to all of this,” said Hernandez, “but it helps you sleep at night. You can’t put exact dollars on food safety, employee safety and guest services.”
Look for the related end-user version of this story about Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza on SecurityInfoWatch.com’s “hospitality & entertainment” market subsection this month -- www.securityinfowatch.com/hospitality.
Did You Know?
DVRs, NVRs and other recording devices have been beefed up to accommodate much more than security, including accountability, recordkeeping and numerous other functions, as illustrated in this story. More DVRs are even beginning to or have embedded analytics. Get to know the products the manufacturers offer and how they may fit into your current specifications—and select the right component to add value for the end-user and their premises. It’s a much easier sell when they can piggyback off other functions, which is why integration and convergence is also really starting to take off.
NAVCO Networks and Security—Security reseller and integrated video surveillance and management solutions provider
Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza—Restaurant and end-user/owner, part of the Ladeki Restaurant Group
3VR Security Inc.—Manufacturer of the Searchable Surveillance platform of DVRs and video management solutions