Think about security
Protect your business
Protect your team
Protect your customers
why monitor your business?
A sound strategy for any successful business owner is to make an informed investment in the right security measures. A key factor when considering video security is the safeguarding of property and assets but it extends beyond that. Protecting your business is also about looking for opportunities to improve employee productivity, better understanding customer behaviour, preventing vexatious legislation and ensuring the safety and well being of customers and employees.
Let's look at some of these factors in more detail.
Theft, whether it be from internal or external sources, can have a major impact on the success of a business. Often, just having properly positioned, prominently displayed cameras in sensitive or high traffic areas will be sufficient to deter some thieves. However, sometimes the thief will ignore security cameras and it is then that the business must be able to successfully identify the event and the individual concerned. Video evidence is a key component to successful law enforcement and it is often one of the first things that police will request when investigating a crime. Having clear, high definition video evidence improves the chances of a successful apprehension and conviction.
Every successful business should be constantly looking for ways to maximise profit. One way to do this is to review employee procedures and practices to ensure that they are achieving a maximum return for effort. By observing employee activities, it is often possible to identify activities which could be improved to make better use of the employee time. Of course, this should always be done with the employee's knowledge and the results of the observation should be recognised by all parties.
For retail stores, in particular, understanding customer behaviour is critical to ensure effective store layout and product placement. Where do customers linger? What products do they look at most? Do they browse or do they go straight to what they want? What is the age demographic? Understanding all of these factors helps the store owner to maximise the customer in-store experience and improve sales by improving traffic flow and, through wise store planning, guiding them to products that have high margins. Strategic placement of cameras also allows the store owner to understand the interaction of floor staff with customers, identifying those practices which most benefit the sales process.
Video analytics, a feature of digital image capture, can help store owners to more accurately analyse customer behaviour with features such as traffic heat maps which, using video/time analysis, show those areas which are more popular and those which might need more attention.
Video evidence often helps to protect the business owner from litigation arising from fraudulent claims of negligence in cases where accidents occur on business premises or as a result of employee oversight. In a recent case involving a major supermarket chain, a customer claimed to have slipped and sustained injury because of negligence on the part of the supermarket for failing to maintain a safe environment. In such a case, video evidence indicating that the supermarket staff did, in fact, follow guidelines may have quickly extinguished the claim. Conversely, confirmation of contributory negligence may have led to the claim being swiftly dealt with prior to going to court.
Finally, video security can help to protect employees in situations where they are working alone or in isolation from their colleagues. Video streams can be securely accessed from any location, via the Internet, so periodically checking the safety of an employee becomes simple and routine. This could be particularly useful in instances where an employee cannot be contacted and confirmation of their safety is required.
On a lighter note, simple tasks like checking that someone has turned the office lights off at the end of the day is as simple as logging in via a smart phone and can save a trip back to the office. I know I've done this a few times when I've been last out and half way home. So far I haven't had to turn back.