On Cruise Control
Rydell Automotive Group implements a full tank of network cameras to drive away fraud and keep their engines revving
- By Karl Radke
- Oct 03, 2016
Standing as the corporate headquarters for the Rydell Automotive
Group in Grand Forks, N.D., the Rydell Auto Center is comprised
of a multi-site campus with departments varying from sales centers
to a body shop and carwash. Rydell has 76 dealerships nationally, but
the central location in Grand Forks prides itself on its focus on technology,
even incorporating a team of developers to maintain a top notch network
and computer system.
While every department has differing needs and concerns, Rydell found itself
needing a new system after an old analog deployment lacking scalability continued
to drop offline. The first major feature of Axis network cameras that drew Rydell
in was their operability within ONVIF standards; with a development team in
place, being able to get into the data was a strong deciding factor in settling on the
Axis products fed into an Aimetis software solution.
SHIFTING THROUGHOUT THE GEARBOX
With more than 230 cameras in place, Rydell worked with High Point Networks to
distinguish the proper camera line that suited each targeted location. The resulting
system includes 30 different camera models.
“We buy the camera for the need we have to address,” said Justin Fetsch, vice
president of sales with High Point Networks. “Axis has a wide line of solutions to give us a unique and proper fit for every application.”
Rydell has positioned a group of 5-MP fixed Axis network cameras to obtain a
wide range of views. The main service area recently added 24 of these to pair with
two panoramic view Axis cameras that results in a broad view of the scene along with
specific shots in notable spaces.
“Our goal with the cameras is always to have an overview to accompany more
specific shots,” Fetsch said.
The force of cameras throughout the five-plus sites on the main campus plus the
formal retail storefront all stream back to Aimetis VMS as they primarily record on
motion throughout the week. The Aimetis VMS partnered with the Axis cameras
give Rydell countless opportunities and flexibility to improve their solution.
They implement a mobile bridge so that staff can access footage on both their
both desktop and mobile devices. Rydell also began using a popular analytic, license
plate recognition, not necessarily for a security purpose but to potentially
identify customers as they arrive to personalize service, which can shorten their
wait times immensely.
“Overall, everybody is really happy with the Axis cameras on the Aimetis software,”
said Steve Symons, IT Manager with Rydell Auto Center. “Especially coming
from the previous system, which was just miserable from an end user standpoint;
we can configure it how we like it on each computer and that is why we love
SPENDING WISELY TO SAVE ENDLESSLY
Though the Axis and Aimetis solution assists Rydell in its security efforts, the footage
derived from the system has proven essential to protect the dealership from
fraud and keep its employees safe. Five cameras surrounding the entrance to its
car wash provide HD recordings as a vehicle is coming through. If a customer
complains that Rydell’s equipment or staff caused damage to their vehicle, the
company has hard evidence to back up the claim. When a customer exclaimed that
the machinery had ripped off their wiper blades, video backed up Rydell by showing
that they had their wipers activated at the time.
“In the long run, it is helping with our customer service because there is no
arguing with customers when you have evidence,” Symons said.
In furthering their ability to drive higher customer satisfaction, Rydell has a
set of four cameras broadcasting to a television in the sales tower of their Honda
store. Showing views that cannot be seen from inside, a manager can send a sales
consultant over to a potential customer out in the lot that otherwise may not have
While the majority of Rydell’s customers and visitors are honest
and cause no difficulties, the Axis cameras have given the company
a solution that settles any concerns of fraud or deception on
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of Security Today.