Making the Case
Intelligent video is an integral part of new technology
- By Dan Cremins
- Nov 01, 2014
When budgets are tight, everyone
in the organization gets more
strategic in order to make the
case for their share of the company’s
resources. In retail businesses,
it’s no different for the loss prevention (LP) organization,
which may be preparing to invest in new
At a recent retail conference, several LP executives
talked about the importance of building internal support
from other departments and executives for their
video-based programs. I could not agree more. When
LP “speaks the language” of their finance, IT, operations
and executive teams, they set themselves up for
success. The key is to take the time to detail how an
intelligent video solution can help other departments
meet their business objectives. Do that, and you’re
likely to get the resources you need to maintain your
current budget or even get new money to upgrade
Demonstrate ROI for Finance
A finance team focuses on an organization’s total
cost of ownership. If you can walk finance through
the business case that demonstrates how investigating
suspect point-of-sale (POS) transactions results in reduced
dishonesty and improved per-location profit—
which it does—that effort will lend significant weight
to your budget requests.
Beyond preventing losses or protecting assets,
there is an untapped potential for operational efficiency
with video, as long as you have the right tools.
Without video evidence, managers may be relying on
business systems that only deliver part of the story.
For example, examining POS numbers won’t tell you
when people walked away because lineups were too
long or customer service was lacking.
Video-based reports can be accessed anywhere via
browser-based client software. Instead of driving from
one store to another, a regional manager can manage
many locations because he or she can do a lot of that
work remotely. Operational issues can be caught and
fixed quickly. And, managers can see right away when
opportunities are lost because staff members aren’t
greeting customers or maximizing the value of each
sale through upselling.
The combination of reduced losses, increased operational
efficiencies and optimized labor costs means
that your investment in a video solution pays for itself
in no time, often in as little as a month. That’s an ROI
the finance team should have no trouble getting behind.
Lighten IT’s Workload
As video solutions migrate from closed networks to
IP-based systems, the impact on IT infrastructure
increases and every LP department knows that having
IT on board can be critical. So, you need to ensure
that the video system you’re championing is ITfriendly
and has minimal impact on IT resources and
the corporate network.
Solutions with browser-based software clients are
much easier—and therefore, less resource consuming—
to deploy and maintain. A single update at a
server gives all users access to the new version as
soon as they log in. No software is stored on local
devices, so IT doesn’t have to worry about the myriad
of operating systems and access devices. They don’t
have to send out CDs, or worse still, oversee manual
updates to those many different devices. Asking
1,000 retail outlet managers to update their devices is
asking for a whole world of trouble. Browser-based
software, with centralized configuration and management,
eliminates all that.
Give Operations a Helping Hand
The labor force is one of the largest items in a retail enterprise’s
budget, and that’s the focus of the operations team. Video can have a huge impact on
the day-to-day workload of a business’
managers. It can also help the company
make sure it has the right number of associates
in the right places.
A video solution can be similar to
having a virtual secret shopper on staff
that provides eyes into the store throughout
the day. Actual visits to a store provide
good information, but they only tell
the manager how things run when everyone
is on their best behavior. What’s it
like when they’re not there?
Some intelligent video solutions
can provide automated reports that
operations managers can audit in just
minutes a day to quickly identify potential
problems. Complete with snapshot
images captured from surveillance
cameras, managers can stay on top of
operations such as:
- Brand compliance. Is the company’s
name and visual identity appropriately
- Staffing levels. Are lineups within
acceptable levels? Is there an opportunity
to shift staff from one area to
another to improve service levels?
- Staff behavior. Are they representing
the company well, greeting customers,
offering additional products,
taking those opportunities to
- Health and safety. Are there any
concerns that need to be dealt with?
Obstacles around exit doors? Unsafe
handling of food?
If a video solution can help a manager
audit through 80 percent of a
checklist remotely, they will be able to
do a much better job, cover a wider
base, and check in more frequently.
This can result in significant savings for
retailers and increase profits.
Managers can rely on recorded video
to identify best practices. Studying
the reports from store A, which earns
twice the revenue of store B, might
highlight ways in which the under-performing
store can be improved.
Show Them the Money
The executive team is focused on creating
a successful business by maximizing
revenues and profits. For them,
video technology is a tool that helps
the company’s managers succeed. A
well-chosen video solution can help retailers
increase sales, reduce overhead,
enhance customer service, encourage
repeat business, mitigate risks, and ensure
health and safety compliance
In a nutshell, video is a tool that
helps senior executives to achieve their
prime objectives—improving the business
and increasing profitability.
As an LP professional, you know
that an intelligent video solution can
really deliver something for everyone.
And, if you take the time to frame your
business case in terms that resonate
with different stakeholders, you’ll be
much farther ahead when it comes to
securing resources to deploy advanced
technology that will benefit your entire
This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Security Today.