On Cruise Control

On Cruise Control

Rydell Automotive Group implements a full tank of network cameras to drive away fraud and keep their engines revving

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 the system.”

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 been noticed.

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 the premises.

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of Security Today.

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