Raising the Bar

Industry Vertical

Raising the Bar

Security equipment helps limited staff keep watch over entrances, parking and more

The Beer Cellar, located in Glen Ellyn Park, Ill., recently transitioned to a new storefront that not only provided expanded business opportunity but also required added safety and security measures in a busy and highly functional space. A retail beer store and added taproom, The Beer Cellar has a small staff in charge of watching over entrances, cash registers and parking lots, all while maintaining a smooth operation.

Covering the Bar

Axis Companion Specialist ATD deployed a selection of Axis Companion cameras both inside and outside of the shop in order to cover heavy traffic areas and where money and products may be exchanging hands. Covering the bar, general storefront, delivery door and parking lot, owner David Hawley keeps his business in check by using the mobile application while he is away from the facility.

If crowds pick up on a busy night, Hawley is a click away from seeing that help may be needed and he can run down to the store and assist his staff. The cameras are a general deterrence for shoplifters and help employees keep peace of mind knowing that they can focus on their tasks at hand while the cameras will back them up should an incident occur. In one case of a stolen piece of apparel, cameras easily caught the individual in the act and helped Hawley understand the situation with ease.

Thirsty for Security

Following a recent move to a larger retail storefront and taproom, The Beer Cellar realized a need for a stronger video security system compared to the previous analog solution in place at its initial location. Spanning about 1,200 square feet and varying crowd sizes, the shop contains a small staff and needed a solution that was easy to use and gave a clear-cut image of key chokepoints in and around the store.

The majority of The Beer Cellar’s business is bottles and cans bought to take home, though the facility maintains eight taps in house to allow customers to get a drink or two before departing with their purchases. A space that can hold 40 to 50 people on a busy weekend evening requires added attention to many areas while staff are required to stay focused on providing a positive customer experience.

Total Solution for Small Business

The Beer Cellar uses the full spectrum of Axis Companion camera offerings paired with the proper software, giving it a total end-to-end solution with tight integration.

To monitor the on-site bar and coolers, the Dome V is deployed to handle complex light conditions and keep an eye on cash flow behind the counter. An Axis Companion Eye L is used as an overview camera in the middle of the retail floor while the Cube L monitors the back door to spot deliveries and record audio of those transactions while keeping an eye on that entryway. An Axis Companion Bullet LE rounds out the system with a steady image outdoors of the parking lot.

ATD took the lead on specifying the system for The Beer Cellar with a focus of covering target areas such as the cash register, bar area and parking lot. Employees can look at the cameras on a computer in the store while the owner, David Hawley, also views footage and live feeds from home on the mobile client.

“They are just as easy to use remotely,” Hawley said. “I may be back home with my family and can check in and look back at recordings from my couch. From an operational standpoint, that means if I see a busy crowd picking up, I can jump in my car and come assist my staff. The app is easy to use, especially compared to our previous software which was cumbersome and not intuitive. You click a button and you’re there.”

With heavier crowds at peak hours, staff can only do so much to keep alert and watch out for mischievous activity. From a liability and safety perspective, the cameras provide Hawley peace of mind should footage be needed in a reactive manner. The outdoor camera, for instance, confirms if people mislead employees about driving under the influence and can help Hawley and his team, make decisions accordingly on who to serve.

In an instance where a frequent customer stole a piece of apparel from the store, Hawley was able to check by the video for confirmation of a suspect. When that same individual came back in a week later requesting a return of the item at large, Hawley put the pieces together to discover that this was actually the original thief.

Steady Tools to Keep Business Flowing

Operating a small business comes with countless concerns and priority items. Security and safety are backed up by the companion solution and allow Hawley and his staff to stay engaged with their customers and keep focus on running the business.

“The cameras are so intuitive; they just work,” said Philip Rode, operations manager for ATD. “I couldn’t understand why at first. Why were they working so well without any major setup efforts? We expected a lengthier installation but the applications, speediness and ease of installation blew us away. You plug this thing in, add the cameras to the recorder and you’re done. I could not believe how easy it was made to deploy.”

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Security Today.

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