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Iveda Solutions launches VEMO, cloud-based in-vehicle video surveillance system with GPS

Iveda Solutions launches VEMO, cloud-based in-vehicle video surveillance system with GPS

Editor / Provider: Iveda Solutions | Updated: 8/26/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Iveda Solutions, the pioneer in cloud video hosting technology, announced the launch of VEMO, the Company's new cloud-based, in-vehicle video surveillance system with Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation technology.

“There are many in-vehicle surveillance systems in the market today,” commented David Ly, president and chief executive officer of Iveda Solutions, Inc. “The VEMO system fully integrated with cellular capability to stream live video to the cloud and enabled for use with IvedaOnBoard, the Company's mobile streaming video hosting service. Live and recorded video from law enforcement and other vehicles is hosted in the cloud and centrally managed. Videos may be viewed on a single ‘dashboard' that includes a GPS map-based user interface for tracking the current location of vehicles using VEMO.”

“The need to visually verify a situation in real time was the motivating force behind the design of this mobile surveillance system streaming in the cloud,” continued Ly. “The inclusion of GPS tracking completes the picture, making it a powerful management tool.”

The VEMO in-vehicle video surveillance system provides a security solution that is ideally suited for a variety of high-risk and commercial situations. Within law enforcement vehicles, it helps protect life, support officers and reduce response times. Real-time mobile video surveillance in school buses can be used to curtail bullying, protect students, stop graffiti activities and prevent liability. Emergency response vehicles can use it to improve safety, save lives and obtain critical information as events unfold. Commercial transportation companies can monitor assets and enhance operating efficiencies, improve driver safety, and reduce cargo theft and damage.

Iveda Solutions has already partnered with a company specializing in conversion kits for 18-wheel refrigerated trailers, and VEMO with IvedaOnBoard is currently being used by a large food delivery retailer in a pilot program. VEMO's GPS tracks vehicles and its video monitors onboard activities and components of the conversion kit. Upon the completion of a successful pilot, the Company expects to receive an initial order to outfit approximately 150 of the retailer's fleet of 300 trucks.

The combination of VEMO video equipment and the IvedaOnBoard mobile streaming video hosting service provides real-time situational assessment of field activities. The secure storage of video footage at Iveda Solutions' data centers allows 24/7 web access to live and recorded video from the cloud on any Internet-enabled device. Cloud storage provides redundancy to video stored in the local recording device. Thus, recorded video is safe in the cloud if the recording device is stolen or destroyed. VEMO is also compatible with the Company's real-time remote video surveillance service.

This untethered video surveillance solution currently utilizes cellular service from select providers.

Honeywell security strategy: keeping a multi-site retailer secure

Honeywell security strategy: keeping a multi-site retailer secure

Editor / Provider: Honeywell Security | Updated: 8/8/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Being a security manager in a big, multi-site retail company is not for the faint hearted. Take any major multisite UK retailer as an example and consider how complex their respective sites are. From a 24 hour megastore on the outskirts of a major city, right through to a small store on a village corner, these retailers also have to cope with the challenge of having a number of different types of facility all on one site; a warehouse or storeroom, a car park, a shop front, a staff area, sometimes even a petrol forecourt.

Make no mistake, retail environments are complex, and for this reason can be difficult to properly secure. However, emerging trends like cloud solutions, mobile apps and integrated security solutions are helping security managers to respond by facilitating the process of managing multiple staff, contractors and customers at the same time as managing costly theft and shrinkage from outside and within. By partnering with the right manufacturer, security managers are increasingly able to control the security of their sites quickly, efficiently, cost effectively and – crucially – comprehensively.

One major challenge for a security manager charged with overseeing the safety and security of people and assets for a multi-site retailer is access control for employees. With multiple staff – shelf stackers to senior managers – often moving from site to site, how do security managers ensure that the movement of people across the various parts of the business can happen smoothly and efficiently, without compromising site safety? Also, in an industry like retail - with high levels of seasonal labour and employee churn, it can be difficult for security managers to keep up with the rapid rise and fall of access requests.

In this context, integrated access control systems are quickly becoming the retail security manager's best friend. Solutions on the market today – in addition to software development kits like our own HSDK – allow the integration of an access control system with other systems like HR or payroll. This automatically updates access credentials based on changes to a staff member's employment status. In addition, by centrally managing all access control functionality, it ensures that, say, five members of staff redeployed from a quiet store to a busier one at Christmas time can instantly access the building in order to stock the shelves and ensure the shop is ready to serve its customers.

Another issue commonly faced by security personnel at multi-site retail companies is managing internal fraudulent activity. With so many staff on the shop floor, and many of them completing a range of different tasks at different times during the day in different buildings, it can be challenging to identify patterns of behaviour that might indicate foul play. This opens up loopholes for unscrupulous employees and, over time, can cost the retailer a significant amount of money in lost revenues.

Again, technology has come to the aid of the security manager here too. The integration of Point of Sale (POS) systems like tills and checkouts with video - and the use of logical security to identify staff in cash offices - is slowly eliminating this issue by tying suspicious activity to a specific employee, and allowing the on-site security managers to quickly investigate, identify and deal with the staff member in question as appropriate. In a fast-paced retail environment like a big supermarket or department store – with a high circulation of staff – these innovations have helped security managers to seriously clamp down on fraud.

A multi-site retailer also requires a range of different types of security system to suit different scenarios. For example, an access control system in staff areas, an intruder alarm in the warehouse, an automatic number plate recognition (ALPR) solution for the petrol forecourt, a video analytics solution for the car park, a full CCTV solution for the shop floor. Complicated, yes. But worse, what if the different systems don't talk to each other? Imagine the man hours wasted managing each solution separately or dealing with maintenance and repairs in a silo. No well-run business can afford to haemorrhage staff hours and cash.

Integration to the rescue. Working with trusted manufacturers – who are capable of providing a full range of products that integrate with each other – is allowing security managers in large retail sites to manage all of their systems through one central interface. One global system for multi-site security requirements makes perfect sense. It means one system to learn and operate, delivering savings in resources, training time, and system management. It also cuts the costs and inconvenience of dealing with multiple vendors for security needs, delivering a co-ordinated approach to maintenance, upgrades and overhauls, minimising business disruption.

The final concern faced by a security manager dealing with multiple retail sites is the fact that, until cloning becomes mainstream, we physically can't be in two places at once. It's not uncommon for a security manager to be faced with a range of different urgent ‘asks' - grant access to an employee in a certain part of the facility, investigate an alarm in a warehouse and run an update on the access control system – all at the same time. In a high pressured, busy environment like retail, waiting an hour often just isn't an option.

Thankfully, technology enabling remote management of security systems has come on in leaps and bounds. Now it's possible for a security manager to complete tasks in multiple areas all from one place through a single-screen log-in. In addition, the growth of mobility – laptops, tablets, smartphones – means that, with best in class security systems, retail security managers are empowered to complete urgent tasks ‘on-the-go', allowing them to operate at full capacity, and delivering significant savings in manpower resources.

In summary, retail is one of the toughest sectors for a security manager to operate in. Threats to site security come in many varied forms. A drive-off on the petrol forecourt. A theft from the confectionary stand. An employee with their fingers in the till. Each problem has an antidote, but often all of the dots don't join together. The potential for wasted hours, lost revenue, retail shrinkage and inefficient operations is huge. Nowhere are the benefits of integrated security solutions from a trusted manufacturer felt so keenly, and appreciated so much.

Ohio sporting goods retailer shrinks shrinkage with high-quality surveillance solution

Ohio sporting goods retailer shrinks shrinkage with high-quality surveillance solution

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Qnap Systems | Updated: 7/8/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Great Lakes Outdoor Supply, Inc. is located in Northern Ohio, USA, and is an outdoor sporting goods retailer. The primary sporting goods it sells are archery, hunting, shooting sports, and fishing. Besides selling general sporting goods for outdoor activities, the company is also a firearms retailer, supplying guns, accessories and ammunition.

Challenge
It is a standard need for retail stores to prevent shrinkage. For large, spacious retail stores such as Great Lakes Outdoor Supply, it is hard to have enough human resources to patrol every corner in store. Additionally, due to the sales of firearms, it requires tighter attention to the sales floor area to document any activities and protect customers, employees. To achieve minimized blind spots for loss prevention and better incident awareness for improved customer service, video surveillance is needed to monitor any possibility of shoplifting, robbery or holdup, accident, loitering, or any future criminal activity.

As the store manager of Great Lakes Outdoor Supply increased the number of cameras in hopes of enhancing sales floor security, he realized the limitation for video storage capacity in their existing surveillance system. The outgoing system was a traditional DVR that only allowed for 8TB storage, and used outdated SCSI for storage expansion. The drawback triggered the store manager to search a new system suited for his ideal video surveillance needs.

Solution
Great Lakes Outdoor Supply chose QNAP Security as the ideal surveillance solution to tighten up the security around the store. A unit of VioStor NVR VS-12140U-RP Pro, powered by Quad Core Intel Xeon Processor E3, was adopted to manage up to 40 channels of IP cameras with outstanding performance.

In this project, 32 cameras from Hikvision, Toshiba, and Vivotek dome cameras were positioned inside the large retailer with overlapping images to minimize blind spots of the monitoring area. The firearms counter is one of the highest concerns for surveillance to capture quality facial images and audio content. The VS-12140U-RP Pro supports high quality video recording and audio recording and features high resolution local display directly on TV, all well satisfying the needs of store manager and security administrator.

In addition, PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras were deployed and tied into the surveillance system with alarm inputs. The VS-12140U-RP Pro supports convenient control of PTZ cameras, and the preset positions of the IP cameras can be viewed on the local display interface. The security administrator can easily adjust the cameras to the desired position whenever in need. While the sale of firearms is significantly security-sensitive, a functional alarm feature is especially desirable that can help the security administrator take immediate actions for emergent security-concerned events. The on-screen event alert function offered by the VS-12140U-RP Pro is undoubtedly beneficial to this requirement. When an event occurs, the security administer can see the alert icon shown instantly on local monitoring page, and then can view the alert details by clicking the alert icon.

The mobile solution with VMobile app is quite an added-value for the security administrator. As the security administrator might not stand by the monitoring screen all the time, it is rather convenient to keep continuous attention to the monitoring areas with the handy VMobile app on iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile devices.

Last but not least, the VS-12140U-RP Pro resolves the suffering of limited storage. It supports up to 48TB storage capacity and flexible online RAID capacity expansion, effectively performs as a massive backend storage solution.

"We believe the use of publically observed video surveillance in Great Lakes Outdoor Supply retail establishment serves not only as a deterrent to theft in the forms of typical shoplifting or internal pilferage, but also provides customers a perceived sense of personal responsibility on the part of the proprietor, who by virtue of the investment, displays a practical concern for not only his customers but the community at large," said Roger Schaffert, owner of RWS Consulting LLC. "This is accomplished through the investment in video surveillance that seeks to monitor and in some cases assist in limiting in to whose hands his products are distributed. RWS Consulting LLC. is proud to assist Great Lakes Outdoor Supply to adopt the professional NVR surveillance solutions from QNAP Security, beneficial to securing Great Lakes Outdoor Supply business operations in what could be currently described as a politically charged retail market segment," added Schaffert.

Result
QNAP VioStor NVR VS-12140U-RP Pro has successfully fulfilled the goal of Great Lakes Outdoor Supply for tighten security as an effective surveillance solution. It not only achieves greater loss prevention but also assists in better customer services. Most important of all, the owner of Great Lakes Outdoor Supply has greater confidence in providing better services in more secured environment enhanced by QNAP VioStor NVR.

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Identive introduces NFC tags for retail shelf labeling

Identive introduces NFC tags for retail shelf labeling

Editor / Provider: Identive Group | Updated: 6/13/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Identive Group, a provider of solutions and services for the identification, security and RFID industries, announced that Store Electronic Systems (SES), the supplier in Electronic Shelf Labeling (ESL) systems for food and non-food retail, has selected Identive's NFC tags to power innovative electronic shelf labels that allow consumers to access a wealth of information about product pricing, composition, origin and manufacturing, through a smartphone. Three million Identive NFC tags have been ordered for this ground-breaking retail application, which is the world's largest of its kind.

“For the launch of our patent-pending NFC electronic shelf labels, we were looking for a partner that could provide us with a proven and reliable NFC solution that would in turn ensure a quick and hassle-free experience for our retailer clients around the world. We turned to Identive because of their reputation as one of the most experienced and responsive suppliers in the transponder industry and as a leader in NFC in particular,” said Philippe Bottine, CTO of Store Electronic Systems. “Identive's focus on performance, interoperability, reliability and quick-turn production has enabled us to offer NFC capabilities across the full range of our electronic shelf label offerings. This capability is yet another differentiator for SES as we work to help large retailers improve their sales and operational performance.”

Identive's NFC tags are embedded in SES's electronic shelf labels and give easy access to a cutting-edge retail experience for consumers. Using any NFC-enabled smartphone, it takes only a few seconds for consumers to download the retailer's NFC mobile app when they first enter the store. They can then tap their phones to store shelf labels to view product information and receive coupons and loyalty benefits that can be redeemed from their phones at checkout. The NFC tags can also trigger a health alert on the phone's screen for products that contain ingredients such as dairy or nuts. Retailers can also use the NFC-tag to store information used for product and shelf management.

“We are very pleased to work with SES on the launch of their NFC shelf labels, which are a simple yet dramatic innovation in retail shopping,” said David Holmes, VP of  Mobility & NFC Solutions at Identive Group. “NFC is becoming a standard feature on new smartphones and soon will be virtually everywhere. With this new global concept for large retailers, SES is leveraging the convenience of NFC in a practical application that has wide appeal. SES's innovative use of NFC technology helps consumers make better decisions, brings brands and consumers closer together and enables retailers to lower their operational costs.”

UK supermarket shares experience in tackling retail loss

UK supermarket shares experience in tackling retail loss

Editor / Provider: Honeywell Security | Updated: 6/12/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

UK supermarket retailer Sainsbury shares its experiences in dealing with retail loss. The retailer overhauled its complicated alarm system with a standardized alarm system consisting of Honeywell Security alarm panels at its 558 stores during late 1990s. The system was installed by security systems service provider SSS Management Services.

Shrinkage through theft has been well documented as being an area of major concern for all retailers, with estimated losses industry wide close to US$3.12 billion (£2 billion) in the UK over the past 12 months. One of the UK's leading supermarket chains Sainsbury's, with an estate of 558 stores and 240 petrol filling stations (PFS), admits to suffering losses in line with average figures for the retail industry.
 
Sainsbury's Technical Security Specialist Ray Waddington explains that known and unknown losses need to be clearly defined. Shrinkage is a combination of both kinds and is estimated at millions of pounds. Waddington identifies three of the main areas for known losses as: shoplifting, burglary and robbery. Traditionally shop lifters steal high value consumables such as spirits, champagne salmon, meat, or portable items such as razor blades, cosmetics and others. Burglars typically target cash, cigarettes and spirits, whilst robbers make attacks on the ATMs or cash rooms.

As part of the risk prevention measures, criminal analysis reports are compiled noting incidents throughout the stores. Specific problem areas are highlighted enabling Waddington and colleagues to refine their security measures according to the findings. Burglars attack dressed in black and wearing balaclavas, which makes them extremely difficult to identify. Even so, video surveillance systems can provide valuable evidence that may be used in court. “Most of the crime is drug fuelled,” said Waddington. “We stock expensive wines that are never taken, and I am amazed how often burglars will steal branded scotch, rather than malt!”
 
Prior to Waddington's arrival, Sainsbury's used as many as eight contractors working independently, installing different equipment to varying standards. The alarm systems had become complicated to the extent that only a handful of installers were qualified or experienced enough to install or maintain them. In 1998, realizing it was time for a change; Waddington researched the market for an alternative alarm system and selected the Honeywell Security control panel (then known as Ademco Microtech). National Accounts Manager Douglas Waddington introduced the alarm system to Sainsbury's and quickly arranged training sessions for the operators and store managers. The system was already established as the industry standard, and became the preferred choice of alarm panel to be installed throughout the supermarket chain. “The security alarm system is operated by store managers and staff so it needs to be user friendly and consistent across all stores,” said Waddington. Waddington uses the term security alarm system rather than ‘intruder alarm', because, he explains: “If the fire doors open – we want to know about it. If the cash office, which could hold anything up to half a million pounds, is under attack – we need to know about it as soon as the incident occurs.”
 
During trading hours, each store's management team takes the necessary action whenever an alarm is activated. Intelligent speakers provide a specific message, to inform staff that there is a security alert without raising any concern to the customers. Most stores will have three keypads, located on the sales floor and in the general office.

Response management for all alarms, including the fire doors, panic alarms, cash office and ATM's are managed by SSS Management Services at their Communications Center. “Rarely do we need response, but when we do, we need to manage the response quickly and check for false alarms,” said Waddington. As specialists in the retail sector, SSS's main roles are to filter out false alarms from genuine alarm activations and to provide management information on all alarm activations. SSS filters 98 percent of false alarms at Sainsbury's. As part of the management information SSS provides detailed reports regarding conditions that cause the false alarms to occur, which could be due to movement, changes in temperature, human error at setting or un-setting the keypad, or a fault with the alarm detector.

Sainsbury's takes a responsible approach towards the DD243 standard and police response to alarms. “The police want the security industry to police itself,” explained Waddington. “I support the principle of DD243, because it seeks to guarantee that when the police are called out there is a genuine alarm and reason for the call.” Duncan Freeman is the senior project manager at SSS Management Services and makes up part of the team responsible for the Sainsbury's account. “Even though we have introduced digital recording mediums in to Sainsbury's, we recently managed to shave $7,791 of the cost of a video surveillance installation,” said Freeman.

As a systems service provider SSS is keen on integration, however Sainsbury's have few sites with integrated systems as Waddington reports there has not been a growing need for it, nor a business case to recommend it. In some stores the alarm systems are integrated with video surveillance, so that for example, if a fire door is opened the alarm activates and the camera automatically pans around to that area to record the scene.

Until recently one escape route for shoplifters would have been through one of the fire doors. Waddington says: “recent initiatives have put a stop to this. As well as being alarmed, the fire doors are now fitted with maglocks, keeping the doors locked at all times except when there is a genuine fire alarm condition.” Safety for customers always remains a priority and the doors will open in an emergency situation. Crime prevention initiatives like these are shared with other retailers.
 
To reduce losses in the PFS, Sainsbury's have installed smoke devices, from Protect, amongst others. These machines are triggered upon alarm activation and in less than a minute they fill the petrol station with a thick smoke, making it impossible for the burglars to see what they are doing. This is a positive step towards reduction of losses as well as damage. “To date, we've have never had a repeat attack where smoke has activated during a PFS burglary,” said Waddington. “Once the smoke activates the burglars are off and what's great is that the smoke doesn't damage the goods.”

In store the cigarette kiosks have also been given a makeover and now are more like a garrison, ready to withstand attack. There is a concealed detector, and staff can configure local alarms to fully set or part set the system as required. ATM's are an attractive target too and various initiatives are employed to reduce the risks, ranging from alarms, ram raid bollards and video surveillance. Warehouses are under similar threat from burglars. All goods at risk from theft are protected by the alarm system, as Waddington puts it: “It is a managed risk.” The roof space is a vulnerable area and so immense that it is not the easiest place to alarm. However, additional systems are employed in specific and back up areas. Colleague theft is another area of major concern, usually in the form of cash loss. Waddington and his colleagues are constantly reviewing and introducing new initiatives such as covert track cameras to monitor cash handling at the tills, striving to minimize all problem areas.

UK toy retailer secures new shops with integrated IP surveillance

UK toy retailer secures new shops with integrated IP surveillance

Editor / Provider: Mirasys | Updated: 6/11/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Smyths Toys Superstores, a large UK toy retailer with 63 shops nationwide, recently deployed an integrated IP-video surveillance system consisting of 1,500 Axis Communications network cameras, 500 analog cameras, 35 Mirasys NVRs and 15 hybrid recorders at its new stores. The system was installed by Multisys.

Smyths was unable to get the most out of its existing analog system, as it could not increase storage and the quality of the video was very poor. The largest toy retailer in Ireland, had been rapidly expanding into the UK and Irish markets having opened a number of new stores over the last few years, its business requirement of needing more days of store video footage could not be met by its current system. “We were looking for improved performance infrastructure in our new stores, as well higher image quality and remote accessibility for video footage,” said Stephen McGivern, Facilities Manager for Smyths. “Centralized monitoring for all stores for out of hours alarms was also a key requirement.”

The Axis and Mirasys integrated video surveillance system featured unique features such as corridor format that provided excellent views of the aisles and high quality images but reduced the number of cameras they required as well as the amount of unwanted data. Multisys were able to build high quality custom hardware for Smyths that ensured high availability and met data retention requirements “Mirasys' ability to auto detect the orientation of the camera 16x9 or 9x16 (tall or wide) means that we can use less cameras,” said Eoghan Carroll, MD of Multisys.

Following the implementation of Axis cameras and Mirasys NVR, Smyths have now been able to improve image quality whilst reducing the number of cameras needed due to the corridor format solution. The key aims of the project have now been achieved: long-term video storage, improved performance infrastructure, remote accessibility for video footage and centralized monitoring for all stores for out of hours alarms.

The IP surveillance system has been a good solution for large scale projects and multiple sites. The remote access feature means it is very easy for store managers to find events that have happened, and the high quality images provide a significant improvement compared to the old system without significant cost increase, said McGivern. “The Axis/ Mirasys partnership has provided a solid future proof solution which can grow as our number of stores increases,” added McGivern.

Major US clothing retailer phasing out old surveillance system across 350 stores

Major US clothing retailer phasing out old surveillance system across 350 stores

Editor / Provider: Wavestore | Updated: 6/4/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

With more than 500 stores and with sales approaching US$4 billion, Burlington Coat Factory, one of the largest clothing retailers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, recently upgraded from an analog video surveillance system to an IP-based  system consisting of Wavestore VMS, 15 to 25 VIVOTEK 360 degree cameras, and 5-10 Axis Communications IP fixed mini-domes at each of its 200 stores. “The company has also upgraded its electronic article surveillance systems and expanded in store burglar alarm coverage,” said James Connolly, Senior VP, Asset Protection, Burlington. The project was implemented by system integrator, American Integrated Security Group (AISG). The contract to supply the video recording and management solution for Burlington's upgrade program was awarded to Wavestore before it opened a US office.

The company decided to make a substantial investment to improve and standardize the video surveillance at its stores by replacing equipment which had been sourced during the last 20 years from a number of different manufacturers. “The decision to upgrade video surveillance capabilities is one of several significant measures the company has employed to address shortage issues in stores and provide a platform for additional use focused on marketing, operations and safety,” said Connolly.

The ONVIF profile S conformant VMS is able to simultaneously record images captured by combinations of analog, IP, megapixel, HD and 360 degree cameras. “Every retailer has some kind of analog system that still works,” said Levy Acs, President and CTO of retailing solutions specialist AISG. “The biggest challenge is to save as much as possible from the existing system and investments while upgrading to an IP platform.” The integrator designed a modular system so when the retailer moves to a completely IP system, the infrastructure is ready and the video recording solution can switch automatically without hardware change or licensing fees.

“The option of relocating and expanding the system was a key requirement from the customer due to the constantly changing landscape in a retail store,” said Acs. “The ability to achieve this was enhanced by implementation of a flexible IP-based camera system.”

The VMS de-warping feature is supporting the VIVOTEK 360 degree cameras that have been installed by AISG to replace eight analog cameras that previously covered the store's check-outs. Burlington's management's satisfaction with the success of phase one of the upgrade program, which has seen shrinkage being reduced in some stores by as much as 90 percent, has resulted in AISG being tasked to progress with phase two, which will see another 150 stores equipped with Wavestore during 2013, and there are also plans to equip three of the company's distribution centers and a proposed new corporate headquarters in Florence, New Jersey.

European apparel retailer expands RFID rollout to minimize loss

European apparel retailer expands RFID rollout to minimize loss

Editor / Provider: Checkpoint Systems | Updated: 5/29/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

European fashion apparel retailer C&A in Germany recently expanded its RFID system for retail loss prevention and inventory tracking from five to 25 stores. As part of the C&A project, Checkpoint Systems is providing RF/RFID antennas, POS solution, inventory management software and consulting services. C&A already implemented source tagging with Checkpoint for RF electronic article surveillance several years ago, as a stepping stone for a potential RFID deployment.

The aim of the project is to ensure that the merchandise is available on C&A store shelves in the right color, size and fit. Implementing RFID in store means that retailers are able to manage inventory more efficiently and enhance loss prevention efforts. C&A selected Checkpoint for the project to analyze processes and procedures for store deliveries, replenishment and inventories.

“The objective is to improve the movement of merchandise from the supply chain to the store and from the back room to the sales floor inside the store,” said Joachim Wilkens, Supply Chain Development, C&A Group. “We have already noticed a clear reduction in out of stocks and increase in the availability of items on store shelves for purchase by our customers where the Checkpoint RFID solution has been installed.”

Checkpoint's AutoID software provides real-time accurate inventory visibility in the receiving area, in the back room and on the sales door. On a day-to-day basis, this means that C&A store employees are able to cycle count with a Motorola handheld RFID reader, equipped with inventory management software, allowing employees to maintain accurate inventory. The software's integrated reporting facility includes sales, stock and replenishment data for the apparel retailer to get real time and full visibility of its merchandise and sales.

Checkpoint's RF/RFID exit door solutions for C&A deliver loss prevention and inventory visibility, and have been designed with aesthetics that fit in the apparel retail environment. Either discreetly attached to the ceiling or installed on each side of shop doors, the solution enhances loss prevention integrity as the antennas will only alarm if an item that has not been paid for moves through the store's exit doors.

POS in stores were equipped with the RFID reader solution, employees can place several items onto the counter simultaneously, where they are automatically read and processed during the transaction. This reduces the risk of an employee forgetting to scan an item. The RF/RFID labels are then deactivated by Checkpoint's deactivation solution, enabling consumers to walk out of the store without setting off alarms.

 “As apparel retailers and brand owners increasingly adopt RFID-based solutions, they are looking for scalable, deployable and operational solutions,” said Per Levin, President, Shrink Management and Merchandise Visibility Solutions, Checkpoint Systems.

Australian pharmacy cures surveillance ailments with networked video

Australian pharmacy cures surveillance ailments with networked video

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 5/7/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Australia's largest pharmacy retailer, Chemist Warehouse, rolled out an IP-based video surveillance system consisting of 5,500 Axis Communications network cameras and Milestone Systems enterprise VMS at its 240 stores nationwide to monitor prescription drugs. The retailer had used the cameras and VMS for more than five years. Camera models deployed include fixed domes, outdoor vandal resistant HD domes, HD network cameras, 3-megapixel HD cameras.

The Australian pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, with a raft of stringent compliance criteria that must be satisfied on an ongoing basis. The security of prescribed medication is paramount and maintaining a reliable security network is an industry regulation. In order to remain at the forefront of pharmacy services in Australia, Chemist Warehouse, needed to work with a solution that was reliable as well as scalable to keep up with their expansion.

“As with all Australian pharmacies, we stock a large variety of sought-after prescription and over-the-counter medications,” said Ryan Calvert, IT Operations Manager, Chemist Warehouse. “Because of this, we cannot afford to have even one camera down.”

“Our blind testing revealed that Axis' cameras have a less than a one per cent failure rate, compared to cameras from other vendors which generally had a failure rate of between four and five per cent,” explained Calvert. Chemist Warehouse chose an IP-based system because of its open platform, infrastructure to support evolving software applications and network integration, such as adding software applications onto its existing network as they develop. In addition, the system's scalability could provide for future surveillance needs in a way analog solutions could not, thus investments could be futureproofed, hence reducing total cost of ownership and increasing long-term ROI.

Axis cameras' compatibility with Milestone software was also a bonus for Chemist Warehouse, according to Angelo Salvatore, Manager, Australia, Milestone. “Milestone enterprise VMS enables Chemist Warehouse to manage, control, view, search and export the live or recorded image feed from the latest Axis new generation network cameras, over hundreds of sites without complex networking and design considerations,” said Salvatore. “By choosing the non-propriety, open platform Milestone IP video management solution, Chemist Warehouse has the ability to customize the system to ensure it fits both the current and future needs of the organization's security and business goals.”

“With so many different stores and thus so many different layouts and traffic figures to contend with, it was important that we used software that could be tailored according to the demands of each store,” said Calvert. Calvert pointed out the company did not have to hire additional IT specialist to view recorded footage over the network. Summing up the Axis solution, Calvert said he has been extremely happy with the reliability and scalability of the Axis Network cameras for many years.

German luxury jeweler ensures security and customer experience with discretion

German luxury jeweler ensures security and customer experience with discretion

Editor / Provider: Dallmeier electronic | Updated: 4/30/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Located at the heart of the historic district of Regensburg, Germany, the century-old court jeweler, Muhlbacher, recently deployed a modern and discreet surveillance system consisting of 20 Dallmeier electronic HD domes and a hybrid video appliance with integrated storage system to monitor its remodelled and expanded retail shop.

For more than 100 years, the prestigious family-owned jeweller has been a supplier of sophisticated timepieces and top-class jewellery. Its showrooms recently underwent a six month renovation to present customers with a sleek and elegant interior, relaxing lounge area, and separate sitting areas for discreet sales discussions. The jeweller now displays timepieces from renowned manufacturers, such as Bulgari, Breitling, and luxury brand Rolex on a spacious 400 square meter display area. In addition, treasures by Cartier, Chopard and others are offered together with original jewellery creations from its in-house workshop.

Brothers Andreas and Markus Muhlbacher, who are the fourth-generation operators of the family business, demanded a high quality and inconspicuous surveillance system to monitor the shop."The cameras are supposed to blend in discreetly with our showroom concept,” said Andreas Muhlbacher. "At the same time, naturally the video system must be reliable at all times."

Vandal-resistant HD domes were installed throughout the shop and surrounding areas. The cameras covered the entrance, sales areas, lounge, cashier counter, consulting area, packaging station, manager's office, workshop, and also surrounding streets and inner courtyard. The surveillance equipments not only protect the retailer from theft and break-ins, it also helps optimize customer care. This was achieved with the deployment of monitors and computers at strategic points, including the reception area, cashier counter, office or workshop, where surveillance camera images were displayed on screen in a six window format. "Our rooms are very expansive, for which reason it is not possible to keep an eye on the entire shop at once,” explained Andreas Muhlbacher. “But with the video images our employees immediately see where the customers are.” This helps cut down waiting time for customers that require assistance.

The images are stored on a hybrid video appliance with integrated storage system. The recording is controlled by motion detection, for example recordings are only made when there is actual movement. This enables efficient use of the storage capacity of the hard drives. Moreover, the Muhlbachers have remote access to live and recorded image material via an iPhone. "The Dallmeier iPhone app is really very practical and easy to operate,” said Markus Mühlbacher. “This lets me keep an eye on things at all times, even when I am away."

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