Magazine Article | December 20, 2006

Prevent Shrink And Property Damage

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

A furniture retailer increases control in its DCs and retail locations with an access control and surveillance system.

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, January 2007

Innovative methods of luring customers into your retail setting can improve sales, but those techniques can also increase exposure to theft and property damage. An example of this is Boston-area-based Jordan's Furniture, which sells more furniture per square foot than any other furniture retailer in the country. It does so through unique advertising campaigns and entertainment, including IMAX theaters and trapeze artists performing in areas within its retail stores. This entertainment brings thousands of visitors into Jordan's facilities. Jordan's also contracts with approximately 60 outside vendors (e.g. general contractors, vending machine operators) for a range of store operations and services. Controlling the store's environment is difficult for Jordan's security personnel. However, some new security equipment has made the job easier.

Prior to its upgrade, Jordan's used a videotape security system with a small number of cameras in its retail facilities and DCs, but ran into problems with the quality of video due to tape reuse, as well as limited storage space. Matt Busnach, facilities manager at Jordan's Furniture, delayed the installation of sophisticated DVRs (digital video recorders). "We were looking to simplify our operations and perform video searches in a more efficient manner," says Busnach.

Since none of Jordan's facilities employed access control systems, Busnach wanted to combine video, alarm, and access operation information. Busnach contacted Surveillance Specialties, Ltd. (SURV), a security systems integrator that researched Jordan's environment and developed a design specific to the retailer's organization. SURV recommended the Tyco Fire & Security Software House C-CURE 800/8000 Access Control and Security Management Software. SURV also proposed American Dynamics Intellex digital video management systems with an assortment of cameras (e.g. exterior pan, tilt, zoom) and domes to monitor the DCs, corporate offices, and retail stores.

"The fact that American Dynamics Intellex systems could interact with the Software House access control system was a huge selling feature for us," states Busnach. "Rather than switching between two systems, we access C-CURE directly from the Intellex system and view video and access control information containing date and time stamps." Busnach and his staff could navigate through the system in a matter of days.

Improve Surveillance, Track Time And Attendance
The SURV solution has been installed at six of Jordan's facilities — retail stores, DCs, and its corporate office. Not only is it easier to investigate losses now, the perimeter of all buildings is monitored to reduce and/or eliminate vandalism and break-ins. All recorded data is saved at least 30 days in digitized form. If security events are investigated beyond 30 days, the recorded events are burned to CD. Additionally, the video quality of recorded events has improved, helping investigations as opposed to hindering them.

The flow of employees and visitors is surveyed through the access control system. Jordan's human resources department photographs all employees and prints ID badges upon employment. The card backside contains a bar code, which tracks time and attendance for all employees when swiped through the card access readers at each entrance and exit of every store location, the main office, and DCs. "Eliminating the locks and keys at all facilities has been a remarkable cost saver," says Busnach. "I also have remote access to security systems. I log onto the C-CURE system and can immediately change security clearance for employees and visitors. The client monitoring feature allows me to review every card swipe made throughout the organization, at all locations," concludes Busnach.

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