Retail loss prevention teams are facing significant challenges in securing people and assets. Finding skilled manpower, the inability to upgrade legacy security infrastructure due to supply chain constraints, and difficulty in securing budgets to tackle new and emerging threats are just some of the issues keeping loss prevention leaders awake at night.
While deciding what features of a security program should be outsourced and which should be run in-house, there are many different aspects to consider for loss prevention teams: the number of locations, the crime level in each area, the availability of expert security staff to hire in-house, and of course budget constraints.
This is where a managed service provider can make a big difference.
“Security operations can no longer be treated as just another cost center, explained Dwayne Healy, vice president of business security and intelligence at Interface Systems. “What’s really needed is a better understanding of the immense positive impact a managed service provider can have on business security operations.”
Overcoming Loss Prevention Constraints
Securing a location is often viewed in isolation. Loss prevention teams responsible for securing hundreds or thousands of locations end up hiring niche solution providers for every line item on their to-do list resulting in vendor sprawl, operational complexity, and inefficient allocation of budget or capital.
A better approach would be to treat retail loss prevention as a function that offers retailers the flexibility to rapidly change business models by comprehensively securing customers, offering employees the tools to feel safe and secure at the store, and helping the business uncover valuable operational insights in the process. This change is already happening.
“Our customers are looking for more than the typical box-checking exercise when it comes to their security solutions,” said Sean Foley, senior vice president of customer success at Interface. “Where once they were okay with having a video management system (VMS) that allowed them to conduct investigations, they now want to see a clearly quantifiable return on investment.”
Advantages of Security Building Blocks
When retail loss prevention teams view security solutions as a series of connected solutions that can be progressively added or downsized based on the threat perception or risks, there is a significant positive impact on ROI, and retailers have the flexibility they need to rapidly make changes to their stores, inside or outside. For example, Interface’s Business Security solutions can be assembled like Lego blocks. Retailers can start with basic intrusion monitoring at certain locations, add video-verified alarms, and then upgrade to a fully interactive security solution by integrating video systems with microphones and speakers at high-crime locations for 24/7 monitoring.
“Our Virtual Guard solution gives retailers the flexibility they need to configure the right security solution at every location at scale,” Foley said. “When interactive capabilities are added, remote intervention specialists can proactively perform virtual walk-throughs, deliver voice downs to warn potential troublemakers, or protect employees as they head to and from the store and parking lot during store openings and closings.”
Retail loss prevention teams working with Interface have seen how an integrated security solution calibrated based on the unique needs of the business can make a difference. They are no longer content with reactive solutions.
“Customers want to see their security system not just tell them after the fact that there’s been a break-in, but they want us to prevent it from happening in the first place,” Foley explained. “If I can scare off a burglar casing my jewelry store by issuing a stern automated announcement as a car idles outside the front door at 3 a.m., that’s a big deal, and it applies to all types of brick-and-mortar environments. Leveraging AI, those types of preventative measures are going to be an absolute game changer.”
For example, AI-enabled security cameras can also double up as intrusion devices or be configured to alert intervention specialists when they detect an anomaly in the area being monitored. That’s not all—AI-based video analytics can “upgrade” security cameras to function like a business intelligence tool.
“Video analytics throws open a whole new world of data pertaining to customer behavior inside the store, product engagement, layout effectiveness, and dwell time at the checkout counters to name a few, and that’s business leverage for LP leaders,” Healy said. “By augmenting existing security cameras with our AI solutions, loss prevention teams have the ability to make meaningful impact cross-functionally across their business.”
The benefits of working with a managed service provider like Interface are immense. Retailers can design a customized security solution, maximize ROI, and gain actionable data that can help proactively prevent crimes and improve customer experience.
Learn more about how Interface can transform your security program at www.interfacesystems.com.