After thousands of systems installations over the past several years and in the midst of an 1,800-store rollout this year, CONTROLTEK launched a new group christened Professional Services. Behind the unassuming name is a group of industry veterans who came up with a new approach to deploying and servicing EAS and RFID systems. The reason? “We want to make it easier for LP teams to get the technology they need, help them get the ROI they expect, and alleviate the most common pain points in the process,” said David Hardeman, director of client solutions delivery for CONTROLTEK. The new group has rolled out three new services that, according to Hardeman, will make life easier for loss prevention teams who are getting new EAS and RFID systems.
Direct Collaboration with Your IT Department
“Nothing can slow down the deployment of a new loss prevention system like the IT approval processes,” said Tom Meehan, CONTROLTEK’s chief strategy officer and chief information security officer. “Fortunately for our customers, we’ve been through the process many times on both sides of the fence—retail side and the solutions provider side. It was a logical step for us to set up a group that will work with the customer’s IT department directly, rather than expecting the LP team to act as a go-between.”
According to Meehan, IT departments often have lengthy approval processes for new systems, which can include piles of paperwork that needs to be filled out. “Security is their priority, so this is understandable. But this also creates a burden for the LP department that has to fill out all that paperwork and go through the process while at the same time trying to do their regular work,” said Meehan. “Our Professional Services folks speak the same language as your IT department and can work with them side-by-side to assist in the deployment of your new solution so that you can concentrate on your work and not worry about the technical side of things.”
ROI Analysis and Documentation
To help LP departments win the approval and budget in the boardroom, CONTROLTEK now offers a service that uses industry data to help create a substantiated ROI story. “Through use cases and ROI calculations, we can help your organization understand how the investment will impact the bottom line in expected and often unexpected ways—from lower shrink to better inventory management, merchandise availability, and the resulting sales lift and customer retention,” said Steve Sell, CONTROLTEK’s vice president of global sales and marketing.
According to Sell, this analysis and documentation will help LP leadership be better prepared when their requests for new systems are challenged. “At the same time, we want to elevate the LP leadership teams in the eyes of the rest of their organizations by showing that loss prevention isn’t just about catching the bad guys; it is there to provide a sales lift, an improved customer experience, and ultimately a positive impact to the bottom line.”
“We know that one of the keys to a successful adoption of a new solution is training,” said Rhett Asher, CONTROLTEK’s director of business development. “This is why our Professional Services group is placing a great deal of emphasis on the training of our customers’ associates.”
According to Asher, CONTROLTEK works directly with loss prevention teams or training departments to develop materials on proper application and removal of tags and use of systems and other solutions being deployed. This includes videos, cheat sheets, webinars, and a team that can answer questions as they come up. “The bottom line is that unless store associates know how to handle the new solution to its full potential, the LP team will not fully realize the ROI it expects. Our goal is to get store personnel up to speed as quickly as possible.”
CONTROLTEK’s new Professional Services group does not aim to revolutionize the LP world. But it has already proven that a new focus is needed when it comes to LP technology, one that places emphasis on saving time and headaches for LP professionals. While the company continues to innovate its product line and offer new solutions every year, the real innovation may prove to be the new processes that make LP professionals’ daily lives easier.