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Aids to loss prevention

Morphean’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Martyn Ryder, pictured, looks at the potential for physical security technology to help prevent retail losses and streamline operations.

Digital transformation and the ongoing move towards cloud-based platforms and infrastructure has brought significant change to the world of physical security. The tired legacy solutions of the past – one-dimensional and capable of only the most basic functionality – are rapidly being replaced by hosted network-ready solutions facilitating device interconnectivity and impressive data-sharing capabilities. Businesses can now protect their assets, premises and people with a wealth of security technologies operating on digital platforms.

Cloud enables many IoT devices and sensors to work together, which in turn improves the accuracy and reliability of any security solution. Utilising data and processing it through an analytics engine can unlock many additional benefits beyond security, transforming such solutions into powerful tools to enhance business intelligence. Retail distribution is one such area in which the cutting edge of physical security technology and its additional benefits for business can make a real difference, helping to improve transaction accuracy and boost profits through verification of sales, order processing and delivery success.

Order processing

A major headache for the owners and managers of retail distribution and logistics environments has come from an inability to provide timely and accurate evidence about the processing of orders. When a customer complains that an order is missing, or incomplete, there is very little that a retail business can do but agree to process a refund. When a business receives multiple complaints of this nature it begins to prove costly and becomes very difficult to investigate each case or attribute blame without absolute proof of foul play, or an error in its processes.

The process of order fulfilment therefore requires greater visibility, helping both customer experience teams and profit protection teams to understand where problems are occurring to ensure full accountability. This is where innovations in physical security technology really come to the fore, with track and trace solutions that can communicate with security technology resulting in a powerful transaction checker tool that is bringing much needed clarity to order processing.

Unlocking business intelligence

Video surveillance, working together with dedicated transaction checking software results in a state-of-the-art business intelligence solution that allows users to link video of the picking and packing process with specific pieces of data, such as a transaction ID, client number, date and time. This data, backed by surveillance video, provides irrefutable proof that an order has been fulfilled and dispatched, giving a retailer the crucial evidence it needs if that order is disputed later in the journey.

With a solution in place that can monitor the product journey from the time it is picked, through packing and delivery to a customer door or a store, retailers can have full peace of mind that their processes are fully tracked, adding a greatly needed layer of profit protection. Video can be retrieved instantly as required and this provides full transparency across packing lines, or even within retail goods manufacturing, where quality control may be an issue and similar evidence of processes and procedures will need to be accessed as required.

Accountability and security

The ability to link manual processes to video data provides accountability and security for each and every order. And those retailers who have implemented such a solution are already reaping the benefits. A well-known fashion streetwear and sportwear retailer has already reported that missing item queries have reduced by 50% and that delivery success has increased by 25pc as a direct result of implementing a transaction-checker solution within its warehouses.

The transaction-checker solution is based on an as-a-service model. This means that the technology can be paid for on a per-month basis, making it affordable for businesses big and small by removing the need for large upfront capital outlay. In addition, regular software updates and firmware upgrades mean that the dynamic business intelligence solution is always online and always up-to-date, without the need for costly maintenance to be carried out on-site, disrupting business operations.

The aggregation of data, coupled with advancements in AI and deep learning, points to a continued evolution of network cameras in which they are increasingly used for many other purposes in addition to security. Becoming an integral component in business operations, such solutions will increasingly be seamlessly interlinked with processes and services, as indispensable tools for adding real value. The power of physical security in the cloud looks set to reinforce, improve and protect business processes now and in the future.

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