Here’s a great blog posted by Mondelez International,
“3 Unique ways to use micro market video surveillance beyond fighting theft.”
Really makes us wonder … who’s watching us?!
Here’s the blog: (P.S. It features a few of our favorite operators!)
By Staff at VendingMarketWatch.com
Video cameras in micro markets are commonplace. In the unattended retail space, video cameras act to dissuade employees from dishonestly taking product. They are also beneficial for micro market operators when it becomes known that employees are misusing the concept. When shrinkage begins to increase above a normal level of 1 to 2 percent in micro markets, operators use video surveillance to find perpetrators.
But can video surveillance be used for more than just simply catching would-be thieves? While the answer isn’t as simple as it appears, some operators report that they do indeed use their video surveillance in unique ways.
• REENERGIZE THE MARKET THROUGH MERCHANDISING
Video surveillance can be used to look at micro market merchandising and analyze whether or not layout is working. On a quarterly basis, pay close attention to the pattern of movement where customers are stopping and looking at items in different markets. By learning where your consumers move in the market, it’s likely you’ll find issues with product placement and layout. Try rotating items to keep a fresh look in the market and pinpoint where ‘dead product’ is located.
John Ward, president of Serenity Market Vending in Rockford, IL, uses video surveillance to refresh his micro markets and recommends that operators rotate slow movers out and wait one month to bring them back. “This causes customers to take notice when the products return and they have a renewed interest in the items,” he said.
The next time you’re watching a video for theft, look closely at the places your customers are spending the least amount of time and take a moment to evaluate ways to increase traffic in those areas. Be sure to include a sign in your market, too that informs customers that there are cameras.
• CHECK COMPLIANCE AND OPERATION
Video surveillance can also be used to ensure the market is operating as expected. Five Star Food Service, located in Chattanooga, TN, uses one of its full-time loss prevention employees to look at video in its markets to check on compliance, execution and ensuring that all cameras and DVR’s are operating correctly.
The company developed a weekly remote compliance report that’s used to check if the markets are stocked correctly, placements of products are correct, and promotional information is in place. Additionally, the company routinely looks at the cameras and placements of cameras to ensure they are working correctly. “You would be surprised how many need to be replaced or repaired,” said Mark P. Stephanos, vice president, micro markets at Five Star. “[The report] has really assisted us with ensuring there is another set of eyes in the markets on a more frequent basis.”
• FIND FOOD TAMPERING
Food tampering in micro markets is a topic that has gained the attention of health department officials in the U.S. With no person present in a micro market, how will operators protect people from situations that may compromise food safety? NAMA, the association representing the $25 billion U.S. convenience services industry, is arguing that surveillance can be used as a way to find and prosecute any food tampering.
If a health official begins to question the safety of food items in a micro market, discuss that the markets are monitored via video surveillance 24/7. It’s also worth mentioning the levels of theft in your micro market. Larry Eils, NAMA’s health and safety knowledge source partner, told VendingMarketWatch.com, “If theft is under control, then tampering will be under control, too. That’s the argument we [NAMA] will likely take with the FDA.”
A GREAT TOOL TO USE
Video surveillance does not come without its fair share of issues, however. Sometimes the technology isn’t always up to snuff. Video footage often goes through the internet connection and pulls from the bandwidth of the connection which can slow performance down if the connection is not good at a site. The cost of good video footage can be a deterrence, too.
Plus, it takes a lot of time for operators to watch video footage — time that could be spent focusing on a proper micro market planogram, getting new products or putting a loyalty program together. In the end, though, operators should be watching their micro markets on a routine basis and using video surveillance could be one way to do this without physically traveling to the market itself.
It’s a tool that operators already own and that can be used in a variety of ways. Successful operators have reported using data from video surveillance to help drive planning on space to sales, redesign payment areas with more impulse space, and add more incremental equipment and new merchandisers that pull away from the wall.
When installing micro market security, think about how you can utilize the data it’s collecting and place the equipment in areas that will allow you a visual of the entire market. Think outside the box and use surveillance for more than fighting theft.
Three Square Market has even more ways that you can use your surveillance data thoughtfully and quickly! Give us a call to learn more!
Here is one of our favorite examples … and it’s a good laugh!