Success Story

How a supplements retailer eliminated internal theft with Solink

June 30, 2023

Table of Contents

"Solink has absolutely improved our bottom line. If there's any discrepancies, I can zoom in on that event and figure it out quickly. Before I’d literally have to watch videos of the whole day and now I can jump to the right point in time. With Solink, internal theft is essentially gone. You help us keep everyone accountable."

Concerns

  • Internal theft out of control, culminating in a $10,000 cash theft where the thief also took the DVR.
  • Not able to maintain control of four locations remotely.
  • Felt abandoned by other service providers once the contracts were signed and even more so after a fire destroyed one store.

Results

  • Internal theft eliminated.
  • Can review transactions and other suspicious activities remotely in one cloud-based security system.
  • Solink operates on a no-term contract system, meaning they work hard to keep our business everyday.

Table of Contents

The Client:
12 Baskets

Christina Liu, the Operations Manager at 12 Baskets, sat down to discuss how they use Solink to protect their business. 12 Baskets operates four health food stores  in British Columbia along with an ecommerce business that sells internationally.

“My dad and mom started 12 Baskets. My dad was a pharmacist in Taiwan. When they came here, there was a language barrier so he wasn't able to go back to school. Instead, he used his knowledge of health supplements to start a health food store. Since then he has opened more stores.”

The Challenge:
Enable a single manager to control four locations remotely

12 Baskets has expanded from one location to four locations plus an ecommerce store. As a small family-run business, it’s hard to maintain control over the entire business. One big issue Christina faced was the lack of a cohesive cloud-based video security system that puts all stores under one pane of glass.

"We did have security cameras before Solink, but my dad would just buy a different retail DVR system from Costco or Best Buy for each location, so none of them were connected and they lacked the integrations and features necessary to make investigations feasible. Frankly, I had so much on my plate and the systems were so impractical that I just didn’t use them at all. Nothing was being followed up on, and no one was accountable when problems arose."

pharmasy-interior

Due to the lack of oversight, internal theft was growing out of control. Christina found that there is a standard pattern where an employee tests the business with a smaller theft but then gets more and more emboldened until they are taking thousands of dollars per month. 

“We know most theft is internal, right? It starts out with a small amount, maybe $30 or $50, and then it always eventually grows to be thousands of dollars a month.”

In 2020, 12 Baskets experienced a break-in where $10,000 in cash was stolen. Those involved knew the location well as they also removed the DVR, and along with it any video evidence of the crime.

"They stole $10,000. They also knew exactly where to go to take the recording unit. That’s when I decided that it's better for me to be able to do loss prevention properly and be able to manage all my stores from one location on the cloud."

When looking for integrated cloud-based video security, Christina considered customer service to be top priority. She had experienced poor service previously with some of her other providers and wanted to make sure that any security system came with ongoing support to make sure that 12 Baskets continued to find value in the service. 

"Customer service is so important. With too many companies there is zero support. It’s like talking to robots—people who act like robots. Once the contract is signed, the customer support disappears and I didn’t want that."

Summary:

  • 12 Baskets experienced a lot of internal theft. The standard pattern was an employee taking $50 in cash or a product and then slowly escalating the thefts until it was several thousands of dollars per month. This culminated in the theft of $10,000 along with the DVR system so there was no video evidence of what happened.
  • Accountability, whether for service providers, employees, or customer discrepancies, was not possible using four different systems with zero cloud capabilities.
  • 12 Baskets has experienced poor customer service from several service providers, including their telecom and POS companies, after signing long contracts. This was compounded after a fire destroyed one of their locations.

Christina knew that 12 Baskets had a theft problem. She would notice cash discrepancies, but without video evidence, there wasn’t much she could do to resolve the issue.  

"When we used to do inventory accounts, we would be missing a lot of products and we could kind of pinpoint who it might be, but there was no video footage to prove it. Then one day we had $10,000 taken. The thieves also took the DVR, so we had zero video evidence of the theft.”

When looking to upgrade their video security, Christina sought two main features. First, she wanted something that integrated with their point of sale (POS) so they could easily review transactions. Second, 12 Baskets needed a cloud-connected video security system so there is cloud video backup and the ability to remotely monitor all four locations. 

“When doing my research, I started by looking for systems that could integrate with our POS. Then, the cloud component was also huge for us. We needed to be able to manage the stores remotely.”

Christina was further drawn to Solink during the onboarding process because the Sales Person went the extra mile to make sure everything went smoothly. 

“I really appreciated when the sales team met with my brother and I on Zoom to discuss the camera positions for our new store. They took so much time to answer all of our questions and I was really impressed with how much effort and thought was put towards our new project. Solink is filled with really great, honest people!”

The Solution:
Internal theft has been eliminated

Since installing Solink, 12 Baskets has essentially eliminated theft. 

"We used to have products and cash go missing often. That no longer exists thanks to Solink. Initially when we installed Solink, I needed to go into the platform regularly to track down thefts. Now, I've weeded out all the dishonest people. All the new staff that come in know I have this security system, so they’ll get caught if they steal from me. That’s a great deterrent."

While eliminating theft was the primary goal of installing Solink, 12 Baskets is seeing financial benefits elsewhere as well. For example, sales are up and one reason is their ability to keep people from illegally parking in their lot.

"We had a neighbor that moved in next to one of our stores, and all their customers were using our parking spaces. It was an issue because our customers weren't able to park, and they would just drive away. When that happened, I was on the Solink platform for eight hours some days to keep the parking lot clear. Now, sales are up, which is awesome."

Two women in a pharmacy talking to each other.

Another source of loss was customers claiming they received partial orders. Solink helps 12 Basket review these orders in a few minutes to see what really happened.

"Some customers have argued that we didn’t give them enough bottles. When I review the video in Solink, 100% of the time they're wrong. We can now dispute these false claims, which is very interesting to me."

Another case of savings was after a snowfall. To reduce liability, after it snows, 12 Baskets contracts a service to remove snow from the parking lot and salt the sidewalks to prevent slip-and-falls. However, upon entering the store the next day, it was clear that no snowplow had come and no salt had been applied.

"It doesn’t snow very often in Vancouver, so when it does we know. I use the same service after every snowfall, which costs $1600. It was clear they hadn’t come so I called them to dispute the charge. They told us they were there between 12:00 and 6:00 a.m. I couldn’t find them in the video footage, so they gave us a different time window. Finally, I got my money back. It really makes me wonder how many times they didn’t come previously and I couldn’t dispute it."

Finally, Solink has maintained its best-in-class service for 12 Baskets since 2020.

“I'm really happy about the overall service of Solink. In the past, when I've dealt with big companies, the service is great when you're signing. Then, after you've signed on, there’s nothing. I don't feel that way with Solink. There's a lot of support. Solink keeps a good relationship with me and I feel taken care of."

The Result:
One Operations Manager keeps staff at all locations accountable

With the help of Solink, Christina is keeping staff accountable at all of 12 Basket’s locations. This means less theft, more honest employees, and higher productivity.

"My biggest concern was really internal issues. Ever since I've installed Solink, it's been great. There's way less money going missing and way less product going missing. People are accountable because, if we have a discrepancy, we can pull up the transaction and see exactly what happened. It makes people a lot more accountable for what they're doing."

This accountability stretches beyond the staff, too. One issue 12 Basket encounters regularly is customers claiming they didn’t receive their entire order. With Solink, it’s easy to review the packing of the order in minutes and then show the customer the video of all products being placed in their bags.

"If there's any customer discrepancy, we can now go back to the videos. If the customer says, ‘hey, you missed a bottle,’ then I can go back to the video and show them that they received their entire purchase. We've had that happen multiple times and in the past we weren't able to pull those videos up to defend ourselves."

A person is paying with a credit card at a store.

One of 12 Basket’s locations was destroyed by a fire. It was a really traumatic experience for a small family owned business. At that time, many of their service providers were, unfortunately, less helpful than Christina would have hoped.

"When our landlord did some demolition, they didn't pull permits and they left a cut wire live, which caused the fire. That really sucked, and having to deal with everything afterward was really hard. It was all so bureaucratic and there was no flexibility or help. Our POS and telecom companies wanted us to keep paying even though the store was closed. It was really disappointing how everyone treated us afterwards, except Solink. We called you up, got a person, and you just shut off the service and told us you’d be here waiting when we were ready to reopen. I didn’t need to go through a robot. You just answered the phone, told us there’d be no more payments, and then listened to me. There was no BS. That made me really appreciate Solink even more."

In 12 Baskets’ words

“With Solink, I can do everything in one place.

"Solink is doing great. It's operating exactly how I want it to. It meets all my needs. If more needs come up, then I'll learn how to use Solink’s other features because I know you have a lot of features.”

“The relationships I have with Solink are so important. You are all so supportive and caring. It’s a very human company. "

“When our store burned down, Solink was able to get all the video evidence necessary to work with the insurance company. That was really helpful.”

12 Baskets’ three favorite features

Video Player

Solink’s Video Player allows you to watch and navigate through video footage recorded by your security cameras. You can use the Video Player to watch live video or jump to a previous time in the video using the built-in navigation tools. This is where you find many of Solink’s useful features such as Camera Linking and Motion-Based Search.

Events-Based Search gives you the ability to quickly find events matching your search criteria and then review the paired video. Whether it is access control entries or POS transactions, easily find the events you need to review. Solink pairs video with transaction data from your POS and then overlays the receipt without a text inserter box. Discount abuse, void reports, and other high-risk transactions can be reviewed in minutes to track down theft in your business.

Solink is an easy-to-use platform that can be taught to new employees in a few minutes. However, it is packed with a lot of interesting functionality that you might not notice at first. Our Customer Success Team is there to make sure you get the most out of Solink.

Tim Ware headshot

Timothy Warelinked in icon email icon

Solink stands at the forefront of security solutions, excelling in loss prevention and asset protection for businesses. Our content is rich in industry expertise and crafted to provide actionable insights and innovative strategies. We empower businesses to enhance their security systems, optimize operations, and protect their assets more effectively. Discover how our advanced cloud video management system can transform your security approach.