The Challenge: Outdated CCTV systems fall short to keep ‘honest people honest’
goPuff has disrupted the traditional convenience store model. With 200+ fulfillment centres and growing 100 per cent a year, this digital delivery service focuses on “essentials, delivered in minutes.” Electronics, food, alcohol, medications, pet supplies and more can be ordered through the goPuff app and brought to your door for a low fixed fee.
“We don’t have to worry about loss at the point of sale like other retailers, but we still have to be diligent about keeping honest people honest,” said Scott Sanford, goPuff’s Director of Loss Prevention.
This makes video surveillance cameras a crucial tool at all 200+ fulfillment centres. But 60 of them had old home-grown CCTV systems of 10 to 15 security cameras each that failed to make the grade.
“These were systems installed rather haphazardly years ago by inexperienced individuals,” Sanford said. “They suffered from poor visibility and weren’t conducive for a focused loss prevention team. We had arrived at a point where we had an immediate need to upgrade these systems to give us remote access as we aggressively scaled our footprint.”
Still, Sanford couldn’t afford to simply scrap these security systems and start over. He needed a solution that would allow him to leverage goPuff’s existing security camera investments.
That search led him to Solink.
“For cameras that weren’t that great originally, Solink rose to the challenge and was able to make them intelligent very quickly,” Sanford said.
The Solution: Giving legacy hardware a new lease on life with cloud video surveillance
Solink installed its Solink appliance, which allowed it to connect the existing security cameras to its own cloud management and analytics platform. This work began in July 2019. The results soon led goPuff to engage Solink for the full installation of new video surveillance systems at several other locations (and counting).
Sanford is working with Solink to take advantage of its more advanced data analytics features, but first, he needed a platform that could outperform solely as a pure-play video management system. Solink easily knocked it out of the park.
Whether it’s a legacy camera or a new one, Solink provides Sanford and the general managers of these locations with the means to access and manage their video surveillance system at any time from a mobile device.
“Solink differentiates itself from cradle to grave with outstanding service,” Sanford said. “Tuning these surveillance systems to leave no blind spots is a passion of mine. Solink ensures that it’s always done right the first time.”
No two fulfillment centres have the exact same layout. That means each security system is a custom install to ensure every angle and every area of the premises is adequately covered.
Covering the best angles is only the start. Video footage that is date and time stamped can be correlated with digital orders as they are processed and packed for delivery. Motion detection and heat mapping prompts a real-time alert to a mobile device to flag suspect activity near an exit or in a particular area of a warehouse.
“This makes Solink pro-active, versus the typical CCTV system which is reactive,” Sanford said. “The way that our custom data has been integrated into the system is really valuable and easy to use for our general managers.”
The Benefits: Deterring ‘unproductive activities,’ earning respect for loss prevention
“The most obvious gain for us is the value of an intelligent system that can be accessed remotely and deters risk,” Sanford said.
This “deterrent value” manifests in two ways.
First, in the packing and shipping area, to curb “sweet-hearting” or “pass off” – incidents where an employee may put extra items into an order because they know the customer. Second, in less heavily trafficked warehousing areas of a fulfilment centre, to dissuade employees from helping themselves.
Because Solink makes it so quick and easy to filter and search through hours of surveillance footage, Sanford finds that Solink’s product encourages general managers to take the time to review incidents. This makes it that much more likely that “unproductive activities” that are leading to revenue loss, will be identified by a much larger team and corrective measures taken without involving loss prevention. This frees the loss prevention team to focus on high-risk activities.
“Solink is at least 50 per cent more efficient than other systems” in terms of its cost savings, Sanford said. He also noted an impact on “the perception of what loss prevention does for the organization” when an old technology like a traditional CCTV system is upgraded with a cloud security system and analytics.
After 30 years dealing with service providers of every stripe, what most impresses Sanford is how everyone on the Solink team knows their product and always strives to do better.
“I like how innovative Solink is at what it does,” he said. “It’s always pioneering, always focused on taking user feedback to improve. I know Solink has my back.”