Theft is on the rise. Businesses are looking to onboard new tools to reduce shrinkage. However, not all retail loss prevention software is equal. Before deciding on which platform to protect your enterprise, you need to make sure it has all the essential asset protection software features.
Here are the 15 features you need in a complete loss protection/asset protection (LP/AP) software solution.
Here’s a basic definition of loss prevention:
In general, loss prevention is everything a business does to reduce shrink in their company. It is usually geared towards theft. While often considered synonymous with asset protection, there are some key differences.
Loss prevention is almost entirely concerned with theft. Conversely, asset protection is focused on reducing all the different forms of shrink, including theft, damaged merchandise, reputational damage caused due to disruptive or violent behavior, injury liability, and so on. In this sense loss prevention is part of asset protection.
Loss prevention system
A complete loss prevention system includes all of the tools and people deployed to reduce theft, liabilities, and damaged merchandise in a business. Here are some of the key components of a complete loss prevention system:
Retail loss prevention software
Video surveillance loss prevention software for retail businesses is a platform your enterprise can use to coordinate all of the loss prevention activities in your business. It brings together key tools such as video management software (VMS), exception-based reporting (EBR), and case management software (CMS) to seamlessly connect your teams and processes.
To see what makes Solink the best retail loss prevention software, sign up for a demo today.
Loss prevention software vs. asset protection software vs. LP/AP software
Loss prevention and asset protection (LP/AP) are related terms. Although they are sometimes used synonymously, it’s more accurate to say loss prevention is part of asset protection.
While this is true of the business processes, we can say the best loss prevention video software is also asset protection software because it has the tools needed to protect every aspect of your business. Therefore, in this article, we use these terms interchangeably.
15 essential loss prevention Video surveillance software features (2023)
Every industry has unique asset protection challenges.
- Retail locations have bigger external theft concerns, for example shoplifting.
- Restaurants and manufacturers have to be equally concerned with wastage due to damaged or off code merchandise and theft.
- Warehouses are far more likely to deal with internal theft than external theft.
However, the best loss prevention video software is compatible with all of these locations. That’s because it has adaptable features, each with multiple use cases.
Here are the 15 essential features of loss prevention software:
- Cloud video surveillance
- Multi-site viewing
- Event search
- Motion search
- Motion alerts
- Data integrations
- Threshold notifications
- Camera linking
- Daily digests
- Save and share
- Exception-based reporting
- Audio and video recording
- Data visualization
- Camera health monitoring
- Technology agnostic
1. Cloud video surveillance
Cloud video surveillance uses modern cloud technology to improve your security system. Cloud connectivity is necessary to achieve many of the other essential asset protection software features.
For example, artificial intelligence (AI) requires video to be accessible from the cloud. This is necessary to pair data with video, perform motion search, and set up camera linking. Furthermore, remote video monitoring requires being able to view your security feeds in real time from anywhere.
2. Multi-site viewing
As businesses grow to multiple locations, it can be harder for the head office to maintain proper control. Effective loss prevention software makes it easier to monitor multiple locations with features tailored to businesses with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of locations.
Solink camera groups make it possible to quickly scan dozens of parking lots in minutes or the front entrances of all your buildings. For example, Volunteers of America-Michigan uses Solink to prevent slip-and-fall injuries across all of their locations. When the weather report calls for snow or rain, they quickly check the front entrance areas of all of their locations to make sure wet floor signs are being used.
Solink recently launched Location Management to make it easier for loss prevention professionals to find a specific group of locations in seconds. Simply tag locations, for example by region, state, or size, and then search for that subset of stores in seconds. This feature benefits businesses with 50 or 100 locations, but it becomes an essential loss prevention software feature when your business operates 1,000+ locations.
3. Event search
People outside of loss prevention might not think about things like discount abuse when asked about theft. However, point of sale (POS) employee theft is a major source of loss. That’s why loss prevention software needs to integrate with POS systems.
POS monitoring gives companies the ability to search through high-risk transactions including employee discounts, voids, cash returns, and no-sale tills opens and then view paired video to see what happened.
4. Motion search
Searching through recorded video for motion events is now possible with the advent of AI video analytics. Instead of just displaying raw video feeds, Solink interprets what is happening in the footage to make it easier to find important clips.
This is especially valuable when trying to spot a shoplifter. Simply paint the area where merchandise has gone missing and then see every instance of motion in that area while skipping the hours in between.
5. Motion alerts
While motion search is passive, motion alerts are active. Using the same basic motion detection technology, retail loss prevention software can also alert you to motion when and where there shouldn’t be movement.
Motion alerts allow you to lock down parts of your business while leaving the rest open to customers and employees. For example, if your store only accepts shipments between 6:00 and 10:00 a.m., then you can use motion alerts to be notified when anyone enters the unloading area outside of your receiving window.
6. Data integrations
As mentioned above, data integrations are a crucial part of loss prevention video surveillance software. By pairing video with different data sources, you are able to audit processes for potential losses.
Solink integrates with many data sources to provide new insights into your business. For example, you can connect scheduling platforms to monitor for time theft.
Let’s look at POS and access control integrations a little further.
Solink integrates with your POS to provide receipt text overlay of matched videos without a text inserter box. This gives you greater insight into what is happening at your POS system.
Since even the highest-risk transactions have legitimate uses, you can never be sure if any one transaction is an indication of theft. However, POS employee theft is on the rise and warrants your full attention.
Now you can quickly narrow down your search by looking at specific transaction types, sizes, and employees. Then, simply watch the videos to confirm whether theft has taken place.
Access control integrations
Many businesses use access control systems to make sure only authorized personnel are able to gain entry. Access control systems can be used after hours or all day, at all entrances and exits, or for specific areas. However, they aren’t foolproof. Employees can share codes or lose badges, making it harder to be sure who actually entered your property.
7. Threshold notifications
Threshold Notifications tells you when your key metrics are not where they should be, helping you find the source of the problem fast. You can set clear thresholds on your data and be proactively notified of any outliers from the expected norm.
For example, you can set limits on the number of free meals given to customers weekly for poor service or drive-thru accuracy issues so that employees can’t use this discount code to give free food to their friends and family.
8. Camera linking
Camera Linking uses advanced AI technology to automatically find overlapping views in your security cameras. That way you can quickly navigate through unknown locations jumping from one camera to the next as you look through the building.
For example, when you find someone shoplifting using motion search, you can then quickly follow the suspect as they move through your store to see what else they take or confirm they didn’t leave the merchandise somewhere else before leaving.
9. Daily digests
Loss prevention professionals know the struggle of balancing between the zoomed in view of a single location with theft issues and maintaining the bird’s eye view of their entire region. Performing loss prevention audits on struggling stores is a must, but you can’t lose track of what is happening elsewhere.
Daily email summaries of your key metrics help you keep track of everything going on across your region, freeing you up to spend more time on the locations that need your attention the most.
10. Save and share
Most loss prevention professionals use some form of case management software (CMS). Key CMS functions include the ability to save and organize evidence of events and track the resolution as well as share that information with others inside and outside the organization.
Cookies uses Solink to quickly save and share evidence of theft with the police. Here’s how Ryan Dzwigalski, the Director of Loss Prevention for the largest Cookies operator, describes it:
“If you can get to the point in loss prevention where you have a good working relationship with the police, it makes a huge difference. Just being able to consistently and quickly share video clips with the police can go a long way to build that relationship.”
11. Exception-based reporting
Here’s a simple definition of exception-based reporting:
EBR definition: Exception-based reporting (EBR) is analyzing data with various software packages to find unusual and potentially problematic values.
Exception-based reporting helps businesses discover theft and other forms of shrink by pointing out unexpected data. When most shifts have a single manager discount transaction, days with five or six such transactions could be an indication that theft has occurred. EBR software alerts you to these events so you can investigate further.
One of the reasons Solink is the best loss prevention software is that it bridges the divide between EBR, CMS, and cloud video management software (VMS) so you can review security footage of exceptions to better understand what happened.
12. Audio and video recording
One-party audio recording is not legal in all jurisdictions. Where it is allowed, audio recordings provide further context into what is happening.
Here’s an example. You notice that someone has been stealing merchandise and then getting cash refunds. Audio recordings of the transactions could help determine whether one or more of your employees are helping with this return fraud or also victims of the shoplifter.
13. Data visualization
Solink integrates with hundreds of systems to pair data with video. That creates obvious challenges for asset protection professionals along with the immense value. Understanding, even reviewing, that much data would be impossible in its raw form.
The Solink dashboard with fully customizable widgets to track anything you can imagine solves this issue. This makes all the data interpretable to help you focus on the areas that matter most.
14. Camera health monitoring
Security cameras are the cornerstone hardware of a loss prevention strategy. When they go offline, your business is vulnerable. However, most businesses aren’t even aware when their security cameras go offline.
Solink automatically checks your security cameras throughout the day to make sure they are operational and not being blocked, intentionally or unintentionally.
The Siegel Group uses Solink to make sure their cameras are always online. Here’s what Ross Siegel, the Chief Information Officer, has to say:
“Sometimes things are not a problem, until they show you that they are a problem. Nobody was looking at our cameras to confirm they were online until an incident occurred and we needed the footage. Since we started working with Solink, we have visibility into when cameras are offline. Camera health was in fact always an issue, but we didn’t have a way to know about it or deal with it. Now IT gets camera issue tickets and can solve them quickly.”
15. Technology agnostic
Here’s a basic definition of technology agnostic:
Technology agnostic definition: Technology agnostic is a business strategy of aiming to be interoperable with as many other hardware and software systems, released by any other company, as possible so that customers do not feel locked into one vendor.
Solink follows a technology agnostic philosophy, which means our platform is open to third-party hardware and software. If you already have security cameras in your retail store, then a technology agnostic loss prevention video surveillance software platform can reduce the cost of onboarding the tool.
The Siegel Group saved money implementing Solink by using their existing cameras. Here’s what Ross Siegel, the Chief Information Officer, has to say:
“There would be a lot of capital expense replacing all of our cameras. It was a huge deal that we could keep using the older cameras. If we had to go back and replace all of our cameras, it would have been a challenge. Instead, it was a much easier decision to use Solink.”
Solink is the best RETAIL loss prevention software
Solink provides the right set of tools to improve your loss prevention strategies. We bring new value to your existing hardware and software through a technology agnostic approach and hundreds of data integrations.
Motion search, event search, pairing POS data with video, CMS and EBR functionality, and camera health monitoring all help to keep your business safe and secure.
To see why Solink is the best loss prevention software, sign up for a demo today.
Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.