Success Story

Thrift store operator Goodwill cuts costs and shores up defenses with Solink’s cloud video surveillance system

November 16, 2020

Goodwill is an American institution that has expanded around the world. Founded in 1902, this non-profit social enterprise provides job training, employment placement and other community-based programs.

Goodwill funds itself through a massive network of non-profit thrift stores. Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, operates about 125 locations in the state. Ensuring the safety and security of these locations is the responsibility of Larry Cruse, Director of Asset Protection and Safety.

Challenge: Security system fails to defend fraudulent claims and rising repair costs

Cruse and his team have long relied on a mix of analog and digital video surveillance technologies at each location.

Video surveillance has been central to the LP program for 2 reasons: First is liability, whether it relates to internal or external specific claims. Second, video surveillance provides visual evidence for investigation and to serve as a deterrent.

Cruse and his team had become increasingly dissatisfied with their video surveillance maintenance and repair costs. They lacked key features to help reduce loss and liability. In several cases, Goodwill had lost court cases to fraudulent claims because their security system’s video wasn’t accessible and didn’t meet retention standards.

“The time had come to upgrade to a surveillance system that would give us remote access, cloud storage and backup, and integrate with our points of sales more reliably,” Cruse said.

This search led to Solink.

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Solution: Intelligent cloud integration unlocks the true power of video

“We look at the ROI of any investment we put in place,” he said. “We really liked Solink’s cloud-based surveillance system with its POS integration and exception-based reporting capabilities.”

“When we asked about a camera from a different manufacturer, Solink did the homework on it,” Cruse said. “The Solink team never tried to push one vendor on us over another. They made sure we had the right information and connected us with the right people to make an informed choice for the results that we wanted.”

With Solink — unlike the old video system used by Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona — a tablet or smartphone can give access to the entire cloud surveillance network from anywhere. Cruse can receive real-time alerts triggered by activity and other exception-based reporting criteria, filter through hours of video in seconds, clip excerpts, and collaborate with his team and law enforcement in minutes. In addition, Solink’s integrations with Goodwill’s POS platforms solve a recurring headache Cruse endured with his old security and POS system.

Benefits: Sharp drop in repair costs, reduced revenue loss and stronger defense against liability

With Solink, Cruse has dramatically reduced the odds that Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona will ever lose a fraudulent claim in court again. This has proven to be a powerful argument to deploy Solink across its entire footprint.

He estimates that Solink will save him $200,000 to $300,000 a year in unexpected repair/replacement costs. His operational costs will also be lower since he has more flexibility with increased security camera integrations as well as increased efficiency in his LP/AP program.

Customer service is a big part of what Cruse values about Solink.

“Everyone at Solink is really centered around what the customer needs, versus what’s easy for them as the vendor,” he said. “They are proactive, always looking at different ways to improve an existing system and identify issues before my team is even aware of them. No one at Solink is ever satisfied with the status quo.”

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