Investment in technology varies from organisation to organisation. Video technology is crucial for a variety of functions in a business as discussed in a recent blog post.
It’s safe to say that a company’s culture and strategy will influence the approach to investment in security and video technology. Organisations looking to reap a higher return on investment, however, should ensure that systems are open and future-proof as well as strive to nurture collaboration between business functions.
When investing in video technology, organisations must first ensure they are addressing their unique organisational requirements and that the performance measures have been clearly outlined. The business must also clearly articulate the desired outcomes of increased investment in CCTV, how it will deliver its intended purpose, and how to measure its impact.
So what are the different models that organisations use when investing in video technology? Typically, we see three different models:
1. The Loss Prevention function has ownership of the video technology programme. It is siloed from the other business functions, and is primarily supported by an integrator.
2. The IT function has ownership of the video technology programme, and the Loss Prevention team is just one of a number of users. The IT function has responsibility for system design, and receives input from the Loss Prevention team on aspects such as business requirements.
3. The Loss Prevention function has ownership of the video technology programme, and selects a single individual, or a Video ‘Tzar’ (as described by Professor Adrian Beck). This Video ‘Tzar’ works closely with all departments and is responsible for strategic oversight of the video technology programme.
Evaluating the Models
In depth research into this area has demonstrated that the third model is more often than not the most successful strategy.
The third model uses a holistic approach and is characterised by having a centralised vision and unified direction. Such an approach allows all stakeholders to become involved in and aware of the capabilities and benefits of video technology. For instance, recent innovations like Occupi Dashboard provide valuable information related to store occupancy levels that would be useful across a wide range of business functions.
How would this third model work in practice? As part of their role, the Video “Tzar” would work with IT, for example, to ensure that the investment in video technology is compatible with overall IT strategy. In addition to working with Loss Prevention, the Video “Tzar” would promote the adoption of video technology across different functions in the business such as marketing, operations, and logistics.
Once a business has chosen a video technology investment model then implemented it effectively, it should aim to measure its impact. The following metrics should be included when carrying out a measurement and evaluation;
Reduction in shrinkage: usually this is measured through SKU-specific shrinkage numbers
Reduced lost profits: from out of stock items, due to the impact of having improved inventory accuracy as fewer items are leaving the premises without being recorded and by reducing the number of out-of-stock events that sometimes go unnoticed by staff.
Increased sales: some video technology that automates processes, such as Occupi, can actually result in improved sales as it enables a store to redeploy members of staff to other areas of the store.
The research, spearheaded by Professor Adrian Beck, has found that more often than not, the role, purpose, and capability of video technology is not clearly articulated across the retail business. Clearly, there is room for improvement. A good place to start is to evaluate your organisation’s current approach to video technology investment. It’s also a good idea to implement the recommendations as outlined by the research, such as designating ownership and leadership of the video technology programme.