A Fast Guide to Reducing Retail Loss and Developing a Loss Prevention Strategy

A loss prevention plan is the establishment of specific policies and procedures and the implementation of tools that will reduce the incident of internal theft, external theft, and errors that lead to losses. Retail loss accounts for represents 1.47% of retail revenue.

Of that amount,

  • 48% is due to employee theft
  • 32% to shoplifting
  • 15% administrative errors
  • 5% vendor fraud

Internal (Employee) Theft

Internal theft is the biggest contributor to loss of most retail establishments. It occurs through many methods including merchandise theft, helping/allowing others to steal, and “conversion fraud” which include void, discount, and refund theft.

External Theft

External Theft is caused by robberies, shoplifting or other outside sources. Though External theft does not account for as much as internal theft, it is still a significant source of loss.

Errors

Errors, such as mistakes in paperwork, inaccurate counting of products or mistakes in money exchange can account for between 5-20% of a retailer’s annual loss. That’s pretty significant.

Vendor Fraud

Vendor fraud is fraud committed by vendors either acting alone or with the help of employees receiving kickbacks. This might include things like price rigging, overbilling, padding the bill, shorting the delivery, and similar schemes.

Smart Strategies for Reducing Retail Loss

Even small losses add up over time and effect bottom line profitability that hurts the entire business, causing lost profits. Those profits could be used for more inventory, expansion, hiring additional employees, or increased employee wages or benefits. Ultimately, everyone loses. Loss prevention strategies take, time, commitment, and a modest investment but pay off in the end.

Here are some important tips in preventing retail loss:

  • Do pre-employment background checks
  • Implement employee recognition/morale programs
  • Develop a loss prevention protocol
  • Train employees in theft reduction strategies
  • Have a dedicated theft reduction team
  • Stop by the business without warning
  • Spot check inventory and cash drawers frequently
  • Check physical inventory against inventory spreadsheets
  • Hire security guards
  • Stress Integrity as part of the company culture
  • Install access control systems
  • Install video surveillance systems and CCTV
  • Manage traffic patterns and choke points
  • Be aware of dwell times
  • Train employees to engage customers
  • Train employees to spot suspicious activities
  • Train employees on receiving inventory
  • Cover receiving areas with cameras
  • Use inventory tracking systems, POS systems and other tools to manage and track inventory

About Complete Security Systems

Retail loss is a big problem, and for businesses working within tight margins, it can be devastating. Business security and access control systems can be controlled and monitored remotely, making them a vital part of your loss prevention strategy.

If you have questions about how to leverage business security systems in the reduction of retail loss, give us a call today. We are pleased to assist you.

Time to Supercharge Your Business? It’s Time for Business Automation.

Running a successful business takes a lot of time and effort. We would not have it any other way, right? But when there is a better way to manage our time so that we can reinvest it elsewhere to move our business forward, we are all in. Enter one serious multi-purpose business tool – Business Automation from CSS.

Total Confidence

Sure, many of you think of the security facet when you think of interactive security, and is undeniably a huge part of what makes it a wonderful business tool. With it you can:

  • Arm or disarm your your system remotely.
  • Receive alerts when the system is disarmed.
  • Receive alerts is exterior doors open.
  • Make certain areas off limits.

Those are reasons enough to want to leverage interactive security, but there is more, far more that it can do to help you manage your business.

Who Knew?

The mark of any great entrepreneur is the ability to think outside the box and use every tool tool to its maximum potential. Business Automation helps business owners manage their time and their business far better than ever before. Here are just a few of the ways business automation is better than the best multitool.

Interactive security for business allows you to:

  • Monitor sensitive tools, information, and technologies remotely.
  • Monitor POI transactions and the cash drawer.
  • Gain customer insights.
  • Gain information to help improve store layout.
  • Improve customer safety.
  • Improve and promote process and procedures.
  • Improve customer service.
  • Improve and promote safety practices.
  • Monitor customer traffic.
  • Protect premises from theft and vandalism.
  • Check on the status and productivity of the business.
  • Assign or cancel employee access codes to improve safety.

Business owners cannot be everywhere at once, but security automation helps them be as close to that as is possible. Business owners do not have to on the premises to conduct critical functions or have a watchful eye on the daily working of the business. That is a huge advantage when every moment needs to yield the highest return.

About Complete Security Systems

At Complete Security Systems, we consider every client our partner. We have a sincere interest in making sure that each client is satisfied beyond their expectations. Contact us today for a free on site evaluation of your small business.

 

10 Ways to Ensure a Safer College Campus

A well-known maxim states that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is never truer than when it comes to campus safety. A well-rounded security plan is essential to ensuring the safety of faculty, staff students and campus visitors. These ten steps outline a comprehensive security plan that will provide maximum campus safety and a prompt response to any unforeseen security incidents that may arise.

1. Appoint a Security Team

Having a core team that is always fully in the know about all security issues is the first step toward successful campus security. Appointing a team leader from each department and interest group allows you to be the first voice in security.

2. Preparation

Good preparation includes a thorough knowledge of crime statistics, possible risks, keeping safety gear and licenses updated and listening to the concerns of faculty and students. These are key factors to communicate to your security team, and it is often best to bring in the expertise of a security firm to minimize the chances of overlooking a risk.

3. Complete an Objective Risk Audit

A good security firm can help you complete an objective risk audit. This gives you an experienced outsider’s eye to analyze how all aspects of your campus work together. A specialist will consider risks from all angles including seasonal changes, high profile structures and potential sources of security failure. Your existing emergency plans will be thoroughly critiqued and strengthened. The firm should also create new back up plans geared toward both physical and cyber risks.

4. Minimize Risk

After your audit, you will be better prepared to take steps to minimize risk and liability. Target the weak areas and work with your team on solutions. Solutions may include things like more cameras, increased security presence or additional lighting.

5. Budget Wisely

In an institution where finances are often carefully allocated, finding additional funding for your new security measures can be challenging. Though there may be an initial increase in cost associated with these changes, the liability cost of lax security is often greater.

6. Finding Funding

After your budget is complete, you must find a source of cash to finance your plan. This is where your carefully selected team can be extremely helpful. Appointed members with influence over campus budgeting can be a liaison for your team.

7. Assert the Importance of Plan Funding

Each new security measure that you put into place should be highly publicized. Bringing attention to your plan raises awareness for the necessity of security as well as deterring would be trouble makers.

8. Communicate Responsibilities

Now that your plan has been reworked, it is essential that each team member knows their role and how to respond in case of an incident. They should know where to go with any questions and how to use all security related software. This will ensure your new plan runs smoothly.

9. Evaluate Plan Efficacy

Even the best laid plans can hit a snag. Have measures in place that examine your new plan as it is being executed to find shortcomings that were not initially apparent in the planning stages.

About Complete Security Systems

Security evaluation is not a one time process. You should have an annual audit that re-examines your plan and be prepared to tweak it as necessary. Your team should always be involved in this process. Following these steps with the help of a local New Jersey security company will ensure that residents and visitors to your campus are as safe as possible.

Contact Complete Security Systems today for a complimentary audit of your campus security system.

 

Business Security Systems: Why Upgrade Now Rather Than Later

Security systems evolve according to new threats. Businesses are always trying to stay ahead of potential threats that can put staff and customers at risk as well as risk-prolonged disruptions in the carrying out of daily business. Companies with government or military contracts are required to meet certain security minimums before they can even begin to provide products or services. Here are four trending security advancements businesses are using to stay ahead of the game.

Biometrics

Access control used to be nothing more than a locked door. Then, alarm were added to warn of illegal entry into unauthorized areas, but there was little accounting of traffic that was authorized. Sensitive areas that require a complete record of daily access are served well with biometric devices that can positively identify who is entering and leaving a secured area and at what times. Biometrics can be as simple as a thumbprint reader on a computer server to advanced retina reading devices, hand scanners and voice recognition.

Visitor Access

An area still hard for many businesses to control is visitor access. The traditional approach of adding security staff to monitor and control visitors is costly yet still widely in use. Modern digital visitor tracking options can be as simple as visitor ID badges to the high-end facial recognition software in use by casinos and other corporations. Controlled visitor access is an absolute necessity in environments that have public, semi-private and controlled areas such as hospitals. A hospital may have a cafe or dining area fully open to the public, patient rooms where only friends and family are permitted, and pediatric areas where infant access is restricted to parents and specific hospital staff.

Loss Prevention

Shrinkage due to retail theft is the bane of stores everywhere. The shoplifters are getting bolder and more savvy, and the stores need to keep up not only to reduce shrinkage but send a message to the criminals that ply this trade that their retail locations are too high of a risk to shoplift at. Larger retailers may incorporate facial recognition to know when prior shoplifters enter their stores. Retail product security tags have evolved from the stick-on ones that needed to be applied to every product to ones that have been embedded at the point of manufacture such as security tags inside shoes.

IP Surveillance Cameras

Affordable video surveillance was an exponential leap in business security. However, it was limited to on-site viewing. Internet Protocol camera and DVR systems now allow for remote viewing by any authorized person that has a computer, tablet or smartphone and Internet access. The cameras can be fully controllable for pan, tilt and zoom. Modern digital surveillance cameras can also have quality optics so clear that not only can the hands of cashiers be observed, but the individual serial numbers on the money can be seen too. The latest DVR systems can record a year’s worth of footage from multiple cameras, giving an instant and easy-to-access record of every second.

Insurance providers along with government and military customers are not the only ones expecting businesses to up their game when it comes to state-of-the-art security systems. Customers and visitors are demanding safety systems be in place to protect them against property, personal and violent crime while visiting the businesses. It is not necessary for every business to adopt every new security option, but it is necessary for them to have in place the ones in standard use by their industry. The costs of implementation can be offset by the prevention of one major litigation claim.

For a complimentary on site consultation please contact Complete Security Systems today.

The 60 Seconds After The Fire Alarm System Sounds

Two things are crucial in fire safety: Having a working fire alarm system and having a plan of escape. It seems almost too simple, but together these two things save lives.

Take the Statistics Seriously

Each year, fire kills about 3,000 people a year in the United States. Forty percent of those deaths occurred in homes without working fire alarm systems.This startling fact highlights how these two things can be vital in saving your life in an emergency.

60 Seconds to Safety

One minute is all the time you have to safely escape once fire erupts. Most people believe they have more time because they assume that it is the fire that causes most fatalities. Smoke inhalation is in fact the major cause of death in most cases, and a room or structure can fill with smoke in a very short time. The earlier the warning and the better the plan of escape, the better the chances of escaping without injury. Here are some important tips to make the most of your 60 seconds:

·         Have a working fire alarm system

·         Opt for alarm system monitoring. Early alerts to emergency services can be the difference between saving lives and property.

·         Never deactivate your fire alarm system for any reason, especially while cooking.

·         Do not re-enter a burning building

·         Have fire extinguishers available and accessible

·         Have your fire system maintenanced regularly

·         Install fire safety features such as escape ladders for upper windows

·         Develop and practice a fire escape plan. Be sure to plan for children, babies, aged, disabled persons as well as pets.

·         Practice your plan regularly under all circumstances, such as day and night time, hot and inclement weather. Remember, fire rarely occur under ideal circumstances.

What You Can Expect Once the Alarm Sounds

When there is a fire emergency people can react unpredictably. That makes having a plan and knowing what to expect important. Here are some things you should consider if fire erupts in your home or place of business:

·         Get out. That is your first priority.

·         If you have a fire sprinkler system, expect it to go off as you try to exit. This may make floor slippery, so learn to expect that possibility.

·         Meet in your agreed upon location. Take a head count.

·         If you have a monitored system, you can expect emergency services to arrive quickly.

·         Fire department personnel will determine if the structure is safe to remove valuables once the fire is extinguished.

·         Secure the building to prevent further loss due to theft.

·         Contact your insurance company.

When all you have is the possibility of one minute to get to safety, you will want to make every second count. Complete Security Systems specializes in comprehensive fire and life safety systems for installations ranging from single dwelling homes to major retail centers. If you have any questions about how to make a fire alarm system part of your emergency plan, give us a call today.

3 reasons to add access control today

If you find yourself on the fence when it comes to installing an access control system at your business, there are a few points you may wish to consider. Take the time to mull over these ideas before making a decision on installing access control:

Access control makes you look good.

Issuing a credential to authorized users and requiring them to swipe it at an entryway station does not “disrespect” your clients or other visitors; in many cases, it actually shows them you care about their safety and that of your employees.

This can give you a positive image boost that actually impresses important visitors.

Access control helps manage building traffic.

…And that’s important, because managing building traffic is the key to keeping everyone inside as safe as possible. Whether your business is a small membership organization or a large office building, the simple fact is that you just can’t be there all the time. Installing an access control system can ensure that only authorized occupants enter your building.

Access control can increase productivity.

How many times have you caught employees shooting the breeze with visitors at their workstations, whether it’s family members who drop by unannounced, smoking buddies from the building next door or boyfriends/girlfriends who don’t seem to have day jobs of their own? When you install an access control system, visitors will not be likely to come back very often after being denied entry for the first time. Access control systems can keep your staff as productive as possible while they are on your time.

Installing access control is an important decision for today’s business owners, and we understand that these systems aren’t appropriate for every type of business. However, we believe that many business owners are doing themselves a disservice by failing to consider all the benefits of installing access control. For more information on access control systems, contact Complete Security Systems today.

3 ways to make schools safer with integrated security

Schools today face a wider range of security concerns than ever before. From petty acts of graffiti or vandalism to the ever present risk of mass shootings, administrators in New Jersey and beyond are constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to enhance school security while maintaining quality learning spaces for their students. Ultimately, the goal of any integrated security structure within a school should be to manage the area more effectively, keep students safe from harm, and allow everyone to feel secure while they learn and teach.

Security technology and basic building management now go hand in hand. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2011-2012 school year 88% of schools locked entrances and monitored entrances to the building. Another 44% used locked and monitored gates to secure access to the grounds. Sixty-four percent relied upon security cameras to watch what was happening throughout the building. These changes allow administration and security staff to more efficiently monitor what happens during the day and come up with appropriate policies for their schools.

The right mix of security systems and freedom of movement can make a tremendous difference for the quality of education children receive while they are in school. These three areas are key to that success.

VISIBILITY AND MONITORING

Not surprisingly, if 90% of a building can be in direct line of sight to a teacher or other authority figure, the rule breaking will almost always happen in the other 10%. Using cameras to monitor behavior between classrooms helps reduce bullying, fighting, and vandalism by putting eyes in those areas, cutting down on incidents and bringing culprits to justice. Videotape recorders are still common, but vary significantly in quality. Fortunately, digital recording technology has come a long way and is quickly becoming the standard for school security.

METAL DETECTORS

In 2003-4, only two percent of public schools had students pass through metal detectors daily. That number has doubled by the 2011-12 school year, and the number of random metal detector sweeps have increased as well. Given the proliferation of gun violence across the country, this is hardly surprising. They are most commonly found in urban school settings and at the secondary level, and play a key role in preventing random school shootings.

ACCESS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES

Many schools now favor electronic access control over the entrances and exits. While card swipes, fingerprints, or code boxes may cost more in the short run, they are more secure than regular keyed entries. They also offer flexibility for other staff members, who may need to come and go from front or side doors during the day. This allows even main doors to remain locked and makes it harder for intruders to enter the school.

The ultimate goal of all these security systems is to make the school feel as secure as possible for the students inside, while having the smallest effect on how “jail-like” the building becomes. It is an important balance of safety and freedom for students, teachers and administrators alike.

3 Advantages of IP Video Surveillance

Internet Protocol (IP) devices are entangling themselves into every facet of our lives, and video surveillance is no different. Although adoption has been slow, the steady development of new technologies, from camera sensors to network infrastructure, is surely making its benefits known. From simple IP cams connected to a standard desktop for small homes and businesses, to full, expansive networks of cameras serving diverse operations. Let’s take a look at 3 advantages to IP video surveillance:

1. FLEXIBILITY

This technology is advancing quickly, but the most obvious benefit at any cost level is the flexibility afforded by basic wireless operation. Though certainly standard to any device in this category, it is still the best selling point for the tech.

From installation to operation, the ease and access to each camera really does justify the cost associated with new technology. Whether you’re a concerned homeowner out of town, or a business owner/manager maintaining an operation from the road, the power to immediately access camera feeds through the internet is simply invaluable.
This is particularly true of larger security operations overseeing broad territories. A central command hub is invaluable to these organizations, and the immediate synchronization of video feeds makes IP cameras an obvious and important investment.

2. MOBILITY

Just as our personal devices have become our passkeys to Cloud backups and cross-platform content, adding mobile surveillance options has been a key driving force across every level of the industry. For good and bad, the ability to observe your business or home from anywhere you have a cell phone signal is an incredibly powerful motivator for anyone concerned with a security camera in the first place. All around the world, small business owners are delighting and demurred by immediate and total access to their video feeds.
Add an internet-enabled storage solution, and suddenly every feed gains a rich, searchable history of content, anywhere you want it.

3. EXPANSION

Current DVR systems are already accommodating both analog and IP cameras, and those options will only grow. However, the flexibility afforded has already been making inroads to utilities unrelated to security and loss prevention.
With a networked solution already in play, for example, it’s increasingly easy to send the feeds through any modern digital service you could imagine. For example, operations like those at Amazon’s warehouses depend a great deal on AI-assisted evaluation of the site’s operations. With software keyed to track a range of variables in the space, efficiency and quality are suddenly given hard metrics upon which to be measured.

This may sound futuristic, but truly, IP cameras represent one part of a cultural shift towards ultra-connected, intelligently-operated efforts at every level. Sure, in some cases this will result in a team of contractors running security and maintenance on a business from 10,000 miles away, with nary a human involved. But on another scale, it means that a small business owner can check on their livelihood, while a concerned parent can check in on their loved ones. IP cameras are only expanding their reach, and that’s only half as scary as it sounds.

To schedule a complimentary on site consultation for your business, contact Complete Security Systems today.

3 Advantages of IP Video Surveillance

Internet Protocol (IP) devices are entangling themselves into every facet of our lives, and video surveillance is no different. Although adoption has been slow, the steady development of new technologies, from camera sensors to network infrastructure, is surely making its benefits known. From simple IP cams connected to a standard desktop for small homes and businesses, to full, expansive networks of cameras serving diverse operations. Let’s take a look at 3 advantages to IP video surveillance:

1. Flexibility

This technology is advancing quickly, but the most obvious benefit at any cost level is the flexibility afforded by basic wireless operation. Though certainly standard to any device in this category, it is still the best selling point for the tech. From installation to operation, the ease and access to each camera really does justify the cost associated with new technology. Whether you’re a concerned homeowner out of town, or a business owner/manager maintaining an operation from the road, the power to immediately access camera feeds through the internet is simply invaluable.
This is particularly true of larger security operations overseeing broad territories. A central command hub is invaluable to these organizations, and the immediate synchronization of video feeds makes IP cameras an obvious and important investment.

2. Mobility

Just as our personal devices have become our passkeys to Cloud backups and cross-platform content, adding mobile surveillance options has been a key driving force across every level of the industry. For good and bad, the ability to observe your business or home from anywhere you have a cell phone signal is an incredibly powerful motivator for anyone concerned with a security camera in the first place. All around the world, small business owners are delighting and demurred by immediate and total access to their video feeds.
Add an internet-enabled storage solution, and suddenly every feed gains a rich, searchable history of content, anywhere you want it.

3. Expansion

Current DVR systems are already accommodating both analog and IP cameras, and those options will only grow. However, the flexibility afforded has already been making inroads to utilities unrelated to security and loss prevention.
With a networked solution already in play, for example, it’s increasingly easy to send the feeds through any modern digital service you could imagine. For example, operations like those at Amazon’s warehouses depend a great deal on AI-assisted evaluation of the site’s operations. With software keyed to track a range of variables in the space, efficiency and quality are suddenly given hard metrics upon which to be measured.

This may sound futuristic, but truly, IP cameras represent one part of a cultural shift towards ultra-connected, intelligently-operated efforts at every level. Sure, in some cases this will result in a team of contractors running security and maintenance on a business from 10,000 miles away, with nary a human involved. But on another scale, it means that a small business owner can check on their livelihood, while a concerned parent can check in on their loved ones. IP cameras are only expanding their reach, and that’s only half as scary as it sounds.

To schedule a complimentary on site consultation for your business, contact Complete Security Systems today.

School Security: Better Visitor Management

Today, a growing number of educational institutions rely on access control and other school security systems to limit the ability of visitors to restricted areas. They seek to safeguard the personal security of staff members and the integrity of assets by making sure that only authorized personnel gain the ability to enter certain parts of the facility.

Physical Access Control In a facility, such as an educational institution, management may wish to restrict access to certain locations. For example, students and teaching staff usually obtain admission to most public parts of a school building. Yet clearly, uninvited strangers without a reason for entering the premises have no place outside designated visiting areas. Personnel responsible for janitorial functions and food preparation might require access to parts of the premises not frequented by members of the public, or even other employees. The school maintains offers different levels of access to members of the public, staff and employees with specialized functions.

Implementing an effective access control system assists the educational institution in determining which individuals have entered specific locations at any given time. This surveillance precaution helps safeguard everyone by monitoring the access provided to certain restricted areas. For example, if a janitor happens to slip while moving supplies alone into a storage room and breaks a leg, the access control system might indicate that someone had entered a restricted area, but had remained longer than average.

Administrators notified by an automatic alarm could quickly visit the location and determine that a problem had occurred. The school could obtain assistance for the injured employee more rapidly than otherwise. Technologically current surveillance and access control systems help promote more comfortable, safer physical facilities. Virtual Access Control The principle of access control also works very effectively in online environments.

For instance, a secure database often furnishes unlimited access to a database administrator, but restricts the ability of people not connected with the IT staff to consult information outside their own departments. It may prevent access from members of the public completely. This extra security measure helps ensure that people do not enter or remove information inaccurately or gain access to data not intended for their use.

Controlling access to the flow of information assists the company in maintaining better control over its assets and intellectual properties. It also prevents identity thefts by hackers. For instance, a sales representative may benefit from learning how many widgets the company maintains in stock at a specific point in time, for instance. The firm might enable the sales staff to see this information via its computer system, but restrict the ability to actually update or change the database to an automated access control software program the monitors inventory on a real-time basis. Inventory figures would change only when the shipping department physically dispatches a widget to a customer.

Visitor Management Both physical and virtual access control systems promote better visitor management. They limit the ability of strangers to cause damage or become injured while in contact with an institution or enterprise. For more information on edcuational and school security, please contact Complete Security Systems today.