LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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Polon said the scalable cloud-based platform was needed to address numerous pain points common among small retailers. "Employee turnover is a huge problem, and there is no way of knowing who's made a copy, so rekeying is a big problem. And people forget alarm codes, and sharing them is an issue. And I can't be everywhere, and contractors and delivery people need access at different times," said Polon. "But all those problems disappeared," she said. If an employee leaves, Polon just deletes him or her from the system, and the worker no longer gets in. And if an ex-employee kept a key fob and tries to enter, she can see that. If there is an alert or an issue at a store, she can log in and see video of what's going on. "I don't have to run out there in the middle of the night." She also doesn't have to ask employees to run to the store to let workers in after hours. "I was literally in New York City when one of our contractors got to one of our DC stores. I just let him in to our facility from my hotel room." Polon says the reporting and alert features of the software, as well as remote video capabilities, have been critical for her as she tries to stay hands on as she manages the company's growth. She can run one-time or scheduled reports on activities, see who is coming in and when, limit store access to employees based on when they need it, and get alerts if they try to enter at other times. But it is the remote access capability that is her favorite feature. "It has been a gamechanger for us—letting deliveries in, letting contractors in, and enabling work to get done." Large retailers seem intrigued by the idea of electronic access control but not yet driven to embrace it. "Using access control in a store environment is kind of a difficult thing to do; it just hasn't seemed to be cost effective," according to consultant Mike Keenan. Delhaize America is dipping their toes in, using fob access instead of keys for side doors of some Hannaford stores. Joe Darnell suspects, as they continue to evolve their security program, that card access will begin to play a bigger role. "It seems to be where the industry is heading," he said. Several LP executives report that they successfully manage traditional rekeying costs with products that offer interchangeable core locks, and others don't see the security need to do away with traditional keys. "I was never worried about key control if the alarm system was working well," said Keenan. One LP executive offered a similar view. "In my twenty-three years, I've never had anybody break in with key," he said. Kroger's Chris McCarrick said they examined the possibility of using the solution in conjunction with its security upgrade but concluded that the cost wasn't justified. "Card access is very expensive when you're rolling out at scale," he said. That is not to say that retailers aren't utilizing some of the latest technology in service of burglary prevention, but they could do a better job connecting technologies, according to Catherine Walsh, senior vice president and general manager at Tyco Retail Solutions. "A major flaw among retailers in their security strategy is not having a cohesive approach," she said. "Video surveillance, access control, and intrusion detection are a few of the critical components that comprise a layered approach to help prevent intrusion, but they're much more effective when working together as an integrated security solution." She said new technology is available to seamlessly integrate with existing systems for insight into loss events and to help retailers better understand, in detail, why after-hours loss events are occurring. It's the opinion of some in the industry that cutting-edge exterior and interior video surveillance technology is needed to take protection against after-hours burglaries or break-ins to the next level. True or not, LP leaders also believe that strong physical protection is still the most critical source of after-hours security. It's not sexy, but devices like locks remain vital to store protection, according to Sean Ahrens. "I firmly believe that the first line of defense, and the number one thing retail organizations should do, is to harden the facility, including properly designed doors and good-quality locks that are life-safety code compliant but provide really rigorous defense against prying." He suggested that, for high-risk stores, the added expense and installation time of three-point locks are worth it and that little things—uncovered hinges, a tiny gap that allows a crowbar into a door frame, the quality of the deadbolt—"make a big difference to someone trying to break in." He also prefers doors without handles when they're not necessary. "I hate handles. They're pry points." Good physical protection has another advantage: it typically won't break the bank. Most practices recommended by police crime-prevention units are affordable, such as securing sliding-glass windows with the same types of locking devices used for sliding-glass doors; installing security bars on side, rear, or other windows that a burglar might break to enter; and installing locked security guards on ladders and trimming tree limbs to prevent roof access. "Naturally, with an unlimited budget, you could add an awful lot for burglary protection, but realistically you need to be strategic and maybe not invest the same in low-crime areas as others. Protection strategies need to be cost effective, strategic, and based on risk," Keenan advised. "Understand the business, understand the risk, and understand what's doable—that's really where the science meets art in protecting stores after hours." It's the opinion of some in the industry that cutting-edge exterior and interior video surveillance technology is needed to take protection against after-hours burglaries or break-ins to the next level. True or not, LP leaders also believe that strong physical protection is still the most critical source of after-hours security. Catherine Walsh 22 JULY–AUGUST | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM SAFELY INTO THE NIGHT

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