Convenience Store News

JAN 2017

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76 Convenience Store News | JANUARY 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Store Ops + Labor + HR + Real Estate + Financial + Field Ops OPERATIONS monitored or not. "Employees can find out quickly if the video foot- age is working and if anyone is really watching or doing periodic audits, and they will take advantage of that," he said. It starts with putting together a loss prevention plan, and hiring and training employees on detailed shift procedures. Then, monitor employees via the video surveillance to make sure they are following them, McGoey outlined. Those who stop following the procedures are the ones who need to be watched close- ly. But it's also important to call out things seen on video to let employees know they are being watched. "Operators need to be checking the POS reports for trends, patterns and exceptions, and they need to ques- tion employees about things to let them know they are being monitored," he said. "They could even make it a training exercise on how to bag better or the frequency of dropping money." INEXPENSIVE PREVENTION Crime and security are usually site-specific issues, and there needs to be a plan for each location in a chain. However, there are a number of measures and consid- erations that are universal when it comes to protecting a store, its employees and its customers. Having fencing around a property and limiting the number of exits from both the store and the parking lot can be helpful in reducing crime, especially in the late-night hours, Erickson said, adding that bright lighting in the parking lot and all around the sides of a store is essential. "It's also important to keep the windows clear and increase the visibility for employees. There are still so many infractions on that security rule," she noted. "You want a clear line of sight for police that drive by or potential witnesses to be able to see in, and for the robber or criminal to feel like he or she is fully visible when standing there." Many stores fill the windows with merchandise and signage, or display racks and coolers, and it affects secu- rity in a negative way. McGoey believes there are four ways of attacking security issues in a store. These include: • The design of the store; • Where it's located and how it faces the street; • The visibility it has; and • The hardware and equipment, such as video cam- eras, alarms and more. Some of these are more controllable than others, he acknowledged. a kill switch so the doors won't open, if necessary, according to Lindsey Silva, application engineer at Blue Line Technology. "We lock our other entrance as soon as it gets dark to funnel everyone through the one door, and the camera looks for 350 points on the face before it will unlock the door," Leemon explained. The new system went into place this past August and the store has not had any robbery incidents since implementing it. Also, the fact that customers know they must show their face to a camera before entering has deterred crime, according to Leemon. "We see people coming up to the door and then shaking their head and walking away," he noted. "We also have flagged one person who we caught stealing on camera so he can't get in the store at all during those hours. We love the capability of locking out the indi- viduals who make it challenging to run a business." Employees feel safer with the technology, as well. Those who were afraid to work nightshifts are now volunteering. Based on the initial results, FKG Oil is looking into rolling out the technology to other Moto Mart locations, said Leemon. INTERNAL THEFT CONTROL With the integration of cameras and the POS, retail- ers are finding they have more control over employee theft than in the past. With exception-based reporting, managers can flag sweethearting, under ringing, over ringing, voided transactions, and more. They can even make sure employees are asking for IDs when it comes to age-restricted products. "The loss from robbery is not that big of a num- ber — usually under $100 because chains are trained to keep the cash count down — so internal theft is hav- ing the biggest impact on the bottom line," said Erickson. "With improved POS innova- tion, a store operator can moni - tor employees from home in real time and when exceptions come through." Spending the money to have the technology in place, though, is only half the battle. Operators need to be monitoring it and using it, while letting employees know they are actually being watched, McGoey emphasized. Those who think employees will be deterred by a camera are mistaken because employees will figure out if they are truly being

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