Complement POS Sales With Security
A VAR earns a $100,000+ install with a comedy club by showing the value of integrating POS (point of sale) and video surveillance.
POS VAR Retail Data Systems (RDS) understands the benefits of selling complementary technologies and that security is the perfect complement to POS. And, although it doesn't market itself as a security VAR, RDS is working to convince its POS customers of the benefits of integrated POS/security systems. One customer that illustrates this point is Comedy Works, a downtown Denver-based comedy club that features a full bar and restaurant. A couple of years ago, RDS responded to a Comedy Works RFP for a new POS system, and the VAR won the bid for a POS solution that included 7 touch screen POS workstations, 15 licenses of Menusoft Systems Corporation Digital Dining software, 1 Motorola 5131 wireless router, and 9 Motorola wireless handhelds (MC50 and MC70 models). During the POS rollout, RDS' sales rep and technician talked to the customer about the value of using video surveillance cameras and integrating the cameras with the POS system. "We educated the customer about protecting itself from internal security threats [e.g. dishonest employees] as well as external threats [e.g. a patron slipping and falling on the floor]," says Rich Phillips, operations manager at RDS. "The Comedy Works owner was very receptive to adding security, but she initially balked at the thought of our video surveillance recommendation."
Show The Value Of Security Search Functionality
RDS had proposed a FireKing Security Group Image Vault Pro Command Series DVR (approximate MSRP is $3,000 to $5,000 depending on model), plus 16 EverFocus video surveillance cameras (MSRP is $150 per camera). The total proposal, which included the cameras, DVR, and installation, was around $10,000. "The customer did some research and found a comparable DVR that was only $1,800," recalls Phillips. "We set up a demo and showed the customer how the more expensive DVR included software that could more tightly integrate with the POS software. The tighter integration means we could build filters that would permit a higher level of search functionality, which would cut the customer's daily viewing times to a fraction of what it required with a nonintegrated system." For example, the Image Vault system supported searches using criteria such as time of day, no-sales, voids, and discounts. The system also supports special event searches and can present video footage showing every instance an employee visits the liquor supply room or every instance a customer orders a certain mixed drink — to verify a bartender isn't pouring top shelf liquors and charging well (cheaper) prices. "We showed them that the more expensive DVR would require only about 20 minutes of viewing per day compared with the other system, which would require more than an hour of manual searching."
Consider All Aspects Of Site Location
RDS' demo convinced Comedy Works to go with the VAR's recommendation. Not only did the video surveillance add-on boost the overall sale by 33%, it showed RDS' customer the VAR's expertise. And, that expertise is paying off again. Comedy Works recently decided to build a second club 25 miles away from its original club. The new club has several times the capacity of the original club. "The new club has three floors and features several banquet halls, a full restaurant, and an auditorium with a balcony," says Phillips. "The club hired RDS to outfit the new facility with POS and video surveillance equipment on all three floors." The implementation is expected to take up to 25 days to complete. "We've learned over the years that there is a lot of preparation that goes into a video surveillance camera install," says Phillips. "Before we mount a camera, we need to consider where sunlight will enter the room throughout the day, as well as how the lights will impact the cameras at night. We also need to ensure that cameras won't be blocked by the customer's signage, as well as other dÃ©cor." The initial project calls for 10 fixed terminals (PCs and Digital Dining software), 17 Motorola MC50 handhelds, 56 EverFocus video surveillance cameras, and 4 Image Vault Pro Command Series DVRs. All of the hardware is being sourced through value-add distributor ScanSource. The equipment, plus installation and maintenance costs, will earn the VAR more than $100,000. What's more, the nature of the install — the location and type of customer — makes it the perfect opportunity for RDS to use as a reference for additional POS and security projects in the near future.