From The Editor | June 1, 2010

Who's Selling Video Security To Your Customers?

RetailNOW 2010 Was A Huge Success! … Now What?

By Mike Monocello, chief editor

If you're not currently selling video security solutions, you could be overlooking a great revenue generator. Conversations I've had with dealers, distributors, and vendors are similar regarding physical security as a cross-sell opportunity for POS dealers — just like payment processing, POS dealers are in a great position as the trusted advisor of retailers and restaurateurs to be selling these solutions. Additionally, preliminary survey results from Business Solutions' recently held Best Channel Products survey indicate that a large number of survey takers who rated POS products also rated video camera and DVR products. In short, it's clear that POS dealers are now selling video security solutions.

In recent months, I've written a number of articles on dealers having success selling these solutions. One in particular is top of mind because of the dealer's opinion on the relative ease of selling video solutions. In fact, Dale Eubanks, CEO and president of NextPoint, LLC, a dealer who specializes in independent grocery stores, says video security is his easiest sell. "Store owners commonly find empty cartons and open boxes of medicine throughout the store," he says. "They might not know exactly what it's costing them, but they're so frustrated that the frustration outweighs the logic of any ROI tied to such a solution. You don't have to address the ROI of video security; the need is built in." Like many POS dealers today, NextPoint initially started selling video security as a sideline to its main POS business, but Eubanks quickly realized that the product offering was much more. Indeed, today video security solutions account for 30% of NextPoint's annual revenue.

The VAR's typical video security system for an average five-lane store includes 16 cameras. He recommends 550 dpi (dots-per-inch) infrared cameras (which can record in little to no light). Eubanks says it's important to cover certain areas in the store. Obviously, the POS terminals should be covered, and Eubanks says, ideally, a store will have one camera for each.

Additionally, NextPoint recommends cameras covering the produce section and deli to catch "slip and falls" (customers faking fall injuries) on camera. He also ensures a camera is covering the high-dollar meats to catch customers swapping price stickers. All cameras are connected via RG-59 coaxial cable to a DVR (digital video recorder). Eubanks sets the DVR to record only when motion is sensed, thus increasing the available recording time of the DVR. To further increase recording time, the VAR sets the DVR to record at 7.5 frames per second (the naked eye sees at 16 fps), which is more than adequate to catch details in recorded events. Using those settings, Eubanks says a 500 GB hard drive within the DVR can store about 30 days of footage, adequate for catching "slip and falls" and writers of bad checks. The total cost of these systems is $13,000.

If you think you might be ready to make this leap, chances are your technical expertise and even basic networking experience will be enough to get you started. Of course, as with any solution, it's an understanding of the nuances of the products and real-world applications that will separate you from the competition. Experience, help from your distributor partners (all the major distributors are eager to help POS dealers add video solutions), and education (Business Solutions recently added a new online physical security resource center at BSMinfo.com/physical) can help you on your way to success. Don't let your competition get to your customers first.

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