How best to save on security costs?
Viking Security was approached by the Estonian retail chain Selver with a request to reduce the number of security guards in stores. In the 70+ Selver shops, 1–2 security guards were present in each, one of whom was constantly monitoring the cameras. ‘The increase of electronic security was caused by the lack of security guards and the growing trend of thefts,’ claimed Katrin Kuusk, Head of Internal Control at Selver. Consequently, the decision was made to move one position to a separate video surveillance centre. Thanks to this, it is now possible to monitor all the shops from two separate video surveillance centres.
Kuusk believes that the biggest benefit of this project is the reduction in the volume of manned guarding. This means that Selver saves hundreds of thousands of euros on fixed costs at the expense of labour costs only.
Savings in labour costs, maintenance challenges, and daily administration.
We have built the largest video surveillance network in the Baltics
Selver’s constantly expanding system has a total of 5,134 cameras. At first, the challenge was to find the right equipment and software for the trouble-free operation of this huge volume of data and video streaming. After trying different options and testing them, we found that the most suitable solution for Selver is Milestone software and Axis cameras.
Milestone software makes the surveillance of shops very easy. For example, with the Smart Search function, it is possible to search across cameras to identify a specific incident. It is helpful when you do not know which camera may have detected the incident. In addition, thanks to the use of an open protocol, it is possible to integrate till receipts and security and access systems with video surveillance.
Discrete Axis cameras are lightweight, high quality and safe – there are no backdoors in the system. These cameras are designed to last. Even the oldest models have been working smoothly for more than a decade.
The video surveillance centre employs 15 video operators, and there has not been a single day where the system would be down. In addition to working smoothly 24/7, the centre helps to decrease administration and challenges.
‘Good cooperation requires close communication and continuously searching for the best possible solutions. We have always been on the same page regarding all technical solutions – efficiency in detecting thefts is most important,’ claims Katrin Kuusk when considering cooperation. She adds that she hopes that cooperation based on the same principles will continue in the future.
- 60+ shops are monitored simultaneously in real time
- 5,134 cameras are simultaneously operating in the network
- Operation without failures 24/7
- Integration of an access system with surveillance cameras
- Integration of till receipts with video surveillance
- 15 video operators in the video surveillance centre
Are security guards needed in shops in the future?
‘The absence of a security guard in a shop does not mean that the shop’s property is not guarded, quite the opposite. But the result of detecting thefts does not depend solely on video surveillance and the work of operators.’ Katrin Kuusk adds that the result must be a combination of the activities of the security guard and the security and operational centre. She believes that: ‘Large shops cannot yet manage without a security guard, but reducing the volumes of the service and flexible use of resources between different shops is showing results. And, of course, the security company will do the groundwork, and the next steps will depend on the actions of the police.’
The next steps of Viking Security
At the moment, we are developing the systems we have created and are constantly adding new features. This way, we can be sure that the system will remain future-proof.