08/12/2011 9:32:00 AM
With a new owner (Canadian Tire) since 2002 and a new brand, Mark’s Work Wearhouse has re-vamped not only their look but also their overall customer experience. Including the installation of in-store freezers, so customers can test drive their subzero climate outer wear. This rebirth of a classic Canadian brand also meant taking a new technologically advanced approach to how they do business. In the retail sector where “the customer experience” has become a top priority, new technology has emerged to allow companies like Mark’s to maximize not only their customers experience but ultimately the bottom line. Up until recently in-store Video Surveillance was nothing more than a cost center that served to reduce shrink and provide safety. But with the advent of Video Analytics and BAM (business activity monitoring) video surveillance now takes a seat at the big table due to the benefits it provides.
When Mark’s Exec.’s went looking for a video surveillance provider, they were looking for a good fit with their business philosophy. Security integrator Checkpoint Systems matched up Mark’s with video surveillance manufacturer i3 International, an industry leader in IP and Video Analytics technology. Along with their family culture and “consultative selling” style, i3 designed a complete network video surveillance system for Mark’s, utilizing the latest IP Camera, Video Analytics and DVR technologies. “From all the surveillance equipment companies we reviewed for this job, i3 stood out as a company who would not just act as an equipment provider but rather a long-term partner”, says Andy Buchanan, Associate Vice President of Asset Protection for Mark’s. Forward thinking Buchanan has even gone as far as coining a term, for this new 21st century video surveillance system where useful analytics software is incorporated with the hardware calling it an “MDRT” (Multi Dimensional Retail Tool).
These new tool features such as heat-mapping, queue-time alerts, directional flow analysis, door counter and POS integration allow management and directors the ability to take a new more scientific approach to how they do business. “Using the new video analytics technology that i3 is providing us we will be able to utilize that data in order to maximize the customer’s experience”; states Buchanan. Information regarding customer wait times, traffic flow habits and sale averages can allow managers to schedule more staff at peak times, place premium ticket items in high traffic flow areas ultimately improving the overall customer experience and increasing the bottom line.
But as Mr. Buchanan has stated, the benefits of their new i3 Video Surveillance systems don’t just stop there, they also view their new “MDRT” systems as a cost cutting tool. Buchanan continues, “…by adding network accessible systems, regional managers and directors will be able to perform virtual walks through individual stores saving time and cutting travel expenses.”
With a recent installation of 30 DVR systems including i3’s new analytics software and their di721 model dome cameras, Mark’s looks forward to reviewing the analytics data of their 2011 holiday shopping season. With a positive outlook, working towards a complete nationwide roll-out consisting of i3’s video surveillance systems including BAM would be the goal for 2012.