Cosentino's Food Stores is a family-owned business whose mission is to offer customer the highest level of friendly, efficient and courteous service since 1948. With 95% of their stores using i3's video surveillance systems, we thought it was about time we caught up with Chris Vandiver - Loss Prevention Manager - to talk about security, video surveillance systems and the synergy between the two companies.
Chris, why don’t we start with your role at Cosentino’s and your relationship with i3?
I overview everything when it comes to installing and maintaining the video surveillance systems at Cosentino’s Food Stores. We have been using i3 since about 2004 and our relationship has evolved since the beginning; we started by buying only recorders but along the years, we have moved to getting complete systems from i3.
What does a standard system look like nowadays?
Our average store is around 90,000 sq.ft. and we plan to have coverage for all areas. For instance, our last 3 installations included 5 to 6 recorders and 100 to 130 cameras. We complete the installation with the remote viewing software from i3, which is easy to use.
This is quite the comprehensive coverage, how does Cosentino’s use their video surveillance system?
We use this system for all kinds of things. We monitor compliance at the front end, we investigate liability and worker’s comp claims, for exception reporting, in addition to keeping an eye on external theft. We also monitor our back doors and we record what happens around our dumpsters as we have resolved cases of internal and vendor’s frauds, thanks to that footage.
These days, we often hear that LP/AP has to do more with less, how do you justify your investment in video surveillance?
The sale to the Executive team is pretty straight-forward actually. The video surveillance system pays for itself in every location and brings ROI within 4 to 5 years, simply with the false worker’s claims that we were able to uncover and avoid a wrongful lawsuit. In most stores, we find that people will test the system, and someone may file a fraudulent claim, to see what happens. Once we show the clear video evidence to the lawyer, not only does the case fall apart but the word also spread at the store.
At what point do you decide that it is time to update the video surveillance system at your location?
We remodel or relocate a store, we upgrade the system to IP. Otherwise, we plan store by store and we select a hybrid solution, allowing us to keep and leverage our existing coaxial infrastructure and with i3’s HD-over-coax technology, we get a very clear image.
In conclusion, could you tell me about your relationship with i3? Also, would you recommend i3 to others?
I would definitely recommend i3 to others. The customer service is outstanding and it is easy to work with Kelsey Kerling and Sarah Mohammed. When we have an issue, they are quick to respond and we get all of our information in one place. As a matter of fact, in the next few months, we will take a look at Exception Reporting and Health Monitoring modules from i3 and this may lead in an expansion of our already growing relationship with them.
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