Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is a nonprofit organization currently employing more than 4,100 individuals and have been in operation for more than 40 years. Goodwill, like most other organizations, faces issues that it seeks to overcome in order to run as efficiently as possible. Recently, the team at Goodwill was able to promptly identify, investigate, and respond to a trail of suspicious transactions. The organization was able to reach a resolution in a matter of days.
Tim Rout, Goodwill of Indiana’s Acting Director of Loss Prevention and Safety believes that having a reliable partner to provide exceptional surveillance system and equipment can help lessen risk and enforce compliance. According to Tim, “Loss Prevention is often asked to achieve tasks that wouldn’t ordinarily be in our lane, but technology helps us manage it. Internal and Operational Loss are always a challenge, and we seek out ways to limit the exposure”. The technologies used to power these solutions are; CMS (Cloud Managed Services), Ai solutions (Artificial Intelligence), NVRs (Network Video Recorders), IP Cameras and Smart ER (Exception Reporting).
During the i3 integration, Goodwill was also in the midst of rolling out a new Point of Sale (POS) system. Goodwill recognized that key exception reports specifically geared towards Loss Prevention and Operational speed and performance needed development and integration. Further, that opportunities in shrink prevention and expense management existed. In partnering with ERC and i3 International that effort began in 2021. As the transformation of new POS occurred and was implemented, i3 mirrored the output and provided key exception reporting data. In addition, during this project, Goodwill identified challenges that also existed with tracking external donations which are key to items that are resold to customers. Initial donations tracked using Ai and a manual process were only showing accuracy rates hovering around 70% creating a number of internal challenges including process delays.
Through the upgraded CMS Smart ER solution, a cashier in question was identified in one of the locations.
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In partnership with Goodwill, i3 developed an enhanced version of its CMS Smart ER program. As the product began to reach completion and implementation a cashier was identified in one of the locations through risk analysis. The cashier in question had recently started employment with Goodwill and through analytics was identified using line-item voids as a means to steal cash from transactions voided. The LP team found other key analytics supporting the investigation and were able to conclude the investigation in a matter of days. Data and video provided made an excellent case for law enforcement with the employee being prosecuted.
In sharing their investigation with i3 additional patterns were discovered allowing for enhanced and customized reporting. Tim was able to present the case as a testimonial to the partnership with i3 and to the value of POS analytic solutions with the Goodwill leadership team. Critical to this project is the ability for Goodwill to also adjust the risk matrix, taking into account investigation variables. By adjusting the risk matrix, critical investigations will flow to the top and will ultimately help to further control shrink and prevent losses to the bottom line.
Accuracy rates rose from the low 70s’ to the high 90s’ when using i3's AI solution.
In solving the donation challenges, i3 implemented new technology using the i3 Ai cloud solution. Accuracy rates improved from the low 70s’ to the high 90s’ with employees having more time to process donations. This increase in accuracy and improved reporting was due to improvements in technology within the i3 application and its ability to better define and enhance exceptions. Using Ai as an enhancement tool for investigations and real-time alerting, has enhanced Goodwill’s ability to react immediately to theft situations and drop off diversions. i3’s Ai solution also helped save on labor costs and allow Goodwill to re-invest the savings to improve their security surveillance. A solution that could not be achieve through conventional surveillance technology.
Tim praised i3’s Ai based smart video solutions for their accuracy and speed of response to any issues or concerns, “The great thing about i3 is its powerful technology wrapped up in an easy-to-use package. Hourly & Salary Managers, Contract Security, Sales Directors, Safety Managers, and Loss Prevention all use the platform. [i3’s Ai technology] helped us reinvest our labor costs from a manual process to one where it is no longer a concern”.
Success in this project can be attributed to the continual input and support i3 received from its integration partner ERC, and from Tim Rout and the LP Team at Goodwill. Designing proactive and future based solutions with software and analytics using Ai and machine learning tools were key to early success and building proof of concept. As the solution architecture improves and adaptation and integration move forward, the remaining key to success is employee training and delivering results. The old adage remains a constant-‘What gets measured gets done’.