Cannabis Prospect Magazine - February '19 - Issue #1

Page 19

safety and compliance, and of course to ensure product is kept secure. This is where an intelligent video solution with integrated access control and analytics can make a real difference, providing operators with both security and operational insights. Security On the security side, an integrated solution can alert operators to suspect incidents, such as an unauthorized person entering a restricted area or unusual activity after-hours, and provide a convenient link to the recorded video. With a few mouse clicks, an operator or staff person can verify what’s actually happening in the location and who is involved. This can all be done remotely from any networked location, saving both the travel time to physically investigate an alarm and the need to respond to all alerts – even those that end up being false alarms. An intelligent video solution can also play a critical role in securing plants and products. Clear video evidence makes it much easier to investigate a missing item to determine if there’s been a theft or if an employee has simply made a mistake. As a result, having video evidence on hand also aids in prosecution if a crime has occurred. Operations and compliance Operationally, an intelligent video solution combined with analytics can help cultivation operators licensed producers analyze how efficiently their business is running. By setting up regular, automated reports complete with video snapshots and convenient links to recorded video, operators might discover that certain shifts aren’t starting as scheduled, or find out why it’s taking an unusually long time to dry product in one cultivation facility compared to the rest. These reports can also highlight compliance issues that need to be corrected, such as employees not wearing proper protective clothing or mishandling product. Typically, once operators understand the power of their video solution, they immediately think of other applications that could help them solve a particular challenge. Retail Dispensary Applications Customer service Using an intelligent video solution to assess and improve customer service in a retail dispensary is one of the most interesting – and effective – applications for many operators. By combining surveillance video with analytics like people counting, queue length monitoring or dwell time, operators can easily generate reports complete with charts and graphs to see how long their customers waited in line, determine which marketing or educational displays garnered the most attention, and if people are leaving the dispensary without making a purchase. They can set up automated reports that include snapshot images from different areas of a dispensary or from multiple dispensaries, so

operators can check for things like store cleanliness and presentation, merchandise displays and correct signage. All of this information helps operators quickly identify areas for improvement in their dispensaries. It enables them to gauge the success of promotional displays, compare customer service and conversion trends in one or multiple locations, and identify where more employee training is needed. Ultimately it helps them make the adjustments necessary to improve sales, using the surveillance video they are already collecting for security and compliance. Loss prevention Video integrated with POS transaction data can also help dispensary operators cut losses significantly. It enables them to set up alerts triggered by unusual transactions – such as voids over a set amount or suspect employee discounts – and investigate incidents faster by tying receipt data to recorded video. Operators can use their video system to run searches on a wide variety of data, including employee number, transaction data and time, etc. across multiple locations simultaneously. And again, they can easily review the associated video to see exactly what happened. Inventory tracking In dispensaries where RFID tags are used to track cannabis products and merchandise, tying that data with intelligent video can deliver several benefits. An integrated solution enables operators to search on any data contained in the RFID tag’s electronic product code (EPC), such as the type of item or product serial number. This search capability is invaluable when merchandise goes missing. Not only can operators use the video solution to pinpoint the last known location of the item(s), they can also retrieve the recorded video to see exactly how and where the item went missing. Perhaps it was out the back door, or through the storefront in a shoplifter’s pocket. The powerful combination of RFID tracking plus recorded video makes it easy to solve the mystery of disappearing items. It also provides strong evidence that can be used to recoup losses or share with law enforcement if a crime has been committed. Intelligent video can provide cannabis operators with a unique view of their business, especially when used in combination with other types of data. It can help with compliance, inventory tracking, loss prevention, customer service and more. For operators already investing in video surveillance systems for security, moving to a more advanced solution that can provide practical business insights is well worth considering as part of a smart ROI strategy. Jeff Corrall is responsible for strategic partnerships and integrations at March Networks