Running to Security
Chain shoe store recognizes best track to safe environment.
By: Ralph C. Jensen
You are an integrator, and imagine you could have any installation job you wanted. What would you choose? Would it be a well-known company, or a prestigious location? What if you could have both?
Nate Wetmore, senior systems engineer at Short Circuit Electronics has both, and he and the company literally ran to the opportunity. Short Circuit has the contract and provides all security services to a leading athletic footwear and apparel retailer, and Wetmore recently completed a security install in New York City's Times Square.
He has a well-known company and an equally well-known location. Short Circuit started working with the customer a few years ago by servicing the existing equipment at their stores, and word quickly spread among store managers of the quick, professional service they were offering. Now, Short Circuit, based in Lee's Summit, Mo., handles all domestic security matters, including the four to five Mega Stores, such as the one in Times Square.
"The larger concept stores have deployed all IP and 360-degree cameras that all feed back to their home office," said Grant Cowan, director of national accounts at Salient. "Deploying our CompleteView VMS, they are able to manage the video feeds more effectively, and with the store in Times Square, where there are more than 100 cameras, they have all the horsepower they need to look at video images."
The Mega Stores are significantly different in their product presentation, as athletic shoe manufacturers essentially have staked out their own spot in the store, making it a store within the store. It also means that Short Circuit installs more than 60 cameras in most Mega Store locations.
"In order to ensure we provide the best quality security experience to our customers, we install high quality solutions," Wetmore said. "We've been doing installs for them for quite a while now. We have the solution down pretty well by now."
Wetmore said they typically install a Hanwha Techwin camera, about 110 so far in the Times Square location, and power the entire system with a Salient VMS.
"We like the cameras, and have been using them exclusively, in each installation," Wetmore said. "We also find they integrate very well with the VMS, and the loss prevention staff appreciates the system from their perspective as well."
In the Times Square location, the building was a complete do over. It was completely gutted, and the Short Circuit staff was able to see the concept from the inside, ground to ceiling. The design of the store is considered high dollar, high concept, in order to look a certain way. All cameras had to fit the design of the open spaces, meaning that many of the cameras were painted black, to blend in.
"Along with Short Circuit Electronics, we were able to be part of a complete new installation of products, introducing new technology, and offer complete coverage inside the store," Cowan said.
The loss prevention team monitors store activities in a control center, depends upon the right system to stay informed and required the best solution to monitor video surveillance. Cowan said that all the software technology is able to work seamlessly together, and it gives the LP team a new look and feel.
"Our job for the customer is to provide the best field of view and overview, as well as protect the entrance to the store," Wetmore said. "This is where the choice of security equipment comes into play. We want to ensure that we successfully bridge the camera and VMS in order to receive motion detection."
Why Salient? They are a relatively small company but extremely agile and willing to listen to the needs of Short Circuit staff. "They also are completely open to integration to meet the need of the end user," Wetmore said. Communication skills are vital to the Short Circuit team as they have no field technicians on staff, but rely upon a network of nationwide subcontractors. Short Circuit has an impressive client base of more than 80 national chains, and support all facilities within the various branded stores.
"We answer to somewhere between 60 to 90 service calls a day nationwide," Wetmore said. "That equates to tens of thousands of actions every year. Because we work with so many national companies, we are very good at the rollout of a security installation; it is done in a hurry, and we do that very well."
The Short Circuit record, of sorts, was upgrading the security equipment at 6,600 stores in seven months. "This is why we rely so heavily on partners who are nimble and able to react quickly, and why we use a nationwide technical service team that is vetted and proven to do a good job," Wetmore said. His nationwide team includes more than 1,000 field technicians located throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
"All subcontractors go through a thorough vetting process," Wetmore said. "We recommend that they not only be involved in our security work but have flourishing businesses of their own so they know and understand customer service."
For Cowan, a project that started a short two years ago may have seemed like a marathon at first, but as quickly as they dove into the work, designing layers of security, then introducing the software to make it all run properly, it became a relatively short sprint. The end user comes away with a tried and true solution that is now duplicated at Mega Store in Los Angeles, Chicago and other locations in Times Square.