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ReTel Technologies Inc. next week will highlight a cloud-based video surveillance audit system that helps management of retail stores and quick service restaurants identify potential leakage problems and measure employee productivity, speed of service and store cleanliness. Already used in retail environments by companies such as Dunkin' Brands, Shell, Jack in the Box and Fraiche, ReTel's Proactive Surveillance Video will have something of a coming out party at the National Retail Federation's 2010 Loss Prevention Conference and Expo June 14-16 in Atlanta.

LP10logo-200x92.jpgCombining analytics with human monitoring, the service is currently aimed at the retailing and quick service restaurant (QSR) chains, The system generates reports providing time interval metrics of order turnaround, employee productivity and store cleanliness. The system also tracks for well-known markers of employee theft, such as higher-than-average returns and refunds, or an unusual number of ring-ups for items priced at less than $1.

Reports are presented graphically and in easy-to-read formats. Notations of suspicious activity are accompanied with links to video of the event. Sample reports can be found on the ReTel web site.

"Many people see loss prevention as the act of reducing the amount of theft and shrinkage within a business," said James McDonald, a systems integration consultant with MassBizz LLC. "Loss prevention is not simply that, or a method of safeguarding assets, but rather a process and use of internal controls, procedures and technological countermeasures that attack and remove opportunity and temptation from the business."

From this perspective, simply placing cameras will not always deter theft or improve productivity, McDonald said. Sooner or later employees will test whether management is really watching. McDonald's clients recalled that one of his restaurant clients had a chronically underperforming store that was yielding a margin of only $2000 per month. Following installation of auditing system, margin increased to $12,000 a month.

ReTel's hosted solution offers an economical option over more expensive central monitoring services for security management, according to Adam Rodnitzky, ReTel's chief marketing officer. It also provides a source of aftersale revenue for systems integrators, he said.

ReTel Technologies CEO George Aspland, along with Rodnitzky and McDonald, discuss Proactive Surveillance Video in our latest podcast (13:47). Click on the player bar for the audio stream or the link to download the file.

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