Innovative Retail Technologies caught up with Douglas Wong, vertical software applications product manager at March Networks, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, to identify the key considerations when using video for operations auditing purposes.
IRT: What are some of the key considerations in planning to use video for operations auditing purposes?
Wong: When retailers start planning to use video for operational auditing, most are pretty good at covering the general bases. They usually have a good handle on the issues they want to improve upon, whether that’s slow customer wait times or lower-than-expected sales. Most also think to consult their systems integrator or video vendor to review technical details, such as where their surveillance cameras are pointing and what adjustments need to be made in advance. Both of these areas are critical to the planning process, so they are definitely important first steps.
IRT: What can sometimes get overlooked, however, is one key question: Are the locations that they want to audit prepared for the audit?
Wong: This sounds basic, but preparedness can have a significant impact on your results. For example, if the goal of the operations audit is to identify factors that are contributing to slower customer wait times at a retailer’s fixed POS terminals, a key consideration should be whether all the locations identified for the video audit are set up the way the retailer wants them to be in the first place. The science of wait line models can be quite complex, and some retailers have invested extensively to determine the best models for their stores or restaurants. If one or more of the selected locations is set up contrary to the required model, then the audit results won’t be as valuable, because the retailer already knows about that existing issue that’s likely impacting customer wait times.