Over the last decade, there’s been a quiet revolution in low voltage applications. The combination of low-voltage technology and integration and widespread mobile technology has made it easier to install and monitor a robust security system than ever before. If it’s been a while since you’ve spoken with a systems integration contractor, it might be time to take a look at your systems.
Thanks to recent advances in integration, it’s now possible for small businesses to install complete security systems – and manage them remotely using a smart phone or mobile device.
Examples of popular applications include:
- Keycard or facial recognition access control
- Remote Access Camera Systems
- Register and Point of Sale (POS) security (integrated with payment systems)
- Digital IP Cameras
- Motion Detectors
- RFID tags and technology
- Anti-shoplifting technologies such as clothing tags, detector/alarms and tracking devices
Modern video analytics allow you to program your security system to recognize individuals from photographs of known shoplifters. The system works at the point of sale, as well – sensors can recognize suspicious activities at the register and send a real-time alert to loss prevention and management, allowing them to view the surveillance tape right away.
New Point-of-Sale Technology
If you’ve been in an Apple Store lately, you’ve seen staffers take credit and debit card payments out on the floor where the product displays are. This technology is more than a gimmick: It saves manpower and prevents theft. You no longer have to keep expensive personnel standing at a register all day. You can have them out on the floor, stocking, cleaning and engaging with customers all the time.
Newer POS systems can also seamlessly integrate your transactions with inventory control, just-in-time ordering, and loyalty cards and programs. It’s now quite easy and affordable for even small businesses to leverage smart phone technology to help encourage participation in loyalty programs and facilitate fast, easy and painless electronic transactions.
Today’s systems are easily backed up to the Cloud, and can generate a variety of useful sales reports that managers can quickly and easily view using smartphones or tablets. For instance, the number of transactions per hour can be displayed on a graph and broken down by day of the week – enabling management to make more informed staffing and supply decisions, taking rush times into account.
You can also easily compare captured data to year-ago figures.
Lifesaving, Safety and Property Protection
While most business owners are familiar with basic security and alarm systems, more recent technology makes it easy to integrate fire alarms and even moisture, leak and carbon monoxide alarms with your security system – and program the system to send real-time alerts to you or your site or store managers.
If you have a freezer or refrigerator, you can program sensors to alert you of a power failure or if the temperature rises above a certain point – allowing you to take action to prevent food spoilage, even if no one is on site. You can send staff to the site or alert a vendor to repair your refrigerator/freezer – potentially saving thousands of dollars in spoilage costs.
The same systems can also make it easy to manage utilities. For example, you can use smart building technology to automatically shut down air conditioning when the business is closed, or control and automate lighting systems.
All of these systems are now easily run from a tablet or even just a smart phone, depending on the systems you choose. An experienced integrated systems, low-voltage or electrical contractor can walk you through recent technology innovations and you identify the technologies and product mix that best serve your business needs.