Modern CCTV systems are incredible pieces of technology.
This blog post is going to tell you how you can harness it to benefit your business. I’m not just talking about just warding off potential intruders and putting faces to perpetrators – no, I’m talking about improving your business, your workforce and earning more £££s.
Read on to find out 5 reasons CCTV analytics (otherwise known as Analytical CCTV, Video Analytics or Smart CCTV – tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to!) are beneficial for your business…
Key Topics Covered In This Article:
1 – Analytical CCTV can help you identify patterns and trends to help you improve business
Modern CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) can help you identify trends in movement and production, which is a particularly useful feature in highly process-driven environments such as factories and warehouses with production lines.
This smart technology doesn’t just watch, but it can learn what it is seeing, so it can then detect what unusual activities are happening.
For example, a fox running through your site might be a commonality of a night-time, and you don’t want to raise a false alarm for no reason, but if you run a chicken coop, for instance, you’ll want to program a fox running through as a threat! The tailorable abilities of these CCTV systems are endless.
For retail, analytical CCTV can even have huge marketing and operational benefits. For example, you can track footfall to see the most highly concentrated areas around stores, what times have the highest footfall, what paths shoppers take around the store, and even customer behaviour analytics to read facial expressions as they approach certain items or areas.
A combination of this information, can help with floor planning, staff planning and more intelligent merchandising.
2 – CCTV analytics act like the manager in the room when you’re not there
When you are around, things move smoothly, attention is paid to your guidance and nurture. You have a great team of well-motivated and trained people and you can guarantee that when you are not in the work place, your trusted team members are working their socks off to meet the deadline, achieve the goals and exceed the expectations.
However, every business manager or owner recognises that sometimes things can go wrong. This could be as simple as a disruptive member of the team, or even well-intentioned staff making extremely costly errors, or even malicious or criminal activity.
When that happens, speed is of the essence and the earlier you are aware of this the quicker you can solve your problem, but how do you achieve this when you or your team of managers are not around?
Video analytics, of course. No doubt having CCTV in your premises will have a positive influence on the way your employees work, as people tend to feel more accountable and act more conscientiously when they know they’re being watched.
Taking advantage of the aesthetic influence of CCTV is one thing, but analytical CCTV is a whole other ball game. It really can help you identify what’s going wrong, where it’s going wrong and how frequently, so you can really fine tune and streamline your processes for maximum cost efficiency.
This leads nicely onto…
3 – Video analytics can be used as a visual training team for employees
You can provide real-time intelligence to aid in visually training the team on what you see is going wrong. By being able to select multiple views via single cameras to track a process point by point, you can pinpoint areas of concern which will help you streamline your business and stop deficiencies in their tracks.
4 – Bettering your business means bigger bucks
Your accountant will tell you about the power of 1% savings in costs, 1% improvement in productivity, 1% increase in prices and the sheer power that this has to transform your bottom line.
Imagine the difference that 10% in improved productivity will make for you?
- You’ll be more competitive that your rivals
- You’ll be more efficient that your competitors
- You’ll show your customers the innovations you are making to build confidence that you are the key supplier for them; which’ll mean…
- You will win more business
- You will make more money to invest in growing your business and people
5 – The obvious one: it protects your people and your premises.
Customers like you were the first people to realise what CCTV could do for them, it removes the problem of manned supervision and provides evidence that protects your biggest asset; your people.
This real-time surveillance is also brilliant because it can use high-definition imagery and facial recognition to single out potential perpetrators to see where they’ve gone and identify them in a crowd.
CCTV can also be linked to an alarm system for intrusion alerts which can not only notify you/a key holder (and potentially also the police) but it can also capture the images from when it was set off.
You may not be aware of the power that a well-crafted and well-engineered CCTV system can make for you, but that’s where we come in!
We’ve installed CCTV systems in sites as varied as factories, shopping centres, supermarkets, car parks, and even chicken farms – so you can be certain that we’ll live up to the challenge!
Still not sure? We’ve put together some questions below to help you decide some essential criteria before you decide to take the plunge and get CCTV installed…
Questions You Need to Ask Before You Invest In CCTV
CCTV, and especially analytic CCTV, is a worthwhile investment for your business IF done properly.
It’s got to be thought-through and carefully considered; it’s not just about bunging some cameras on the wall, there’s a lot to it!
Here are 7 essential questions you should consider to help you decide what you’re really looking to get out of your CCTV system before you buy
If you’re not sure about any of them, don’t fret – we’re here to help!
1 – Do you want your CCTV cameras to be discreet or a visual deterrent?
Dome cameras are the most discrete as their dark, semi-circled design doesn’t easily give away the direction the camera’s actually pointing towards.
Box cameras are the most obvious. The name itself hints at the shape of it and you’ll definitely know it’s there.
So, what are you looking for – to blend in and observe or to be a noticeable deterrent?
2 – Would you like your CCTV cameras to be indoors or outdoors?
Most modern cameras can be used both indoors and outdoors, however, being specific with your choice could lead to you having a clearer picture and many other benefits.
As well as this, factors such as temperature come into play. And longevity. You’re much better getting cameras specifically designed and tailored for being outside if that’s what you want than getting one which can do both.
So, be mindful if you’re setting your cameras up to brave the cold outside, a durable design and inbuilt heater may be necessary in certain conditions.
3 – What level of coverage are you seeking?
If each camera needs to cover a large area, you may want to look at dynamic and wide-angle view cameras.
If the coverage area is fairly small, a static camera can be the most efficient use of your resources.
Knowing what kind of coverage you’re looking for will also help answer other questions for us as your CCTV designers and installers, like what distance/zoom you want (i.e. how far away is your focal point?) and whether optical or digital lenses will be preferable (optical lenses move to increase or decrease the image whereas digital lenses don’t do this via the lens itself but electronically).
4 – How clear do you need your images to be?
Higher resolution cameras will be needed for larger coverage areas and therefore should have a clearer image.
However, small rooms typically require low-resolution cameras.
If you need to, for instance, be able to read number plates, when you look back at your footage, then you’ll need to consider the clarity of your images.
5 – What are the lighting conditions of the environment you’re seeking to place your CCTV cameras?
Indoor and outdoor lighting will impact the image and therefore must be considered when setting up.
While most cameras are adjustable, some specific cameras are not, so you need to consider lighting and how this may distort the quality of the playback images.
6 – Do you also need audio to accompany your CCTV?
Is sound just as important as the visuals? Some system set-ups enable you to even speak with potential perpetrators. In addition to this, audio detection can be used to trigger recordings and alarms when audio passes a certain threshold.
7 – Do you need to consider scalability?
It is likely that over time you’ll need to add more cameras? If so, having a flexible and scalable surveillance system is important, so make sure to include this within your considerations before investing in CCTV.
8 – What about playback?
Playback footage may not come out as clear as your live images. This is because when the footage is recorded, the system compresses the footage to save the data, therefore what you are seeing on playback will be a compressed image of what is picked up.
However, with the right Video Management System (VMS), the footage doesn’t have to be compressed, which means your video playback will be as clear as the live footage.
Our customer’s favourite and our recommendation would be to use Avigilon systems, cameras and VMS. The software and systems offer more than just high quality surveillance footage, but also analytical processes as explained earlier on in this article.
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Post by Verity Stone
Hi, I’m Verity! WFP’s Head of Communications. As well as ensuring our customers are happy with their service, I’m a huge fan of spreading the word about fire safety and security to help keep businesses safe and legal.More posts by Verity Stone