With many retailers operating high turnover, low margin businesses, any additional loss quiet literally can mean the difference between survival or ‘going to the wall’.
With over 1,130 sites across the UK and Ireland, DSG international plc (formerly Dixons Stores Group) with such famous high street brands as Currys, The Link, PC World, and now Currys Digital, is leading the way in a revolutionary ‘technology-based’ approach to helping to fight crime and reduce loss.
According to Paul Harte – [Security Support Manager] “New European standards and insurance driven demands are constantly putting pressure on the retail sector to find better, more efficient ways to achieve security objectives .. and if these efficiencies can be achieved at a lower cost, then everyone from the board level down should be happy.”
This secret new technology is really quiet simple. With the help of its security partner, Kings Security Systems Ltd., DSG international plc has harnessed their existing IP network to relay alarm signalling – albeit the first retail business in the UK to fully achieve this. Many IT departments have traditionally been reluctant to release their networks to carry IP alarm/CCTV signalling and data, fearing bandwidth would be ‘eaten up’. However, having piloted and now fully rolled out the system, any such fears at DSG international plc have proved ill-founded.
Anthony King of Kings Security Systems Ltd installers of the technology adds: “Traditional signalling from an alarm or CCTV camera demanded a bespoke line rental with all the associated costs. Multiply these costs by 1,000 plus sites for some retailers, and eliminating them can give cost savings well into the significant six figure region. More than this however, signalling flowing along existing IP networks gives massively improved functionality, clearer picture/voice data etc.”
The robustness of the DSG international plc’s new system was proved after the Buncefield Oil Terminal disaster – the blast of which caused significant damage to DSG international plc’s adjacent Head Office. Despite this, the system and its contingencies held their integrity, a testimony to the IP technology.
Paul Harte goes on to state, “We now have a continuously-polled IP network with GPRS back-up and automatic recourse to digital audio verification in the event of an incident. Alarm monitoring systems that rely on PIN connections alone are no longer adequate, it seems. For me, the IP signalling route has certainly improved our remotely monitored systems in terms of not only security benefits but with added cost saving. Since the completion of this project there have been several instances when all lines to a store have been cut, but the GPRS secondary signalling has notified us of an attack on the store and this detailed information has been passed directly to police.”
Demystifying the technical speak, IP signalling amounts to a more secure, reliable and effective alarm and alarm monitoring system. One which DSG international plc has proven to significantly cut costs and deliver hard tangible benefits into the in-house A.M.S. (Alarm Monitoring station). All of which helps in the continuing battle against loss reduction.