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Revolutionizing Retail Safety and Production With Advancements in Security and Fire Safety (E1, Part 2)

In this continuation of our series on retail safety, we delve deeper into the latest advancements in security and fire safety technologies transforming the industry. Our experts discuss innovative solutions that enhance both safety and productivity, offering valuable insights for retail businesses looking to protect their assets and improve operational efficiency. Learn about cutting-edge systems and best practices that can revolutionize your retail operations.

Listen now to Part I here.

Video Transcript

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Hello and welcome to Pavion Perspectives episode 1!

We’re talking about revolutionizing retail safety and production with advancements in security and fire safety. I am pleased to bring on two great guests for the conversation today. Ralph DioGuardi is the president of Firecom, a Pavion company, and Jeff Storrs is general manager of the Retail Security Group for Pavion. Thank you both for being with me today!

Ralph DioGuardi: Thank you.

Jeff Storrs: Thank you. Happy to be here!

Michelle Dawn Mooney: So we’ve talked about the security aspect, but how can retailers use video surveillance to improve customer service?

Jeff Storrs: You know, I think every meeting with our customers is how they can show an ROI, both mostly to their operations team. This video, using some great examples of this, would be drive through times. When you think about the restaurants and as we all pull up to try and order our coffee or whatever that is, and we don’t want to sit in line too long. So using the video to show and track drive through times, checkout times right within the store, we’re using the video analytics to say this person or this area has had people in it.

You think about a cash register, you take the analytics, you move it back 10ft. And why are there still people in line there? So that’s a couple of examples. There’s other ones with food display, production time, employee activity to show ROI, there conversion rate on high end items, ticket items, so we can track how much time is spent, a salesperson spends with one person, how quickly they can convert that person into a sale, whether that’s a high end ticket or whatever that may be.

There are capacity thing. This came up through COVID where certain areas of the country, they were only allowed to have so many people within a store. So we were able to use the video systems to track and control the capacity in and out of the retail space. And then one of the really kind of cool ones, I think, is the people movement. And the example here is you come into the store and you tend to always go to the right.

So let’s put our high end displays in cap ins, right, on the right side. It’s just natural for people to go that way. They turn away from the register, things like that, that are happening to really improve the overall ROI of the systems that in place. But then that also helps improve our customer service. Right? It gives our operations team the ability to train their employees, but also move product around by using the video to understand where we as consumers move in and out of these retail locations.

Ralph DioGuardi: Along with customer service really comes the other issues that the customers face. Innocently nowadays, and really, I shouldn’t even say nowadays, it’s over the last couple of decades. I dealt with it myself for at least 15 years, where I dealt with local law enforcement, FBI, Secret Service, in which organized crime became a very big piece of retail security and criminal activity has evolved exponentially over the years.

It’s no longer your 18 year old coming in there and putting a set of sheets down the front of their pants. It’s much more sophisticated. And organized criminals work in very large groups, and they present a very big threat to retail, both from a property point of view as well as from a safety point of view.

So it goes right back to what Jeff does and does so well, the closed circuit television and flooding the facilities, flooding the retail establishments with cameras. The more cameras you have, the less your threat is going to be. Just by the mere fact of if I walk into a store and I’m a pro and I know for a fact that the store is flooded with closed circuit television, I’m going to be less apt to commit a crime in that store than I am in a store that has a less sophisticated security operating system.

So, again, organized crime, it’s a major threat in retail. It’s not going away anytime soon, and it has consumed a lot of the professional retail security executives times, and it will continue to do so. So all we can do now is help to deter and also an after the fact type of consideration is when the crime is perpetrated, we have the ability to go back if it wasn’t being monitored live and find out exactly what transpired.

It’s a great training tool. It provides the camera footage, provides the employees to be trained after the fact as well. And if we’re lucky enough to be monitoring the cameras during the criminal act, okay, we can also prevent the crime. So it has a dual role. Cameras are proactive and they’re also reactive as far as training.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: So now we’ve looked at the challenges and the security threats and assessments and what can be done to prevent and to really help us in those areas. So what advice would you give to retailers who are considering implementing and updating their video surveillance system?

Jeff Storrs: This is one we get asked, I would say at least once a month as they budget and plan for their next fiscal year, of how to go about this. And my answer is kind of a broad one, but I think it plays into a little bit of everybody’s space. So there’s lots of great OEM systems out there. Most of them have a lot of similar functions and features, but all do something just a little bit different.

And to me it’s you working with a Pavion with your integrator to make sure you take the time to have those OEMs come in and find exactly what you’re looking for. I think that’s very important. And you’re going to be able to narrow that down, I think, just based on functions and features to three and do some bench testing, do some test that out in your space to make sure that those functions and features work in a real life environment.

And then once you’ve narrowed that down, work with your Integrator to figure out what integrations those OEMs, they’re all going to, on paper, say that they’ve got an integration into these cameras or to these weapons detections or these fire systems like that, right? But work with that integrator, work with Pavion to make sure the real life experience, that’s why we’re here, right? That’s why we have all these years of experience, because we’ve had people that have done this before and we see this as more of a broad stroke.

And we can utilize not just our retail customers, but our manufacturing and our banking customers that maybe are a little ahead of where you’re at. And we can work off of that experience working on engineers and our field service people to make sure that they understand that we have been able to integrate these OEM parts into or this access control or whatever that may be.

Talk with your Integrator to make sure that how the licenses are set up. Right? That’s one thing that we see people get caught in a lot is they buy the head in, they buy the MVR or the cloud version, but then they didn’t realize that they need to pay a license for every single camera that they add on to, right? And those things can add up very, very quickly. Talk about the warranty and what the return process is for that.

And that’s one thing here that we kind of separate ourselves with at Pavion is we bring this equipment in and we bench test it and we make sure that we’re not having things bad of the box. So when we ship that out there, we know our technicians are going to be able to hang it and be implementing it that day.

And then we also have a stock and supply group that we’re able to have hold parts for you and that way that we’re not always waiting on the manufacturer. If there is something on your NBR or whatever that’s down, we’ll have that spare for you and be able to replace that relatively quickly for you. So something that kind of separates us when you think about implementing new systems.

So there’s a lot of systems out there just to recap. But one of those things is talk with us, make sure you understand that you feel comfortable with the function and features, but also that we as an Integrator have the certifications, have the training, and have the experience of implementing that system.

And then we live this through COVID. And I know all of you out there have lived it, too, but making sure that the supply chain for those new system that you’re moving to doesn’t have a nine month, 12, 9 month, we’re still seeing some of that out there. There’s been a lot of improvement over the last 9, 12 months in that.

But if you go back two years ago, it was tough to get equipment and there were manufacturers that stayed ahead of it and were able to kind of punt and move in a different direction. But there’s still a lot of them out there that are still playing catch up and are still trying to fill orders that were put into place 18 months ago. But that’s the experience that we provide for you as you look to move to a new platform.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: What types of fire and security systems do you offer? Let’s talk about the results with that as well because we’re hearing about the challenges, we’re hearing about the solutions, but it’s go time. So what do we have out there?

Jeff Storrs: There’s a lot of different systems out there, a lot of new technologies, whether that’s the weapons or shop stuff that we talked about, the Proactive Video Monitoring, right? But when we really boil this down, right, there’s still on the security side, still the three basic, the video CCTV, the traditional BA alarm, and the access control.

Now there’s a lot of neat, cool add-ons that are coming to those systems as well as the new advancing technology with weapons and the Proactive Video monitoring. So we offer all of those. And one of the things that I always tell to my sales managers and project managers figure out, listen, right? Take the time to listen to the customer and figure out what they’re struggling with, what problem they’re trying to solve for, and then come back and say, hey, we’ve got a technology for that, or go find a technology for that.

I think that’s one thing that separates us at Pavion is we’re nimble, right? We’re able to move quickly and we’re able to find new solutions for you. We’re not stuck in just selling one OEM’s product, but we’re also able to develop new products and new solutions for people. And we want to work that’s. The partnership and we talk about partnerships all the time. We want to be a good partner for you, a value add partner, not just pushing one type of camera down because this is the best price that we can get on a camera.

So it’s the second part of your question, some of the proof, right, that we have some of this stuff. So we’ve hit on a couple of these things already, but that Proactive Video Monitoring. I want to keep going back to that, but the ability we’ve had a couple of times already where we’ve been able to show or use the system to actively remove people from a space and unfortunately, the person, the perp went down, three doors down and stabbed an employee somewhere else. Awful to think about, but it did protect the space that our customer asked us to protect.

We’ve had a dumpster fire that was caught during the Proactive Video Monitoring, which is kind of a cool solution there that we were able to get ahead of it and then tell the authorities that, hey, it was a blue car that did this. Those kind of things to get ahead of, we hit really briefly, but I think this is a really good one. We have a national chain food supply that we’ve worked through an ROI with them, and they display their food in a mall setting.

And when they have shown through their research that we as consumers are more active to buy from them if that display is full, right, with a variety of different foods. So we’ve been able to take the video and send alerts to the management saying, hey, we’re low on this item. You need to make sure you have another one coming in, another food item coming in, making sure that display is full of time. And they very quickly, within 30 to 45 days were able to show an ROI really, really quickly, that the more that they’re able to quickly adapt to, they have a baseball team come in and take all of one type of pizza that’s sitting there, and they can quickly adapt that and show it.

And that way, the Knicks consumer that comes in, they’re able to get that up quicker than relying on the 18 year old that may be on their phone texting and didn’t put the nick’s pizza in the oven, that kind of thing. And then the other things too, is we’re starting to test some things with some other food providers around, cleanliness of the restaurant area. You’re probably more likely to revisit if you walk into a restaurant and there’s not cups laying around or trash on the floor and things like that.

So we’ve been able to test some of these things that the analytics can pick up, that there’s a cup on the floor or there’s trash that’s been there, and it sends an alert to the manager that you need to go clean things out in your space. So a lot of good things that are happening from a pilot standpoint that are coming to me, we look at this as we can pilot it. We’ll do white pages on it. We’ll show you. We’ll talk to you about this, but we’d love to have you test us. Tell us what your issue is and let us come up with a solution, and we’ll work with you as a good partner.

Ralph DioGuardi: We have a very diversified portfolio. We are a fire alarm company, but we are certainly not limited to we offer full mass notification through the fire alarm system, signage, text messages, emails, interfacing with the security panels. We do bi directional amplification. We do audio auxiliary radio communication services, or better known as Arcs, specifically Centric to New York, where we enhance the radio communication for first responders.

So if and when they come into the facility during a fire, there are no dead spots. Okay? Those men and women coming in to save our lives are being protected by us through radio communication, enhanced radio communication. Again, we do carbon monoxide as well. But at the end of the day, Firecom and the other Pavion fire alarm companies that I’m responsible for can do it all for you. It’s really a one stop shop.

We provide the solution for the largest fire alarm system in the entire world. 15,000 points. That’s again, 15,000 points of fire alarm protection, supported by our men and women here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We actually have a staff of over 15 trained technicians, project managers and foreman’s working in that one facility all the time. We do a significant amount of high end retailers, commercial facilities, and everything in between. So as far as what we do here at Pavion, I consider us a really good classy, top shelf, one stop shop for all your needs, both fire and security.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: That was quite a pitch there, Ralph. Both of you there. So let’s wrap things up here because we’ve covered a lot of territory and a lot of great information put out. But no doubt people will want more information or have some questions as we wrap up here. Final thoughts and then how people can get in contact, where they can learn more about what we’ve talked about in today’s conversation.

Jeff Storrs: Yeah, absolutely. And thanks for taking the time and hopefully everybody enjoyed this. It was fun to do. The final thoughts, I think, is talk about partnership. I think that’s what Pavion can bring to you as an end user is planning your six month, your year, your five year go to market strategy and help you show an ROI to your business partners. We understand as a loss prevention and security expert that you have customers that are internal to you and we want to be there and help you.

Obviously, the things that we protect people first, your physical buildings and your brand, and then obviously the merchandise that sits there as well. But the way you can get a hold of us, the, you can reach out. LinkedIn is a big area that we’re continuing to utilize to market as well, as Pavion continues to grow.

We’re bringing in a lot of industry leading and industry experts that have been in the industry a long time. I think you’ll find names, familiar names and faces out there that are now part of the Pavion team, you know, we definitely are interacting in retail shows, the loss prevention shows, the NRF, those kind of things that we’ll have booths at next year, we were at this year, and we continue to get our name out there.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And Ralph?

Ralph DioGuardi: Yeah, as Jeff mentioned, is probably your easiest way to learn more about us. And in the website, you’re going to see a variety of different companies. You’re going to see Firecom, you’re going to see AFA, you’re going to see Safeway and David. And that’s just the fire portion of the Pavion business. Not to mention all of the others that we have across North America and even the globe.

So understand us, learn more about us. I’m on LinkedIn. You can contact me direct if you see fit. That’s just fine with me. And I enjoyed the podcast, I enjoyed the interaction and we’re here to help at Pavion, that’s for sure.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Ralph DioGuardi, president Firecom a Pavion company. And Jeff Store is general manager of the Retail Security Group for Pavion. Thank you both for your time. Great conversation. I’m sure a lot of people will want more information based on listening today. So really want to thank you for being here today.

Jeff Storrs: Thank you.

Ralph DioGuardi: Thank you.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And there you have it, the culmination of our episode one conversation talking about revolutionizing retail safety and production with advancements in security and fire safety. We had to split that up into two parts for our episode one of the Pavion Perspective series, and I hope you enjoyed this.

Once again, if you missed part one, please go back and watch it. And be sure to follow along and subscribe to this podcast to hear more fabulous episodes in this series of Pavion Perspectives. Thanks again for joining us. Visit for more information and to follow along with the podcast. I’m your host. Michelle Dawn Mooney. We hope to see you soon.

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