Take a Bite Out of Shrink

Published in CSP Daily News

Westec Interactive launches new operational audit services

SAN DIEGO -- Westec InterActive, a provider of interactive remote video monitoring for retail, convenience stores, restaurants and other business applications, has rolled out Westec Operational Audit Services.

We are taking interactive remote video monitoring or iRVM beyond reactive response by proactively performing operational audits, said Michael J. Upp, vice president of business development for Westec InterActive. Westec's Operational Audit Services are proving to significantly improve the way retailers are doing business by reducing internal shrink [image-nocss] and improving operations. With this tool, we help our customers discover losses due to employee theft and reveal noncompliance with age verification, helping to stop shrink and improve the bottom line for retailers.

Westec's Operational Audit services are based on Westec's iRVM technology, which enables Westec's trained operational audit specialists to watch, listen, and report on activities relating to a retailer's operations.

Westec Operational Audit Specialists remotely view live and recorded video, listen to audio and analyze POS transactions, said Upp. They then provide Westec customers with comprehensive online audit reports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, all of which are supported by video, audio and data evidence.

According to Upp, a Westec specialist discovered a $1,400 loss due to employee theft in a single session.

In addition to reducing theft, Westec's Operational Audit Services also help to ensure corporate compliance with company policies, from employee behavior and appearance to age-restricted sales, store appearance and shelf stocking. Management of inventory and stock levels, including POS transactions, can also help contribute to smooth operations at any retail location. It can be used to validate marketing programs, such as the consistent and accurate set-up of promotional displays across even hundreds of retail locations nationwide, without the need to actually visit any of the stores.

It can also help enforce regulatory compliance to government-mandated regulations, such as fire exit accessibility. It can reduce or eliminate expensive fines associated with violating these types of policies.

Upp said, Westec's Operational Audit Specialists can review video to see if sales associates are asking for ID or upselling key items.

The services can be used to authenticate liability claims and is particularly useful in determining the validity of customer claims, such as slip and fall incidents and other situations.

Westec's Operational Audit Specialist can verify if an incident did indeed occur and to what extent so that the retailer can determine the best course of action.

In the case of internal theft, Westec's Operational Audit Services can be used to authenticate the actual situation, and the video and audio can be used as documentation for corrective action or prosecution.

Video is acceptable in court cases, and with video, suspects rarely decide to fight, Upp said. This validation gives retailers an advantage against crimeand helps employees and shoplifters understand that there will be proof if they commit a crime in the store.

In addition to protecting the bottom line, Westec's new services also can contribute to the bottom line through mystery shopping services. Westec Operational Audit Specialists can act as remote mystery shoppers to track customer demographics, check on customer service levels and more, said Upp.