As more jurisdictions loosen the rules around medical and adult use of marijuana, the cannabis industry is growing and preparing for an influx of new customers.
Governments, meanwhile, are grappling with how to ensure that cannabis products are delivered in the safest and most secure manner possible. This has resulted in a host of regulations pertaining to cannabis security, which, depending on your location, can outline everything from the placement of security cameras to the length of time that video surveillance must be stored.
If you work in the cannabis industry, navigating these regulations can be a confusing process. You know you need to invest in security, but how do you ensure you’re choosing the right system?
Compliance certainly needs to be top of mind. The video surveillance vendor you choose should have experience in enterprise solutions, with products (IP cameras, NVRs and video management software) that meet or exceed your state regulations when it comes to reliability, remote access and storage capacity.
But beyond just compliance, it’s important to consider what else your video system can do for you.
IP video surveillance – where video content is distributed over a network – offers far more than just recording; the advanced functionality available with today’s networked solutions can help many areas of your business in addition to security. When analytics are integrated with IP video and used together with the right software, you get intelligent video, which can generate valuable business information you can use to improve sales and operations, as well as marketing, customer service and profitability.
Here are just a few of the ways that intelligent IP video can help cannabis businesses improve operations and boost their bottom lines:
Seed-to-sale inventory tracking
Depending on your state’s regulations, your cannabis business may be required to have a seed-to-sale inventory tracking solution using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. What you may not know is that RFID can be integrated with surveillance video, so you can actually see each time an RFID-tagged item moved and the circumstances around it. With the right kind of solution, you can also search for RFID-tagged products by date, time, brand, serial number, or product code, and quickly find the associated video.
This allows you to visually verify the movement of your inventory, and also investigate any issues around missing product.
Quickly uncover theft
When video is integrated with point-of-sale (POS) data, and managed with the right software, it can rapidly alert you to suspicious transactions, such as an unusual number of voids or returns, which could be a sign of employee theft. This type of solution gives you comprehensive oversight of all of your POS systems, and the ability to use video to review any transaction. You can search and sort transactions by employee or product type, and set your own “rules” or search parameters, so the software alerts you to transactions with high dollar amounts, unusual discounts and more.
In a recent survey of the some of the largest U.S. retailers, exception-based video alerts like these were ranked as having the greatest potential to improve safety, security and asset protection.
Improve merchandising and operations
Intelligent video is also an excellent tool for monitoring operational efficiency, especially if you manage multiple cannabis stores. Many IP video surveillance systems allow for remote access to your video through a smartphone app, so you can check in on your operation anytime, day or night.
This allows you to conduct “virtual patrols” so you can monitor operations, review employee behavior, and check in on any suspicious activity. This type of remote access can also assist with marketing efforts and merchandising by allowing you to regularly review product placements and promotional materials, and adjust as needed.
Enhance customer service
Intelligent video is a very effective tool for improving customer service because it can tell you about your customers’ habits, behaviors, and preferences. And the best part is that you don’t have to watch hours of video to gain these insights. With the right kind of software and analytics tools, your video system can quickly tell you:
- How long customers are waiting in line and the average time they waited
- How many people are entering and exiting your stores on a daily basis
- Your business’s peak traffic times (so you can adjust staff levels accordingly)
- Conversion rates for each store
All of this is possible by integrating an analytics sensor into your video system, and then using intelligent software to parse this information. In just seconds, you get high-level trends and analysis that can help with staffing, training, marketing and more.
Improve situational awareness
The insights gained through video surveillance can be extended to more advanced security applications like access control solutions, to control and monitor who is entering and exiting your facilities, and license plate recognition, for monitoring parking lots and outdoor areas around your business. Choosing a video surveillance manufacturer that integrates with other leading security systems makes it easier to integrate these functionalities with your video system.
Now that you know what’s possible with intelligent video, it’s time to think about your business needs, now and into the future. There are many video surveillance manufacturers to choose from, so do your homework and don’t be afraid to request a demo and a proof of concept to ensure you’re getting the most value for your money.