Gus Brecher, MD of Cathexis Africa says the event was a success for the Cathexis attendees at the company’s stand. Brecher says Cathexis approaches the retail market from a completely different perspective to traditional surveillance companies.
As noted in his presentation on the day, he explained how ‘thinking beyond security’ would increase the budget for security operations by delivering value to various other departments within the retail environment. Some of the non-security areas impacted include health and safety, shrinkage, marketing, operations, training and personnel.
Brecher says Cathexis offers a better return on investment (ROI) on security spend because it uses its security systems for more than just security and it offers a more sophisticated product. To achieve this ROI, however, requires people from different departments to work together towards a common goal and that is not always easy. Even security personnel are used to working in their own silos and leaving other areas of the business to others. This is an attitude that is changing, however.
Another issue is budget. In these days of budget reductions and tighter controls on spending, sharing budgets between departments, no matter what the goal, is always a problem. However, Brecher says that more organisations are realising they need to extract as much value out of their security spend and he has seen more people prepared to consider the Cathexis approach when they understand the benefits that can be obtained.
Another issue with using security systems for more advanced intelligence-driven operations is that of skills. Brecher says Cathexis relies on qualified partners to assist its clients with setup and installation, especially when it comes to implementing video analytics. Careful upfront planning is required and the client needs to understand what they want and why, and what they want to achieve if they are to derive value from analytics and the resulting business intelligence gained.
Cathexis has clients in various countries, including South Africa, the UK and the USA. Although retailers in the UK have been a little more open to the intelligence-driven approach in the past, Brecher says he has seen some very innovative retailers in South Africa who are looking at different ways in which to run their operations more efficiently.