Traditionally, audits of retail establishments are conducted to assess a store’s performance in specific operating areas. These audits can be conducted by a manager or higher-up within a company or be outsourced to an external company.
An audit ensures that an establishment is operating well and that employees are following operational policies as directed. Auditing promotes continuous improvement and can provide detailed feedback so that business owners and managers are better informed on how to make improvements with a business.
Remote video audits (RVA) assess and analyze the same areas of operation in a retail establishment as a traditional audit. However, remote video audits can be conducted through existing surveillance infrastructure, which allows for consistent review and reporting.
What is a Video Audit?
A video audit is the video examination of the way a company is running its business. It assesses and analyzes the people, processes, and technologies within an organization to ensure that the internal policies and procedures are being followed. Additionally, it is a way of ensuring compliance to all laws, including labor laws, that any business may need to operate within.
Video auditing solutions connect to existing surveillance systems to review and analyze live and recorded video feeds from an establishment. Remote video audits are customized to each business’s needs, with focuses including employee, customer, and vendor activities, customer satisfaction, operating efficiency, and profitability.
Benefits of a VirtuGuard™ Remote Video Audit
Using VirtuGuard™ Services to deliver these audits will avoid inherent biases or overlooked issues that will arise in an in-house conducted video audit, as an independent third-party audit delivers the best results to improve your business.
Traditional audits are often announced and conducted through planned physical evaluations. With remote video audits, businesses can choose for employees to not be alerted to an ongoing audit. When announced, employees may begin to follow policies and procedures in ways they may not if they are not being monitored and assessed. A remote video audit captures an accurate look at the way a retail business is run on a day-to-day basis, when employees believe no one is watching.
If a business is already equipped with surveillance solutions, little prep is needed for a video audit. The VirtuGuard™ Command Center can connect to preexisting security cameras to view live and recorded video streams in near real-time.
While audits are often conducted to reveal bad employee performance, it can also reveal where employees are excelling. When providing positive feedback to employees about their performance, their motivation and dedication to a business can be affirmed and encouraged. This can prompt employees to continue performing well and continue to improve and encourage other employees.
Retail Video Audits
Retail establishments may choose to conduct a remote video audit to address a wide range of issues, such as:
- Shrinkage, or preventable losses caused by human error or deliberate efforts
- Employee performance
- Customer experience
- Safety and cleanliness
- Merchandising and store presentation
- And much more
VirtuGuard™ monitors for these issues by reviewing video footage throughout the day, across weeks or months. VirtuGuard™ then compiles reports detailing incidents or concerns with video or photo evidence as support.
Loss Prevention Video Audits
For retail establishments that carry valuable inventory and merchandise, VirtuGuard™ will design a remote video audit plan that addresses loss prevention and offers solutions to reduce shrinkage, both for internal and external losses and even organized retail crime.
Shrinkage is not always obvious, especially if it is being committed internally. Thieves may be diligent about not raising alarm through a POS system. They may cover their tracks by sneaking inventory out of the back door, or through other discreet methods.
By using surveillance cameras and other security infrastructure installed on your property, VirtuGuard™ Video Auditing Specialists can monitor the activity of internal staff, external vendors, and customers.
VirtuGuard™ Video Auditing Specialists monitor and record activity that falls outside of company compliance. A loss prevention Video Audit would be related to the following and more:
- Are there associates located in key areas of the store? (Registers, Customer Service Desk, Fitting Room Areas, Various Departments, Front Door, etc.)
- Are site access points being blocked or propped open?
- Are there any camera views blocked or are there other systems impaired?
- Are cash handling procedures being followed?
- Did the store open or close early?
- Are items put in the dumpster in a proper manner?
- Did an associate approach an exiting customer, review their receipt, check their bag(s), and remove any security tags?
- Did an associate leave after closing bags or merchandise?
- What time was the master safe opened and which associates were present?
Audits can be fully customized to each retail establishment and can be adjusted during an audit to reflect changing concerns.
Merchandising Video Audits
Another type of Retail Video Audit is the merchandising audit. This will compile your store’s inventory data, highlighting stock levels, consumer impact, and more. In a Merchandising Video Audit, VirtuGuard™ Video Auditing Specialists will Video Audit and report on questions like:
- Are customers being actively and positively engaged?
- Is inventory properly stored and tracked?
- Are visual merchandising and displays properly arranged and placed?
- Is the reported sales volume aligned with the amount of inventory?
- Are there misplaced carts, baskets, or merchandise?
- Are associates on task when in the back room or on the sales floor?
- Is the store compliant with corporate branding expectations?
Merchandising video audits are customized based on company policies and procedures. Whether it is a small business or a large chain, VirtuGuard™ remote video monitoring can evaluate a business and report on shortcomings or concerns.
VirtuGuard™ Remote Video Auditing and Other Surveillance Solutions
Remote video auditing is a valuable tool for businesses looking to increase their return on investment and improve employee performance and customer experience. VirtuGuard™ is fully customizable to your business’s concerns and can be adjusted as needed. Regular reporting is provided to business owners and managers so that they can make improvements within a business.