Let's talk about the benefits of video surveillance. Why spend the money? Our clients are going to have a wide variety of reasons for looking at video surveillance, but those reasons are going to end up in the topics that we're about to discuss. So it's worthwhile to understand the motivation of the customer so that we can adapt our design and our solution to their actual needs.
The first one that comes to mind is deterrence. Now we get calls nationwide over the phone. My first instinct is, I want hidden cameras because I want to catch them. And it's like, well, okay, we all want to catch them, but you're talking about spy equipment almost because you can't do hidden cameras outside very well. They're not going to perform well, but the point is, why have a problem at all?
The FBI did a study several years ago and they concluded that you're 15 times less likely to have a crime committed on your property if you have an alarm system or a camera system. Now, these systems don't solve crime, but they do send it down the street so that you are not the victim. Now the deterrence factor of cameras is it doesn't have to be obnoxious.
You don't need great big neon signs out in your yard screaming, "I have a camera system. Don't you even think about it? Don't you dare?" We don't want to challenge anybody, right? But having nice vandal domes up under the eaves of a home, if someone's looking for a camera, they're going to see it. If someone's just looking at the home, if we use the right camera, the right color, the right positioning, you don't notice it.
It doesn't take away from the beauty of the home or the architecture of the home. But if somebody is interested in wondering whether you have a camera system or not, if they're looking around, they'll notice them. That is the deterrence factor, and yes, it's real. Yes, you should put stickers on your windows. Yes, you should put yard signs on your gates. It does work.
Now, most of our clients are going to consider video surveillance systems just for general security and safety reasons. Maybe they want to secure their family, their home. Maybe there's been crime in the neighborhood. Usually, with businesses, something already happened unless it's in construction.
You get going in a business environment and all of a sudden you're starting to have things that cost you money or put people at risk, and that's where you usually get the phone call, "Hey, we'd like to have you come down and take a look at things." The next benefit we want to talk about is risk and liability management. Now, this usually is a benefit for businesses and commercial applications.
Good example. I got a call from a construction company last week, and they had an employee file a workers' comp claim because he'd gotten fairly seriously hurt. His back was really giving him a hard time. He was out in the construction yard and a piece of steel fell on him. Well, that's kind of a big deal. The employee had only been with him for two weeks, and now he had a long-term disability claim.
So they went to the cameras and the nearest camera was about 200 feet away, but you could clearly see the employee take a piece of steel off the back of the truck, carefully lay himself down on the ground, put the still over his leg, and then he slammed it down on his leg to bruise himself. Then he laid down and made the, "Help, I'm injured" phone call.
It was obviously set up, and the company avoided a very long, expensive worker comp claim that didn't even really exist. Another example of risk and liability management, we got notified by a distribution center about a month ago. They need to add more cameras. Why? OSHA showed up, the government's National Safety Board, right?
They showed up and they had tractor-trailers pulled up to the docks, but employees forgot to put the tire blocks underneath so the trailers wouldn't roll away. Every instant of that cost them 500 bucks, and OSHA wasn't too happy about it. But something as simple as forgetting to put a safety tool down so a trailer doesn't roll away can be a big deal. First, you're going to get fined, and second, something really bad could happen.
Can you imagine if that trailer started to roll as soon as a forklift drove onto the trailer? You could get someone seriously hurt or killed just by ignoring that safety tip. So a lot of times video surveillance systems are used to make sure and verify that employees are following safety procedures. Business systems are also used for employee accountability.
Our people are cheating on their time cards. Was that really Sally that punched in or the card? If you suspect, rather than going up and making some accusation to an employee, if they're working hard and you're wrong, that's horrible. This person's working hard for you, and all of a sudden they feel like, "Wow, you don't even notice and you think I'm cheating on my payroll."
So it's a lot easier just to go to a camera and absolutely know what's going on before you discuss anything with employees. Especially if you get into he said, she said situation. It's a lot nicer to be able to go to the tape and go, "Well, here's what happened," and then solve this, situation from there. Then you don't get into this and you have a solution right away.
It's good business management. Asset protection is another benefit for businesses. Let's say for example, on a loading dock, you need to know if a couch actually went on that trailer. Had a customer a couple of days ago, they're claiming the couch, how do you lose a couch? They're claiming the couch never made it onto the tractor-trailer. Back to the video, there's the forklift lifting the couch onto the tractor-trailer.
Problem solved. Now, let's talk about retail applications. Camera systems actually pay for themselves. Oh, that sounds like a bunch of smoke and mirrors. It's not, it's true, and here's why. Let's say for example, you have a retail store and you've got a 3% shrinkage due to theft, employee mismanagement, shoplifting, and everything else, you're losing 3%.
Well, a good company that's really healthy might run on 10% net profits. You can give yourself a 30% increase in net profits if you're able to reduce your shrinkage. It's a proven fact that putting cameras in retail locations reduces shrinkage. Now if you've got a 3% shrinkage on inventory a year and you reduce it to one and a half and you're selling four or five million a year, you're going to more than pay for that camera system in three or four months.
And forever more, it's going to be putting money in your pocket. So yes, camera systems do pay for themselves in retail environments. Facility management is just general management of a facility. We've already talked about some things that apply to business, and that actually fall under the category of facility management.
You're managing your product, you're managing your safety and everything else, but there's a lot of AI, artificial intelligent programming that can help you do that. With your perimeter camera systems, you can automatically fire off a message right out of the camera that says, "Hey, you can't park here during this time period." You don't have to go track someone down or anything else.
As soon as a car pulls up to the dock or the loading area where there shouldn't be any vehicles, the camera system can actually tell that's a car and automatically say, "You cannot park your, please move your vehicle immediately." You can even have a siren or a red light go off if you want. Another benefit that ties into facility management is customer experience.
Now the camera systems, again with AI are so intelligent. Let's say you've got a grocery store and you want to make sure that your cash registers are staffed properly during those rushes. You don't want people waiting for 10, 15 customers in line all the way back. Camera systems can actually count how many people are in line now and alert a manager right on his phone, "You need more cash register agents up front to help with the workload."
It'll also tell you if people are accumulating at certain areas, well, what's going on there? If the camera system sees a group of people and you can even set the number of people that it tracks, it can alert you, "Hey, you've got a group of people in your store, something's going on." The last big benefit is it's a great alternative to security guards.
Security guards are expensive, and the fact of the matter is they can only be in one place at one time. Camera systems can be in lots of places at the same time without putting somebody at risk. Security guards are alone, right? They have to confront people if they see things going on, but with camera systems, you're just watching everything and they have no idea that you're seeing what they're doing. And that is the main benefit of video surveillance systems.