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Two of the most important priorities in a manufacturing environment are safety and productivity. Failure to follow safe work practices around machinery on a factory floor can result in serious injury, while poor productivity can erode profits and ultimately threaten the viability of the business. At WCCO Belting, a Wahpeton, North Dakota-based manufacturer of custom rubber products for agriculture and light-industrial conveyor equipment, a March Networks® video surveillance solution plays a key role in enhancing both safety and productivity. Monitor Work Processes “Recently, for example, we had a minor safety incident on one of our machines that was captured by the system,” said Michael Marsh, Senior Technology Administrator. “The video not only allowed us to determine the cause of the incident, it also helped us create a proprietary piece of equipment to ensure that the accident would never happen again.” Safety was the main reason WCCO Belting acquired a March Networks system in 2015 Safety was the main reason WCCO Belting acquired a March Networks system in 2015, but the company soon discovered it could use the technology for other equally important priorities. “We found that we could use the video solution for time studies, to be more effective and efficient,” said Marsh. WCCO engineers use the video to monitor work processes and then tweak them to speed production, while ensuring optimum quality. Security System Integrator The company selected Marco Technologies as its security system integrator in 2015, and acquired March Networks 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs shortly thereafter. Two years later, when WCCO Belting decided to also equip a second production facility in Arlington, Texas, it upgraded to a March Networks Command™ Recording Software (CRS) solution in North Dakota and moved the 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs to its Texas facility. At the same time, the company deployed March Networks Command Enterprise Software to tie all the video from its geographically-dispersed facilities together, said Marsh. The software enables WCCO Belting “to oversee everything and manage the entire system from a single point of entry.” In addition, approximately 50 March Networks IP cameras — including indoor domes with wide dynamic range and outdoor IR bullet cameras — provide crystal-clear video of activity on the company’s factory floors, loading docks and parking lots. Remote Configuration Marsh cites ease of use and outstanding support as the main reasons for selecting the video solution. “The technology is easy to implement, easy to use and easy to navigate. Support has also been great. When we ran into some early issues, they responded quickly to help resolve the problem.” We didn’t have to uproot a lot of the architecture already in place" “More recently, when we decided to expand the system to include our second location, it was Marco that recommended the CRS solution and the redeployment of our NVRs to Texas. It was really plug and play. That was the winning piece for us. We didn’t have to uproot a lot of the architecture already in place.” A system that was easy to rollout was important because WCCO Belting’s IT department does the physical camera install themselves, while partnering with Marco Technologies for remote configuration. Command Mobile App “It’s one of the reasons we like March Networks, because we’re a hands-on IT department,” explained Marsh. “We like to make sure we’re always on top of things and that we understand the equipment we’re working with. If we can’t install it ourselves and need someone to come in and do it for us, it just creates future costs.” Aside from the IT department, which has administrative access to the system, authorized supervisors and managers at WCCO Belting are able to audit video for safety and security purposes. Temporary access is also provided to engineering staff for time studies. Marsh and several supervisors also have access to video through the Command Mobile app on their smartphones. Available as a free download from the Apple Store and Google Play, Command Mobile runs on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Track Offending Vehicle Remote, after-hours access to video proved valuable during the previously mentioned safety incident, for example, “by allowing managers to pull up video from home and use it to make decisions quickly,” said Marsh. The video solution has also proven useful to local law enforcement, as some of the bullet cameras covering the employee parking lot at the North Dakota facility also have a clear view of North 9th St., a busy artery in the town of 8,000. The video resolution was so good that we were able to quickly track the offending vehicle" “One day, I was called to the front desk and met by two police officers and three sheriffs,” recalled Marsh. “They wanted to come to my office but didn’t say why. I was never so nervous in my life. Once in my office, they explained that they wanted to see if we had any recorded video to help them solve a hit and run a block and a half down the road. We did, and the video resolution was so good that we were able to quickly track the offending vehicle.” Rubber Belting Solutions “We’ve had two law enforcement visits since then, so now when they show up, I know I’m not in trouble,” joked Marsh. A family-owned business, WCCO Belting was founded in 1954 by Ed Shorma, a Korean War veteran who mortgaged the family car and borrowed $1,500 to buy a shoe repair shop. Propelled by Shorma’s strong work ethic and talent for ingenuity, the business grew and evolved as a manufacturer of rubber belting solutions, leading to Shorma’s recognition as Small Business Person of the Year by U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1982. WCCO Belting is currently led by president and CEO, Tom Shorma, Ed’s son, and has 270 employees — 200 in North Dakota and 70 in Texas. The company’s rubber product solutions are sought after worldwide, and exported to customers in more than 20 countries. The company won North Dakota’s Exporter of the Year award in 2003, and in 2010 and 2016 it was the recipient of the Presidential ‘E’ Award and ‘E-Star’ award for its export promotion efforts.
Brian Ishikawa has always kept tight control over his video surveillance system, allowing only authorized personnel within his corporate security division to access video footage. So it was a change for Ishikawa, Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Security for the Bank of Hawaii, to get used to the idea of authorized staff from the bank’s branch division being able to review video for operational, compliance and marketing-related purposes. The insights collected from the video are helping the bank make more strategic decisions about staffing, customer service and even future branch design. Business Intelligence Our March Networks surveillance platform is providing us with some significant business and non-security-related uses" “Our March Networks surveillance platform is providing us with some significant business and non-security-related uses,” Ishikawa explained. Bank of Hawaii, which operates 69 branches and 373 ATMs across Hawaii, American Samoa and the West Pacific, is currently using March Networks Searchlight for Banking software to gather business intelligence at its branches. Searchlight’s mix of surveillance video, teller/ATM transaction data and analytics delivers valuable insights into the bank’s operations, as well as helping to enhance security and uncover fraud. “Our branch division folks look at the data to get ideas on how we should do our branch operations or staffing differently,” he said. People counting data — collected by FLIR Brickstream3D sensors integrated with the Searchlight software — tells them which entrances and exits are most used so they can place marketing materials in high-traffic areas. Video Surveillance Products The information is also being used to help determine future branch layouts. Queue length and dwell time data, meanwhile, help them understand their busiest time of day, and day of the week, so they can staff branches appropriately. “It’s a huge plus for us,” said Ishikawa. “Our executive management team can see the benefits of the video solution, and the future possibilities for this data.” A forward-thinking bank that’s keen to try new technology, Bank of Hawaii began exploring Searchlight after its success with March Networks’ other video surveillance products. The bank first started using March Networks systems in 2015, when it was time to upgrade its legacy DVRs. At the time, Bank of Hawaii was relying on two different video platforms, and it wasn’t happy with their performance. After enlisting the help of a consultant, and doing his own research at security tradeshows, Ishikawa says the decision to go with March Networks was clear. Network Video Recorders 'March Networks’ products are really engineered for the banking environment" “I remember asking some of my banking counterparts, ‘Hey what are you guys using?’ And they strongly recommended March Networks,” he recalled. The consultant came to a similar conclusion. He said, "March Networks’ products are really engineered for the banking environment,’ so that helped us make the decision.” Bank of Hawaii is currently using March Networks 8000 Series Hybrid Network Video Recorders (NVRs) in about half of its banking branches. The Linux-based devices provide reliable video surveillance recording and management, and are also easy to service, which is a huge bonus for Ishikawa and his team. In addition, the 8000 Series rack mount units feature an innovative ‘dock and lock’ station that allows technicians to easily remove and service the recorder while leaving all rear connections clean and organized in place. Existing Analog Cameras “With other companies, you have to power down the recorder for several minutes to service it, and that means unplugging and re-plugging all the inputs. You miss a number of minutes of recording during that time. With March Networks, we’re able to just pull out the hard drive and pop in another one without taking the NVR offline,” he said. “That’s huge for us.” According to Ishikawa, Bank of Hawaii also appreciates the 8000 Series’ hybrid support, which allowed the bank to continue using its existing analog cameras, and the motion histograms in March Networks Command video management software, which show Ishikawa and his team where motion occurred and helps them rapidly locate video evidence. “Command’s modern interface is really user-friendly, and it’s very easy to find video,” said Ishikawa. Dynamic Range Technology Bank of Hawaii has installed MegaPX ATM Cameras, which are purpose-built for ATMs “When someone is telling you, ‘Hey we had a problem at this branch this morning, I don’t know what happened, but it must have been around this time’, we’re able to find that video much more quickly on a March Networks platform.” The bank’s high resolution cameras also make it easy to discern important details. In its newer branches, Bank of Hawaii is using March Networks ME4 Series IP cameras, which capture 4MP images and feature high dynamic range technology to optimize image quality in both low and bright light. The bank is also using Oncam 360° cameras for high-resolution panoramic views. For security at its bank machines, Bank of Hawaii has installed MegaPX ATM Cameras, which are purpose-built for ATMs. Video is integrated with the bank’s ATM transaction data in the Searchlight software for rapid investigations into customer complaints and potential fraud. More Comprehensive Oversight “It’s so easy to search,” said Ishikawa. “It takes us exactly to that transaction and the associated video so we can figure out what transpired.” The bank is also integrating its teller transaction data with video in Searchlight for more comprehensive oversight of its branches. The combination of video, transactions and analytics helps it get a more holistic view of its services. “Transaction data is not always indicative of how busy a branch is,” Ishikawa said, noting that lengthier conversations at the teller counter often create value because the customer returns later to access another bank product or service. Having video and analytics is an added layer of information. Being able to remotely access video also helps Ishikawa’s security team conduct virtual patrols. This saves them both time and money. Uniformed Security Member Capturing video of the incident helped underscore the serious nature of the situation “In the past, whenever there was an issue, we had a uniformed security member head out and physically check the branch. But with virtual patrols, we can do fewer physical visits and, when we do visit, it’s a more meaningful visit.” The security team, for example, can keep an eye on issues with vagrancy and loitering by simply logging into the Command software. March Networks video has helped the bank successfully address some of these issues. In one case, a person was routinely visiting a branch and causing disruptions by yelling and throwing deposit slips on the floor. “We don’t always know the situation, but if a person is yelling or displaying erratic behavior, they pose a risk,” said Ishikawa. Capturing video of the incident helped underscore the serious nature of the situation. Investigating A Fraud “We were able to show police that this was not a minor disruptive party. It was a very concerning issue for us. And it wasn’t just our bank, it was occurring in other banks, too.” Going forward, Bank of Hawaii is planning to migrate its remaining retail branches to March Networks. Given the widespread benefits of intelligent video, Ishikawa predicts that, like him, more bank security managers will receive requests to share their video surveillance securely with other departments. “In the future, it won’t just be security that’s asking for a video upgrade,” he said. “It’s going to be other parts of the business saying, ‘We want a piece of the pie too.’ Because surveillance is more than just investigating a fraud or robbery incident. Now, video surveillance is a lot more than that.”
Most retailers invest in a video surveillance solution to improve security. Many also use it as an investigation tool to help resolve customer disputes, liability claims and reduce losses from theft and fraud. Intelligent Video Solutions Complete Releaf relies on its intelligent video solution for all of those reasons, however compliance with state regulations was the primary objective when CEO and owner Eric Ryant started looking for a video system for his new, 3,000 square foot cannabis dispensary in Lafayette, Colorado. Unlike many other types of retail environments, cannabis dispensaries must comply with strict rules governing the type of video surveillance equipment used, where cameras and equipment are placed, and how long video evidence must be retained. Already familiar with the regulations based on his experience operating a second dispensary and a cultivation center in Lafayette, Colorado, Ryant sourced multiple bids for his new video solution. In the end, I selected the March Networks proposal. It had everything I was looking for, including POS integration, and additional capabilities" POS Integration “Once all the bids were in, I went through the process of analyzing each one and ended up narrowing the contenders down to two,” said Ryant. “In the end, I selected the March Networks proposal from our systems integrator, Falcon Networks. The solution had everything I was looking for, including POS integration, and additional capabilities I thought might be useful down the road. It met all of the compliance criteria, and the price was comparable.” Prior to opening the boutique dispensary in January 2018, Ryant worked with its system integrator to design and install a fully-compliant video solution. IR Dome Cameras Today, IR dome cameras mounted inside the dispensary capture clear 4MP video of all activity at entrances and exits, in storage and equipment rooms, and at each point-of-sale (POS) system. In addition, 360° cameras are installed above the sales floor and in every corner to provide further panoramic coverage. The 360° cameras are also installed on the dispensary’s exterior to capture people entering and exiting, as well as any activity in the surrounding parking lot and back loading area. The cameras were selected and placed strategically to ensure that the system meets multiple legislated requirements, such as recording all activity occurring within 20 feet of any ingress/egress point, capturing clear video in all lighting conditions, and making sure that the recorded video is sharp enough to identify customer and employee facial features at each POS. Hybrid Network Video Recorder At the center of Complete Releaf’s video solution is a hybrid network video recorder (NVR) At the center of Complete Releaf’s video solution is a hybrid network video recorder (NVR). The recorder provides IP and analog video capture and unparalleled reliability through features such as diagnostic LEDs, an internal battery backup, and a customized embedded Linux operating system. All IP channel licenses are included with the recorder, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for the dispensary. Equally important, the recorder provides Complete Releaf with 32TB of internal storage, so it is compliant with the state’s 40-day video retention requirement. “Essentially, we need 100 percent coverage with no ‘blind spots’ on our retail floor, and a clear picture of people’s faces. It’s a truly reliable product, and we’ve had no difficulties achieving our 40 days of archived video,” said Ryant. Searchlight Intelligent Software While security and compliance were both top priorities for Ryant, finding a video solution that would also help him run Complete Releaf more efficiently – and profitably – was also important. That’s why he’s so pleased with the March Networks Searchlight for Retail application software he is also using. The intelligent software enables Ryant and his team to proactively identify and review suspect transactions using integrated video and transaction data pulled from the dispensary’s Green Bits POS system. It provides them with an easy-to-use loss prevention tool that reduces the time it takes to investigate incidents from hours to minutes. It also arms them with strong video and data evidence to support successful prosecutions or recoveries. Ryant is also testing the Searchlight application in his cultivation facility “Having video surveillance in our dispensary definitely deters theft,” said Ryant. “Combining the video with transaction data goes a step further and really causes people to think twice before they do something they’ll probably regret.” Radio Frequency Identification Tags Ryant is also testing the Searchlight application in his cultivation facility, taking advantage of the software’s ability to integrate with data from the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags he is required to add to each plant through the cultivation process as part of Colorado’s Inventory Tracking System (Metrc). The software would enable Ryant to leverage his RFID investment by making the data searchable in the dashboard and tying it to recorded video. If there’s ever an incident during the cultivation process, Ryant could use the software to easily locate the video footage to see what actually happened and who was involved.