innoVIZION set to change national retail operations with CGCSA

July 2012 Integrated Solutions, Retail (Industry)

innoVIZION Africa launched its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Division using leading biometrics and workforce management technology driven by innoVIZION’s proprietary Web-enabled integration and business process optimisation platform. The BPO Division will start with the retail industry as first major customer to benefit from this new hosted technology environment.

innoVIZION Africa launched its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Division using leading biometrics and workforce management technology driven by innoVIZION’s proprietary Web-enabled integration and business process optimisation platform. The BPO Division will start with the retail industry as first major customer to benefit from this new hosted technology environment.

According to figures by the Consumer Goods Risk Initiative (CGRI), the number of crime incidents reported by retailers fell from 583 to 477 for the year 2010/2011. Armed robberies dropped by an impressive 43% to 159 from 282, while burglaries declined by 27% to 311 from 426 during the same period. Looking at the financial impact of criminal activities on the sector, CGRI says the losses reported by retailers have declined by a median of 40%.

The reason why the SA retail industry is making progress is the implementation of best practices and better security measures. The CGRI is an industry-led and funded crime specialist unit formulated several years ago to help the retail fraternity be more proactive in its crime-fighting efforts by identifying trends, patterns and crime-prevention strategies aimed at ensuring the safety of mostly retail customers. The unit is part of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA).

It has been a long road to success, though, one that has required a slightly more holistic and intelligent approach to crime fighting; one that has also necessitated that the highly competitive industry players join forces with each another against a common enemy – crime.

The crime-fighting partnerships have also been across business and sector boundaries, as well as between government and business, says Dr Graham Wright, CEO of Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA). “These partnerships against the common enemy of crime have enabled businesses to share best practices and forge the necessary strong relationships with government, and especially the police.”

An Achilles’ heel that CGRI is presently engaged in addressing is how retailers control access to their premises. Despite the decline in the crime incidents in retail, shrinkage is still a major problem. According to the GRTB, South Africa experienced retail shrinkage (as a percentage of sales) of 1,71% last year, equalling a total cost of nearly R6,2 billion, up from around R5,2-billion in 2010.

The GRTB found that the leading contributor to the high levels of shrinkage in the sector after shoplifting (37,2%) to be employee theft (36,2%).

It is generally suspected that many crimes are committed in corroboration with staff that have privileged information of the operations in retail stores and merchandisers who are contracted to work in stores. It is this flaw in the system that CGRI is now helping retailers address.

Who is in your store?

To curb stock theft and other forms of crime, it is essential for retailers to know not only who it is they employ, but also who has access to their premises and how long they were in-store, be they suppliers, cleaners, security guards, merchandisers or promoters, says James Oosthuizen, head of CGRI. After all, he adds, big retail stores have up to 600 external workers who enter and leave their premises daily. Presently, this data recording and related time management is mostly done manually.

This is about to change. The CGCSA has partnered with innoVIZION Africa Technology Solutions to deploy a solution that will give retailers greater control over who has access to their premises through the back of their store, when and for how long and provide service providers access to time and attendance information of all their workers employed at the various retailer premises.

BACSA’s Wright says the CGCSA’s move is in line with a general trend across business sectors where more attention is now being focused on preventative approaches.

The CGCSA’s brief and functional requirements were detailed. “The CGCSA wanted the solution to consider the retail industries’ specific and unique requirements. Key requirements included a multi-technology biometric reader which offers the options of the use of either PIN, smartcards or fingerprints or the combination of either of them, a Web- enabled integration framework that allows for scalability, multi-systems integration and growth and similar a scalable workforce management solution providing multiple management reports, says Marius Greyling, CEO of innoVIZION. Most important the solution must be Web-based and hosted in a secure data environment.

Marius Greyling, CEO of innoVIZION
Marius Greyling, CEO of innoVIZION

A world first

“What the system must do is facilitate biometric access and time and attendance at the back of retail stores, something that is currently being done manually. With this solution, retailers will know which service provider employees accessed the back of their stores and will be able to control it,” says Greyling. The solution must further be able to integrate with various disparate systems deployed in the industry and must also be available for use by retailers for their own staff or even head and regional offices of service providers. The solution will also flag ‘high-risk’ employees.

The figure represents the core scope of the CGCSA Biometric Access and Time and Attendance Initiative
The figure represents the core scope of the CGCSA Biometric Access and Time and Attendance Initiative

The CGCSA Biometric Access and Time and Attendance Initiative Goals and Benefits include the following:

* To provide a hosted, Web-enabled biometric access and time and attendance solution offering to all service providers and retailers at a significantly reduced per employee cost;

* To improve, through a single platform technology, efficiency in the Retail Industry through:

- Increased security in stores/reduced loitering/reduced shrinkage

- Elimination of current manual processes

- Accurate time and attendance recording

- Multiple time and attendance reports

- Accurate reporting regarding service providers access to stores

- Improved people planning

- Ability to monitor real time worker locations

- Access to a centralised high risk database and managing of high risk employees

- Ability to manage/enrol workers via the web

- Hosted industry wide solution

- Single user interface – industry wide

- Contribute towards security of entire industry

• Provide a scalable solution to encompass the entire industry

- Future option to integrate to existing HR/Payroll systems – no duplication of data

- Future option to manage required statutory training/certifications

- Future option to leverage multiple value add offerings/additional modules offered by the deployed solution;

- Leverage economy of scale

- Grow CGCSA members and generate revenue for CGCSA to support new industry initiatives

- Leverage hosted solution for internal use by Service Providers and Retailers

Key benefits

* The entire initiative is underpinned by the understanding that this is an industry wide issue – collaboration is the only effective method to control increased security risks and realise benefit for the entire industry

* Hosted industry wide solution

* High risk functionality across industry

* Single user interface – industry wide – major cost benefit impact on training/continuity/sustainability

* Single Web-based take on for service providers – no duplication of data capture and admin

* Centralised reporting

* Cost of implementation greatly reduced – economy of scale

* Contribute towards effectiveness and improved security of entire industry

* Single integration platform to existing industry systems

innoVIZION Africa’s BPO Solution

Incorporated in the solution is Infor’s Workforce Management Solution, Workbrain.

innoVIZION’s 5thP Web-enabled integration and business process optimisation platform will be the glue of the entire solution. MTN Business is the selected partner of choice for the hosted environment and the GSM communication solution and Virdi is the selected biometric technology.

5thP, innoVIZION’s proprietary software solution is a unique people management framework solution that provides a single, holistic view of multiple people (visitors/contractors/vendors/employees/students/colleagues etc.) and asset (vehicles/PPE/valuable items/issued equipment etc.) types within an organisation.

Some of the key differentiators of 5thP are as follows:

* Increased return on investment/benefit realisation

* Single common user interface/front-end

* Single integration platform

* Applied intelligence

* Simplifies management of people and assets

* Advanced contractor and vehicle management

* Web reporting

* Real-time messaging

* Visitor management

* Allows detailed real-time business process optimisation and control

* Facilitates phased implementations

* Scalable – future technology inclusion

5thP is modular (see diagram) and scalable, and, because it is not vendor dependent at the physical access control (PAC) layer – it is a flexible solution that caters for turnkey or phased roll-outs where the benefits of pro-active compliance management can be immediately realised.

INFOR 10 WFM (WORKBRAIN) – core modules
INFOR 10 WFM (WORKBRAIN) – core modules

Infor10 WFM (Workbrain) solves complex labour problems across all industries, with a heavy focus on key strength verticals including retail, financial services, hospitality, mining and manufacturing.

The solution will benefit and is available for use by all service providers and retailers who will be able to receive information about which of their employees arrived at which stores, at what time and how long they were there. “The key benefits for the retail industry are improved people planning, elimination of current manual processes, accurate time and attendance recording, ability to monitor real time worker locations, access to a centralised high risk database and managing of high risk employees, increased security in stores/reduced loitering/reduced shrinkage and accurate reporting regarding time and attendance and access,” says Greyling.

Describing the impact of the solution, he says: “What we have created is a global first in an industry that is recognising that through cooperation, it can leverage technology.”

It is hoped that the system will reduce costs to the end-user, that is, the consumer, by improving efficiencies across the retail value chain, increasing accuracies and at the same curbing stock theft and losses.

For more information contact innoVIZION Africa, +27 (0)11 463 0123/0861 849 466, info@innovizion.co.za, www.innovizion.co.za





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