Today’s retailers have at their fingertips cutting edge technology to protect and track stolen merchandise. GPS Tracking is one option that has created a lot of buzz in the industry…and for good reason! With better than a 70% success rate, low startup costs and minimal training and maintenance required, if offers an excellent payback. But before jumping on the GPS bandwagon, here are 6 questions you should know the answers to.
1. How is GPS Tracking implemented? Is it visible or covert?
The whole idea of using GPS to catch criminals and recover assets is that the criminals unknowingly steal the device. That only works if the device is undetectable. Look for solutions that either mimic or can be hidden in high-demand items. Using GPS to secure assets with higher theft rates increases the chances of recovery, arrest, and criminal prosecution.
2. How is the technology activated?
The device should automatically and silently detect the theft and begin reporting. This is key as it eliminates employee involvement, notifies authorities while the crime is in progress, and reduces the likelihood of a violent confrontation. As with most technologies, lower human interaction and manipulation increases the device’s success rate.
3. Who receives the alert from the tracking device?
For best results, the device should link directly to a security company monitoring center or, ideally, to law enforcement. This improves response time and, therefore, the likelihood of an arrest. It also keeps staff and customers safe by getting the criminals out of the store and into the hands of professionals.
4. How does the device communicate?
GPS devices typically use cellular networks to report their location. Users should be sure to choose devices that are 4G/5G compatible, so that they will last well into the future. This will help to reduce future replacement costs.
5. What are some other things to consider during the selection and deployment process?
There are a number of questions I recommend you ask during the assessment and selection of GPS tracking technology.
- Is the device easy to use and maintain?
- How long will the installation process take?
- Is the device self-reporting to ensure reliability?
- Does it provide data that can be used forensically after the crime to help law enforcement secure a conviction?
- How many devices should be used for maximum effectiveness in a particular application?
- Where should the devices be placed within the store?
- What types of crimes is the retailer wanting to target, and can these devices successfully address this crime?
6. What are your thoughts on the short- and long-term benefit of GPS Tracking?
Adding a tracking and monitoring solution to an existing security program can provide real-time visibility and data. As the retail application of GPS tracking continues to grow, it has proven itself to be an ally in the fight against organized retail crime and burglary. As more retailers embrace the technology, it will continue to grow as an essential tool in the loss prevention industry.