For business owners or managers at any level, it’s important to know what goes on in their locations when they are not present. It’s for this reason that many retailers are undertaking operations audits using their video surveillance systems.

By reviewing snapshots of video throughout the day, they’re able to get a more complete view of how their business is operating. Video-based operations audits have helped many businesses increase ROI and boost profit by finding shrink they didn’t know existed. They can also uncover operational, compliance, and employee performance issues, which, if left unchecked, can impact a company’s brand and reputation.

For someone interested in auditing a business with video, there are several options available.  Convergint, in partnership with March Networks, can offer a wide array of video hardware and software solutions to improve retail operations and to reduce shrink.

Here are a few things business operators can consider before making their selection:


First and foremost, identify the goals of an operations audit. Is it just viewing exception-based reports with corresponding video, or is there also an interest in health and safety issues, the quality of customer service, and employee performance? There are systems available that, in addition to operations audits, integrate POS data with intelligent analytics, like queue length monitoring or customer-counting, to help assess speed of service and measure conversion rates. Identifying a wish list upfront is crucial to ensure the solution is flexible enough to meet the goals that have been set.


Shrink can occur throughout a store, not just at the cash register. Ensure the audit covers all areas of the business, and quickly alerts users to signs of trouble. March Networks Searchlight for Retail rapidly identifies suspicious transactions through POS integration, but also alerts user to changes in other areas of the business, such as potential health and safety issues. Loss prevention extends beyond transactions, and often the most sophisticated thieves do not leave an obvious trail in your POS system; they tend cover their tracks by using alternate methods, like completing false returns, stealing a key to open the cash drawer, or sneaking merchandise out of the back door.

Male server closing a tab out at bar

Ensure that the individuals managing the process understand how to analyze the footage. If a third-party auditor is just checking off a list of 10 pre-defined KPIs, they may miss other important issues. For example, if audits focus on speed of service and cash handling, an individual may miss the fact that an employee is cross-contaminating food. It’s essential to ensure n auditor truly understands the operation, and what constitutes good performance and good service – otherwise the process is much less valuable.


There is little point in conducting an operations audit if the images are too blurry to identify what is happening in the footage. Make sure the solution you select offers clear, high-definition video with the level of detail required for investigations and a successful litigation defense if needed.

To learn more about March Networks Searchlight for Retail, visit their website.

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