OPERATIONS

RC Willey keeps an eye on shrink

BY Dan Berthiaume

Home furnishings retailer secures inventory with advanced network camera technology.

Operating 15 stores across Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and California, as well as an e-commerce business, Salt Lake City-based RC Willey manages $500 million of inventory in warehouses and stores throughout the western US. Facing challenges in tracking inventory discrepancies and investigating shrink, RC Willey decided to install surveillance cameras in its supply chain.

The company installed analog cameras to document the inventory flow, but when that system reached the end of its life, RC Willey began searching for a high-resolution internet protocol (IP) digital video surveillance system that could deliver better video with greater forensic value.

After lengthy on-site testing of 15 different IP video camera vendors, RC Willey selected network cameras from Axis Communications to track inventory in transit from its distribution centers, retail stores, and delivery trucks. RC Willey also selected systems integrator and Axis partner Alphacorp to undertake the installations.

RC Willey selected Axis based on its camera technology’s advanced imaging features, which enabled it to capture sharp, identifiable details under widely diverse lighting conditions, such as warehouse racks, open dock bays, stockrooms, and will-call pick-up centers. The retailer stores the video locally at each site, where it can be accessed remotely by loss prevention staff and other authorized personnel through a Genetec video management system.

Since installing the Axis cameras, RC Willey has seen inventory shrink drop to 0.01%, 170% below the home furnishings industry average. The cameras have helped RC Willey pinpoint the root causes of inventory discrepancies and take steps to correct their procedures. The cameras also help the company improve warehouse management best practices to prevent future inventory from shrinking.

“I attribute most of our low inventory shrinkage to the way we use our Axis cameras in conjunction with our warehouse management and point-of-sale systems,” said Rod Mosher, director of loss prevention, RC Willey.

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