Technology and Innovation in Shopping Centers

Like Business, Real Estate, Shopping center

CLIENT : Neinver

DATE : 2017

NEINVER is leveraging new technologies to transform its properties management model, becoming the first outlet operator to offer a seamless integration between the shopping experience in its physical centres and digital space, so called omni-channel strategy.

Gennion deployed its end-to-end location intelligence and digitalization platform, called Nutshell™, into their outlet centers to integrate these physical channels into Neinver´s digital platform ecosystem.

Nutshell™ brings to Neinver competitive advantages that directly impact business results, such as real-time measurement and visualization of the traffic activity of their physical outlets and a detailed knowledge of visitors’ behaviours for tailored discounts and offers.

Provider: Prosegur in collaboration with Gennion Solutions
Industry: Real Estate / Shopping Centers


Security Operations through Location technologies in Shopping Centers

 

NEINVER is leveraging new technologies to transform its properties management model, becoming the first outlet operator to offer a seamless integration between the shopping experience in its physical centres and digital space, so called omni-channel strategy.

Gennion deployed its end-to-end location intelligence and digitalization platform, called Nutshell™, into their outlet centers to integrate these physical channels into Neinver´s digital platform ecosystem.

Nutshell™ brings to Neinver competitive advantages that directly impact business results, such as real-time measurement and visualization of the traffic activity of their physical outlets and a detailed knowledge of visitors’ behaviours for tailored discounts and offers.

Goals

Neinver wanted to address quality service issues at their shopping centers and improve customer service. Starting from the delivery of security services at their shopping malls as a first step. To do so, they aimed to apply location technologies to monitor workforce and measure operations.

The following were the key requirements:

Leverage the existing location infrastructure deployed at the malls, that is to say, not installing any additional elements to monitor employees, so not increasing costs.

The technology has to provide access to location track data in order to perform analytics, metrics and indicators.

Full integration to the existing digital information system so that results of operative actions can be measured in terms of business impact.

The solution must allow locating security guards inside and in front of stores and at public areas within the shopping center such as aisles or entry/exits.

Besides, it has to be flexible enough to support the development of additional use cases that improve safety perception of shoppers such as watching children, calling for assistance, etc.

Deployed solution

Gennion Solutions proposed tagging security employees with Bluetooth portable transmitters traceable by Gennion Sensors placed along the facilities. That is to say, employees are required to wear a bluetooth beacon-badge when working at shopping centers.

Besides, Prosegur, the security services provider at the facilities, asked for integrating NutshellTM core location engine to iTrack, its control and security solution for indoor applications, so that they could monitor security staff using the shopping mall location infrastructure.

Gennion also proposed portable Smart Buttons as a more convenient alternative to existing panic buttons. These smart wireless push buttons applied to Retail allow store employees to press buttons triggering a silent alarm in times of distress. Gennion Sensors will push and accurately locate an alarm on Prosegur security monitor: iTrack.

More accurate, lighter and lower cost Bluetooth bracelets replaced existing child safety wristbands. The new bracelets are both traceable from the Shopping Center security monitor (iTrack) and parents mobile devices, using the Shopping Center mobile App.

While it wasn´t part of the scope, the technology deployed by Gennion allows to also track assets by tagging valuable objects with Bluetooth portable transmitters in shape of stickers. It can include additional sensors too, such as ambient light, temperature or accelerometer sensors, so that not only the position of the assets but its condition (it is moving or not for instance) can be remotely monitored.

Key advantages of the solution

 

There are basically two ways to approach the people and asset location tracking problem: SENSOR CENTRIC VS MOBILE DEVICE CENTRIC APPROACHES

Gennion End-to-End platform allows both approaches but recommended the second, a Sensor Centric. It is ideal for tracking assets and employees as industry best practices have shown.

Let´s outline both of them with some more detail.

Mobile Device Centric location solutions rely on a mobile App to perform a self-location. In this case, employees would be required to carry a corporative mobile device with a specific location App already installed. Location is determined based usually on both GPS (macro-level outdoor) and iBeacons (micro-level indoor).
iBeacons are placed all over the indoor facilities where employees are to be located.

Its key barriers are upfront and maintenance costs of the smartphones and versatility of the solution. It is basically a single purpose solution.

Sensor Centric approach do not require any mobile device neither an App. People and assets to be tracked are required to carry a lightweight portable transmitter that broadcast a signal to be detected by Sensor placed at fixed positions thorough the facilities.
Its key barrier is the upfront investment required to deploy a grid of Sensors, standard beacons and transmitter costs are usually 2 times lower than a sensor or hub.
However, once in place it scales very well while relying on a multi-purpose sensor grid, which extends the use cases of location technology into the business. Increasing use cases means more revenue lines to pay off.

As mentioned, Gennion recommended a Sensor Centric solution. Neinver had already a Gennion’s Sensors grid in place for real-time tracking of shoppers, and just with few adjustments all Sensors were updated to monitor not only shoppers´ mobiles but portable transmitters. Which shows very well the versatility of the solution proposed.

Gennion proposed a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based transmitter set because of its inherent features makes it the most recommended technology for indoor location applications. Among other advantages the following could be mentioned: Cost of hub-sensors, Bandwidth, Accuracy, Versatility, Variety and ergonomics of hardware transmitters, Batteries lifetime (low energy consumption), Standardization and Interoperability with other systems.

Tracking Workers and Alarms. The solution deployed by Gennion allows managers to know where workers are at all times to improve safety and reduce risks.  Security managers also receive micro-located panic alarms from stores and safety warnings from children.

Performance Reports. The integration of the solution into the Neinver´s digital ecosystem allows Shopping Center managers to receive performance reports that also include specific metrics and indicators related to security operations.

Reports include metrics and indicators that managers can use to proactively address quality issues and increase customer satisfaction. It includes, among others:

  • Working shifts accomplishment
  • Security rounds aimed and performed
  • Hot – cold risk areas and moments
  • Detailed security pathways
  • Alarms received, relationship with people and store traffic
  • Panic alarm response time
  • Child safety wristbands usage
  • Preventive models, anticipating security risks
  • Security routes optimization, workers Vs. actual needs

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