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The automated future of retail and how to secure it
The automated future of retail and how to secure it

While the foundation of autonomous retail has been built up over the past few years, it is only now that retailers are beginning to fully experiment with the technology. There were an estimated 350 stores globally in 2018 offering a fully autonomous checkout process, yet this number is forecast to increase dramatically with 10,000 stores anticipated by 2024. This acceleration in the growth of unmanned retail stores has, in part, been boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic and a demand for a more contactless, socially distanced shopping experience. Physical security technologies Innovative physical security technologies can play a significant role in protecting a site while supporting its operation Many retailers are now exploring such solutions as a way to streamline their services and simplify store operations while reducing overheads. Of course, the security of unmanned sites is a concern, with many eager to embrace such a design, but wary about the prospect of leaving a store unguarded. This is where innovative physical security technologies can play a significant role in protecting a site while supporting its operation and also helping to improve customer experience. Comprehensive integrated solution To make the autonomous retail vision a reality, a comprehensive solution is needed that integrates network cameras, IP audio speakers, and access control devices. The cameras can be employed to monitor entrance points and sales areas, including checkout terminals, and can be monitored and operated remotely from a central control room. This offers management full visibility of operations, regardless of the number of stores. Recorded video material can be processed, packaged, and passed to authorities, when necessary, by applicable laws. Optimising operations As autonomous stores do not require staff to be present and run largely independently, managers can be notified automatically via mobile device if an event occurs that requires their attention. This could range from a simple need to restock popular items or clean the premises after a spillage, to a criminal break-in or attack. Again, network video surveillance cameras installed inside and outside of the premises provide high-quality video of any incident as it occurs, enabling immediate action to be taken. Improving customer experience Access control mechanisms at the entrance and exit points enable smooth, touch-free access to customers Access control mechanisms at the entrance and exit points enable smooth, touch-free access to customers, while IP audio speakers allow ambient music to be played, creating a relaxed in-store atmosphere and also offering the ability to play alerts or voice messages as required. Due to the automated nature of such audio broadcasting, consistency of brand can be created across multiple locations where playlists and pre-recorded voice messages are matched in terms of style and tone from store to store. Boosting profits The accessibility of premises 24/7 can ultimately lead to an increase in sales by simply allowing customers to enter the store and make a purchase at any time, rather than being restricted by designated retail hours. This also serves to improve customer loyalty through retail convenience. Utilising data from the access control system, managers can configure lights to turn on/off and ambient music to power down when the last person leaves the shop, to be reactivated the next time someone enters the premises. This approach can also conserve energy, leading to cost savings. Designing a future proof solution The threat of vandalism is greatly limited if everyone entering the shop can be identified, which is something that is already happening in Scandinavia using QR codes linked to an electronic identification system called BankID. This process involves a user being identified by their bank details, and their credentials checked upon entering the store. This not only streamlines the transaction process but vastly improves security because only those who want to legitimately use the services will go through the identification process, helping to deter antisocial or criminal behaviour. Physical security technology should be reliable and of high quality, without compromising the service to customers VMS-based network solution Both inside and outside of the premises, physical security technology should be reliable and of high quality, without compromising the service to customers, or hampering their experience. Door controls, network cameras, and loudspeakers, together with a comprehensive video management system (VMS), enable retailers to control every element of their store and remove any uncertainty around its management or security. Such a system, network-enabled and fully scalable to meet ongoing business requirements, can be offered using open APIs; this allows configuration and customisation while ensuring that the retailer is not limited by the technology or tied into any particular set-up or vendor as their requirements evolve. Additional security benefits As more businesses launch their unmanned stores, the benefits of such technology to streamline and improve every aspect of their operations become ever clearer. A comprehensive solution from a trusted security provider can bring complete peace of mind while offering additional benefits to support the retail business as it seeks a secure future.

Get the most from investments in building security
Get the most from investments in building security

From analogue to digital, from stand-alone to interlinked, building systems are in a state of transition. Moreover, the rate of change shows no sign of slowing, which can make it difficult to keep up to date with all the latest developments. If asked to pinpoint the single biggest driver of this revolution, one could point out the growing clamour for platform convergence. A security guard in a building doesn’t want to use different systems to check video cameras, fire alarms or if someone has entered a restricted area: – it simply isn’t efficient. For similar reasons, a building manager wants a single interface to control heating and lighting to match fluctuating occupancy levels, particularly in a hybrid working model. Applying the digital glue The demand from end-users for system convergence is growing, but to achieve full interoperability you still need to apply some ‘digital glue’ and that requires expertise. Yet bringing together disparate systems from different manufacturers can be problematic. Just as you get things to work, someone upgrades their solution and your carefully implemented convergence can start to come unstuck. Managing an implementation can quickly become more complicated, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s headache This is one of the principal issues with all types of new technology; not everyone will choose the same path to reach the desired goal – it’s the old VHS/Betamax argument updated for building management and security systems. Managing and maintaining an implementation can quickly become more complicated than it first appears and without proper oversight, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s technical headache. Effective support for a hybrid workforce Today’s hybrid workforce is a response to the pandemic that looks set to become an established part of working life for many companies across the world. Security systems have a massive role to play in facilitating this transformation that goes beyond simple intrusion detection, access control, and video monitoring. They can identify the most densely populated areas in a building to comply with social distancing guidelines and provide efficient use of space. The insights gathered from a security system can also be used to identify patterns of behaviour, which can then be used for planning and directing the use of building space to help create the best possible working environment while also minimising heating, lighting, and air conditioning expenditures. Identity credentials can help manage compliance with industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas Similarly, identity credentials – either biometric or mobile-based – can help manage compliance to industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas only to approved employees. Creating and maintaining the appropriate level of functionality requires a combination of innovative solutions and industry experience. The complete security package It’s not just physical security that’s important – cybersecurity is a major focus, too. Bringing together both the physical security and cybersecurity realms is increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ capability. What is evident is that the pace of technological change is faster than ever. Today’s functionality simply wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago, while today’s leading-edge developments may seem commonplace in five years.

How businesses can protect their people in the new age of work
How businesses can protect their people in the new age of work

Ensuring employee health and safety remains a key priority for organisations this year, especially as we see COVID-19 cases continue to rise in different areas of the world. As an ongoing challenge, COVID-19 has shifted the priorities of many organisations. In fact, “improving health and safety for employees” is the top strategic goal this year of manufacturing and logistics organisations in the U.S. and U.K., according to research conducted by Forrester on behalf of STANLEY Security. But as we think about reopening and as hybrid workforce models and “workspace-on-demand” approaches rise in popularity, leaders need to consider implementing the right technologies to help ensure a safe return to the office. This means investing in health, safety, and security solutions that can help leaders protect their people. The intersection of security technology and health and safety There’s no doubt that the scope of security has expanded in the wake of the global pandemic. What was once an area governed by a select few security or IT professionals within a business has now become a crucial company investment involving many key stakeholders. The role of security has expanded to encompass a broader range of health and safety challenges for businesses Additionally, the role of security has expanded to encompass a broader range of health and safety challenges for businesses. Fortunately, security technologies have made significant strides and many solutions, both existing and new, have been thrust forward to address today’s biggest business challenges. Investment in security technology It’s important to note that businesses are eager to adopt tech that can help them protect their people. Nearly half (46%) of organisations surveyed by Forrester report that they’re considering an increasing investment in technology solutions that ensure employee safety. Technologies like touchless access control, visitor management systems, occupancy monitoring, and installed/wearable proximity sensors are among some of the many security technologies these organisations have implemented or are planning to implement yet this year. Facilitating a safe return to work But what does the future look like? When it comes to the post-pandemic workplace, organisations are taking a hard look at their return-to-work strategy. Flexible or hybrid workforce models require a suite of security solutions to help ensure a safer, healthier environment More than half (53%) of organisations surveyed by Forrester are looking to introduce a flexible work schedule for their employees as they make decisions about returning to work and keeping employees safe post-pandemic. Such flexible – or hybrid – workforce models require a suite of security solutions to help ensure a safer, healthier environment for all who traverse a facility or work on-site. One of the central safety and security challenges raised by these hybrid models is tracking who is present in the building at any one time – and where or how they interact. Leveraging security technology With staggered schedules and what may seem like a steady stream of people passing through, it can be difficult to know who’s an employee and who’s a visitor. Access control will be key to monitoring and managing the flow of people on-site and preventing unauthorised access. When access control systems are properly integrated with visitor management solutions, businesses can unlock further benefits and efficiencies. For instance, integrated visitor management systems can allow for pre-registration of visitors and employees – granting mobile credentials before people arrive on-site – and automated health screening surveys can be sent out in advance to help mitigate risk. Once someone reaches the premises, these systems can also be used to detect the person’s temperature and scan for a face mask, if needed.  We will likely see these types of visitor management and advanced screening solutions continue to rise in popularity, as 47% of organisations surveyed by Forrester report that they’re considering requiring employee health screening post-pandemic. Defining the office of the future A modern, dynamic workforce model will require an agile approach to office management. It’s imperative to strike the right balance between making people feel welcome and reassuring Businesses want to create an environment in which people feel comfortable and confident – a space where employees can collaborate and be creative. It’s imperative to strike the right balance between making people feel welcome and reassuring them that the necessary security measures are in place to ensure not only their safety but also their health. In many cases, this balancing act has created an unintended consequence: Everyone now feels like a visitor to a building. Protocols and processes With employees required to undergo the same screening processes and protocols as a guest, we’ve seen a transformation in the on-site experience. This further underscores the need for seamless, automated, and tightly integrated security solutions that can improve the employee and visitor experience, while helping to ensure health and safety. Ultimately, the future of the office is not about what a space looks like, but how people feel in it. This means adopting a “safety-always” culture, underpinned by the right technology, to ensure people that their safety remains a business’ top priority. 

Latest Adams Rite/ An ASSA ABLOY Group company news

ASSA ABLOY introduces ‘Upgrade Your Openings’ program to address the changing needs of building occupants
ASSA ABLOY introduces ‘Upgrade Your Openings’ program to address the changing needs of building occupants

ASSA ABLOY introduces its ‘Upgrade Your Openings’ program to support facility managers in addressing the changing needs of building occupants. With businesses, offices, and schools continuing to return to the workplace, efforts are being made to integrate touchless and automated solutions to create safer, healthier environments. Latest building requirements As part of the initiative, ASSA ABLOY is helping building managers address three emerging trends affecting commercial spaces post-pandemic: Rapidly evolving user expectations, driving demand for safer, healthier, and easier access to spaces, along with more aggressive security measures. More strictly enforced adherence to the latest building requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, and other building codes applicable to the jurisdiction and building type. Increasingly complex facilities management due to the increasing number and sophistication of building systems and security. More accessible environments The demand for healthier, safer, and more accessible environments is increasing" “As the economy rebounds and facilities begin to reopen, the demand for healthier, safer, and more accessible environments is increasing, and in turn, adding to the overwhelming complexity of building management,” said Sean McGrath, Head of US Commercial Sales and Marketing, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas. “‘Upgrade Your Openings’ is ASSA ABLOY’s initiative to help offices, schools, hospitals, and other public spaces address the challenges of post-COVID facilities while meeting increasingly strict codes and standards.” Increase energy efficiency ASSA ABLOY’s comprehensive solutions can support: Commercial offices: Wireless technology allows one to add access control to doors at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions, making them an important option for upgrading the security of any facility. With hybrid work models becoming more popular and employees coming and going on a more irregular schedule, there may no longer be a need to have dedicated office space for each individual. Create flexible workspaces: Wireless cabinet locks. Easily retrofit openings: ES100 wireless integrated strike and card reader. Reduce touchpoints and germ transmission: Safer2Open solutions. Education: The pandemic has resulted in facilities, especially schools, needing to control the number of people in a given area to improve safety. Quickly gauge if a space is occupied: Status Indicator Locks by Corbin Russwin, SARGENT and Yale. Add hands-free solutions to any opening: Push/pull paddle trim. Eliminate catch points from clothing/equipment: Low profile, integrated trim. Healthcare: Applying touchless solutions to frequently used openings, such as doors in hospitals, can help reduce the spread of germs. Open a door with a simple wave: Norton 6000 Series Low Energy Door Operator with Wave to Open Switch. Add security and access control to equipment areas, nursing stations, and cabinets: Wireless access control locks. Add hands-free solutions to any opening: Push/pull paddle trim. Other public spaces: As more public places begin to open up, upgrades can be made to reduce germ transmission, control access, meet code requirements and increase energy efficiency on entrance doors, exterior building doors, interior doors, restroom doors, stairwells, gates, fences, containers and more. Easily electrify narrow stile aluminium openings: Adams Rite 4300 Electrified Deadlatch with compatible low-touch push/pull paddle trim. Intelligent and sustainable Securitron M680E EcoMag® Magnalock for all-glass openings. ASSA ABLOY is now offering a variety of training courses that feature products and solutions to help Upgrade Your Openings, including door controls, hands-free solutions, fire door, and security upgrades, and more.

ASSA ABLOY launches customer support app to enhance user experience and support
ASSA ABLOY launches customer support app to enhance user experience and support

With the ever-changing post coronavirus (COVID-19) world, the ability to communicate virtually has never been more important. This is why ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is improving its customer experience with the launch of the ASSA ABLOY Customer Support app. ASSA ABLOY Customer Support app Free to download on Apple and Android mobile devices, the app enables customers to quickly and conveniently contact the right customer service team within ASSA ABLOY in the UK. The app provides customers with remote technical product support via live streaming, alongside instant access to useful product resources. Its Door Hardware Group division will be the first to go live on the new app, enabling customers to contact all its renowned brands from one place. This includes UNION, ASSA, Dale Hardware, Excel Architectural Hardware, Exidor, Trimec, Adams Rite, and Securitron. Remote diagnosis and issue resolution Once downloaded, customers can use the app to directly contact the right department via phone, email or the new live chat and video call features. Additionally, they can find a direct link to the technical support team, who can offer remote diagnosis and issue resolution using the new live stream contact option. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, getting out to site and supporting has been a challenge. However, the app helps overcome this with its live video stream option, which allows issues to be resolved fast and effectively. Navigating ASSA ABLOY products To help customers navigate ASSA ABLOY’s broad range of products, the company has created a resource center that provides customers with direct access to technical product information and certifications, all in one place, at the touch of button. Support hours are shown within the app, depending on device location, and email options are offered if out-of-hours support is required. Customers can also take a photo using their phone and attach it to emails for easier troubleshooting. Remote contact and support Enabling remote contact is vital in providing our customers with quick and effective information" Jesse James, Financial and Commercial Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, said “Improving our customers’ experience is paramount to our business, especially in these challenging times. Enabling remote contact is vital in providing our customers with quick and effective information, and has improved our customer experience through the launch of our app.” Jesse adds, “We continue to be committed to providing easier and more flexible ways to contact our business, receive technical product support, and for our customers to locate resources.” Easy-to-use and intuitive app Jesse further stated, "The new app is easy-to-use and intuitive, ensuring our customers have access to fast responses in real-time. Having the flexibility to choose how to contact our customer service teams, and for us to be able to quickly support customers on site with technical support is vitally important. The ASSA ABLOY Customer Support app allows customers to have everything they need in one place, and wherever they go.”

ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas launches Safer2Open™ suite of hands-free solutions
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas launches Safer2Open™ suite of hands-free solutions

ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas introduced its Safer2Open™ suite of hands-free solutions. Available across a variety of products, both mechanical and electromechanical, these solutions can reduce touchpoints without compromising functionality in a range of facilities, including healthcare, education, office buildings, and other high traffic spaces where decreasing the spread of germs is essential to public safety. “As the economy begins to reopen, there’s a surging need and demand for facilities to employ new approaches that enable healthier environments. From low-touch to completely touchless automated openings, ASSA ABLOY’s Safer2Open solutions include a range of cost-effective and low- to high-tech options for a myriad of facilities’ doors, from entrance to exit,” said Mark Duato, Executive Vice President, Aftermarket at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas. Post-COVID Technology and the New Normal Many state and local COVID-19 protocols recommend reducing the number of touchpoints in a facility, along with additional cleaning and sanitising protocols. Safer2Open products offer quick-to-implement solutions that can withstand rigorous cleaning cycles to align with these recommendations and improve facility safety as organisations adapt to this new normal. ASSA ABLOY’s Safer2Open solutions include – Low-Touch Solutions Trim options, such as SARGENT ALP Push/Pull Trim, Corbin Russwin HPSK Paddle Trim and Adams Rite Push/Pull Paddle Trim, are low-touch solutions that allow doors to be opened with minimal contact and can be added to virtually any opening to enable hands-free operation. Rockwood Hands-Free Arm and Foot Pulls allow access and egress without grasping hardware. These cost-effective options for hands-free door operation can be implemented in new and pre-existing aluminium, metal or wood openings. Sargent Electrified Closer-Holders keep doors open during high traffic times to minimise contact on door handles. Exit devices with Motorized and Electric Latch Retraction, such as Adams Rite 8000 and 3000 Series, Corbin Russwin ED5000 Series, SARGENT 80 Series Exit Device with Electric Latch Retraction and Yale 7000 Series, enable remote lock/unlock of a door, making it easier for people to move quickly and hands-free through virtually any opening. No-Touch, Fully Automated Solutions Low energy door operators from Norton are compatible with wave-to-open switches to offer an easy, contact-free method of opening doors. Wave-to-Open Switches, from Securitron and Alarm Controls, can pick up hand gestures within four inches of the switch to trigger operation for swing doors. Exit Motion Sensors, from Securitron and Alarm Controls, are egress options that minimises contact in high traffic areas. HES Electric Strikes enable remote locking and unlocking of an automated door and are available for all frame types and applications, including low profile, outdoor rated, aluminium and glass. These types of hands-free solutions are essential to public health and safety, enabling facilities to quickly implement solutions now, with existing infrastructure, while setting up their space to meet today’s increased hygienic standards.

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