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The Home Depot

The Home Depot builds a strategic advantage with actionable intelligence from Verint Video Solutions

Every week, more than 22 million customers visit The Home Depot.  The world's largest home improvement retailer operates more than 1600 stores across North America, with 2002 sales topping $58 billion.  And with a new store opening its doors every 43 hours, The Home Depot is also the country's fastest growing retailer, evidence of its success in offering "the ultimate home improvement shopping experience".

Keeping an eye on safety, security, and the bottom line

Recently, The Home Depot decided to implement digital video surveillance as part of a $250 million store remodeling program.  The company had three objectives in mind: first, to ensure a safe and secure environment for its 300,000 employees and millions of customers; second, to stem losses from theft, fraud, and error; and third, to use knowledge gained through video recording to increase productivity and improve customer service.

Security and profitability were inexorably linked for many businesses in 2002.  Last year, US retailers lost approximately $31.3 billion to inventory shrinkage, and US businesses and financial institutions lost almost $48 billion to identity theft.  But, by leveraging video intelligence to actually improve store operations - to keep productivity high, prices low, and customers loyal - The Home Depot saw that it could strengthen its market advantage while multiplying the return on investment in video recording.

An extensive review of The Home Depot's existing video surveillance revealed a wide array of local store security programs, with no clear way to share information, few economies of scale, and little integration with critical business systems.  According to Marvin Ellison, Vice President of Loss Prevention for Home Depot, "There was no cohesive security strategy in place.  Each store manager made the decision about what kind of security to have at his or her store.  Stores with high levels of theft had several cameras, while other stores had none."

"My first goal was obvious: standardize on a solution for our 1,600 plus stores."

The Home Depot Loss Prevention and Information Technology Departments collaborated on a year-long process of planning and evaluation, focusing on the importance of integrating data between video surveillance and Point-Of-Sale systems.  Finally, after reviewing dozens of video surveillance products, The Home Depot turned to Verint for an enterprise solution with a strategic advantage.

Actionable intelligence for a safer World and a smarter enterprise

Verint Video Solutions transform images captured by surveillance cameras into actionable intelligence for improving security and enhancing profitability.  Verint Video Solutions digitally store, organize, and then deliver these images according to business-defined rules and behavioral triggers - for example, a cash register being opened or a checkout line growing too long.  By integrating with POS, ERP, and other business systems, Verint Video Solutions rapidly locate video related to specific merchandise and activities without the need to sequentially review countless hours of video recordings.  And when important events occur, such as transactional overrides or entry into a restricted area, Verint Video Solutions can trigger alarms, start video recording, or push video to designated personnel.  This actionable intelligence equips security and decision making staff to perform more effectively and positions retail organizations to more readily achieve their business goals.

In August, 2003, The Home Depot began installation of Verint's Loronix brand video solution, with 600 locations operational by the end of 2003 and the remaining company facilities scheduled for installation by January 31, 2004.  Each Home Depot location is slated to have cameras monitoring checkouts, receiving docks, store aisles, parking lots, and other areas of operation.

Today, The Home Depot can monitor store activity from virtually anywhere on its IT network.  "The Verint Video Solution allows the Loss Prevention Manager at each store to view video on site or remotely. And the District, Regional, and Corporate Loss Prevention Managers can view video for all stores under their control," Ellison said.  This facilitates rapid identification and investigation of repetitive sales, suspicious returns, and potential instances of identity theft.  Plus, the Verint Video Solution enables The Home Depot to email digital photos and action sequence evidence directly to law enforcement agencies for further investigation or followup action.

As for the future, The Home Depot looks forward to using actionable intelligence generated from video to improve customer service and increase productivity.

Once the Verint deployment is completed, Ellison expects to have a network of 40,000 video cameras nationwide delivering actionable intelligence for improving The Home Depot's security and enhancing its profitability.  "I cannot be more positive about Verint's involvement in this project.  Our IT department has been equally enthusiastic about Verint.  They have been terrific business partners, responsive in every way."

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