Chris Shelmerdine, Profit Protection Manager at Footasylum, explains the benefits of Morphean’s cloud physical security solutions to help protect profits and prevent losses.
What were you using prior to implementing a cloud physical security solution from Morphean?
We relied on a CCTV system to protect our premises inside and out. While technically an IP solution, it was not capable of providing us with the benefits of connectivity and access to real intelligence that a cloud-based physical security system makes possible. Additionally, maintenance had to be carried out by an engineer on-site. This left us vulnerable during Covid when, following problems with the system, we had to wait for two weeks for an engineer. As a business, to be left without an operating security system is a ridiculous situation to find yourself in. This confirmed what we already knew; that the existing system was no longer suited to our requirements, and that business growth demanded a more up-to-date solution. The decision was taken to make a change for the better.
What did you look for in a new solution and what was your personal role in implementing it?
Overhauling the system meant looking at our security provision again from the ground up. We had an opportunity to install a solution that would protect the facility while also helping us document our operations for audit purposes and provide evidence of accurate processes to help manage customer disputes. We knew what we wanted and what the solution should look like end-to-end. My goal was then to work closely with Morphean to make sure that it could be achieved on time and in budget. The end result is a customised, tailored physical security and profit protection solution that more than meets all of our requirements.
What have been the greatest benefits that you’ve seen as a result of the new system?
The main benefit has been efficiency. The dedicated transaction checker solution lets us document every order and every item of footwear as it’s picked, packed and moved around the warehouse for delivery. With high-quality video, backed by data relating to each order, nothing can challenge that process. We are now in a position where we no longer have to honour refunds and claims due to a lack of evidence that an order was processed correctly, the evidence is all there. This has saved us not only large sums of money but also the time that our operatives and managers would have spent chasing orders and trying to rectify issues. And, because every single task and event is logged, we can even identify genuine customer problems from those that are fraudulent or from serial complainers, based on historic data about past customer interactions.
How has a move to a cloud-based system helped the business in terms of budgeting and ROI?
The new solution gives us an abundance of functionality in a package that’s easy to use and extremely powerful. Because, for us, customer claims were becoming so much of a problem, the ability to provide clarity around each and every order justifies the cost. From an operations perspective, we have made an immediate saving by not having to pay a large upfront sum for the technology, as is the norm for more traditional security systems based around capital expenditure. The operational expenditure model on which cloud is based makes having the latest cloud technology totally affordable. Remote maintenance means that updates can be pushed out to us without an engineer having to come on-site, which is vital when you consider that we process up to 40,000 orders in any 5-day period and cannot afford delays. With the Morphean solution, there is no disruption, no downtime, and the system is always up to date and operating to its optimum level.
Can you tell us more about the security capabilities of the Morphean platform?
The transaction checker, while absolutely key, is only part of the solution. We also utilise the Morphean platform for physical security, inside and outside to protect our 145,000 sq.ft warehouse, our stock and our people. Similar to the way that the transaction checker solution captures high-quality video and data to show an order being processed, we have added an event tracker for security purposes. If, for example, an unauthorised party attempts to open one of our fire shutters, the system will flag the event and send a notification so that security personnel can respond to the breach swiftly.
Can you summarise some of the key security benefits in comparison to a traditional system?
We have a total of 300 cameras across the site. Together with the AI and analytics capabilities of the Morphean platform, this makes for a system which, while already highly accurate, can analyse behaviours and improve reactions over time. This is so much more than a regular CCTV setup. In terms of control, I’m able to assign staff permissions and monitor who is watching the footage to ensure that data protection policies are upheld. When offsite or working from home, the ability to log in to the system remotely and check the status or receive updates via mobile device gives a new degree of freedom, while Morphean’s data encryption brings complete peace of mind from knowing that our valuable information is safe and secure.
Do you have plans to expand the system in the future?
Such is the success of the transaction checker solution and the benefits to our profit protection team that we are already in discussions with Morphean about implementing a similar process for returns, whereby we track stock coming back into the warehouse, also backed up by video data. We also want to look at how the system can be utilised to help us develop as a business through the analysis of recorded video to improve current processes, and even to form the basis of staff training sessions.
Do you have any closing thoughts on the partnership between Footasylum and Morphean?
Having a partner like Morphean is essential to help us grow the system as we evolve, adding more devices or increasing software capability as necessary. What Morphean has provided is a robust efficient and reactive solution that has vastly improved our operations, given us a greater degree of protection, and is the culmination of a great working partnership.
Morphean is a Swiss technology company with a strong presence in more than 12 countries worldwide. Founded in 2009 and with over 60 partners across Europe, the secure Morphean platform informs decision making and drives efficiencies for all organisations by generating unique and actionable insights from a multitude of data sources. With expertise across retail, transport & facilities management, among others, the company is recognised as a leader in secure service platform delivery through the use of cloud and AI technologies. The platform helps firms prepare for the future by keeping their ‘Eyes Wide Open’ to the intelligence gathered from a variety of network connected devices.