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CONTROLTEK Offers Virtual Site Surveys to Better Serve Retailers

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (Jun. 4, 2020) – CONTROLTEK a leader in retail asset protection and security solutions, adds virtual site survey services for examining loss prevention solutions to better support retailers while keeping a commitment to the health and safety of employees and customers.

“Retailers are preparing their stores for reopening and the anticipated increase in theft issues and health and safety concerns. We want to allow them to examine asset protection solution options without having to wait for lifted restrictions or be concerned about exposing the health and safety of their employees,” said Rubin Press, vice president, global sales at CONTROLTEK. “We’ve simply taken our LP Professional Services and made them virtual to meet the needs of our customers.”

“Our Customer Success organization’s many years of experience operating remotely has allowed us to provide uninterrupted and responsive customer support during this difficult time,” said David Hardeman, CONTROLTEK’s director of customer success. “We conduct the virtual site survey with the same First Time Right approach and level of service our customers would experience in-store. Our certified representatives know the right questions to ask to understand our customer’s challenges, and which loss prevention solution would work best in their particular retail environment.”

“This new service offering is another way we continue to support our customers amidst the challenges brought on by the pandemic, while helping them prepare their stores and protect their assets,” said Rod Diplock, CEO of CONTROLTEK. “Thinking differently to evolve and improve our operations has also allowed us to keep our employees working while ensuring their health and safety is protected.”

About CONTROLTEK’s Professional Services and Virtual Site Survey

Our First Time Right™ Systems Deployment and Professional Services streamline the process of implementing a new loss prevention technology, making your life easier. Our team of retail and technology experts are with our customers every step of the way. During the virtual site survey, our Professional Services team conducts a video conference survey examining the store and providing loss prevention solution recommendations. For more information about our Virtual Site Survey and Professional Services, visit the CONTROLTEK website.

How Do EAS Labels Work?

Electronic article surveillance, or EAS, is a type of technology that prevents shoplifting. EAS is most often used in anti-theft systems in retail stores but can also be found in libraries and office buildings. EAS usually involves three components:

  • At least one electronic antenna
  • A deactivator or detacher
  • An electronic tag

The antenna is typically found in EAS system pedestals installed at a store’s entrances. Though tags used to only be available in clunky form factors with limited applications, today you can use EAS labels that come in a range of shapes and sizes. Suited to high-volume, low-value merchandise like books, CDs, hardware, non-perishable groceries, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, EAS labels are available in both acousto-magnetic (AM) and radio-frequency (RF) systems.

How EAS Labels Work

EAS labels work the same way EAS tags do: they stay in constant communication with a store’s EAS system and trigger an alarm to sound if they pass the EAS pedestals without being properly deactivated. Unlike EAS tags, EAS labels are essentially flat stickers and can be easily and quickly adhered to products.

The adhesive side of an EAS label has a printed circuit that contains all the technology needed to make it work with an EAS system. The only requirements are that the printed circuit must remain undamaged, and the EAS label must be placed on a flat surface and not folded or bent.

It is recommended that you avoid sticking the EAS label on or near metallic items, as to not disturb the printed circuit. Just like EAS tags, you only need one EAS label per item.

Protect Your Merchandise with CONTROLTEK EAS Labels

Our high-performance EAS labels can help you protect a variety of products in flexible and unobtrusive ways. We offer EAS labels in different shapes and sizes with custom color and printing options, as well as specialty materials and glues for food packaging, health and beauty, apparel, electronics and other versatile uses.

How‌ ‌Do‌ ‌EAS‌ ‌Tags‌ ‌Work?‌

Electronic article surveillance, or EAS, is a type of technology that prevents shoplifting. EAS is most often used in anti-theft systems in retail stores but can also be found in libraries and office buildings. EAS usually involves three components:

  • At least one electronic antenna
  • A deactivator or detacher
  • An electronic tag

The antenna is typically found in EAS system pedestals installed at a store’s entrances. Today, EAS tags are available in many shapes, sizes and application options so you can protect all kinds of merchandise, from clothing, accessories, liquor and even eyewear. EAS tags are available in both acousto-magnetic (AM) and radio-frequency (RF) systems.

How EAS Tags Work

EAS tags come in a variety of attachment options, with a pin tag being the most common for soft products like apparel. Once an EAS tag is attached to an item and activated, the transmitter inside the tag is in constant communication with the EAS system installed in the store. If an EAS tag has not been properly deactivated by a store associate, it will trigger an alarm when passing through the EAS pedestals.

Many EAS tags also have visual deterrence features, such as exploding ink to damage a garment, or benefit denial features, like a cap that prevents people from opening a bottle of liquor in store.

Protect Your Merchandise with CONTROLTEK EAS Tags

Our high-performance EAS tags can help you protect a variety of products in flexible and unobtrusive ways. Our tags are compatible with both RF and AM systems and offer multiple alarm options to meet your retail asset protection needs.

Why Do You Need a Fitting Room Security Solution?

For many clothing retailers, the fitting room is one of the biggest challenges in the battle against shoplifting. One of the best ways you can enhance your retail security is by adding a fitting room security solution to your arsenal.

Fitting Room Theft

A fitting room is a necessary part of any clothing retail store because it gives your customers a private space to try on clothing and decide if they want to purchase it. But the issue that comes with offering customers this privacy is that shoplifters will inevitably take advantage of it.

The best way to protect your fitting rooms is to install security solutions specifically designed for them. These solutions can detect the presence of booster bags, which is a type of bag lined with multiple layers of aluminum foil that provide electromagnetic shielding to prevent clothing security tags from being detected by the antennae of retail security systems.

Some other ways to deter theft include:

  • Fitting room attendants who count garments in and out
  • Visible security cameras and public-view monitors outside a fitting room entrance
  • Fitting rooms located in high-traffic areas
  • Chimes to alert store associates when a customer enters and exits a fitting room area

Catch Shoplifters in the Act with CONTROLTEK

CONTROLTEK’s fitting room solutions use the latest technology to help you fight fitting room theft. The ApparelGuard detects magnet detachers to catch shoplifters in the act, while the HyperGuard detects booster bags to stop shoplifters before they can make their move. Contact us today to learn more about deploying these retail security solutions in your store.

What is an EAS System?

What is an EAS System?

Electronic article surveillance, or EAS, is a type of technology that prevents shoplifting. EAS is most often used in retail stores but can also be found in libraries and office buildings. EAS usually involves three components:

  • At least one electronic antenna
  • A deactivator or detacher
  • An electronic tag

How an EAS System Works

The process is quite simple. First, an EAS tag or label must be attached to an item, and EAS antennae are installed at the store’s entry and exit points. When a customer purchases an item, a store employee removes the tag or deactivates the label with an EAS tag remover. After the tag has been removed or the label is deactivated, the customer can then leave the store without alarm the antennae. If a tag or label is still active when passing through the antennae, the EAS system will sound an EAS alert to alert the staff.

Today, EAS tags come in a wide range of form factors. The most common forms are a pin that goes through the item, a label attached to the item’s tags and a loop attached to the item. The electronic antennae, sometimes referred to as pedestals, make up the EAS system that detects active tags.

What is Source Tagging?

Source tagging is the process of applying an EAS tag or label to a product’s packaging or to the product itself at the point of manufacture or packaging, rather than in store by retail employees. This process leaders to greater retail chain efficiencies, increased sales, lower shrink and higher profitability.

By having product vendors, manufacturers and product packaging companies attach EAS tags and labels to products and packaging ahead of time, retailers can eliminate the high cost and inefficiency of in-store tagging, and the process of moving products to the sales floor is much faster.

EAS made EASy

No one can argue we’re in a time when technology seems to be moving faster than we can keep up with it.  That may be why EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) technology seems to be elusive and confusing when it comes to its evolution and modern capabilities. Well…it isn’t and doesn’t have to be. This article will attempt to break down very succinctly the evolution of EAS without too much “geek speak,” and will give the LP professional a quick, useful explanation of how this technology has advanced in an effort to support retail’s ever-changing needs.

If you’re a person who finds the need to be lost in a wonderland of amorphous metals and magnetic saturation values, STOP READING NOW, this ain’t for you!

In The Beginning

The history of EAS began in the ‘60s.  Three influential pioneers recognized the need for this type of technology. They were Arthur J. Minasy, Ronald G. Assaf, and Albert E. “Ted” Wolf.  The technology was needed, but not only in the retail space.  Wolf was originally developing and utilizing EAS technology for protection of books in libraries.  However, due to the expanding retail market and the foothold both Minasy and Assaf were gaining there, he quickly followed suit.  By the early to mid ‘70s, the three were in a proverbial foot race to conquer markets and make fortunes. A lot happened over the next 20-30 years regarding company spin-offs, legal battles, technology shifts & development, and EAS’ overall use.  The technology was found very useful, but its application needed tweaking multiple times on many fronts to meet the needs of retail.  This challenge, coupled with competition and pressure to have the best technology, got quite precarious to say the least.

Amorphous Metals & Magnetic Saturation Values

Alright, this is it! This will be all you get when it comes to “geek speak.” Presently, there are essentially four technologies or systems utilized in the EAS world.  These systems are RF (Radio-frequency) Systems, AM (Acousto-Magnetic) Systems, EM (Electro-Magnetic) Systems and Microwave Systems.  There are combo systems such as RFID (Radio-frequency identification) whereby the tags hold information and the radio frequency tracks the individual tags.  Each technology utilizes electro-magnetic energy and therefore, the signals can interfere with other electronic devices. While all utilize electro-magnetic energy, that is pretty much where the similarities end.  Over the course of time, each technology has been employed in various applications. Even the designs of EAS tags have changed as various learnings occurred.  With that said, each technology has both demonstrated value and some challenges.  Store layouts, types of merchandise, customer service, and different business models play significant roles in the technology employed.  Each technology should be researched, and advice from industry professionals should be sought in order to ensure all needs will be met with whichever technology is chosen.

Source-Tagging: The Final Link

Technology to the side, there has been other critical “tipping points” for EAS in its history.  The most important has been the drive for “source-tagging”.  This is applying the EAS device at the manufacturer or at the retailer’s own distribution center rather than at the store.  If you’ve been in retail for any length of time you know that for every breath a store employee takes, there is an equation for how that breath impacts the labor budget for that store.  Early EAS users were applying tags in merchandise receiving rooms, but operators quickly realized this was a labor drain that detracted from a sales floor presence and customer service.

In the early ‘90’s source-tagging began taking off, but not without its own challenges.  EAS manufacturers were developing their latest and greatest systems while also attempting to rollout source-tagging.   Among the many challenges, applying EAS tags to merchandise had to be precise, and bulky deactivation devices used for removing the tags at the POS affected customer wait times and overall shopping experiences. However, the EAS suppliers who slowed down, embraced these challenges, and developed a strong R&D function that involved retailers at the onset, were the ones that have realized longevity in the industry and have proven they are “partners” in reducing shrink and increasing bottom line profits.

CONTROLTEK is one of those partners. In fact, CONTROLTEK has not only developed ControlSpan™, an inventory tracking system that utilizes affordable RFID technology within the EAS system, but can handle all source-tagging needs as well. Visit Controltekusa.com to review their products in the EAS arena and see how they can partner with you to meet your EAS needs.

About CONTROLTEK

Since 1976, we have been delivering unique products and solutions to the cash-transfer and asset protection industries to address specific business challenges.  Our company has grown steadily based on the quality of our products and the quality of our service. Our commitment to research and development is combined with a willingness to listen to the people who everyday depend on our products. By relentlessly researching and introducing new materials and new features, we are proud to say we have impacted the way assets are secured globally.

With experience gained through research and collaboration within the financial and retail sectors, we actively charted a course over the past several years to bring added value, new thinking and viable approaches, addressing the dilemmas and challenges that frustrate business professionals today.

During this process, we realigned our resources within CONTROLTEK, creating three silos (ISS, ISP and IVS).  This enables us to focus more specifically on the needs of our Clients and their specific challenges they face on a daily basis.  Additionally, CONTROLTEK has aligned itself with Global partners to provide holistic solutions that solve today’s challenges.   Whatever the application, CONTROLTEK resources stand by ready to deliver results that enable commerce and effectively secure assets at financial institutions and leading retailers across the globe.

Asset Protection: Spelling out some key terms for all employees

As a loss prevention leader, you’re certainly familiar with all the main terms surrounding inventory security. And if there are other employees working in your store’s loss prevention division, they probably know these terms as well. But members of the LP team aren’t the only team members who need to be up on their inventory security lingo: There are certain key terms that all other store employees need to know as well.

“All store employees need to be up on certain inventory security terms.”

That’s because when it comes to inventory security, it represents a group effort. When dealing with a store whose inventory security knowledge is limited to only a few individuals, what happens if those people aren’t around and a shrink-causing incident occurs? Having staff members who know what they’re doing in terms of inventory management and security can help eliminate this kind of scenario.

To get store employees up to par in terms of inventory management and security jargon, we’ve decided to put together a list of some of the key terms. For store employees, knowing these terms and how they fit into a business’s broader asset protection plan is vital for playing a necessary role in limiting incidents that compromise security:

Shrinkage: In the retail sector, it’s imperative to keep track of items from when they’re received to the moment they leave a store with a paying customer. Shrinkage refers to item losses in the time period between the point of receiving and the point of sale. If employees notice a discrepancy between the number of items delivered to the store and the number of items that are on the shelf, this is a common situation that reveals shrink. Shrink can also be discovered at other points in the lifecycle of a product, such as damages or product expirations.

Shrink encompasses more than theft alone. While it’s true that theft incidents constitute a large part of shrink causation, there are other things that also cause shrink, including administrative/paperwork errors and vendor fraud/error. For retail stores, shrink figures are far from insignificant, with the average retailer reporting a shrink percentage of 1.22 in 2014.

One key reason why shrink numbers are so high, as National Retail Security Survey (NRSS) lead study author Dr. Richard Hollinger explained, is because shoplifting groups are growing in sophistication, with “gangs of thieves … using a lot of skills … [and] doing investigations prior to the thefts.” This is all the more reason to have store employees know what shrink is, how it occurs and how to prevent it.

stealing_shirt
Shrink is the difference between what is supposed to be in the store according to the inventory management system, and what is actually in the store.

RFID: Radio-frequency identification is a system that offers multiple functionalities, including EAS (electronic article surveillance as outlined below) as well as for providing increased inventory visibility, throughout your entire supply chain. When it comes to loss prevention, RFID is a great technology to harness because it allows for highly robust tag monitoring via readers that are either handheld or mounted for hands-free operation. RFID technology also offers stores significant data benefits, since information can be more quickly accessed using the technology. This makes RFID a vital part of overall supply chain management as well.

EAS: Electronic article surveillance is the primary technology used by stores to limit instances of shoplifting and drive down overall shrink. According to experts, the deployment of EAS technology can drive down theft by 60 percent or higher. The way EAS works is through a system of tags that interact with specially designed gates or overheads. If a tag isn’t removed by a store employee, the gate/overhead will detect this and trigger an alarm. In this way, shoplifters can be caught in the act. Beyond that, however, the presence of tags and gates/overheads present thieves with a strong deterrent to commit a crime in the first place, since good EAS systems are highly reliable.

RF Systems: Radio frequency systems are so named because they rely on electromagnetic – aka radio wave frequencies. In terms of inventory management and security, this technology can be centrally helpful in keeping thieves out of your stores. One prime example of RF technology in action is CONTROLTEK’s first-rate pedestals (the i30 and i45), which provide a seamless presence in any store environment.

As Dr. Hollinger pointed out, today’s retail climate is one in which loss prevention professionals have to contend with far more sophisticated criminals who work in well-planned groups to get away with theft. To deal with threats like these, stores need to mount equally sophisticated defensive strategies. Here at CONTROLTEK, we’ve built a powerful line of inventory security products that provide stores with cutting-edge security solutions that can help to significantly limit store losses. But for stores to drive down shrink even more, it helps to have all staffers on the same page, and teaching them the fundamentals of Shrink, RFID and EAS is a great place to start.