Regional Auto Dealership Revs Up the Power of Open Platform Video to Optimize Multi-site Business
With 17 retail, service and corporate facilities in Portland, Oregon, and Southwest Washington, Dick Hannah Dealerships has grown over 70 years to be one of the largest automobile companies in the Pacific Northwest U.S. Over time, the company had installed a piecemeal video camera system at several of its locations. But as they grew in scale and complexity, managers wanted to upgrade to a unified system to cover all sites in both states.
Dick Hannah Dealerships worked with Portland-based systems integrator REECE Complete Security Solutions to design and install a new video surveillance system from Milestone Systems. From business hours to after hours, with remote monitoring and access control integration, Dick Hannah Dealerships uses its video surveillance system for a wide range of security and operational applications.
“We’ve moved toward a best-of-breed, open platform approach with the Milestone portfolio, and a mix now of about 300 multi-sensor, PTZ and thermal cameras. With the new Husky server network and a healthy set of best practices in place, we can now make sure everyone’s needs are met,” said Max Saldana, Director of Strategic Accounts at REECE. “Executive staff and store managers can access a global look or view individual stores depending on how permissions have been set up. We have also enabled remote viewing and management for greater flexibility.”
UNIFYING LOCATIONS AND SYSTEMS
Saldana explained that they were able to leverage the company’s existing Lenel access control system and integrate it with the Milestone video system.
The integration with Lenel OnGuard is based on Milestone’s XProtect Access interface and enables operators to display Lenel access control events and alarms in the XProtect Smart Client. OnGuard Access is advanced, including a feature-rich alarm monitoring module allowing users to view events from OnGuard in real time in the XProtect Smart Client and acknowledge OnGuard alarms from the XProtect interface.
“Dick Hannah Dealerships now has some of the most cutting-edge technology in place,” said Saldana. “For example, they have Bluetooth card readers installed which allow use of their phones to unlock doors and get card credentials while the Milestone system backs up the process with visual video verification.”
There’s a current trend for thieves coming onto car lots, breaking into vehicles and stealing a car’s main vehicle computer. With the damage to the auto — usually broken mirrors, smashed glass and torn up dashboards — and the theft of the computer, a single instance can easily cost the dealership $8,000 to $10,000.
Recently a juvenile came onto a lot at night and began jumping from car to car, smashing and denting each hood as he went along. The live video monitoring allowed the team to quickly see this occurring and take quick action to help minimize the damage. Without video, the vandal may have been able to damage many more cars.
BEYOND SECURITY, MANAGEMENT OF OPERATIONS
What began as an effort to make sure vehicles were not being stolen or damaged at night, Dick Hannah Dealerships and REECE have been able to bring together several technologies to better manage the company’s safety, security, and everyday operations.
“Call managers use the video all day long to see which Service Writers to transfer a call to, so the customer doesn’t need to be put on hold,” said Chris Stroebel, Service Desk Manager. “Before, calls would be transferred blindly to the service desks where staff can be away inspecting vehicles, and call managers just hoped someone was there. Video has helped solve these issues.”
“Our General Managers like having cameras where they can see the staff and customers. They check if people are on task, how they are handling situations,” said McKannay. “The video is now an extension of management. Either on-site or through their smartphone, a manager can see what’s happening, and if they get a call that something’s not being dealt with properly, the manager can verify the situation quickly.
With the cameras in place, the auto dealer has also seen a reduction in HR issues with employees, as well as a reduction in – and better management of – customer issues and complaints, including liability issues with vehicle damage, injuries and slip-and-falls.
NEW BODY SHOP WITH ANALYTICS
Dick Hannah Dealerships has just built a new 80,000-sq. ft. body shop and collision center in Vancouver. When vehicles are damaged, they come to this body shop for repair. This site is the first where their integrated security system is installed from the ground up.
“For the body shop facility, there’s a high level of performance needed from the video system,” Saldana said. “Clear image resolution in the video documentation of the damage on these vehicles with the car’s move through the facility is critical. We’re incorporating PTZs, high-definition multi-sensor cameras, along with some video analytics. It’s a powerful system.”
“Throughout this project, the engineering support from REECE and Milestone have been great,” said Sean McKannay, CIO & Digital Marketing Director, Dick Hannah Dealerships. “From best leveraging our systems to training our staff, this has been a collaborative effort all around, and we look forward to growing the system and utilizing more video capabilities with our new facilities and beyond.”
Read the full case study on Dick Hannah Dealerships at SecurityToday.com.