Cold Stone Creamery, USA

IP Surveillance Video Solution Safeguards Ice Cream Establishments from Potential Theft and Liable Occurrences

Every Cold Stone Creamery outlet, the retail ice cream franchise business with over 1,400 stores worldwide, has a sizeable retail storefront operation to watch over. Two particular franchise locations in San Diego county were generating such exceptionally strong business that the franchise owners, David and Margaret Shehan and their children Sean and Nicolette, needed additional pairs of “eyes” to look after things at their upscale ice cream establishments.

The Challenge

As with most public—facing retail establishments, the Shehans had been victim of customer accusations and potential liable situations. They wanted to implement a video surveillance solution that would provide them with the peace of mind they needed so they could focus on providing the best possible customer service and an inviting atmosphere for their patrons. The Shehans shared one incident in which a customer had come into their establishment for a desert. In the process of picking up and leaving with his ice cream creation, he claimed to have left his expensive cell phone behind on the counter. When the customer returned about a half-hour later, he became irate and demanded his cell phone back. The cell phone was nowhere to be found. The unhappy customer warned he was going to call the police, the company’s corporate headquarters, and the Better Business Bureau. Had the Shehans already had their video surveillance system in place, they could have easily seen what, if anything, had happened to the cell phone.

Obviously, many other incidents could happen when you invite the general public into your establishment, and today’s store owners need to do everything they can to protect themselves. Even keeping an eye on store employees, making sure they are on-time and treating the customers well, is extremely important for any small business owner.

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Action Taken

The Shehans had originally purchased an “all-in-one” analog surveillance DVR/NVR solution, such as you would find at many big-box stores or discount warehouses. Their low cost and apparent capabilities seemed too good to pass up. What they found shortly after returning to the ice cream store was the system’s low cost wasn’t enough to make up for poor video quality, lack of adequate retention capability and poor overall management capability for the captured video feeds.

Vega Business Technologies, a San Diego-based video surveillance system integrator, created a straight forward video surveillance solution:

  • TeraStation 5400 4 TB Netwerk Storage (1)
  • TrendNet TV-IP312 SecurView Day/Night Internet Cameras (3)
  • Trendnet TE100—S5 5—Port 10/100Mbps Netwerk Switch (1)
  • Buffalo Surveillance Video Manager

This solution gave the Shehans the protection they required for their business and the best price/performance ratio in the industry. The TrendNet IP-cameras provide abundant coverage of the customer tra_c areas, cash registers and the empleyee back room in beth day and night conditions,

and all in crystal clear so frames per second MPEG4 video. All of the high quality video feeds are recorded on the Buffalo Surveillance Server.

Buffalo Surveillance video Manager then provides the live viewing capability, and the comprehensive video lifecycle management of these captured video feeds. For example, simply adding a second TeraStation same unit to the network will instantly expand the available storage, with no user configuration necessary. In addition, the stored video can be migrated to the Buffalo Blu-Ray writer for fully managed long—term retention. The software also provides for the quick and easy search and playback of all video assets.

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The Shehans new have a professional grade video surveillance solution for their business as well as the peace of mind knowing that they can easily search for and retrieve any video feed from months gene by if needed. Sean Shehan was happy with the ease of which videos could be recalled, reviewed and exported back to their computer’s local drive or to a CD to hand to law enforcement or other authorities. “The search and review function was very easy to use, and I was able to easily expert a clip of video that we needed to play back to someone,” stated Sean Shehan. He added, ”I especially appreciate the motion detection histogram, which allows me to only view activity without having to fast forward through a bunch of video nothing is happening in.”

“We appreciate being able to deliver business owners a cost-effective, high-quality solution that is reliable and easy to administer. It removes the concerns many have about properly managing a video surveillance solution.”

—Steve DeNato

Vega Business Technologies

An additional advantage of their new video surveillance system is that it enables the Shehans to keep an eye on the young, hardworking sta_ that the Shehans employ to keep the store epen. Knowing employees are performing assigned tasks and filling orders to keep customers happy and coming back is what it all comes down to.

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Key Benefits

Improved video quality with the TrendNet day/night IP-cameras
Scalable longer-term retention of video files
Comprehensive video lifecycle management
Quick and easy search, playback, and overall management of the video surveillance solution

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