Securing merchandise with sales advantage

Delhi Duty Free Services uses video surveillance and security data to gain insight into store security and customer purchasing

India’s new airports are symbolic of the country’s economic growth. Recent expansion of the Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport added the 5.4-million-square-foot Terminal 3, designed to accommodate 34 million international passengers per year. The expansion created a significant business opportunity for Delhi Duty Free Services Pvt Ltd. (DDFS), which operates high-end stores including the luxury brands like Hugo Boss, Mont Blanc, MCM, Samsonite Black and Swarovski at Terminal 3’s arrival and departure areas.

The DDFS shops operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and employ more than 400 retail staff. The shops also stock more than 6000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) of liquor, tobacco, fragrance, cosmetics, and confectionery products. While planning these shops, DDFS sought a physical security and theft control solution that provided detailed reporting and the ability to see every item in the stores. The solution had to operate without downtime and provide high scalability so that DDFS could add IP security cameras for future expansions. To establish the DDFS command and control centre, the solution also had to integrate with the primary airport network, which included numerous legacy systems. The solution had to enable staff to monitor, assess, and deliver information reliably and securely across its locations while maximising staff productivity.


However, DDFS faced serious implementation challenges. Terminal 3 was under construction, with limited access to the shop areas, making it impossible to install solutions to conduct a proof of concept. There were also time constraints. Within a span of two months (May to July 15, 2010), DDFS had to choose and implement a solution that would be ready for use by passengers. Even as the chosen solution was being deployed, the sheer size of the terminal and security obstacles added time to the implementation schedule. For example, it would take a person from 45 to 60 minutes to simply move from DDFS shops in the arrival area to shops in the departure area because of internal security requirements.

The solution implemented

DDFS chose Cisco and Cisco Services to help it implement a sophisticated security and theft control system. As part of Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities initiative, the DDFS project uses the network as the service delivery platform to transform physical communities into connected communities. These communities run on networked information to help achieve sustainable economic growth, enable environmental sustainability through resource management and operational efficiencies, and enhance quality of life.

The Cisco Services team initially conducted a Customer Requirement Definition workshop to identify DDFS’ requirements. With this data, Cisco Services began its Plan, Design, and Implementation services for the five shops, together with a central command and control data centre in the airport.

The Cisco solution includes a cohesive integration of Cisco LAN, Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco Unified Wireless, Cisco Video Surveillance, and Cisco Physical Access Management solutions, all of which are connected over the network. Cisco Unified Communications and Cisco Unified Wireless solutions provide feature-rich communication between the five stores and command and control centre. DDFS initially installed 250 Cisco Video Surveillance IP Cameras, including high-definition and standard definition box and dome cameras. All cameras are managed using Cisco Video Surveillance Manager, which supports the transmission, monitoring, recording, and management of surveillance video.

The Cisco Physical Access Control solution and Cisco Physical Access Manager enable DDFS to connect door hardware, locks, and readers to the network. Security personnel can easily monitor building access, increase situational awareness, and easily integrate with IP applications and data storage.

Computer Network Limited, a leading provider of integrated situation management software, provided integration services to integrate video, access control information, and point-of-sale transaction data into a centrally managed solution for the DDFS command and control centre. Integration enhances DDFS’ security posture by providing complete situational awareness. All monitoring stations have the event and video information needed to react quickly to incidents and notify relevant authorities.

ICD Security Solutions provided camera installation and optimisation services. Since DDFS needs to monitor every item and customer in each shop, it is critical to have the correct camera angles and ability to focus in small, congested areas.

The complete DDFS solution represents a sophisticated, integrated platform for proactive monitoring and fraud prevention, as well for gaining business intelligence. The solution’s ability to store and manage transaction and video data offers an invaluable tool for capturing data to analyse for improving retail results.

•   Cisco Unified Communications
•   Cisco Unified Wireless
•   Cisco Video Surveillance
•   Cisco Physical Access Management






Results achieved

All Terminal 3 duty free shops enjoy pervasive video coverage, giving the DDFS security team superior data collection and investigation tools. When an alert is generated from a door opening or at the point of sale, it automatically tags the video for rapid retrieval. In addition to providing immediate visibility, the solution saves time through easy tracking and video retrieval.

Built-in policy management and business rules provide security staff with exceptional flexibility. DDFS can prioritise incidents based on rules, frequency, location, and other parameters. For example, passengers may only bring limited quantities of some products into the country without incurring customs duty. If a passenger tries to purchase more than the duty-free limit, the store team is alerted.

Although the primary purpose of the solution is to secure merchandise and protect customers, it is also aligned with retail business objectives. The high-definition cameras deliver outstanding image quality and can capture the smallest details at point-of-sale counters with high resolution. This enables stores to track and validate sales records against video footage. Business intelligence data also supports ongoing reporting and trend analysis, enabling DDFS to modify store topologies, present high-value goods more effectively, and formulate marketing strategies to boost sales.

On its effectiveness, the then chief executive officer of DDFS, Nicholas Goddard-Palmer, commented, “Capturing the tremendous retail opportunity at Terminal 3 is much easier with powerful solutions that have multiple uses”. He further added, “The solution enables us to protect our assets and improve team productivity while delivering vital data that can also help increase sales.”

In-store cameras work effectively to deter internal theft, as well as to highlight incidents and direct people to the correct investigations team. Since the solution is highly automated, it requires fewer staff members to monitor and much less need for physical interaction between security staff and customers. Not only can the solution help DDFS reduce security costs, it also reduces the need for the physical presence of security guards for a more pleasant shopping experience.      

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