Easing The DVR Security System Transition And Making The Most Of BT
SEI is rolling out the new DVR surveillance system to all 7-Eleven stores, and it appears that the transition is not going smoothly for franchisees who have installed their own security systems over the last several years rather than wait for SEI to upgrade the old VCR-based system. The problem these franchisees are facing is that once SEI installs the new DVR system, they disconnect the storeowner’s security system, which means the franchisees lose the remote access their systems provided them. SEI said franchisees will have remote access to the new DVR system by mid-summer. Meanwhile, franchisees with the new DVR system only have in-store access.
When I contacted the company on the matter, they said they are unable to connect a franchisee’s system to the new DVR system because they need a splitter, which will be available in about a month or so. I spoke to Loss Prevention about this and made it clear that it’s not fair to the storeowner who paid $10,000 of his own money for a security system in his store. I asked them how could they put in a new security system and cut off the franchisee’s access to monitor his own store when SEI isn’t even monitoring it yet from their side?
Again, rather than wait, one franchisee bought a splitter at an electronics store for $4.99 and showed other franchisees how to install it themselves. I mentioned this to my Zone manager and he agreed that they should not disconnect a franchisee’s system before the splitters are available. He said he would put the word out not to disconnect a franchisee’s system until the splitters are installed. We are waiting to see what happens next.
According to SEI, the new DVR surveillance system will continuously monitor POS activity in our stores, and is programmed to raise red flags when certain parameters are triggered. This is in addition to having two surveillance cameras in the store that offer 360-degree views. I have asked Loss Prevention to attend one of my FOA meetings and provide to all Southern California franchisees a printout of the red flag trigger parameters so they can monitor such activity on their own. This way, I believe, franchisees could perhaps call Loss Prevention themselves if they discover suspicious activity and more quickly resolve the issue rather than wait up to 90 days to be notified by Loss Prevention that there was a problem.
Business Transformation is being expanded into the other three markets in Southern California. SEI has held meetings about it, and has selected three franchisees to kick off the program in those areas. I’ve heard that the company is saying the BT stores are making more money. The increase is 0.48 percent, which is not what was promised.
Additionally, there is a problem with some items from McLane arriving to the stores damaged. Franchisees then have to go through a long process to get it cleared up. In the past, it was taken care of immediately. Another issue raised by BT stores is that some items from Pepsi and Coke have a lower cost for the non-BT stores. SEI said they are going to look into it. BT is coming to my town in September. I hope by then the company has all the bugs worked out.
June sales have been good, and it looks like we will have a good summer if the weather holds up. We have been told to get ready for BT. Franchisees say they are going to try to make the most out of the program, but ask to keep the freedom to order the products their customers want.