The ROI of Security – How Commercial Security Systems Enhance Business Operations

Investing in commercial security systems enhances ROI by preventing theft, reducing costs, and improving efficiency.

Last Updated:
June 7, 2024
| ~
min Read
James Wang
Marketing Writer

Our everyday lives are filled with cost-benefit analyses. From deciding whether to snooze our alarm clocks for ten extra minutes, to debating whether to hit the gym, to considering giving our kids screen time for a few minutes of quiet, we constantly weigh tradeoffs.

While these decisions seem low stakes and their fallout easily recoverable, things become more complicated when financial consequences with long-term ramifications are involved. Decisions such as owning a home vs. renting, pursuing higher education, changing jobs, or leaving a job to pursue entrepreneurship all require a complex ROI (return on investment) calculation.

Typically, we measure ROI based on the financial return or benefit gained from an investment relative to its cost. However, with surveillance systems, part of the ROI is rooted in prevention. How do you gauge value when success is predicated on nothing happening and on a system that doesn’t generate direct revenue?

For businesses that have already committed to or are considering introducing an enterprise security system, the initial investment can be significant. The questions remain: Is it worth it? Will the results warrant the investment?

With business security systems, ROI goes beyond just the initial expense and any direct financial gain. There can be economic savings that should be factored into the equation. Below are some factors to consider.


Loss Prevention

Loss of inventory due to theft is a major issue for retailers nationwide and can be even more devastating for small businesses. In a survey conducted by Forbes, 90% of small business retailers have experienced some kind of theft in their stores, and 83% believe it to be a significant issue. According to the most recent National Retail Security Survey, retail businesses reported losing billions of dollars in 2023, with 65% of losses coming from internal and external theft.

While these numbers are alarming, the presence of surveillance cameras has been proven to provide a visual deterrent against various forms of crime, ranging from theft to vandalism to robbery. Studies show that the installation of surveillance cameras can reduce crime by 16%, and in parking lots, that number jumps to 51%.

Reduction of Fraud and Litigation

Retail store security cameras are invaluable for identifying gaps in security. If a property is breached or inventory is stolen, cameras can provide clues on how to prevent those incidents from happening again. They are crucial in providing evidence in law enforcement investigations and prosecutions, but they are equally useful in cases where questionable litigation is being threatened or underway.

As business security cameras capture images with better clarity and cover more ground, they can provide an undisputed account of events, especially when people are looking to defraud businesses or engage in frivolous lawsuits. Video evidence can disprove false accounts, eliminate conflicting testimonies, and provide an accurate eyewitness account that is unaffected by lapsed time or interpretation.

Improvements in Efficiency

Surveillance cameras can be an invaluable analytical tool in maximizing business operations. They can help identify traffic flows and the busiest times of day, allowing businesses to make better staffing decisions. They can also inform decisions on inventory, product placement, and other operational efficiencies.

In terms of security, surveillance systems can be more effective than a dedicated security team. They can free up personnel to conduct less mundane and routine physical security checks, redirecting their efforts to other areas. This can either expand security reach or create payroll efficiencies.

Insurance Savings

One of the immediate benefits of installing a surveillance system is the potential for insurance providers to offer savings on premiums for businesses with security systems in place. Many providers assess a business’s risk profile and the likelihood of being victims of crime. By demonstrating robust security measures and a dedication to mitigating loss, insurance providers may lower your premium, helping offset the cost of implementing security systems.


Workplace Morale and Trust

Crime in the workplace can present physical danger to employees and customers, but it can also have an emotional toll that lasts long after the incident. For businesses without a robust security system, there may be lingering doubts or concerns from both employees and customers about their safety. Repeat incidents can create a sense of an unsafe workplace, detrimental to employee morale. If employees feel unsafe, it can affect how they interact with customers and provide service, negatively impacting the customer experience.

Reputation Damage

Warren Buffett famously said, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Businesses work hard to build positive connections with their communities and often rely on their reputation to build loyal followings. If a business fails to meet customer expectations in implementing appropriate safety measures, it can create a negative association that is damaging and lasting.

Security systems are proactive investments that don’t always provide a tangible financial return. However, they prevent loss of profits and identify areas where money can be better spent. Not only do they prevent theft and protect staff and patrons, but they also identify inefficiencies, prevent unwarranted litigation, and improve the customer journey, all of which can positively impact a business.

Security systems are not only a tool to protect profits but also one that can add value and improve a business’s bottom line.

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