When you put a lot of people together with different backgrounds, different focuses and different struggles at a conference like i3Innnovision 2008, everyone has a chance to see the big picture and understand what is meaningful to the "other guy" out there who can simply be a category otherwise (e.g. the distributor, the end user, the integrator).
Today at the conference, listening to James Passarella, director of loss prevention and inventory management for Urban Outfitters and Michael DiBella, director of loss prevention, field operations at Urban Outfitters, present the solutions their company and i3DVR have been developing to help with loss control was an eye-opener.
Organized retail crime (ORC) is something I'd never been conscious of until I heard all the sophisticated technological ways retail companies and security companies are fighting a very, VERY expensive problem for retailers (try $30 million lost for retailers each year and $400 million of reselling profit made by the thieves on e-Bay alone each year).
Even e-Bay is fighting the problem with its own loss prevention task force. At Urban Outfitters, with the help of i3DVR, there has been a 300 percent increase in internal theft apprehension after installing i3DVR software, which also works for people-counting and traffic-flow monitoring. I was surprised by the sophistication of thieves and, thankfully, even more impressed with what industry professionals are doing to fight the problem.