"Optimization is essential to maintain functionality, here are some practices to keep your EAS systems optimized that every business should know.”
Electronic Article Surveillance has become a daily part of any retail operation. These systems allow businesses to prevent theft and loss but stopping tagged items from leaving the premises. However, there are certain steps to keep your EAS system optimized and functional.
So, let’s get to it.
What is an EAS System?
The term EAS is a short form of Electronic Article Surveillance. As you can guess by the name, it is an electronic security system, that allows businesses to have surveillance over their items/products. These systems consist of three components, namely – Security Tags, EAS Gates, and Detacher. EAS technology act like a security system that alerts the user anytime an item is about the exit the premises without authorization.
The security tags are first attached to items like clothes, packages, boxes, etc. These tags have different types of mounting methods and locks that allows them to attach to items without damaging the items. These tags are made from high quality ABS plastic and connected using strong adhesives. This makes is very difficult to forcibly open them or break them. There are three types of tags available, namely – AM (Acousto Magnetic), EM (Electro Magnetic), and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification.
These are the other end of an EAS system, these gates detect security tags. EAS gates use RF signals (electromagnetic radiation) to communicate with tags and sound the alarm. When a tag enters the broadcast zone between two gates, they use different methods depending on the type of tag to send a signal to the gates. The receivers in the gates catch these signals & identify the tags.
Unlike other security technologies like barcodes & RFID, EAS tags can be reused and recycled. Since they lack any tracking capabilities & are used at the end of a supply chain, they have no use outside the retail outfit. That is why after the billing process is done, the employee will remove the tag from the item so they can be attached to other items in the inventory.
There are two types of tag detachers, manual & electronic. Manual detachers have a special type of pin/mechanism to open the lock of the tag. Electronic detachers usually have a strong electromagnet inside them, and an NFC reader to deprogram the RFID tag.
How to Optimize an EAS System?
Although these systems are simple to implement and easy to use, they can still face performance issues from time to time. Specially, if the user don’t properly optimize them.
So, here are some simple things to remember while using an EAS security system, to keep it in excellent condition.
(A). Periodic Audit
One of the most important things to do, is to properly audit your work site & EAS infrastructure. Before implementing the system, the first step would be to audit your work site (retail store/supply facility, etc.). Auditing the site allows you to ensure the key points where you want to implement the security gates, the type and number of tags you need depending on the volume of products.
After implementing the system, it is necessary to conduct time to time audits on the infrastructure to make sure it is working correctly. This includes-
• Checking if all the products on the shelves tagged.
• Check the read rate & read failure rate for your system.
• Do the employees tag the items properly?
• Check if the alarm works every time the system is tripped.
(B). Regular Calibrations
These systems work by using carefully & finely attenuated radio signals. Any disturbance in these setting can lead to the failure of the system. During audit if the system is unable to detect tags, your first step would be to check whether the security gates are calibrated.
And even if the system is not showing any problem, the manufacturers still advise to recalibrate the devices every 3 months, to ensure optimal functioning.
(C). Staff Training
Another aspect of these systems that you need to think about, aside from the technology, are the operators. Whenever implementing a new technology, a business needs to properly train their staff. The same goes with EAS technology, these businesses have to provide training to their employees after implementing these systems. This training includes –
• Proper technique of tagging items without damaging them
• Learning how to use the system
• Training to recalibrate the security gates
• How to detach the tags without damage, etc.
Also, it’s always a good idea to retrain your employees from time to time, to keep their skills sharp. And this also helps with making them acquainted with any new technology or development.
(D). Timely Upgrades
As the case is with every technology, even EAS get some new advancement and innovating upgrades from time to time. Doesn’t mean that businesses need to invest in the latest technology, every time it is introduced. However, if your system is much older and you have gotten your return on it, it might be a good idea to look into the state-of-the-art stuff available in the market.
(E). Video Surveillance Integration
Lastly, when it comes to technology, integration is most often the right answer. Connecting two different systems allows users to have a deeper insight and better functionality. One such technology is video surveillance. This allows the users to have visual monitoring over the entire premises. This can help in two ways-
• Keep an eye on anyone trying to tamper with the EAS system inside the premises
• Providing proof of any theft and tampering in case of any law enforcement involvement
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is EAS in loss prevention?
Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) is a technology that is used to identify prevent the unauthorized movement of items/products outside of the store.
Q2. What is the benefit of EAS?
The biggest advantages of this technology are-
• It is extremely affordable when compared to other security systems.
• It is very easy to use & requires minimal training.
• EAS tags are recyclable and reusable
- Last updated on Aug 22, 2023