Throughout South Africa, international QSR (quick-service restaurants) brands are exploding. These quick-service restaurants (better known by their colloquial term: fast-food restaurants) find this explosion of business opportunity is also a wet pit of business danger. Jorge Marques of Buffken PTY Ltd., and a QSR On-Site IT Support Manager, notes: "we do have tremendous business growth opportunity, but there are also many security hurdles that we need to address ... this is the reality in each of our individual stores."
And to do so, Buffken PTY Ltd. chose Hikvision to fit these QSR needs.
Surrounding the beautiful Port Elizabeth area are a variety of QSRs.
Previously, security had been highly problematic. However, two years ago, Buffken PTY Ltd. - the security integrator - was hired to upgrade all of one prominent international QSR franchises’ security solutions.
However, it was not as easy as plug & chug. Instead, Mr. Marques found that each of these franchises had particular issues. Ultimately, Buffken PTY Ltd. was faced with 32 separate security problems in the 32 separate locations of this QSR.
To simplify matters, Mr. Marques brought in Hikvision, "We decided, in the end, it was a far better proposition to gradually upgrade with better technology than try to force a set solution through 32 distinct business environments."
"For us, the biggest issue was our DVRs," Mr. Marques continued. It wasn't an issue of wholesale change into a better model, or even a different solution. Instead, it was - and is - 32 smaller steps towards better security.
In many of these QSR franchises, Hikvision's DS-7300HFI-SH Standalone DVR Series (4/8/16/32-ch as options) has been put into service. Mr. Marques explained, "While each store, in terms of security, is very different, one constant is the need for storage space." In fact, each of these franchises requires 90 days of storage, "hence we are making sure that each franchise has hard-drive capacity of 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB ... which the latter storage amount now represents at least 20% of our stores ... and we are still growing," noted Mr. Marques.
But it's not simply an issue of hard-drive space. Fast-food restaurants are notoriously difficult upon electronics - security or otherwise. This being said, Mr. Marques spoke about this issue: "One of the main factors in choosing Hikvision was this product's reputation for durability. Unfortunately, the earlier installer had not put DVRs in an optimal store position; fortunately we were able to move these units - rather than replace them due to damage - because of this quality."
South African Internet
Internet bandwidth realities force quicker decisions in South Africa. Although there is one owner for all 32 franchises, it is logistically impractical to centralize all security functions. As earlier noted, part of this has to do with franchise hardware, and part of this has to do with an Internet bandwidth reality.
"We hired an IT specialist because of these issues," explained Mr. Marques. "Based upon bandwidth issues, each store manager is in charge of their own security. This is why we require both a robust DVR and an also easily accessible VMS client software. Since there are so many different franchise managers, Hikvision's iVMS-4200 works extremely well to let these owners use their own PCs for their own store management purposes."
Essentially, each franchise is on a 5-year renovation plan, with the store's infrastructure upgraded in this junction. And in this betterment, each individual store's Hikvision DVR is following suit. Now, this QSRs’ franchises are using Hikvision analog, and hybrid DVRs, to take advantage of:
• robust workmanship
• massive hard-drive storage space
• alarm / IP camera features
• synching camera - video data
• easily set-up DVR functions for in-house usage
While slow Internet bandwidth may cause issues with central management, quality workmanship and easy usage have allowed local South African QSR managers to better take control of their own work locations. "Unfortunately before, it was loss-after-loss, and sometime loss, after that, "noted Mr. Marques." However now, these simpler and better DVRs, combined with Hikvision iVMS software, have allowed our franchise owners to better understand the day-to-day operations ... and all upon their own PCs."