Big Brother tech solves theft at construction site

DLSS equips shipping containers with security products for solution
Sunday, May 1, 2005

OWASSO, Okla.--Systems integrator DLSS Systems served the construction market for years, partnering up with contractors to protect their construction sites and even offering security systems for their properties.
Now, the company has come up with a unique way to combat the theft of building materials and tools that can often happen at construction locations.
In March, DLSS Systems launched a product it calls CSEYE, a large shipping container equipped with various security technology, such as digital video and a wireless alarm transmission system. This enables DLSS to record video at the construction site and also install wireless sensors on tools and building materials, such as a recent shipment of plywood or drywall.
DLSS Systems, a small integrator with 12 employees and gross sales of $400,000 a year, came up with the idea from talking with several construction contractors it works with and after completing a project within the petroleum industry.
"We had some requests to develop a system that could be deployed out in the field to watch oil equipment," said Kevin Dyson, general manager of DLSS Systems, and an owner of the company with his brother Duane and a silent partner. "It was a variation of the shipping container."
Eventually, the concept evolved into using a shipping container to hold the security equipment. DLSS Systems now has one shipping container being used by Capital Homes, a company that builds new homes in the Tulsa metropolitan area, and another container ready for deployment.
Company officials at DLSS Systems expect the new offering to represent a significant portion of its business within a short period. In late March, the company relocated to a larger facility, three times the size of its prior location, which enables it to configure shipping containers from inside its warehouse.
"We have more room to get the equipment in, ready and packaged to go out," said Duane Dyson, service manager for DLSS Systems.
He anticipates that before the end of this year, the company will equip 40 containers with security equipment and deploy them not just in the Tulsa area, but countrywide. The cost for the service will range from $1,200 to $2,000 a month, including the cost for monitoring.
Capital Homes decided to install the product at one of its remote construction sites, a location that the construction company felt could be at risk for theft and needed extra security for employees working after hours or on the weekend.
Jane Mudgett, project manager for Capital Homes, said within a short period of being deployed, the system caught on tape one incident of materials being stolen, but since then the construction site has been theft free. The company posted a minimal amount signage about the security system and instead relied on word of mouth of employees and subcontractors.
So far the security systems has worked well, said Mudgett, who said the company may deploy additional shipping containers in five other residential developments it will build later next year.
"It's like an insurance policy," she said. "It pays when you don't have a claim."