In 2005, Mike James answered his phone to the sound of Steve Hannah’s voice on the other end of the line. The Gatekeeper Systems, Inc., Vice President of Engineering was recruiting for a Principal Systems Engineer. “I jumped,” says Mike. “I had worked with Steve before. I completely trust him as a manager, and he is a very good engineer.”
Mike was also up for the challenge of engineering state-of-the-art technology and system designs in the emerging field of push-out theft prevention. “Gatekeeper has a robust, advanced-technology system that can work in a variety of retail environments and meet specific client needs,” says Mike. Now working as the Principal Systems Engineer, Mike describes himself this way, “I’m not the big idea guy, but when there is a new idea, I like figuring out how to make it a reality.”
In 2017, Gatekeeper Systems, Inc. acquired Carttronics to offer a comprehensive product suite of intelligent cart solutions and loss prevention technology and services to retailers around the globe. Its radio frequencies and locking cart wheel technology prevent unpaid merchandise from ever leaving the store and avoids negative confrontations while seamlessly protecting the paying customer journey.
Traditional grocery stores were the first to implement intelligent cart containment solutions, but Gatekeeper Systems, Inc. has been quick to expand into other retail outlets and adapt to ever-changing retail environments. “Gatekeeper is incredibly successful in a variety of retail layouts,” says Mike who continuously innovates designs that work in tandem with the latest trends such as Scan-and-Go checkouts, open floor plans, and experiential journeys. Whether retailers are looking to prevent theft in just one priority department or throughout the entire store, Mike delivers dependable and aesthetic systems that are easy to install and maintain. “If it’s too complex, forget about it,” says Mike.
Mike sees the ‘Engineering Holy Grail’ as continuing to integrate Gatekeeper systems with retailers’ existing technology and infrastructure for maximum ease, dependability, and analytics. “With the merger of Carttronics into Gatekeeper, clients will see a real leap to a fully networked, real-time system that is less disruptive to install,” says Mike. “Anywhere in the world that there are carts, Gatekeeper’s system can flex and will keep merchandise from leaving the store.”
Mike loves that he has traveled the world and been to 49 of the 50 states working for Gatekeeper Systems, Inc. To rejuvenate, he often reads travel memoirs written by people who decide to put on a backpack or impulsively jump on a plane. Sometimes, Mike is that person pulling on a backpack. He has traveled to China, to all the big European cities and to most of its small ones.
“Having someone tell you something and living it are to different things,” Mike says. He hears people talk about different retail layouts and client needs around the world and across industries, but it is his first-hand experiences that typically make it into his next-generation designs. But Mike doesn’t leave out Gatekeeper Systems’ install and sales teams. “Working closely with them as delivered some big Ah-hah! moments.”