Over the years we’ve often heard Loss Prevention referred to as Sales Prevention. This is usually in reference to merchandise protection and the different views of what that entails. On the one hand, the merchant needs the product visible and touchable in order to sell the product. On the other hand, loss prevention wants to ensure that the product cannot be stolen or damaged so it can be sold. Which is the right course of action?Read More
You made your plans, executed your programs, perhaps survived inventory and maybe the spring line launch or the influx of Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Prom and Graduation diners (for you restaurant folks) or shoppers (for our friends in grocery). Many in the organization have worked hard and tirelessly to meet the goals of the first half. And now as the summer kicks in, those much welcomed vacations mean we can kick back.Read More
Topics: loss prevention development
Expectations are a funny thing. Often they are completely reasonable, such as with the rules of the road. You expect that everyone will stop at the red light and go on the green…and speed up on that yellow. Other times our expectations can be a little bit “off.” Does anyone really believe that a “miracle” weight loss pill is the “secret the fitness industry doesn’t want you to know”? As a matter of fact, yes. Millions of people spend billions of dollars on such “secrets” each year in the belief that chemistry can replace hard work.
Expectations, however, are an important feature of the human psychology. They are mental “leaps of faith” that allow for a mostly smooth functioning daily life. If we had no expectation that people would obey traffic signals, there would be a lot more chaos on the road. If we didn’t form expectations, the future would be a dark, faceless place filled with uncertainty. In many ways, expectations drive behavior. When we “expect” a result, we begin to act in a manner that promotes that outcome. Problems only arise when expectations are either not realistic or when two people doing the same thing each have expectations for a different outcome. There is, of course, a business application for this, but let me first provide a personal illustration.Read More
I’ve been discussing the changing loss prevention landscape for a while. If I were to draw a picture that landscape would look much like an overgrown, barren field. This is not to present a negative, hopeless picture of the profession’s future, but rather to suggest that we cannot ignore the changing environment and simply “hope” that the days of old will return. Too many factors suggest that retail has struggled to transform for the past several years and that those who survive will be a different organism.Read More
Winston Churchill said, “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” It is a common and frustrating problem in business: to do our best, to work hard, to put in the effort and the hours, and to still not meet with success. At the core of the issue is a simple misunderstanding, a small misalignment in focus that places the greatest of our resources on a reactive instead of proactive track. In short, efforts are placed in reaction to the managing conditions rather than on the process of managing the conditions.Read More
Topics: loss prevention
Achieving a goal is simplistic in its complexity. We define our target objective, we create the process to get there, and then we periodically measure our progress. In loss prevention, the latter we measure through the audit practice. In that sense an “audit” can really be any type of measurement. In the retail and restaurant environment, we audit many different practices and at times our overzealous desire to measure “everything” can result in information overload - a topic I’ll discuss further in an upcoming post.
Although every audit question provides some form of information, some questions are better than others are. This principle, loss prevention interviewers learn early in their careers.Read More
In a market where brand recognition, market share and high competition have most businesses working overtime to reduce cost, there is little room for the losses caused by internal theft. Industry reports suggest that as much as 43% of all losses are caused by dishonest employees, totaling $16 billion annually in revenue loss.
Obviously with so much at stake, an honest employee is a key element to business health - but is there a magic bullet? How can we tell if an employee is likely to engage in dishonest behavior?Read More
Effective loss prevention is dependent on the timely receipt of information. Discovering dishonesty after the responsible person is gone is not as helpful as learning of their actions in advance of his or her departure. Being aware of a potential risk early on allows us to react sooner and thus reduce or avoid loss. One would think that in the age of high velocity communication, we would be more effective than ever. Unfortunately, what many of us have learned is that velocity doesn’t always mean efficiency.Read More
Topics: career development
For more than two decades, exception-based reporting (EBR) tools have been widely used by retailers to analyze point of sale (POS) and other business related data. Even though these tools have saved considerable time and resources in the analysis, detection and resolution of concerns, the use of these tools still requires time and resources. So, how does one determine the necessary number of analysts to properly analyze their exception-based reporting information?Read More
Everyone in the organization is satisfied, if not ecstatic, when final shrink results reveal that we have achieved the company goal. The shrink result, alone, seems reason for celebration and these good results would intuitively indicate the existence of an effective loss prevention program.
An unfortunate number of times, however, companies are frustrated when the next inventory cycle misses the goal or when shrink slips back to a higher percentage. In a search for answers, the most common responses to increased shrink are:
Even a highly focused and effective program will not prevent every store from having a shrink meltdown. A focused program, however, that maintains a clear connection between its components, execution, and results can accomplish three important objectives:
- Confirm that the program components provide desired results
- Establish and monitor the behaviors that create a rise or fall in shrink
- Determine when the issue is one of effectiveness versus resources