As a human resources professional within a loss prevention organization one of my responsibilities is recruiting our team of loss prevention experts. Selecting the individual whose skills and expertise match the requirements for any position can be a daunting task. Knowing what to look for during the employment interviewing process will help identify the candidate that is the best fit for your organization.Read More
I read an article last week posted by Doctor Hayes in LP Magazine. The article on the need for Evidence Based Loss Prevention makes perfect sense and for the most part I agree with the good doctor’s opinion. I wrote along the similar line in my post, Is Your Deterrence Loud Enough. Our loss prevention goal is deterrence. We don’t have enough staff, money, or technology to “catch” them all, so the best method is one that prevents or deters theft when we aren’t looking.Read More
An audit can be an extremely valuable tool to indicate whether or not a store is operating according to expected standard guidelines and may indicate a potential shrink problem. One would think it’s easy to start auditing; create it, schedule it and gather results. There is more to audit implementation than you think. Here are 5 areas that you should be considering.Read More
In general, the law, with additional support from case laws, provides employers with certain privilege in discussing “business matters” even the dishonest kind with employees. So if an employee is seen or suspected of violating policy, stealing, or may have information pertaining to a loss, it is within our “right” to have a discussion. Such matters, handled properly and professionally are fine, but…and this is a big But…there are many opportunities along the way to step off that narrow path and create company liability.
The potential for civil or even criminal suits (like false imprisonment) are great enough to leave no room for “winging” an internal investigation. And some of the biggest missteps are those that are easiest enough to avoid.
Take a Deep Breath
Seasoned investigators don’t get emotional over internal theft. Yes, we have a passion to resolve and prevent it, but we don’t take dishonesty personally. An investigation is like any other business endeavor—it’s a process. Often, the greatest harm is done by an inexperienced manager or employee who brings emotion…hurt, anger, righteousness…to the discussion.
The Target breach and the other incidents that followed confirmed that cybercrime is a large threat to retailers. Both in terms of the hard costs such as repair and damage payouts and in the soft costs like customer anger and mistrust. I have little doubt that if it’s not already happening, soon colleges and universities will be offering degrees specific to cyber security.
In retail, everyone reports to someone and eventually we need to decide the exact reporting structure for our cyber-security specialists. Like many business functions, including Loss Prevention, there is some flexibility in a cross-functional department.Read More
A Shift in Crime or Flawed Perceptions?
The danger in guessing shrink contribution
I read this year’s National Retail Security Survey and it was nice to see such a large shift in human behavior. According to the recent survey, employee theft’s contribution to shrink substantially fell to 34%. That’s a decrease of over eleven percentage points since 2010 and a decrease of five from 2012.
And probably, most likely, quite…flawed.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not just that I have to update my sales deck that I am suspicious. Although I was immediately skeptical of the figure, I conducted some quick “back of the envelope math” to see if it made sense. I also relied on several other sources and over twenty five years of experience in coming to the conclusion that loss prevention professionals are making a big mistake if they use these opinions as reason to shift their focus away from internal theft issues.Read More
Modern business language is chock full of flavorable terms and phrases. Things that sound really nice, but are more verbal optics than possible realities. These little bites of wisdom exist in the endless universe of theory but seldom stand the test of practice. The issues arise when we start to believe that these nuggets of corporate-speak can represent an achievable goal. When managers misinterpret a hackneyed phrase for an actual proverb. As when we suggest someone gives 110% , a request which is impossible but attempts to suggest that we might be holding back on a full effort. One phrase in particular appears to have developed into an actual business belief in the impossible – “do more with less”. While the origin of this little gem is probably unknown, one could guess that it came as an answer to slashed resources without a corresponding reduction in goals. It's easy to imagine that it was accompanied with either an implicit or perhaps explicit threat of “if you can’t get it done with what I’ve provided then I’ll find someone who can.”Read More
Technology has afforded us the opportunity to be in two places at once. Using remote connectivity, a person can be in one location conducting business, while “connected” to another watching video or conducting a video conference. Even though technology provides us this convenience to conduct business remotely, face to face loss prevention still provides greater benefits as it comes to a solid loss prevention program.Read More
The best way to avoid loss is to not experience any losses. That statement appears a matter of common sense and a proclamation of the obvious. And yet, we don’t always do a great job at asset protection. The core issue lies in both the types of actions taken and the efforts placed on the most successful strategy—deterrence.
To understand the short falls of deterrence, we must first separate it from processes meant to apprehend and those meant to protect. True deterrence doesn’t operate like a locked door and it’s not necessarily an investigative device such as a camera system or an exception based reporting software. In other words, a heavy steal gate doesn’t deter theft, it prevents theft by removing entry in the same way that our video recording doesn’t stop behavior, but helps us discover the individual responsible for the behavior. These devices are necessary and helpful, but they are limited in their benefits—a gate can only protect things behind it and a camera can only catch actions in front of it. Deterrence, when properly executed, however, operates within the individual and is not subject to the limits of physical space.Read More
Hope is mostly hard-wired into human nature. Even self-proclaimed pessimists can’t avoid its seductive voice. In the short-term or in evaluation of “near time” events we can call upon pragmatic rational to measure risk, but our
observations of the future remain mired in optimism. True, there are those who see a sunburn in every sunny day, but for the majority the “bad” sleeps in the past and the “good” waits in the future.Read More