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The Darwinism of Loss Prevention

Posted on 9/9/14 1:00 PM

Author Eric Hoffer wrote, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Darwinism and strict theories on evolution may not always work when examining living organisms, but survival of the fittest appears a solid principle in business. History demonstrates that business practices evolve both on the macro and the micro level. 

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Topics: loss prevention

10 Things For Your LP Fall Planner

Posted on 9/2/14 12:54 PM

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Topics: educate

How Bias Prevents Internal Theft Reporting

Posted on 8/26/14 10:16 AM

As a consultant and loss prevention service provider, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to a full spectrum of opinions on employee theft. Few, if any, business practitioners take issue with the fact that employees steal and most agree it is the biggest challenge facing companies. 

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Topics: employee theft

Top 3 Worst Business Trends for Loss Prevention

Posted on 8/19/14 10:00 AM

1. Training Reduction - We live in an economy where cost cutting conversations have become more common than improvement discussions—unless of course you consider cost cuts as an improvement. Training departments and programs have moved from a staple to a luxury. But in saving the time and costs, we often sacrifice those hard-earned dollars we work so hard to earn. Industry experts estimate that nearly 15% of all losses are the result of error. Those estimates are becoming difficult to defend in an environment where companies loath spending any money on educating employees. The real problem is that without a solid foundation and the certainty that all the ships are moving in the right direction, the causes of our loss and declining profits become a large gray area. And the little mistakes can really add up. Transfers and shipments can be mis-processed, incorrect prices are rung through the register, waste or damages are mis-handled, and improper procedures open the door for breaches to our merchandise and money protection standards. Really, the only way to know the difference between an employee who doesn’t know versus one who doesn’t care is to ensure each has received the proper training and guidance on how to do things right.

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Topics: loss prevention awareness, policy development, loss prevention, employee awareness, policies and procedures, customer service, Compliance, Training

Hiring, Candidate Screening and the Debt Dilemma

Posted on 8/12/14 9:15 AM

A core principle of an effective loss prevention program is the tenet to “hire right.” We can avoid many potential losses when we employ associates with the right experience, skills, and attitudes. One character traits ties that all together nicely - integrity. The importance of integrity and its usefulness as a differentiator becomes clear when we consider hiring a candidate. Consider candidate A who has a great amount of experience in banking, has a strong skill set that includes understanding of procedures, and loves working with money. Sounds perfect unless candidate A is actually acquired his experience, skills, and money-loving attitude as a bank robber.

Obviously, not all integrity issues can be determined with a criminal background check as most candidates will not, in fact, have ever committed a crime. Most of what we can learn about integrity and personal responsibility in advance of actually hiring is limited. For many years, companies relied on credit checks. The details of an individual’s credit report could often shine a light on the more irresponsible candidates. And although, 60% of companies still report using credit checks at some level of employment screening, in the post 2008 world, the reliability of such reports requires a bit more depth of review.

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Topics: Candidate Screening

Preventing Gift Card Fraud

Posted on 8/5/14 12:50 PM

Protecting Your Program From Loss and Liability

Gift cards have become the perfect gift for many consumers over the past couple of years. When not certain what to buy someone for birthday, holidays or any special occasion, a gift card from their favorite retailer is a great choice. For retailers, a gift card purchase ensures the holder will eventually purchase merchandise from their store, securing future sales. Gift Cards have quickly become a growing sales opportunity for retailers of all sizes.

One area that retailers may have not been properly prepared for was the fraud associated with gift cards. With gift cards becoming more popular, retailers are seeing and reporting more incidents of gift card fraud.

Gift Card fraud has occurred in all types of retailers, big and small. Grocery and retail. These frauds can occur in any retailer offering gift cards and stored value solutions. The retailers it will affect the least are those who built strong programs to protect their gift cards.

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Topics: Gift Card Fraud

Researching Your Inventory Results...

Posted on 7/30/14 10:16 AM

Deeper Analysis May Reveal Necessary Shifts in Target Programs

As the end of most retailers' fiscal year approaches, physical inventories will soon be scheduled, and year-end (or half year) inventory results calculated. Once completed, retailers will look to evaluate their results to determine how profitable both individual retail locations and their company as a whole were against inventory losses.

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PCI and Exception-Based Reporting

Posted on 7/22/14 11:30 AM

Protecting Report Integrity

While all retailers are now familiar with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS), some are still working on how best to protect cardholder data within their exception based reporting (EBR) application. Ultimately, the answer on how this data will be protected may depend on company-wide decisions or chosen protection methods.  However, how your company chooses to protect the data may affect your ability to also effectively utilize reporting to detect exceptions.

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Topics: loss prevention

Discounting Violations of Employee Discounts

Posted on 7/15/14 11:30 AM

Should We Discount Violations of Employee Discounts?

If we were to shade a big gray area between "crime" and "policy violation," most assuredly we could name that swatch "the land of discount abuse." For retailers, especially loss prevention associates, discount abuse is at best a severe policy violation, and at worst a crime. However, that distinction is critical as it determines the outcome for the violator and represents the area where retailers are most likely to make inconsistent decisions.

If a retailer provides the benefit of employee discounts, then it is inevitable that investigations will arise on the abuse of that discount. Ultimately, corporate management will be looked to for guidance as to whether discount abuse is a policy violation or a crime. Knowing the answer in advance is critical to both the consistent resolution of these cases and in deterring associates from engaging in abuses of the company discount.

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Topics: loss prevention

Small Details Make a Big Difference

Posted on 7/10/14 11:30 AM

Deeper Analysis May Reveal Necessary Shifts in Target Programs

As the end of most retailers' fiscal year approaches, physical inventories will soon be scheduled, and year-end (or half year) inventory results calculated. Once completed, retailers will look to evaluate their results to determine how profitable both individual retail locations and their company as a whole were against inventory losses.

The de facto standard that most often determines a store's profitability against loss is the calculated percentage of dollars lost against sales dollars, or the shrink percentage. Most commonly, the shrink percentage is the singular measurement of performance of a location, as well as the only criterion used when judging whether a store should be part of a target store program.

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Topics: shrink awareness

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