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LOSS PREVENTION MAGAZINE THE AUTHORITY ON ALL THINGS ASSET PROTECTION
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD DIVERSE AND INTRICATE, LP LOOKS TO HELP BETTER CONTROL THE SUPPLY CHAIN
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION INCIDENT REPORTING BEST PRACTICES HOW TO SET UP A NEW TEAM FOR SUCCESS FROM DAY ONE
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
6 EDITOR’S LETTER Why Cyber Security? By Jack Trlica
10 RETAIL SPONSORS 12 INTERVIEWING The Words Matter
A Long and Winding Road
By David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE, and Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP
24 SUPPLY CHAIN Loss Prevention Russian Style
Diverse and intricate, LP looks to help better control the supply chain
By Glenn Master
36 CERTIFICATION Expanding Your LP IQ
By Garett Sievold, LPM Senior Writer
Interview with Troy Harding, LPC, The Kroger Co.
38 LPM EXCELLENCE LPM Magpie Award: Applauding Excellence
A National Shoplifting Prevention Coalition Driving change together
Featuring Read Hayes, PhD, Director, Loss Prevention Research Council and Shane Sturman, CPP, CFI, President, Wicklander-Zulawski
45 DIVERSITY & INCLUSION Leveraging Diversity to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience By Timothy L. Williams, Esq. and Paul E. Jaeckle, LPC
as an industry
By James Lee, LPC, LPM Executive Editor
47 FUTURE OF LP 2020 Retail Trends
By Tom Meehan, CFI
49 EVIDENCE-BASED LP Signature Alerts
By Read Hayes, PhD
56 CYBER SECURITY Cyber versus Physical Security: What Do CEOs Care About?
Incident Reporting Best Practices
By Garett Seivold
The key to moving from unknown to known shrink
58 LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM Recruiting Quality LP Associates via Internship Programs
By Steve Hewitt
By Karl Langhorst
59 PRODUCT SHOWCASE
How to Set Up a New Team for Success from Day One
62 PEOPLE ON THE MOVE 64 ADVERTISERS 64 SUBSCRIPTION FORM 65 VENDOR SPONSORS 66 PARTING WORDS Closing Thoughts from Sandy Kennedy
Best practices for getting everyone working together as soon as possible
By Jim Lee, LPC
By Bruce Tulgan, RainmakerThinking
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Why Cyber Security? A
s we move into a new decade of the 2020s, the magazine is looking forward to not only continuing our editorial focus on “all things asset protection” as we say in our tag line in our masthead, but also expanding our editorial as the scope of loss prevention and retail evolves.
Supply Chain Several years ago, we increased our content of articles on supply chain given the growth of omni-channel retailing with its dependence on accurate inventory and multichannel delivery and returns. The emergence of buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) and buy-online, return-in-store (BORIS) has made supply chain logistics an integral player in the success of retail. While some LP professionals may not have direct responsibility for corporate supply chain security, most all will be impacted by the success (or not) of their company’s supply chain efficiency. Therefore, it is essential to understand supply chain operations. (See our cover story “The Long and Winding Road” on page 15 and our Supply Chain column on page 24.)
Cyber Security The same is now true for cyber security. Yes, while information technology departments typically “own” the responsibility for cyber security, the gap between IT and AP is rapidly narrowing as loss prevention and asset protection teams partner internally to provide physical security protections for
customer and corporate data networks and aid in investigations of data breaches. Thus, traditional LP associates and executives must have at minimum a working understanding of cyber security tactics and strategies. You will find on page 56 a new Cyber Security column to increase our editorial on this subject. While we’ve covered cyber security and data protection for some time on our digital channel, LossPreventionMedia.com, we will begin more coverage in our print edition with this column and feature articles throughout the year.
some retailers visit career days at various universities, most do not have programs to bring interns into their organizations to offer them a close up and personal experience with loss prevention. Longtime LP executive Karl Langhorst, now an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, explores how to start an internship program and the benefits it accrues for both the student and the company. Check out his article on page 58.
Sandy Kennedy Retires
Recruiting College Students
Sandy Kennedy, president and CEO of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, retired from RILA effective December 31, 2019, after seventeen years. During her tenue, the industry has changed dramatically, and retailers have evolved to meet consumers’ demands. Sandy shares her thoughts on the retail industry and the asset protection profession on page 66. This is just a glimpse of the content contained in this first issue of 2020. We are considering other ways to expand our editorial to give our readers wide-ranging insights into the multitude of topics that impact your personal and professional lives. Let us know if you would like to see content on topics we are not currently addressing. Contact us at editor@LPportal.com.
It is amazing how many university students, even those in criminal justice programs, do not have an understanding of the role of loss prevention in retail nor the career opportunities in our industry. While
Jack Trlica Managing Editor
Shoplifter Education Educational diversion programs for first-time and low-level shoplifters have been in place for years. However, increasing felony levels in many states and overwhelmed law enforcement and criminal justice systems have negatively impacted retailers’ response to misdemeanor offenders. A coalition of retailers and solutions providers has partnered with the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) to work toward a solution. The story is on page 27. Every retail asset protection executive needs to read this article and consider joining in this effort.
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EDITORIAL BOARD Charles Bernard Group Vice President, Asset Protection and Comprehensive Loss, Walgreens Erik Buttlar Vice President, Asset Protection, Best Buy Ray Cloud Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention, Ross Stores Scott Draher, LPC Vice President, Loss Prevention, Safety, and Operations, Lowe’s Scott Glenn, EDJ, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection, The Home Depot Barry Grant Chief Operating Officer, Photos Unlimited Robert Holm Director, Global Safety & Security McDonald’s Frank Johns, LPC Chairman, The Loss Prevention Foundation Mike Lamb, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection, The Kroger Co. Michael Limauro, LPC Executive Leader, Asset Protection Whole Foods Market David Lund, LPC Vice President, Loss Prevention, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Randy Meadows Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention, Kohl’s
LOSS PREVENTION MAGAZINE
Melissa Mitchell, CFI Director, Asset Protection and Retail Supply Chain, LifeWay Christian Stores
MANAGING EDITOR Jack Trlica JackT@LPportal.com EXECUTIVE EDITORS James Lee, LPC JimL@LPportal.com
Dan Moren Senior Manager Starbucks
Merek Bigelow MerekB@LPportal.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jacque Brittain, LPC JacB@LPportal.com
Richard Peck, LPC Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention The TJX Companies
RETAIL TECHNOLOGY EDITOR Tom Meehan, CFI TomM@LPportal.com
Joe Schrauder Vice President, Asset Protection, Walmart Stores Tina Sellers, LPC Vice President, Loss Prevention, Family Dollar Hank Siemers, CFI Vice President, Global Retail Security, Tiffany & Co.
SENIOR WRITER Garett Seivold GarettS@LPportal.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Read Hayes, PhD, CPP Walter Palmer, CFI, CFE Maurizio P. Scrofani, CCSP, LPC Ben Skidmore Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP Bill Turner, LPC David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Kevin McMenimen, LPC KevinM@LPportal.com
Mark Stinde, MBA, LPC Senior Vice President, Asset Protection, JCPenney Paul Stone, CFE, LPC VP Security, Goodwill Industries of SE Wisconsin Pamela Velose Vice President, Asset Protection, Belk
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL OPERATIONS John Selevitch JohnS@LPportal.com SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGERS Justin Kemp, LPQ Karen Rondeau DESIGN & PRODUCTION SPARK Publications info@SPARKpublications.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Larry Preslar ADVERTISING STRATEGIST Ben Skidmore 972-587-9064 office, 972-692-8138 fax BenS@LPportal.com SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES
Keith White, LPC Executive Vice President, Loss Prevention and Global Sustainability, Gap Inc.
John Matas, CFE, CFCI Vice President, Profit Protection, Investigations, Fraud, & ORC, Macy’s Loss Prevention, LP Magazine, LP Magazine Europe, LPM, and LPM Online are service marks owned by the publishers and their use is restricted. All editorial content is copyrighted. No article may be reproduced by any means without expressed, written permission from the publisher. Reprints or PDF versions of articles are available by contacting the publisher. Statements of fact or opinion are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the publishers. Advertising in the publication does not imply endorsement by the publishers. The editor reserves the right to accept or reject any article or advertisement.
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INTERVIEWING by David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE and Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP
The Words Matter W
Zulawski and Sturman are executives in the investigative and training firm of Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates (w-z.com). Zulawski is a senior partner, and Sturman is president. Sturman is also a member of ASIS International’s Retail Loss Prevention Council. They can be reached at 800-222-7789 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
hile nonverbal behaviors are open to interpretation by observers, the word choice individuals use must have been intentionally picked to express the person’s meaning. By examining the words selected, an interviewer can identify underlying information that needs to be more fully explored. Like any human behavior, words are sometimes misspoken or unintentionally incorrectly selected, but most of the time the language can be a window to relationships and additional sources of inquiry.
© 2020 Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc.
Often, the liar will mask their reply with additional language to cover their unresponsiveness, hoping to confuse the listener. This additional language may also give them time to decide how to reply to a difficult question they don’t want to answer. This evasiveness reduces some of the anxiety they would feel if they denied the question simply and directly. “Did you do it?” “First of all, I have been a loyal employee for over six months. I know the difference between right and wrong and wouldn’t get involved with something like that. There’s not much I can tell you about it. I would have to deny any suggestions that I could have done it.” With this response, the shortest, simplest answer was not used, nor was the act really denied. Instead, we have unsolicited information about tenure and knowing right from wrong, plus a missing pronoun—“… and [I] wouldn’t get involved in something like that.” The lack of the pronoun “I” may be a means of distancing oneself from the event. “There’s not much I can tell you about it.” Why is there a limit on what they will say? These answers should raise the interviewer’s concern, and additional questions should be asked. The person also raised unverifiable statements in the previous response, which may provide some comfort psychologically to support the individual’s self-image, which they want to preserve. This statement also indirectly says to the interviewer here sits a person whose integrity is beyond repute. We should ask ourselves why they didn’t just say they didn’t do it in the first place. Clearly, we need to ask more questions to discover the individual’s true status. The best answer to this simple question is clearly, “No, I didn’t,” delivered on time, neither too fast nor with too long of a pause. If the subject were to answer, “No, I did not,” it should also raise questions in the interviewer’s mind since most people use contractions of words to simplify and hasten speech. While in and of itself it may be meaningless, the interviewer should consider this may be a possible symptom of an attempted deception. When the interviewer notes the subject continually failing to provide clear answers to questions, they may be led to conclude this is an intentional action to deceive. In
Examine the Question Asked The person who intends to lie will generally use responses that cause the least amount of fear of detection and anxiety. The problem for the liar is that when they are highly motivated to deceive in high-stakes situations, the lie may actually become easier to detect. They may give shorter, slower responses because they are attempting to control their verbal and physical behaviors. Sometimes the opposite is true. When evaluating the response to a question, remember to think about what was asked and then whether the answer adequately reflects the inquiry. Generally, the shortest and simplest answer is the best. Did you do it? This is a simple inquiry that in most cases can be responded to with a simple yes or no. To answer “yes” is an admission of guilt, which the guilty tend to avoid, and “no” creates high anxiety, so an effective alternative can be to use wordiness and evasion to answer.
Often, the liar will mask their reply with additional language to cover their unresponsiveness, hoping to confuse the listener. This additional language may also give them time to decide how to reply to a difficult question they don’t want to answer.This evasiveness reduces some of the anxiety they would feel if they denied the question simply and directly. 12
continued on page 14 |
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When the interviewer notes the subject continually failing to provide clear answers to questions, they may be led to conclude this is an intentional action to deceive. In an evasion, the interviewer is looking for an answer that does not answer the question or may not have answered the question, but contains irrelevant information going beyond the scope of what was asked.This may require the interviewer to closely question each part of the response to pin down the evasive individual.
continued from page 12
an evasion, the interviewer is looking for an answer that does not answer the question or may not have answered the question, but contains irrelevant information going beyond the scope of what was asked. This may require the interviewer to closely question each part of the response to pin down the evasive individual.
Familiarity and Relationships Sometimes the language chosen by the individual can help us determine relationships and familiarity. For example, the following statement offers insights on familiarity: “I saw a Glock 9 mm sitting on the coffee table in the living room when I got home after work. I went up to my bedroom to see if my Glock was still where I left it. My gun was there, so I went back downstairs to the living room and then discovered the gun had been moved to a bookshelf.” The person observing the gun likely had no previous contact with the Glock since it is described as “a Glock,” indicating a random weapon, but when they return to the living room “the gun” has been moved to a bookshelf. The person now has a relationship with the Glock since they have seen it before, so it is now “the Glock.” They use the possessive “my Glock” to describe checking on the gun they own, indicating ownership and familiarity. We also may be able to discern relationships between people based on how they were listed, for example Mark and Peg versus Deloris and Jay. Mark and Peg became close friends of both my wife and me, yet we always referred to them as Mark and Peg. If you traced the relationships of both Mark and Peg and Deloris and Jay back to the first meetings, you would discover that Mark was my cousin and Deloris was my wife’s best friend, while Jay and Peg were introduced into the relationships later. It is a listing pattern that is commonly done with who or what is most important to someone. For example, if you were asked to list the three attributes you valued most about someone you love, or three things you enjoy doing, or three best friends, you would have to force rank them. Unconsciously, you would likely start with whom you prefer most among your friends or the most important attribute. “We’ve had our downs and ups, but things were overall okay.” This is an unusual way of phrasing this common saying, which would indicate there may have been more downs than ups recently. Recognizing this statement for what it might be, the interviewer should ask more questions about the relationship between the parties. An interviewer may also discover additional clues to a relationship by examining how the parties are linked together in sentences. For example, “My wife and I went Christmas shopping for the kids,” versus “I went with my wife Christmas shopping for the kids.” The first sentence seems to have a connection between the parties or a joining of a common goal, while the second sentence lacks the commonality of purpose. We could substitute the word “accompanied” for “went with,” and it fits the meaning quite nicely. In general, the word “and” is likely to be a connection
between people or things, while the word “with” expresses a lesser connection. In the previous sentences, questions could be asked about how the shopping trip came about and perhaps the husband’s feelings about going on the outing to expand the context of the shopping trip. The relationships can also be evaluated in terms of distance. Consider the following words: this and that; these and those. These pairs of words indicate closeness and distance. “We have this close relationship without that awkwardness some friends feel when they haven’t seen each other in a while.” Or, “We all have those feelings, I think.” Here the individual seems to be separating themselves from those questionable feelings. Consider the difference between the words “home” and “house,” which have a significant change in meaning. A house is a shelter where things are kept, but there is not a personal attachment, merely a place. A home on the other hand is a place full of personal feelings often full of emotion and comfort, not just things. At the end of the day we often say, “I’m heading home,” to a place of comfort. But we also might say, “I’ve got to stop by the house and pick up my backpack.” The intent of the two sentences is different: one is to go to a place of comfort, and the other is to stop by a place of storage. But these could also be an indication of one’s feelings about home and the situation there. However, the only real way to determine this is to ask additional questions and probe the individual’s relationships. Like nonverbal behavior, we can gather verbal information and observations from the person being interviewed, but we may make no absolute decisions on the person’s veracity without asking more questions. In our next column, we will continue to examine the use of language and the sources it offers to expand the context of the incident and possible areas of investigative inquiry. |
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD DIVERSE AND INTRICATE, LP LOOKS TO HELP BETTER CONTROL THE SUPPLY CHAIN By Garett Seivold, LPM Senior Writer
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD
well-managed supply chain—one that mitigates security risks—is essential to a successful retail operation. But control is put to the test as the supply chain expands, morphs, and becomes increasingly intricate. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a business challenge today more diverse than supply chain security. From assessing and managing global security risks to those at a customer’s doorstep—and in the miles and stops in between—it is no simplistic call to action. For many LP executives, it could mean stepping up to new challenges and wading into a world with no easy answers. Assessing third-party carriers has become a critical function for a growing number of LP practitioners, for example. 7-Eleven has no delivery fleet of its own, relying exclusively on external parties to complete the thousands of store deliveries that are needed every day to ensure its stores Byron Smith meet the demands of its customers. To this goal, quality assurance is a primary role for Byron Smith, CFI, LPC, corporate asset protection manager. “It’s about making sure that logistics and supply are doing the right things and understanding what your expectations are,” he said. Scorecards track store deliveries against expectations and hold carriers accountable, which has become a requirement for more retailers and LP practitioners now handling e-commerce orders. “It’s all about the pick rate, how quickly orders get filled, and whether product delivery meets the customer’s expectation,” Smith said.
Pushing the Supply Chain Forward
Whether merchandise ends up where, when, and in the right amount that it’s supposed to starts with a robust process of assessing and selecting those carriers. It’s a challenge that will be a focus of the 2020 conference of the International Supply Chain Protection Organization
“As e-commerce has grown, so has the number of issues, including dealing with third-party logistics players and a loss of control. You may ship out a product to a customer today and never even touch it.” – Byron Smith, 7-Eleven
(ISCPO). At the conference, vendors are given a place inside the session rooms, reflective of the important role they are playing in pushing supply chain security forward. “You don’t have to walk a football field to where they are; you are right there with them,” said Smith. “It allows everyone to participate, including the solution providers, so they understand what is going on and what people are looking for.” The ISCPO was born a few years ago, in part out of the growing importance of supply chain integrity for retailers, according to Smith. He serves as ISCPO chairman, and the 7-Eleven Store Support Center in Irving, Texas, is the venue for ISCPO’s sixth annual conference on March 3–5, 2020. “We set up the ISCPO to provide a destination for LP professionals that just didn’t have a home, and to fill a void because no one was focused on addressing supply chain for LP in its entirety,” said Smith. This gap widened as e-commerce grew, said Smith. Retail security concerns increasingly expanded from the store to far flung places on the globe, and from internal operations to an intricate web of players. “As e-commerce has grown, so has the number of issues, including dealing with third-party logistics players and a loss of control. You may ship out
a product to a customer today and never even touch it,” said Smith. E-commerce has also created or exacerbated other areas of risk for many LP pros, noted Smith, such as safety, workers’ compensation, and liability risks associated with the operation of heavy equipment at large fulfillment centers. Preventing loss and theft in the supply chain is also a distinct challenge from preventing store theft. “It really heightens the importance of having a good risk management perspective and how to manage the growing issues,” advised Smith, which is something the ISCPO conference helps foster. “We really wanted to give visibility to the global supply chain and how the supply chain is modernizing with respect to people, processes, and technology.” The 2020 ISCPO conference includes a presentation on that topic by a director in Target’s global supply chain and logistics unit. Recent changes at Target—highlighted in a Wall Street Journal profile in December—are intended to help the retailer improve its online order fulfillment. The company told the Journal that a whopping 80 percent of online orders are fulfilled from stores as opposed to warehouses. Store workers handle Internet orders, collecting products from shelves or putting items into boxes in the back room for delivery. Improving the efficiency of stores as fulfillment centers was one driver of a new staffing system and mass retraining program at Target (“Retailers Revamp Staffing as Fewer Shoppers Visit Stores,” Wall Street Journal, Dec. 4).
Security Risk Insights
Another part of retailers’ efforts to modernize their supply chains is in pursuit of efficiencies through integration with external partners. Inter-enterprise cooperation and collaboration can bring benefits and competitive advantage but also poses significant challenges, including expanding an organization’s threat surface even wider, to include cyber security. There is a real question, however, whether cyber-security controls are keeping pace as the retail supply chain becomes more interconnected.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD Experts warn that poorly managed supply chain management systems can become a threat vector for cyber attacks, allowing attackers to compromise retailers indirectly, by stealing passcode credentials from supply chain partners, for example. Attacks targeting retailers via less-secure elements in the supply network is a proven threat, including being the source of one of the largest data breaches in the history of the retail industry. They are also growing. Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report says supply chain attacks increased by 78 percent in 2018. “As network perimeters have hardened, attackers are increasingly targeting the IT supply chain and partner network,” warned Symantec analysts in the report, Cyber Security for Retail Services. “Retailers should look to evaluate third parties based on the risk they present to the business. Because self-certification processes are proving less reliable, retailers are encouraged to shift to active cyber-risk monitoring and mitigation with third parties in order to neutralize third-party risk.” Cyber-security vulnerabilities can’t solely be the purview of IT and network security professionals as they often have roots in the physical security realm, warns a new report by BSI, Supply Chain Risk Insights, 2019. The report says the company has recorded specific incidents in which warehouse or other facility employees have been recruited by an outside malicious actor to exploit their access to facilities and knowledge of procedures. While collusion has always been a logistics risk, cyber adds a new layer, with physical or operational vulnerabilities resulting in compromised cyber systems and vice versa. “Those with the necessary access can abuse their privilege by stealing important data on clients or other sensitive information, or they can access logistical data in order to facilitate a theft of cargo or supply chain terrorism, for example,” notes the BSI report. Disgruntled employees or ex-workers create another vulnerability in the system. “There have been well-documented incidents of recently fired employees retaining access to certain facilities or systems after having
“The breadth of issues facing supply chains is only increasing. Cyber-security risks that most people did not have to grapple with even five years ago are now front and center and incredibly complex, given the number of vendors and third parties involved in this area for most companies. Similarly, the impact that climate change, and associated events, such as more frequent extreme weather events and mass migration, likely would not have figured in supply chain risk assessments even a few years ago, but their effect on supply chains is becoming increasingly apparent.” – Tony Pelli, BSI
been fired, either due to oversight or due to slow procedures,” notes the report. This type of threat applies to any company in any business sector, but “may be particularly difficult for supply chain security managers,” according to BSI’s new study on supply chain risk. “Not only must companies with complex global supply chains manage these vulnerabilities in their own companies; they must also worry about every business partner at every step in that supply chain and whether they adequately address these vulnerabilities as well.” Similar complications are observed when examining supply chain security from a global risk perspective. As political upheaval ramps up in countries around the world, including Brazil, the UK, Columbia, and many others, reverberations are likely. “BSI believes that this trend of disruptive policymaking will likely be an issue that will impact supply chains over the next year,” according to the company’s report. “The breadth of issues facing supply chains is only increasing,” said Tony Pelli, a supply chain risk consultant at BSI in a discussion with LP Magazine on the report’s key conclusions. “Cyber-security risks that most people did not have to grapple with even five years ago are now front and LP MAGAZINE
center and incredibly complex, given the number of vendors and third parties involved in this area for most companies. Similarly, the Tony Pelli impact that climate change, and associated events, such as more frequent extreme weather events and mass migration, likely would not have figured in supply chain risk assessments even a few years ago, but their effect on supply chains is becoming increasingly apparent.” At the strategic center for managing risks is accounting for the fact that the vulnerability of a retail organization today more often depends not only on the protection and security investments it makes but also on what other organizations do—or don’t. This new reality has a profound effect on how protection professionals go about preventing or mitigating security-related events that can cause a disruption in sales activities, a chief security-related concern of senior leaders. Specifically, this evolution requires loss prevention executives to recognize that failures of a weak link in a connected system can
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD reverberate to all parts of it, and to account for interdependencies in risk assessments and strategic planning.
Interdependencies and supply chain complexity means the consequences of supply chain disruptions—whether from natural disasters, terrorism, or other unexpected security or crisis events—have a ripple effect on all connected enterprises. Effectively accounting for interdependency in protection and preparedness activities thus becomes critical, such as being able in a global crisis to rapidly pinpoint endangered suppliers and partners and requiring and reviewing the business continuity plans of third-party partners. Without resilience planning, retailers can pay a substantial price, as evidenced by often-cited research that quantified the negative effects of supply chain disruption through empirical analysis and found that companies hit by a disruption experience 33 to 40 percent lower stock returns relative to their benchmarks over a three-year time period. Political shifts in countries around the world are also likely to affect cargo theft, warn experts. In Mexico’s case, the threat is likely to persist regardless of promises by officials. “Despite Obrador’s anti-corruption and security-focused rhetoric, BSI expects that security challenges will continue to affect businesses in the coming year, in particular in-transit cargo theft.” Much of the company’s advice for Mexico also
applies to other countries where in-transit cargo is at heightened risk: adequately monitor business partners located on the ground; understand the complexity of risks faced in the local operating environment; and identify and understand localized route risks. Globally, cargo theft is expected to follow the manufacturing supply chain as it creeps into new corners of the globe, such as Africa. BSI notes that Egypt is among those countries on the continent that have already seen an influx in relocated manufacturers seeking relief from tariffs and looking to exploit trade benefits, which presents new challenges for professionals charged with securing supply chains with exposure to Africa. Cargo theft, smuggling, and terrorism all present risk, which are “often compounded by rampant corruption found among security and customs personnel in many countries.” The company says it recorded cargo theft incidents in Africa in 2018 that often involved hijackings of cargo trucks or thefts from relatively unsecure facilities, suggesting that an overall lower level of standard security practices is an unaddressed risk. In addition, corrupt security and customs personnel are known to frequently request bribes and often participate in theft schemes outright, says the firm. Pelli said that companies are often unprepared for the problems they may face when sourcing from new countries, including those in Southeast Asia. “In order to stay on top of risks, I think it’s important for supply chain professionals
to have a reliable source of intelligence to keep track of these trends,” said Pelli, whose company offers its Supply Chain Risk Exposure Evaluation Network (SCREEN) tool. He also cited the importance of adaptive, flexible, and risk-agnostic policies, procedures, and systems for managing supply chain risk. Visibility into the supply chain and the ability to rapidly respond to issues as they emerge should be primary objectives, he suggested. Domestically, the picture of cargo theft is mixed. Although government accounting is incomplete—California, for example, a primary location of cargo theft, isn’t included in the data—FBI statistics on cargo theft yields intelligence on year-to-year trends. Notable from 2018 data is that while the number of reported incidents fell, the value of stolen property substantially increased. Meanwhile, the percentage of the value of property recovered continues to fall. In short, while the risk of being a victim of cargo theft in the US may be lessening, the consequence of being victimized is growing. As has been the case historically, the latest government data shows that cargo is most at risk in drop lots, parking areas, and garages. More than 42 percent of all cargo incidents tracked by law enforcement occur in these locations. However, cargo theft at retail locations is not uncommon, comprising 16.3 percent of the total number of reported events, with convenience stores being the most frequently hit retail location.
Cargo Theft by Incidents and Stolen/Recovered Values, 2016–2018
Number of Incidents Value, Property Stolen Value, Property Recovered Percent Recovered 18
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Cargo Theft at Retail Locations, 2018 Shopping mall 1%
Convenience store 48.1%
Liquor store 2.8% Grocery, supermarket 3.8% Department, discount store 9.4% Specialty store (TV, fur, etc.) 10.4% Service, gas station 24.5% In terms of merchandise targeted by cargo thieves, the past is present. “Not much has changed,” explained Malcolm Beckwith, safety and loss prevention manager for a Malcolm Beckwith leading off-price retailer. He noted that traditional schemes persist, like a truck driver accepting a payment to park his or her rig at a designated location and time for it to be compromised. Also similar is the fact that the risk of theft directly corresponds to the cargo being shipped. As in years past, thieves are very focused on the specific products—medical supplies, drugs, electronics—that they can quickly turn into cash on the street. He recounted one recent episode where thieves methodically penetrated layers of security, including cutting through barb wire fencing and trailer locks, only to leave a truckload of home furnishings untouched. “They want stuff they can easily turn into a good amount of cash, selling it for pennies on the dollar,” explained Beckwith. Aligning security with risk requires an assessment of what goods are being shipped, how, and where, suggests research based on theft data from the
Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, Dec. 2019
“Throughout my career I have seen some loss prevention professions fail when transitioning from stores to managing the LP team at a distribution center. The root cause of their difficulties has been taking a store-based LP program and implementing it within a DC environment.” – Malcolm Beckwith Transported Asset Protection Association, Cargo Theft Risk and Security: Product and Location, 2017. “The type of product and transport chain location must be considered to determine the correct level of security,” researchers concluded, adding that data show that product type plays a larger role in cargo theft risk than transport chain location but that there is LP MAGAZINE
substantial interaction between the two. “In terms of elements of crime, the target is more important than the location, but a crime cannot occur without a location with insufficient security,” it concludes. Additionally, the study indicates the importance of assessing the theft of risk at all stages of transport to see if security and risk are in balance. In its sampling, for example, actual security levels were higher for terminal areas than was justified by the theft risk, while the opposite occurred during transport. In wondering why, researchers presumed it was a matter of control. “[Security has been] focused on terminal areas since it is easier to improve security at terminals than along roads.” Finally, because product type is paramount in cargo theft, it is a dynamic security risk and subject to changes in black market demand and linked to local conditions, according to the study. The lesson? To assess risk to product shipments, you need to know what thieves are after—right now, in your areas.
While broad global risk issues are an important part of supply chain security, the issue is also much narrower—and not just at the truck level, but all the way down to whether a customer’s package is on his or her doorstep when they arrive home. The subject, top of mind for many LP executives, will be addressed in the ISCPO conference session, “Cargo Tracking at the Parcel Level.” 7-Eleven’s Byron Smith noted that final-mile delivery options offer very different levels of visibility for retailers and that mechanisms for tracking vary, one element of supply chain security on which LP practitioners find themselves increasingly needing to get schooled. Beckwith, an ISCPO board member with twenty-five years of senior LP leadership experience, said the association provides a valuable forum for networking around security supply chain issues and getting updates on the latest risk to the supply chain network. One of these is the theft of direct ship merchandise to the customer’s home. “That has become the great concern, making sure the package gets from distribution to the customer;
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Theft of Home Package Deliveries by Region, 2019 Central Northwest 7%
Central Northeast 13%
New England 4%
Middle Atlantic 16%
Source: 2019 Package Theft Report
South Atlantic 18% Central Southwest 8%
you hear a lot of people talking about packages being stolen from customers’ front porches.” So-called “porch pirates” are a concern for retailers, requiring orders to be repicked and shipped, eroding margins and frustrating consumers. They are also ubiquitous. According to the 2019 Package Theft Report, based on a survey of 1,052 online shoppers by Shorr Packaging, 24 percent of shoppers have personally experienced package theft. A survey in September by C+R Research of 2,000 online shoppers found an even higher victim rate, 31 percent, with 9 percent reporting they they’ve been victimized by porch pirates more than five times. “Fulfilling customer orders and meeting their expectations is key,” said Smith. LP may have investigation responsibilities when packages go missing and should play an important role in evaluating third- and fourth-party partners that retailers increasingly rely upon. And as new delivery options are considered, such as using autonomous vehicles for last-mile delivery, LP should be there, consulting and advising on the implications of shipping proposals for security and loss. Differences between carriers is perhaps most obvious by home deliveries that have the added security measure of
Central Southeast 4%
sending a visual confirmation to customers via text or email. “Without that, a customer complaint of ‘I never got my package’ would require that order to be reshipped, but now a driver can pull out a phone, take a picture, and the [retailer] can email it to the customer with a note, ‘Hope you enjoy your purchase,’” explained Beckwith. “Those are the kinds of strategic discussions that LP needs to be involved in.” LP’s role should include developing analytics and metrics to identify theft trends and creating action plans to mitigate the potential loss of merchandise, Beckwith said. “It is essential that the LP team is involved in the early stages of the process so that proactive measures can be put in place to protect the product and provide excellent customer service to the customers.” As it takes on projects for major retailers, Appriss Retail, a provider of analytics solutions for retail organizations, is learning how fraud and theft is infecting the physical fulfillment of online transactions. Its analytics have uncovered large collusion cases spread across many customers and that lying to get free shipping is common along with e-commerce return fraud and customers claiming that products received weren’t the same as ordered. “In one case, the same person was getting beer through a
retailer’s grocery channel, and over and over he’d claim he didn’t receive the beer he ordered,” said David Speights, PhD, chief data scientist. “So the retailer was giving him the same refund week after week.” In a ship-to-home world, it’s the type of fraud at which LP teams need to aim analytics to identify and prevent loss. New data indicates that the issue of home delivery is sticky for retailers. While many retailers are pushing and having success with buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) and a new report by CBRE that found a majority of Generation Z prefers it, many customers are stubborn. Despite the existence of more secure alternatives—package lock boxes, in-store pickup, work deliveries—85 percent register a preference for home delivery despite the risk of theft, according to the 2019 theft study. Moreover, many customers don’t want to accept responsibility: 68 percent are unwilling to change purchasing habits around the holidays because of the risk of package theft; 62 percent would not pay extra to retailers or shippers to purchase package insurance despite the risk of theft; and 52 percent think delivery companies aren’t doing enough to prevent package theft. In short, many customers seem to be telling retailers and delivery companies, “You figure it out.”
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD Robust shipment security is complicated by the enormous pressure retailers feel to meet consumer expectations for near real-time delivery and the competition it has spurred among retailers. Already substantial, pressure is likely to grow as consumers grow accustomed to next-day and same-day delivery and the business value for meeting expectations becomes clear. Last month, for example, a survey of 500 consumers by Radial and CFI Group found that offering faster order delivery can compel 63 percent of consumers to sign up for a retailer’s loyalty program. Often, however, when there is a need for speed, security shortcuts are taken. For example, full truckyards at distribution centers during peak season can demand that retailers locate their trailers in neighboring yards, but a security analysis of those temporary locations may not always occur. Shortcuts can inflict carriers as well, especially around critical selling seasons. “With seasonal mass hiring or working with partners you don’t typically deal with means they don’t have the same
incentive or might be more be willing to cut corners, which can impact integrity,” said Smith. While distribution and logistics will work out the contract, LP should be at the table when picking partners, added Smith. He said that should include security audits of carrier facilities, “for a wide range of items, like presence of security personnel, whether there are cameras on the docks, whether cameras are functioning, and that it can control access so that no unintended visitors can be a problem,” advised Smith. LP should assess the security implications associated with any third-party arrangement involving the handling of product, and in the purchase of new distribution facilities, advise experts.
In their own facilities, interviews suggest that many retailers feel comfortable with the ability of strong physical security to mitigate significant loss. Unlike some complicated new fraud schemes, against which retailers may find their current security processes insufficient, robust
controls in distribution centers are typically effective at preventing trailer theft, say experts. It’s typically the failure to put those controls in place or to follow them properly that gives cargo thieves the opportunity they need. Strict adherence to good security policies are even typically effective against more creative theft schemes, such as cargo thieves that set up bogus trucking companies or steal the identity of a legitimate trucking company and book loads and shipments under the company’s name. In this case, thieves hope a distribution center (DC) will think a pickup is legitimate and won’t bother with security checks necessary to uncover the ruse. “It has to start as soon as the driver pulls up, and asking to see ID, paperwork, and contacting and verifying the pickup schedule with the shipping department,” said Beckwith. “With the right controls measures in place, a trailer theft can rarely happen.” And that’s where the focus of prevention should be, he believes, in establishing proactive security measures that prevent high-consequence events.
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A LONG AND WINDING ROAD “Throughout my career I have seen some loss prevention professions fail when transitioning from stores to managing the LP team at a distribution center. The root cause of their difficulties has been taking a store-based LP program and implementing it within a DC environment,” Beckwith said. While most store-based LP professionals focus on catching shoplifters and dishonest associates to hit their shrinkage goals, the focus at DCs should be on establishing strong physical security programs that minimize theft opportunities, he added. “I’m not advocating that we ignore internal dishonesty at the distribution center, but that our limited resources should be leveraged to achieve the greatest return.” There is a significant disparity between catching five associates each stealing $50 worth of merchandise versus having a trailer stolen with $500,000 worth of merchandise, he noted. While security is typically strong at large distribution centers, industry analysts have started to see a trend among some retailers, particularly grocery operators, of establishing smaller warehouses near existing stores to deliver goods more efficiently. It’s incumbent on retail security leaders to ensure that security controls at these smaller centers adhere to company standards. With respect to supply chain protection and meeting goals for preventing loss within the supply chain, Beckwith said his team has always been focused on five key guiding principles—ones that can benefit the industry as it seeks to find control over a very diverse and intricate domain. 1. Develop high performance teams. 2. Foster collaborative partnerships at all levels of the organization. 3. Establish and maintain highly effective physical security programs. 4. Develop and implement a comprehensive shrink strategy that focuses on all areas of the operation that contribute to shrinkage. 5. Ensure that goals and objectives are aligned with the company’s strategic direction and vision. High-value collusion cases in DCs present a unique challenge, by providing thieves a way to skirt even thoughtful security controls. Good hiring practices can help, but Beckwith said the strategy has
limitations because the motivation to steal often arises well after hire, as the result of a hardship or some other catalyst that wasn’t previously present. Controls may not prevent a security officer from taking $5,000 to look the other way, but they still yield value. “You have to be reactive in collusion cases, but again, with good controls in place, even reactive investigations are made easier,” said Beckwith. “By having the right processes, controls, and practices in place you reduce the possibility of high-value collusion theft from taking place.” With the proper processes, an investigation into wrongdoing can facilitate recreating the event to learn facts around how it happened and who was involved—and the same is true in investigations of fraudulent injury claims inside retail distribution centers. In these environments, root cause analysis, in conjunction with robust physical security systems, can serve to keep people honest. “If you have someone saying he hurt his knee, you can see if he came in limping or get the details exactly when and where the injury occurred and then see how that aligns with surveillance,” said Beckwith. “You’re doing the analysis to prevent a similar injury from happening again,” but in that case, LP’s attention to good safety and security practices can make it unnecessary for risk management to direct a costly external investigation to uncover evidence of a fraudulent claim. “All that might not be necessary if you have strong internal controls and investigative processes to follow when someone gets hurt,” he said, adding that it’s important to keep in mind that these cases are not the norm. Safety in distribution centers “is one of our top priorities as an organization,” said Beckwith, noting that its number one objective is to “ensure that our associates return home to their loved ones in the same condition in which they came to work.” Progress has certainly been made, with both the number and severity of injuries sharply lower than decades ago. Regulations, technology, and safer operations have combined for much safer work environments. Still, large distribution warehouse environments have risks, as highlighted in November in a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting and The Atlantic on injuries among Amazon warehouse
employees. Analyzing Amazon’s internal injury records for 2018 at twenty-three fulfillment centers revealed a rate of serious injuries for those facilities that was more than double the national average, as high as ten serious injuries per 100 workers. “We found broadly that the drive to fulfill orders quickly is injuring [workers] at very high injury rates,” explained investigative reporter Will Evans to NPR. The culprit, according to the investigation, is the high production quota that requires workers to process hundreds of items an hour for up to twelve-hour shifts. Automation, often credited for reducing injury risks, is also creating safety problems by being so efficient that humans can’t keep pace, the report suggests. “Workers know that if they don’t keep up, they can be fired. And so, they’re basically sacrificing their bodies either through repetitive stress injuries or strains and sprains,” explained Evans. “The speed seems to be the key element. And the former safety managers at Amazon that we talked to said they basically can’t protect the workers when the production demands are so high.” The Amazon case is a good reminder that the supply chain is fickle. Safety and security risks are dynamic—subject to change as delivery and fulfillment evolves, new alliances are forged, and the supply chain web grows more intricate. Smith thinks there has been good work done on the supply chain security front, but that practitioners are always being charged to do more. “We’re always searching for answers and challenging our solution providers,” said Smith. The ISCPO conference is important in that regard, providing a forum for generating ideas, soliciting feedback, and developing the solutions that address specific needs of the industry. “It was a conscious decision by the board early on to keep the ISCPO conference small and personal to allow time for the attendees to engage personally with all the solution providers.” GARETT SEIVOLD is senior writer for LP Magazine. A trained journalist, he has spent the majority of his career writing about security, risk management, supply chain, and loss prevention topics. He can be reached at GarettS@LPportal.com.
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SUPPLY CHAIN By Glenn Master
Loss Prevention Russian Style
Master is a recognized industry expert with over twenty years of experience in loss prevention and security management. He has worked both domestically and internationally specializing in supply chain, transportation, and logistics. Master has held executive and management positions with companies such as Pitney Bowes, Newgistics, Office Depot, Henry Schein, and Motorola. He is cofounder and current board director of the International Supply Chain Protection Organization (ISCPO). He is also an adjunct professor at Texas Christian University teaching undergraduate courses in criminal justice, security, and LP management. He can be reached at Glenn.Master@pb.com.
eing part of Generation X, I’ve had the opportunity to witness some major events that have taken place on a global level. Back in the 1980s, the United States and the Soviet Union were the two major superpowers. Very little was known by the general public about the communist-controlled country, especially in light of the lingering fear over the potential of nuclear weapons being used if a conflict were to break out between the two countries. In fact, only now do we know that the Soviet Union was just as worried about the possibility of a nuclear attack as the US. A glimmer of hope grew between the two world leaders of these competing superpowers during this period of time. That hope was known as “Glasnost,” or openness, which eventually set the stage for continued talks between the two countries, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union into what we now know as the Russian Federation. So while I was thrilled by the opportunity to travel to Moscow this year for business, a bit of trepidation was mixed with that excitement.
After consulting with business connections in both the public and private sectors, I obviously made inquiries regarding security, safety, and the best places to eat. More importantly, however, I wanted to explore the business culture in Russia, especially as it relates to loss prevention. What I learned is that loss prevention is a very new concept to most Russian businesses. This put me in a good position, knowing that I essentially could be an ambassador of sorts in educating supply chain executives more about the overall concept of loss prevention. One of the very first things that I noticed upon arriving in Moscow was that capitalism is alive and well. As I got closer to the old city center, which has iconic structures such as the Kremlin, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and the former offices of the KGB, I noticed something familiar. The streets were aligned with shoppers whizzing in and out of familiar brands of retail shops. With the obvious abundance of retailers in the country, ordering online for Russian consumers has become an economic driver. In supply chain terms, Russia is considered an emerging market, which has grown very quickly in a short period of time. Because of this, little if any well-known retailers from the United States or Europe have logistic operations in country. This forces most retailers to use a transportation broker that specializes in shipping throughout parts of the country. However, not all brokers are the same, and in most instances will subcontract the regional and final-mile transportation to Russian-based carriers. This is no different than in most parts of the world, but with the stringent compliance standards that are in place, it could pose a problem for online orders. In addition, traveling to Russia is difficult, sometimes taking several months and multiple attempts to obtain a business-travel Visa. These challenges can be extremely problematic since unlike doing business in the US, you can’t simply get on a plane to audit an operation that is known to have compliance problems.
The Emerging E-commerce Market Like most people, the unknown can be both fearful and intriguing. Obviously, I was concerned on a multitude of fronts traveling to Russia, especially based on reported cyber-security risks and economic espionage. After all, I have never met anyone in loss prevention who has done business in the country, let alone colleagues within the supply chain.
In supply chain terms, Russia is considered an emerging market, which has grown very quickly in a short period of time. Because of this, little if any wellknown retailers from the United States or Europe have logistic operations in country.This forces most retailers to use a transportation broker that specializes in shipping throughout parts of the country. However, not all brokers are the same, and in most instances will subcontract the regional and final-mile transportation to Russian-based carriers. 24
The Life Cycle of an Online Order The vast majority of retail online orders originating from the US and Europe arrive into Russia via commercial flights at either Sheremetyevo or Domodedovo airports in Moscow. Both continued on page 26 |
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Local Ship and Receive Centers
continued from page 24
these airports have a vast array of transportation brokerage warehouses either on or near the airport. As with most orders arriving into a foreign country, the parcels have to undergo a customs clearance process and tax collection. These two processes account for the vast majority of delays in e-commerce shipments into Russia. The government has a continuing list of merchandise that constantly changes listing commodities banned from coming into the country. For example, a retailer might be shipping the latest fashion, which could resemble combat gear. However, if customs documents are not filled out correctly, officials may mistake that apparel for military gear, which is considered a banned item. It’s actually the retailer’s responsibility to know this and provide accurate information to the brokerage company prior to shipping. In addition, tax collection can sometimes be the responsibility of the consumers. Depending on the retailer’s website, if proper tax documentation is not provided prior to shipping, the order won’t be permitted to proceed. Because of these two major challenges, it’s advisable that the retailer work directly with the brokerage company and have outbound orders staged in the country of origin to ensure all clearance issues are rectified. If the retailer waits until the parcel arrives in Russia, it may be stuck in a customs hold for weeks at the airport. This will obviously result in a consumer complaint for nonreceipt, and a claim. Another major challenge for shipping goods into Russia is the sheer size of the country. Most supply chain transportation is done through a hub-and-spoke model, with the hub being a major city that can receive, process, and ship large volumes of parcels. These parcels are then shipped farther down the supply chain to the spokes, or smaller cities. Russia spans over 6,000 miles west to east, covering eleven time zones and some of the worst winter weather on the planet. The time it takes for a parcel to get processed in Moscow and shipped down the supply chain has to be calculated ahead of time and made known to the consumer. This should be at the top of the list of questions the retailer is asking of its brokerage company. Also, it’s important not to assume that the brokerage company is always the expert.
When looking at delivery methods for the average consumer in Russia, it’s very rare you will find a final-mile provider or postal service solution delivering a package to someone’s residence. In most of the major cities in Russia, citizens live in high-rise apartment complexes, and the ability to receive packages at their doorsteps is limited. Several of Russia’s large transportation providers have come up with a solution to this problem by establishing PUDOs or pickup/delivery stations. These are either owned by the company or franchised to local owner-operators. Most PUDOs are located in areas of the city center that have high foot traffic or near the entrance of large apartment buildings. The stations are normally open for twelve hours to accommodate consumers’ work schedules, are manned by employees, and have full security functions including CCTV. One of the most unique functions that these PUDOs offer is a dressing room for the consumer to receive their order, try it on, and return it immediately to the retailer if it’s not to their liking. These delivery stations are not exclusive to Russia. During my travels throughout Europe, I have increasingly been seeing the same type of stations.
2020 and Ongoing Globalization As we move forward, we’ve just closed out 2019 and are moving into a new decade. For all the negative political stories that seem to occupy our lives on a daily basis, the reality is we’re in one of the longest economic growth periods that has ever taken place in history. What this means is that consumers worldwide are going to continue to order online, and both retailers and transportation companies will have to evolve to support those needs. Countries that most Americans have never heard of before will be evolving as part of this economic globalization period, and retailers will have to support these e-commerce demands. We’re now in a period where any company or individual has the ability to ship an item to someone else on the planet. The innovations in the supply chain that help make this happen are ever-changing, and I’m excited to see what the next decade will bring us. |
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION DRIVING CHANGE TOGETHER AS AN INDUSTRY By James Lee, LPC, Executive Editor
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION EDITOR’S NOTE: The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) is a nonprofit organization aimed at reducing shoplifting recidivism through education. Its leadership team is made up of Caroline Kochman, executive director; Renee Sirianni, deputy executive director; and Barbara Staib, director of communications and partnerships. Collectively, the leadership team has seventy-plus years of experience addressing the shoplifting issue, not only in daily work with the offenders themselves but also with all branches of criminal justice and the retail loss prevention industry. The team grew NASP from a research and rehabilitation organization to a recognized leader and trusted expert in providing education programs, services, and solutions compatible with the needs and pain points of all stakeholders. NASP and its retail advisory committee have launched and are leading a new industry initiative in the form of a coalition to promote an organized national effort to impact shoplifting recidivism through a focus on education. LP Magazine recently sat down with the NASP leadership team and members of their advisory committee to understand the current climate in the US around shoplifting, the impact of criminal justice reform, and the resulting need for a paradigm shift in our collective response as an industry. EDITOR: Before we discuss the coalition, for those who may not know, can you clarify NASP’s purpose and mission? STAIB: The sole purpose of the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention is to identify and implement constructive solutions that holistically address the shoplifting problem in our nation. Our mission—to raise awareness about the shoplifting problem and provide education to reduce the number of people who shoplift—governs our efforts, programs, and priorities. The organization was incorporated in 1989 as a nonprofit under IRS code 501(c)(3). Thirty years of rehabilitating shoplifting offenders, providing proven-effective programs, and developing considerable connections to both retail and criminal justice nationwide give our organization the ability to create, execute, and maintain sustainable shoplifting education programs that reduce shoplifter recidivism to less than 5 percent versus the 30 to 40 percent that is typical without education. EDITOR: How did NASP get started? KOCHMAN: Our founder, Peter Berlin, who most people know is my father, spent thirty-plus years as a retail loss prevention professional, consultant on retail theft, and publisher of two leading retail industry newsletters
on inventory shrinkage. Just like many of your readers, Peter spent his early years apprehending and prosecuting shoplifters. It was this experience and the disconnect he saw that led to his passion to find out why consumers, people who are not otherwise criminals, shoplift and more importantly figure out what would make them stop. He spent years meeting with and interviewing shoplifters; he even began holding weekly self-help groups, so
he could dive deep into what it was that drove them to do something criminal when it was clearly out of their character and they had the money in their pockets to pay. Once he found answers, he developed rehabilitation and education programs for offenders—first adults and then for juveniles. As you might imagine, very few offenders were coming to us on their own. We needed to go where they were and began educating criminal justice about why people shoplift and how education, more than fines, community service, or even jail time, would make them stop. My first official role at NASP was attending every criminal justice and law enforcement conference we could to present our work and findings. At first, the idea that education programs could prevent repeat offenses seemed ridiculous. But through perseverance and commitment to the mission, NASP grew from one court system in Ocala, Florida, to courts in all fifty states in just ten years. It is now, of course, commonplace for court systems to use education programs to prevent shoplifter recidivism.
The NASP leadership team includes (from left to right) Barbara Staib, director of communications and partnerships; Caroline Kochman, executive director; and Renee Sirianni, deputy executive director.
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION EDITOR: Why did you move to get retailers more involved? SIRIANNI: Even with over 4,000 criminal justice professionals using the programs across fifty states, we estimate that we were still only reaching about 2 to 3 percent of the shoplifters, in large part due to the built-in attrition in the criminal justice system. So, early on, it become clear that retailer involvement and their support of education was key to making a greater impact in the fulfillment of our mission. We knew that if we could collaborate with the industry to put a focus on education at the top of the funnel, we could increase our impact exponentially. To see just how critical the need was, we analyzed the numbers and found that working primarily with criminal justice, it would take us fifty years to educate 1 million offenders. In contrast, collaborating with retail to direct offenders to education earlier in the process, before they fall through the cracks in the criminal justice system, we will have a far more immediate impact. We are in an unprecedented time. Our organization is seeing the lowest number of offenders being referred by criminal justice in the twenty-two years since I’ve been with NASP. Moreover, 27 percent of our existing court programs have been eliminated in favor of less-effective, noneducational sanctions simply for the purpose of moving cases out of the system quickly. With criminal justice continuing to abandon any effective response to retail theft, we saw this as a freight train coming down the tracks, poised to hit the retail industry. There is no doubt that a focus on education—versus the traditional reliance on criminal justice—is a paradigm shift for the industry. We knew the change wouldn’t happen overnight, but also knew it was the best way to mitigate the impact of the coming freight train. EDITOR: You mention a “freight train” headed for the industry. Can you expound on what you mean?
“The sole purpose of the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention is to identify and implement constructive solutions that holistically address the shoplifting problem in our nation. Our mission—to raise awareness about the shoplifting problem and provide education to reduce the number of people who shoplift—governs our efforts, programs, and priorities.” – Barbara Staib, National Association for Shoplifting Prevention STAIB: The freight train is the
confluence of issues that so many of you have heard us talking about. A confluence sparked by a national focus on reducing incarceration. We have forty-plus states who’ve raised their felony threshold, with police putting limits on responding to shoplifting calls and prosecutors flat out writing, and worse yet, publishing policies that they will not prosecute misdemeanor retail theft. This creates a situation wherein much of criminal justice reform is happening squarely on the backs of retailers. EDITOR: When did the idea of a coalition come to be? KOCHMAN: While we continued to do all that we could with criminal justice, we knew that in the current environment, it would never be enough. We knew we needed industry leaders and influencers who would recognize the magnitude and urgency of the situation. In the first half of 2019, we invited multiple loss prevention pyramid heads and other industry executives to join the NASP retail advisory committee to guide our efforts and engage other retailers in an industry-wide effort to respond to and mitigate the inevitable impact of the issues at hand. This group also became the foundation of the coalition, the result of a belief that retail AP is more effective as whole rather than as isolated actors, that their collective voice and collective resources LP MAGAZINE
can impact the future and create commercially sustainable social impact for all. To bring this to the forefront and gain additional support, Mike Lamb, Scott Glenn, and Paul Jones presented a breakout session at the RILA Asset Protection Conference in Denver in May 2019. Their presentation laid out the need for retailers to take a more active role in reducing recidivism by shifting from a reliance on the criminal justice system to that of an education-focused system. This resonated with many and created a buzz. It was from there that the coalition really came to life. EDITOR: Mike, at this point in your career, why have you decided to reexamine and embrace the value of education for offenders? LAMB: From my viewpoint, a number of factors have resulted in a deeper examination of the benefits of education versus prosecution for first-time and low-level offenders. The sobering realization that our current criminal justice system is under tremendous pressure and constraints, combined with criminal justice reform, is at the forefront of this issue in my opinion. Understanding that recidivism rates are significantly lower through education versus prosecution also resonated profoundly for me. Finally, the notion of doing the right thing for the citizens in the communities in
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION which we serve by allowing first-time and low-level offenders the avoidance of the potential for a criminal record conviction just feels like the right thing to do.
LAMB: As I mentioned earlier, it’s about doing the right thing. That applies to our AP organization, our company, and the communities and customers we serve.
EDITOR: Why is it critical to the retail industry as a whole? LAMB: With theft on the rise for retailing and the negative impact it’s creating, which in my opinion is significantly influenced by increasing felony thresholds and a criminal justice system that is not designed to effectively address the issue, we will not materially impact this problem in the absence of alternative thinking, strategies, and actions. Let’s face it—doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is not the answer.
EDITOR: Paul, over the past several years there have been other programs aimed at reducing repeat shoplifting. How is the coalition different from previous initiatives? JONES: What really sets it apart is this is a public-private, nonprofit partnership with a reputable, long-standing nonprofit organization. The coalition is different as it takes the leading expert in this space— NASP—and collaborates directly with retailers and law enforcement to tailor a program that works for everyone.
EDITOR: How does investing in education balance and enhance your investments in hardening the target? LAMB: In my opinion, the scale is significantly over-weighted on investments that enhance detection and/ or prevention rather than education; at least that’s been my focus as an AP leader, unfortunately. This emphasis on “balancing” only makes sense to me because the idea is that all retailers benefit from education that minimizes repeat occurrences of theft across Michael Lamb, LPC, the board. To is vice president of the extent that asset protection for The Kroger Co. we only focus on prevention and detection, we simply shift the problem from retailer to retailer. Balancing education with prevention and detection supports a broader solution for all.
EDITOR: What are the circumstances that have led to this new initiative? JONES: We currently have a justice system that is overburdened and disposing of retail theft cases at an alarming rate. Some have gone to no prosecutions at all, leaving retailers with no appropriate resolution. No prosecution and no consequence results in more repeat offenders and more offenders escalating to ORC. We have organized retail crime (ORC) rates continuing to rise. Imagine fewer shoplifters because we offered crime-specific education. This would mean less shrink for retailers and fewer law enforcement hours applied to petty theft, which hopefully will allow our law enforcement partners to address the growing trend of ORC.
EDITOR: What is the value of involvement to Kroger as a whole? Is it just about AP, or is it of value to the wider organization?
EDITOR: Why do you think NASP is the right organization to partner with? What do they bring to the table others do not? JONES: They are a 501(c)(3) provider and have over thirty years of experience dedicated to this cause, working with both retailers and criminal justice on solutions proven to reduce recidivism. Their education programs have been studied and
have produced leading-edge results in helping offenders. More importantly, they are laser-focused. In my twenty-year association with NASP, I have never seen them stray from their mission to use education to change lives, restore communities, reduce shrink, and improve safety. While at first that feels a little “earthy, crunchy” for an old LP guy like me, it is proven. It provides a solid foundation for this effort and is more timely now than ever. NASP’s role in this effort will be to execute the coalition priorities and programs. They are best equipped to do this because of their direct connection to and Paul Jones, LPC, is director of loss their position of prevention and trust in criminal e-commerce fraud justice, their brand, for The Vitamin Shoppe and cochair and reputation. of the NASP retail They are not a advisory committee. fly-by-night group looking to make a fast buck. They have a long history, and their programs are proven to change behavior and improve lives. EDITOR: Rhett, your support of NASP goes back to your days at RILA and has been a steady presence since. What is the root of your passion? ASHER: During my early days with RILA, I happened to be walking the floor of another tradeshow and met Peter Berlin. We had a wonderful conversation, and I really felt like we connected. Not only did he take an interest in my career, but also he shared his vision and the mission of NASP with me. The man was so passionate about the way he viewed our industry, it’s challenges with shoplifting, and how he thought NASP’s efforts were the right way to help both retailers and the communities they thrived in. After that conversation, I was hooked. You see, I have worked in many facets of retail my whole life, and
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION
“NASP’s role in this effort will be to execute the coalition priorities and programs. They are best equipped to do this because of their direct connection to and their position of trust in criminal justice, their brand, and reputation. They are not a fly-by-night group looking to make a fast buck. They have a long history, and their programs are proven to change behavior and improve lives.” – Paul Jones, The Vitamin Shoppe I have seen what shoplifting does to our industry and, at the ground floor, what it does to offenders and their families. There has to be a more holistic approach to this problem, and it starts with all of us. I love the retail industry and strive to give back to it every day. This is why I am so passionate
about the efforts of NASP. Its mission aims at the very root of the shoplifting problem by driving down recidivism through the educating of our youth, families, and communities about the damage it can cause and ultimately lowering shrink and driving up profits for our retailers.
EDITOR: Do you think offender education can be a game changer? ASHER: Absolutely. I believe that once this effort begins to reach the masses through broader adoption by retailers, and our communities start to hear a consistent message of care and understanding with the offering of education versus incarceration for first-time youth and other offenders, it will lead to many positives for retailers even beyond increased sales and lower theft, not to mention the strengthening of brand loyalty Rhett Asher is and community vice president of relations. When strategy for ThinkLP and cochair of the you stop a NASP retail advisory shoplifter from committee. becoming a professional, you not only impact your own bottom line but also the health
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION of the community and change the trajectory of a young life. It is certainly a game-changer for that young life. EDITOR: How is ThinkLP supporting the coalition and why? ASHER: In addition to supporting my role as cochair of the NASP advisory committee, ThinkLP is currently exploring ways to assist NASP with their overall technological structure in an effort to make it a much smoother and efficient process to facilitate better industry-wide collaboration. Our hope is to make the NASP organization the best it can be in support of these overall efforts. ThinkLP is committed to the 1-1-1 pledge, which means donating at least 1 percent of our annual profits, 1 percent of our time, and 1 percent of our products and resources to not-for-profit organizations, both globally and locally. Our goal is to be a responsible organization that we can be proud of, and we want to support and share that with the industry. EDITOR: John, how do you see the coalition impacting the fact that the criminal justice system is increasingly ignoring misdemeanor offenders? MATAS: The system today is also downplaying some retail felony offenses as well. This is a slippery slope. We want the criminal justice system to understand that retail theft is a major and continually growing problem that needs attention, and courts and law enforcement cannot deflect accountability. EDITOR: Do you believe the initiative could play a role is how retailers and local law enforcement collaborate in addressing shoplifting? MATAS: This issue is less about law enforcement and more about the judicial system. Law enforcement, for the most part, are just as frustrated by criminal reform as retailers. The real collaboration must take place with criminal justice. Make first-time
shoplifting offenses officially part of any court diversion or intervention program. The shoplifter pays any fines, pays restitution and civil demand, satisfies any community service, pays for their own offender education, and stays out of trouble for an extended period of time in order to get their record sealed. The offender must take ownership and feel accountable for their actions. EDITOR: What impact could this program play in focusing more on ORC versus casual offenders? MATAS: The ORC phenomenon continues to grow and expand exponentially because it is a high-reward, low-risk business. Low-level John Matas, shoplifting is CFE, CFCI, is growing because vice president of profit protection, it has become investigations, fraud, a high-reward, and ORC for Macy’s. no-risk business. ORC operates on a much higher level that education cannot impact. However, this coalition is a great opportunity to create accountability to the casual offender and hopefully prevent them from moving into ORC. EDITOR: You have been supportive of shoplifter education for quite some time. Why is that? JOHNS: I believe that continuing to apprehend shoplifters is a useless endeavor, especially if we are not taking the action proven to change the offender’s behavior. I believe that if we want to change behavior, we as a retail industry need to develop ideas that educate and reform the process of apprehension and prosecution. Apprehension in today’s environment is dangerous for both LP and store associates, customers, and the shoplifter. What bad could happen if we start looking to break that cycle through education?
EDITOR: Frank, do you believe retailers have a social and corporate responsibility to educate youthful offenders? JOHNS:
Retailers have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for our customers and our associates in the store. Education and Frank Johns, LPC, rehabilitation are is chairman of the processes that Loss Prevention Foundation. are a win-win for everyone. Whether you call it social or corporate responsibility is not what is important; it is the right thing to do. That is why it is important to everyone—employees, customers, law enforcement, parents, and particularly the child who commits the crime. EDITOR: How can the coalition enhance the loss prevention program and the overall retail brand? JOHNS: I think education programs, particularly in schools and at home, with tools for parents on how to approach the issue with the children are important. Law enforcement naturally plays a part with education programs implemented in schools and by parents. Adding retailers and retail solutions providers as partners offering funding and collateral education materials that can be consistent in all retailers and communities would be beneficial. Branding retailers with the partnership with NASP brings all retailers into alignment around education and delivers a consistent message to law enforcement and the criminal justice community. EDITOR: Can this initiative impact the safety of store employees and customers? JOHNS: It does on a regular basis. Removing the criminal element from the retail store environment provides a safer place to shop and work. Many associates and customers in retailers
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION
“I believe that continuing to apprehend shoplifters is a useless endeavor, especially if we are not taking the action proven to change the offender’s behavior. I believe that if we want to change behavior, we as a retail industry need to develop ideas that educate and reform the process of apprehension and prosecution.” – Frank Johns, Loss Prevention Foundation over the years have been seriously injured or killed. Reducing this risk will be a huge benefit to everyone. As an industry, we need all the tools we can get to fight this. We need to put the focus on education to prevent escalation and repeat offenses over the long run. The practice of apprehension with just a warn-and-release only encourages repeat offenses. EDITOR: Paul, you were involved with a program at your previous company that helped reduce calls to police and provided first-time offenders a second chance? Describe the value of that program and how this new initiative is different. JAECKLE: The value of this program, and one of the main differences I see, is this is being addressed as a uniform problem for the retail Paul Jaeckle, LPC, industry, the is vice president law enforcement of asset protection community, and for Meijer. the court system, regardless of who the retailer is or where they operate. This coalition is connecting several retailers to make sure the solutions and offender training being provided have retailers’ interests at heart because we are the victims. Additionally, this aligns to the policies and laws in each municipality, community, or state. It also forces a deep look to ensure that the education
attacks the root of the shoplifting problem in order to truly reduce recidivism and not just force repeat offender behavior at another retailer. NASP and this coalition are trying to carry the voice for retailers against the real issue of shoplifting and this current epidemic. EDITOR: Why is it important to have an initiative that allows retailers to collaborate and invest in the use of education to address shoplifting? JAECKLE: Retailers invest in their stores to deter shoplifting activity and force the behavior somewhere else. What is underleveraged is the long-term deterrent to keep a shoplifter from repeating the crime at any retailer. Shoplifting is often seen as a nuisance crime in a community, and a burden on law enforcement and the court system, and ultimately the taxpayer and consumer. The retailer is a victim in this situation. However, we, as loss prevention and asset protection professionals, have a responsibility to control and solve it, and that should mean more than just forcing the behavior elsewhere. The focus should be on trying to solve the epidemic at its root. EDITOR: Do you believe offender education can have a positive impact on a retailer’s bottom line and community image? JAECKLE: Yes, when handled the right way. All too often, courts have varying penalties and/or court-ordered programs for offenders that may not LP MAGAZINE
target the right objectives to deter repeat offenses. It’s like sending a habitual drunken driver to a class designed for those who’ve received speeding tickets. They are both driving offenses that impact driving status and can be criminal in nature but are very different driving offenses. Teaching someone how to manage speed and the effects it has on safety, insurance costs, points to your licenses, and so forth, are all the same, but sometimes the alcohol-related offenses are driven by a deeper illness that requires different treatment. This is how shoplifting offender education should work. The coalition is trying to create consistency around the root of the issue, agnostic of the court jurisdiction or retailers individually, in order to right the behavior—not just create awareness of how to treat repeat offenders. At the end of the day, most retailers are spending a lot of time, effort, and money to deter shoplifting, but the pool of offenders continues to grow. It’s time to think about solving this problem together rather than as individuals with the same tactics that don’t make as much impact as desired. Fixing it would help retailers not be as invasive to paying customers, not overburden law enforcement and courtrooms, better correct individuals’ behavior, and avoid potential future criminal activity that often originates with shoplifting. EDITOR: Scott, do you believe this initiative could have an impact on how some misdemeanor offenders evolve to ORC? GLENN: I think this initiative will be beneficial for retailers most affected by casual or low-level offenders. I am skeptical of the impact on ORC Scott Glenn, EJD, LPC, is vice or professional president of asset offenders. protection for The That said, I am Home Depot. supportive of
A NATIONAL SHOPLIFTING PREVENTION COALITION the initiative as a whole. However, the ability to head off those causal offenders and get them the education or treatment that they need is critical, and that is where the coalition will have an impact. EDITOR: Could the coalition play a role in how retailers and local law enforcement collaborate in addressing shoplifting? GLENN: I support anything we can do to bridge the understanding gap between law enforcement and retailers. However, I think we have to be cautious and temper our expectations that law enforcement and the criminal justice system will all of a sudden see the light and go all in on retail crime. EDITOR: What impact could this program play in allowing retailers to focus more on ORC versus casual offenders? GLENN: I think this is where the value lies. Taking valuable loss prevention resources out of stores for court proceedings is a significant drain on efficiency. Keeping our teams focused on those offenders that cause the most proportionate damage is the focus of my organization today. EDITOR: Kevin, you have been a very vocal supporter of NASP for a very long time. What is your connection to their mission, and why do you believe in this Coalition? MCMENIMEN: My experience with NASP goes back to my earlier days in retail, more than twenty-plus years ago, when I remember reading the Peter Berlin report like it was the bible of loss prevention. I even posted them on our stores’ shortage awareness boards hoping to share that knowledge and enlighten store associates to the impact they could have on shrink, theft, and safety. The bulk of my career since my days in law enforcement, and in retail, has been spent focused on helping retailers communicate, share
information, educate, and train, so my alignment with NASP has always been very natural. I very much believe in NASP’s mission and their efforts to impact behavior through education, offering an individual an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and for their families. I am especially a fan of their work with youthful offenders who make a mistake, helping them realize the error in their ways, and understanding that it does not have to define them or commit them to a life in this broken system we all refer to, but rather provide Kevin McMenimen, LPC, is chief the opportunity operating officer of to make better LPM Media Group. choices in life and do the right thing going forward. I also believe very strongly in their efforts as a nonprofit organization. This is not a group who is driven by corporate profits but rather by doing the right thing. They were a big influence in the days of starting the Loss Prevention Foundation when, as one of the cofounders of that organization, we put in tireless hours in developing programs, not for the money, but because it was the right thing to do. We also structured that initiative as a nonprofit to give back to the industry and pay it forward in providing education and opportunity to LP professionals around the world. It makes a difference, I think, when you have groups of people coming together like this, donating their time to put toward initiatives like the NASP education and now the coalition because they know it is important and believe in it enough to support it and see it succeed. EDITOR: You are a solution provider today, albeit with retail experience. What will you be able to bring to the table in supporting the coalition?
MCMENIMEN: As I mentioned, the
bulk of my career is in designing communication systems and developing educational programs. I have worked with NASP on several projects, including updating their shoplifting education, creating shoplifting awareness materials, and developing courses to address internal theft. To truly be successful and to remain impactful and relevant, these course and resources must always evolve, whether it is to be more accessible, based on changes in technology, or to be current in message or even in format as “how we learn” has changed dramatically over the last several years. It is imperative that if the coalition is going to be supporting these education initiatives, that these resources need to be accessible and impactful. The LPM Media Group team and I have committed to the coalition to help support NASP in ensuring just that. It is our goal to help ensure that NASP has the support to optimize content and communication channels while integrating with internal systems to track, maintain, and measure results. EDITOR: If you were to sum up today’s interviews, in explaining and promoting support for this new coalition, what would you say? MCMENIMEN: Get involved. This is the right thing to do as an industry, to come together and to work together to address this problem with a proven solution. We know education works and has an impact on recidivism. This is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. We have shoplifting and ORC on the rise, safety in our stores in jeopardy, a broken judicial system that, in so many ways, is working against us rather than for us. The days of working in silos to protect our individual brands has passed. We need to work together. It is the right opportunity and the right time to work together as an industry to make a difference. This coalition represents a new legacy for those who will follow. Reach out and get involved.
NASP Board of Advisors Rhett Asher, Cochair Vice President, Strategy ThinkLP Chief Anthony Canale (Ret.) Vice President Verisk Crime Analytics Scott Glenn, EJD, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection The Home Depot Paul Jaeckle, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection Meijer Stores Frank Johns, LPC Chairman The Loss Prevention Foundation Paul Jones, LPC, Cochair Director, Loss Prevention and E-commerce Fraud The Vitamin Shoppe Michael Lamb, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection The Kroger Company
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Jim Lee, LPC Executive Editor LP Magazine Julius Lewis Police Officer Elk Grove (CA) Police Department John Matas, Jr., CFE, CFCI Vice President of Profit Protection, Investigations, Fraud, and ORC Macy’s Kevin McMenimen, LPC Chief Operating Officer LPM Media Group Walter Palmer, CFI Executive Vice President CAP Index Mark Stinde, MBA, LPC Senior Vice President, Asset Protection JCPenney Terry Sullivan, LPC President The Loss Prevention Foundation Jack Trlica Managing Editor LP Magazine Pamela Velose Vice President, Asset Protection and Safety Belk John J. Zebrowski Chief of Police Sayreville (NJ) Police Department
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For more information about the coalition, email firstname.lastname@example.org. LP MAGAZINE
Expanding Your LP IQ
Interview with Troy Harding, LPC Harding has worked in the retail industry with The Kroger Co. for twenty-eight years and has been the director of asset protection for the past two. Previous roles with the company have included store manager, district coordinator (front end, merchandising, and operations), district manager, and division retail operations manager.
Why did you decide to pursue your LPC certification? I have had the unique experience of working as a leader within asset protection but did not come from a loss prevention background. At Kroger, we have transitioned to a total AP model that combines traditional loss prevention with shrink management. My experiences have provided me with a very strong knowledge base of managing shrink efforts, but I don’t have much experience on the LP side. This certification provided an opportunity to bridge that gap and allowed me to leverage this educational opportunity to learn more about loss prevention from end to end and through many lenses.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course? I have a much broader view of our asset protection industry and have a heightened awareness of the approaches and solutions that are available to help proactively identify gaps and solve issues. It also helped with my confidence in managing elements of AP that I may not have had exposure to previously. This certification also reflects my commitment to my continued education and helps with credibility amongst my peers and other stakeholders.
Talk about the process of going through the coursework and taking the exam. I took a very methodical approach to complete the coursework. I know how I learn best and retain, and for me, spending too much time on a single day would not have been the best approach. I dedicated thirty to forty-five minutes every morning, Monday through Friday, to read the material and one hour each weekend. I found this to be an approach that worked well for me in the sense that I was always chipping away at it and found it never cut into my regular work or personal time. I also took quality notes along the way. Once I finished the reading, I went back and retook each of the quizzes until I could score 95 percent on all of them, and I took the same approach on the practice test. Once I felt I could confidently pass the tests, I quickly scheduled the final exam and took it while the content was fresh for me.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be? Make a structured plan, write it down, stay super dedicated to that plan, and have a backup plan if anything gets in your way, so you can ensure that progress is being made. Set weekly and monthly goals and pivot if you need to. Aggressively go after successful completion with the same intensity you’d have with delivering results at work. Take great notes and check your knowledge and retention by regularly taking quizzes from previously read chapters. Finish strong, the same way you started—with excitement and energy. How would you compare the foundation certifications to other educational courses that you’ve taken? This LPC certification was perfect in the sense that it was just the right length of time. It didn’t take as long as my college education, but it was longer and more in-depth than week-long leadership opportunities I have attended. It was also focused on a more holistic view of our industry rather than a deep dive into one element.
Looking at your own personal background and knowledge, what information in the course helped you the most? For me, I found the most value in the areas that my past work experiences did not provide as much exposure to, which was the organized retail crime, theft, and product protection strategies, as well as warehousing and logistics.
How has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and for others? Our industry is evolving, so we need to take a different approach to loss prevention. Many retailers have taken a broader approach to LP and tackled loss and shrink in multiple ways by curbing theft and getting involved in partnerships and collaboration focused on operational rigor such as ordering, organization, processes, and production, all of which, when not done right, can create shrink headwinds. We must stay
What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum? The sections that addressed ways to curb theft—approaches, devices, technology, and so forth. I don’t have as much experience with this from a strategy standpoint, so this helped me understand that if there is a problem, how to go about solving it from start to finish.
heavily involved and have a seat at every table where possible. This certification supports that approach of being educated and understanding the ways that loss occurs and broadens our knowledge and understanding of our industry, which will help us make a bigger difference.
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Would you recommend certification to others? Absolutely, I highly recommend it. Take this opportunity to learn and grow and use it to make a difference. Don’t wait. The sooner you start, the sooner you can finish, and the faster you can help make positive change and impact your company.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
Brian Andrews, LPC, Amazon Brent Cohen, LPC, Amazon Hugo Cortez, LPC, McDonald’s Steve DePestel, LPC, Lowe’s Jaki Dodson, LPC, REI Kenneth Douglas, LPC, Amazon Samuel Gann, LPC, Amazon James Giebler, LPC, Kroger Michael Guminski, LPC, Lowe’s Justin Hoffman, LPC, Lowe’s Justin Kabitzke, LPC, Lowe’s Anthony Lavdis, LPC, Dollar General James Layne, LPC, Home Depot Nguyen Le, LPC, Amazon Chantal McMillen, LPC Michael O’Brien, LPC, Lowe’s George Plaster, LPC, Amazon Aaron Safrit, LPC, Retail Business Services, an Ahold-Delhaize company Harjot Sahota, LPC, Otter Farm & Home Co-operative Omar Salman, LPC, Shoppers Drug Mart Benjamin Schwartz, LPC, Home Depot Megan Smith, LPC, TJX Katie Stevens, LPC, Amazon Patrick Stilen, LPC, Lowe’s Karen Torres Zenil, LPC, Amazon Jennifer Underwood, LPC, Amazon Amber Warner, LPC, John Lewis
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Recent LPQ Recipients
Anthony Colbert, LPQ Ashley Cork, LPQ, Walmart Hezekiah Cuffy, CFI, LPQ, Army & Air Force Exchange Service Jayden Day, LPQ Veeanna Edwards, LPQ Shelly Ferguson, LPQ, Discovery Cooperative Ltd. Jason Froatz, LPQ, TJX Kenneth Gray, LPQ, Rite Aid Johnson Jean, LPQ, IOBSE Denise Olmstead, LPQ, TJX Michel Rivera Hernandez, LPQ, TJX John Sheppard, LPQ, Home Depot David Strother, LPQ, Pennsylvania Dept. of State David Swehla, LPQ, Lowe’s Randolph Williams, LPQ, TJX Stefanie Wodtke, LPQ LP MAGAZINE
Professional development is key to a fulfilling career. Visit www.LossPreventionFoundation.org to find out more. SM
Educating an industry, one leader at a time.
LPM Magpie Awards: Applauding Excellence
The LPM “Magpie” Awards offer a means to celebrate industry accomplishments on an ongoing basis, recognizing the loss prevention professionals, teams, solution providers, law enforcement partners, and others that demonstrate a stellar contribution to the profession. The ability to influence change is a product of drive, creativity, and determination, but it also requires a unique ability to create a shared vision that others will understand, respect, support, and pursue. Each of the following recipients reflects that standard of excellence, representing the quality and spirit of leadership that makes a difference in our lives, our people, and our programs. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our latest honorees.
Excellence in Partnerships
Excellence in Partnerships
“I really believe LP exists to enable rapidly evolving retail enterprises,” said Hayes. “Great merchandise and customer experience won’t happen if customers can’t purchase what they came for because it’s been lost or stolen. And they won’t allow their loved ones to visit your stores if they view a store as unsafe. Only LP can successfully tackle those key issues.” Early in his career, Hayes had a diverse background in loss prevention, law enforcement, and military service that he believes helped prepare him for what he does today, but it was his passion for research that brought him full circle. After college graduation he attended graduate school at Leicester University (UK) and worked with Dr. Hollinger and Dr. Weitz at the University of Florida. This, along with early research efforts working with TJX’s Bob MacLea and King Rogers at Target, helped lead to his current role as a research scientist and criminologist and director of the LPRC, which has conducted over 300 asset protection and loss prevention projects and includes over 165 corporations, several research and development labs, various events, and multiple problem-solving working groups. “When it comes to the important work of the LPRC, we must start by thinking out meaningful objectives while supporting strategy and action,” he said. “But to achieve all that we hope to accomplish, we need more than retailers and innovative LP leaders. We also need critical solution partners, our retail associations, law enforcement agencies, logistics companies, faculty, tech innovation thinkers, and others to join together to build and execute layered and lasting plans.” Hayes also offered advice for building a meaningful career. “Always work to improve your capabilities and impact, build relationships, and perform,” he said. “But never make it all about you—never. Good people doing good things tend to get recognized and promoted, but almost never overnight. Be patient.”
“Successful business relationships are built on mutual respect and developed over time. It takes effort from both parties to maintain them,” said Sturman. “I think good, long-lasting business partnerships are built on trust and fairness. As in any relationship, trust is earned—and if you lose it, you’ll likely never get it back.” Like many of us, Shane started his loss prevention career by accident. He saw an ad for part-time shoplifting detective, “which sounded like fun.” He was quickly promoted, and after managing several stores, he was promoted to a district investigator position. It was then he attended a W-Z seminar on interview and interrogation techniques. “I found the techniques I learned helped me become not only a very successful interviewer but also a better communicator, negotiator, and salesperson,” he said. “With my newfound skills of persuasion, it was much easier to sell programs and get management buy-in.” Following various positions and increasing levels of responsibility, he became director of loss prevention at Price Savers Membership Warehouse. When the company was sold, Sturman received a call that would change his career forever. “As I was contemplating what my next move would be, I received a call from Doug Wicklander. He conned me into moving to Chicago from California—in February—to join Wicklander-Zulawski. I look back on that decision now, and aside from the temperature change, it’s the best move I’ve made in my career.” For those working their way up the career ladder, Sturman offered some fundamental and important career advice. “Start planning your future by looking at educational opportunities that will help you achieve your goals,” he said. “Build business relationships by attending as many networking events as you can. You’ll meet others with similar interests, and those relationships will develop naturally, establishing the foundation for growth.”
Read Hayes, PhD, Director, Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC)
Shane Sturman, CPP, CFI, President, Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates
Nominate Your Peers at Excellence@LPportal.com 38
INCIDENT REPORTING BEST PRACTICES The Key to Moving Unknown to Known Shrink By Steve Hewitt
INCIDENT REPORTING BEST PRACTICES EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in the winter 2019–2020 edition of LP Magazine Europe. British spellings, references, and organisations have been retained. For more articles from the Europe magazine, go to lpportal.eu.
ow much of our shrinkage number is due to theft? If you’ve been asked this question once, you’ve been asked it a thousand times. How do you answer this question? Educated guess? Based on indicative feedback? Through deep data analysis? Often, wrapped up in the question is a key question around safety—has there been an increase in violent incidents, and are they becoming more severe? Reportedly, the number and severity of incidents in the retail sector has increased significantly. In March 2019, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported a 19 per cent increase, estimating the value of theft to be at £1.6 billion. This type of press has sparked a fear in retailers that they need to understand this problem better and put mitigations in place. Retailers want to protect their own staff, their customers, and their assets. To choose the right solution to invest in, one needs accurate and timely data. The above questions are often intrinsically linked together, and the “go to” tool to understand the answer to these questions, and move shrinkage from unknown into known shrink, is often the incident reporting tool. However, incidents that occur in retail stores are notoriously challenging to capture accurately. Estimates vary wildly as to the accuracy of incidents reported. This ranges from a good level of confidence that everything is captured, right through to retailers that think the truth could be ten to twenty times more than they are capturing. If only 0.5 per cent of actual incidents are being captured, what is the true number? Any decisions or actions made based on the reports received depend fundamentally on the accuracy of the input. Sometimes, the distressing nature of an incident can make it difficult to recall vital details. Equally,
When retailers look to improve their incident reporting tool, they first need to ask themselves, “What am I looking to do with the data or information that I gather?” This is a somewhat obvious question, but too often systems or processes can be designed without this at the heart. depending on the breadth of people whom you allow to record incidents, incidents could be misclassified from theft to burglary. It is vital that data governance is considered at the heart of any data capture to ensure all incidents are accurately recorded.
This could include a manual review and reclassification by a colleague or may be based upon clever coding in a system to enhance the accuracy of data input up front. When retailers look to improve their incident reporting tool, they first need to ask themselves, “What am I looking to do with the data or information that I gather?” This is a somewhat obvious question, but too often systems or processes can be designed without this at the heart. Sure, most platforms will help you answer the questions of how many incidents of theft you have had, but you may want to consider whether or not you need to know what products have been involved, where in the store the incident occurred, or if a weapon was involved. Adding fields can enable greater tailoring of subsequent actions. For example, you may wish to generate automatic alerts for specific incident types to trigger a follow-up action. For other incident types, you may be looking to gather data to review tagging policies, guarding deployment, or definitions of red routes. The catch-22, however, is that the more
INCIDENT REPORTING BEST PRACTICES complicated you make the form to complete, the more difficult it can be to encourage completion. In reality, incident reporting is the only way in which theft can be measured reasonably accurately. Sure, assumptions can be made, and are frequently, but capturing incidents as they happen is arguably the best way of getting accurate data. So why is the level of accuracy so poor right now?
They need to understand what constitutes an incident. The multiple types of incidents that require reporting is a big variable for retailers. The vast majority expect the following to be reported: witnessed theft, robbery, burglary, and violent incidents. But there are many more categories that other retailers expect to know about. Some retailers also expect a breakdown of the type of incident.
If we have established that incident reporting is the most likely way to get accurate data, the next question becomes whom the retailer allows to report incidents. Would you allow store staff, guards, managers, or even members of the public to report witnessed incidents? In order to get accurate information from the reportees, multiple factors must be correct. They need to understand what constitutes an incident. The multiple types of incidents that
require reporting is a big variable for retailers. The vast majority expect the following to be reported: witnessed theft, robbery, burglary, and violent incidents. But there are many more categories that other retailers expect to be made aware of. Some retailers also expect a breakdown of the type of incident: ■ Detained thieves ■ Deterred thefts ■ Internal thefts ■ Push outs
Verbal abuse Physical abuse ■ Anti-social behaviour ■ Going equipped to steal ■ Organised crime ■ Broken packaging ■ Hangers/tickets found ■ Self-checkout incidents of theft ■ Health and safety incidents ■ Freezer breakdowns ■ Other non-crime incidents Those retailers that categorise more deeply will likely be able to understand ■ ■
YOUR LOSS PREVENTION SOLE MATE
INCIDENT REPORTING BEST PRACTICES their incidents much better but may find that people incorrectly categorise the incident itself. Therefore, definitions become all-important. They need to understand your definition of an incident. People have different levels of acceptability. Take behavioural incidents as an example; some staff or guards may find verbal abuse very offensive, and others may consider it part of everyday life. It’s a personal bar for each and every individual and will often vary by location. Let’s say you have a zero-tolerance policy towards crime and incidents of any kind. To what degree would you expect an incident to be reported? If a customer is overheard swearing? If there’s a domestic argument in the store? The bar needs to be really clear to store personnel to make sure they are reporting the information you require. They need to understand the urgency. Some incidents are more urgent than others. Some retailers expect a full-scale response to certain types of incidents, whereas others have a more considered, data-gathering view of incident reporting. The reporter of the incident needs to understand what’s urgent and what isn’t. They need to understand what level of data will be required to complete an incident report. Do you want to know about witnessed theft, unwitnessed theft (such as discarded packaging), and what was said in a verbally abusive incident? The person completing the report needs to know this in advance, so they can ensure they have gathered the correct information. They need to witness the event. Witnessing an incident, particularly one of theft, can be challenging. They need to be able to recall the event accurately, or have CCTV footage of the incident happening, in order to prove ASCONE (Approach, Select, Conceal, Observe, Non-payment, Exit) when reporting thefts. Some people find witnessing incidents distressing and are unable to recall them accurately. It has been estimated that only 10 per cent of theft incidents are actually witnessed.
Incident reporting is the only way in which theft can be measured reasonably accurately. Sure, assumptions can be made, and are frequently, but capturing incidents as they happen is arguably the best way of getting accurate data. So why is the level of accuracy so poor right now? They need to have time allocated to the task of completing an incident report. Costs in retail stores are scrutinised heavily. Allocating time to report incidents is an important factor in accurately reporting. This can be easily overlooked, especially in the extremities of the day, where staffing is tight. They need a tool to report the incident. There are options available for retailers on choosing a reporting mechanism. This could be a third-party or in-house solution. However, many of these reporting tools take time to complete, which adds to complexity and gives staff and guards reasons not to report. They need to have easy access to the reporting tool. Is the tool for reporting incidents a mobile device, a phone number, a webpage? The easier the tool is to access, the more likely the incident is to be reported in a timely and accurate way. They will need to establish the correct information on the offender. Offenders are under no obligation to give accurate information as to their identities. How many crimes have been committed by Mr., Smith at 1 High Street? Retailers do not have any way of validating these details until the Police are involved, so this adds to the risk of inaccurate reporting.
They need to understand why this is important to do. What are the consequences if incidents aren’t reported? What are the benefits of reporting accurately? Carrot or stick approach is an interesting debate, which varies significantly by retailer, which we will explore later in this article. Many retailers use a guarding company to report incidents. This could be slightly counterintuitive as the guard has a vested interest in reporting as many incidents as possible. This could give inaccurate data the other way, which also leads to inaccuracy in reporting. Arguably though, it is easier to enforce reporting through a third party, so are you more likely to capture more of the incidents? With the above factors at play, it’s safe to say that witnessing and reporting 100 per cent of incidents is virtually impossible to achieve. When so few incidents are witnessed to the degree required, is this a fair reflection of the crimes that are happening in your stores? What are the alternatives? You could take industry trends and surveys, but with every retailer facing the same challenges, the information that feeds these surveys also remains questionable. You could use Police crime data to gather trends, but with challenges of reporting to the Police, covered a little further on, this information is highly likely to be less accurate than your incident reports. So the focus needs to be on internal reporting, but how can this be more accurate than it is today?
What Does “Good” Look Like?
A good incident reporting process requires careful thought and consideration. Factors already mentioned above are challenging to overcome but not impossible. Take retailer X. They have significantly improved their incident reporting numbers. Is it perfect? No. Is it a more accurate reflection than most? Yes. The methods they have used are as follows: ■ Stores are only held accountable for the proportion of their shrink that hasn’t been reported. For example,
INCIDENT REPORTING BEST PRACTICES
if the store has shrink of €50,000 and reports €10,000 of theft, the store will be required to account for the remaining €40,000. ■ Guarding allocation is given based on the incidents reported. Higher incident reporting drives high guarding allocation. ■ Reporting incidents (or not) carries incentives and consequences, such as recognising improvement or applying disciplinary action. This approach has proven to be highly effective in improving the number, but retailers also need to consider the options in terms of identifying crime happening in the store. The platform itself, as mentioned previously, is also vital. The simplicity, speed, and ease of use also needs to be well thought through. That, along with sharing of information with other retailers, is also part of the recipe of success. There are obvious benefits of retailers using a bespoke solution to gather the information they require, but there is also something to be said for using a generic platform. To have a solution that multiple retailers use would be useful for data collation and data sharing, Police reporting, and identifying repeat offenders. Another emerging option is to automatically detect and report incidents. Using technology to identify a suspicious action and report it to the store staff or guards, with the ability for them to comment on the suspected incident, seems to be the future of what good looks like. This effectively automates incident reporting. With the right ingredients and a degree of confidence, you can in fact answer that all important question: how much of our shrink is down to theft?
Getting Incidents Reported
As mentioned earlier in the article, a debate can be had around whether a retailer drives up their reporting numbers by incentivising reporting or by forcing stores to report. Either way has pros and cons: ■ Incentivising—people often feel more engaged if there is something in it for them. However, could it drive more inaccurate reporting, just to improve the numbers? ■ Enforcing—key performance indicators are a standard approach in the retail industry, so people will be used to being measured on their submissions. This can, however, also lead to inaccurate reporting, and the motivation for people to complete will be lower. What are the consequences of not reporting? If you try and add consequences, how would you know when a store has failed to report? Another important factor that seems to be in mind is Police response to incidents. The response can take a long time to arrive, with potentially little consequences for the accused. It has been well reported that retail incidents are becoming less and less “serious” as other incidents that the Police deal with have become more and more serious and commonplace. That, combined with a significant drop in Police numbers, makes incident reporting to the system and to the Police less of a priority.
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continued on page 44 LP MAGAZINE
THE FUTURE INCIDENT REPORTING IS NOW BEST PRACTICES continued from page 43
National Crime Solutions
A good incident reporting mechanism will also help a business understand what the Police response has been like in certain areas of the country, so they can then lobby the relevant authorities where required. As such, the challenges of how much crime actually happens is massively under-reported. Only a fraction of incidents are witnessed. Of those witnessed, only a proportion are reported as an incident. Of those reported, only a small amount are then reported to the Police.
Using the Data
What else happens with this information? You could choose to share it with the many local crime groups, national initiatives, and regional crime sharing platforms, or take civil or criminal action. Criminal action. It’s been well reported that Police response to shop crime is at an all-time low. Understandably, they need to prioritise more high-risk crimes with their limited resources. So the role of crime groups in gathering data and intelligence on retail criminals becomes all the more important. Let’s explore some pros and cons of each of the available options.
Local Crime Groups Pros—they’re great if you’re a local retailer that has mainly local problems with the same crime group. They’re also good at influencing local Police forces. ■ Cons—organised crime is a national problem and with major criminals travelling significant distances, this group is limited. Police policies and procedures are very difficult to influence.
Pros—these are best for national retailers. They have consistent ways of working and more power over the policies and procedures of the Police forces. ■ Cons—they struggle to deal with small-time criminals that are only active locally. Having multiple reporting mechanisms can be frustrating—one for the retailer internally, one for law enforcement, one for local crime groups, and so forth. If this were an integrated approach, it would also increase the likelihood of accurate and timely reporting.
Civil action can deliver a much greater return to a retailer. A criminal prosecution may well put the individual to the inconvenience of unpaid work, or even behind bars, but that is little compensation for the shrink line.
Regional Crime Sharing Pros—they’re great if you’re a geographic retailer, and as criminals travel, it’s arguably better than local crime groups. Multiple combined incidents can be gathered, and that intelligence passed around the group to good effect. ■ Cons—as with local crime groups, the national methodology that major criminals use is harder to track, and a regional group’s power over policies is limited. ■
Civil action. Financially, civil action can deliver a much greater return to a retailer. A criminal prosecution may well put the individual to the inconvenience of unpaid work, or even behind bars, but that is little compensation for the shrink line. Civil recovery is difficult to achieve. It requires a number of factors to be true, from the details of the individual that have been given, right through to whether they have the means to pay the agreed compensation to the retailer. It’s not a particularly positive hit rate. Again, the right incident reporting tool is invaluable here, along with the absolute need for accurate and timely information.
Right at the beginning of this article, we asked two questions: what proportion
of our shrinkage is down to theft, and is the amount of violence in our stores increasing? Undoubtedly, incident reporting, either manual or automatic, is the best way of answering these questions, and moving shrink from unknown to known. However, as this article has discussed, it is challenging to get right. It’s unlikely to ever be perfect, but are you able to say that you can achieve the best version of the truth? Is there more you can do? The key to success is as follows: Have a simple, accessible tool to complete incident reporting. Ensure you have given absolute clarity on what information needs to be gathered to report accurately and clear definitions on what qualifies as an incident. And give people the time to report accurately. Consider whether the benefits of having a bespoke tool really outweigh the benefits of having a generic tool. Can you use technology to identify incidents that have occurred? Incentivise or enforce accurate completion. Use the data. Share it internally and externally. Feed back actions you’ve taken with it. And prosecute with it. Have a line in the sand—once the above actions are in place, that’s your baseline. With the above in place, you could not only answer the original questions but also answer the next obvious question: how do we compare to other retailers? The ECR Shrink and Waste Group will be conducting further conversations, surveys, and studies into this subject matter. We would encourage as many retailers as possible to partake in these activities so that robust conclusions can be drawn, along with helpful outputs for retailers to implement. STEVE HEWITT is the founder of Profitunity, which finds profit opportunities for retailers and connects the solutions to realise benefits. He has been the head of loss prevention for M&S, Morrisons, and Waitrose. He collaborates closely with the ECR group and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, please contact Steve directly.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Leveraging Diversity to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience
By Timothy L. Williams, Esq. and Paul E. Jaeckle, LPC Williams is vice president of diversity and inclusion, and Jaeckle is the vice president of asset protection and safety for Meijer. Williams previously served as Meijer’s vice president and assistant general counsel, managed the litigation and labor and employment law groups, and supported the supply chain and food safety teams. Prior to joining Meijer in 2015, he worked in various roles with Winn-Dixie. and practiced labor and employment law in private law firms. Jaeckle joined Meijer in 2017 after twenty years with Walmart. He has led several teams in asset protection and operations, both in the field and the corporate office. He is the chair of RILA’s Asset Protection Leaders Council, a board member with the Loss Prevention Foundation, vice chair of the University of Florida’s Loss Prevention Research Council, a member of NASP Retail Advisory Committee, and a board member of Silent Observer.
t Meijer, we are dedicated to enriching lives in the communities we serve. Fulfilling this goal begins with a focus on serving people—in the workplace, in our stores, and in our communities. Our approach to diversity and inclusion, as well as asset protection, impacts our ability to deliver on this goal. As a result, our diversity and inclusion and asset protection teams challenged themselves to answer the following question: can we create an inclusive shopping experience that both is consistent with our brand and protects team members, customers, and company assets? Once it was determined that the answer was yes, we set out to identify what that looks like and, more importantly, how we get there. In defining the “what,” we recognized a few universal truths. First, the intersection between diversity and inclusion and the customer experience is multifaceted and complex. Second, because our goal remains aspirational, we needed to prepare for a journey as opposed to a destination. Third, there will be situations where, despite acting consistently with our documented processes and procedures, we can be the subject of criticism and negative perceptions.
Can asset protection leverage diversity and inclusion to influence the customer shopping experience? The answer for us was a resounding yes. Asset protection leaders, like any other business leaders, can and should leverage diversity and inclusion to accelerate their businesses and drive outcomes. It is widely recognized that building teams with the right professional skills and varied perspectives and life experiences is good for business. This is particularly true when the varied perspectives and life experiences closely mirror those of the customers and communities we serve. Representation, however, is but one facet of diversity. Representation without a voice undermines inclusion, limits the positive impacts of diversity, and weakens team member engagement. As such, we challenged ourselves to look at the diversity of our team and the type of environment we create. We define diversity as the characteristics, traits, and experiences that make each person unique. But our diversity dimensions extend well beyond race, ethnicity, and gender to include, but not be limited to, age, race, gender identity,
In digging into the varied responses to both questions, we acknowledged that the perceptions of and experiences with law enforcement are not the same among all communities and often split along racial or ethnic lines. Rather than debate the perceptions and experiences of these varied communities, we sought to account for them in our approach. LP MAGAZINE
Instead of deterring us, we allowed these realities to shape the design of our “how.” Specifically, we asked ourselves the following questions: ■ Can asset protection leverage diversity and inclusion to influence the customer shopping experience? ■ How has the public perception of law enforcement impacted the customer experience, and does it vary by the communities and customers we serve? ■ What is the role of law enforcement in asset protection, and does it vary by the communities and customers we serve? Inherent in each of these questions was the reality that the answers often varied depending on who was responding. As a result, we resolved to dig deeper and explore the root of the disconnect.
ethnicity, personality, sexual orientation, physical appearance, physical or mental ability, military experience, marital status, parental status, income, political beliefs, educational background, religious beliefs, language, location, work style, and interests. Next, we examined the asset protection environment. Were we collaborative? Did we create a space where people felt comfortable bringing their true authentic self to work? Did we, as leaders, show a commitment to diversity and inclusion that our teams experienced? Did our team members feel heard and supported? In short, were our teams engaged?
of action that is consistent with our diversity and inclusion focus, which is to drive diversity and inclusion by focusing on our teams, customers, and communities. But it is also authentic to who we are as an organization and aligns with our goal of enriching lives in our communities. For example, when evaluating a customer-facing shrink initiative, asset protection leveraged a data-driven approach to identify a solution designed to have a significant financial impact, but that also had the potential to impact our customer experience. Rather than rely strictly on the data, the team sought input from diverse stakeholders, weighed the potential impact to various communities, and made adjustments consistent with creating an inclusive shopping experience that both is consistent with our brand and protects team members, customers, and company assets. Similarly, consistent with the leadership learning and development investments being made at Meijer, asset protection challenged its leaders to assess their cultural awareness and learn about the impact unconscious bias can have, if left unchecked, on creating a diverse and inclusive culture. While we are pleased with our initial efforts, work remains to be done. More importantly, we recognize the value of the partnership between asset protection and diversity and inclusion and are committed to leveraging it to drive improved outcomes for the business. As noted above, our goal is aspirational, and we are prepared for theÂ journey.
How has the perception of law enforcement impacted the customer experience, and does it vary by the communities and customers we serve? In digging into the varied responses to both questions, we acknowledged that the perceptions of and experiences with law enforcement are not the same among all communities and often split along racial or ethnic lines. Rather than debate the perceptions and experiences of these varied communities, we sought to account for them in our approach. At Meijer, we follow a fundamental philosophy of enriching lives in the communities we serve, and in order to embrace that, we need to lead and be accountable to all the lives in those communities.
Based on our self-analysis, the asset protection and diversity and inclusion leadership teams mapped a course
FUTURE OF LP By Tom Meehan, CFI
2020 Retail Trends T
his time of year we are all planning and anticipating what to expect in 2020. As an observer and avid reader about the ever-changing retail and technology industry, it is hard for me not to form opinons of where our industry is going. Following are my thoughts on the trends I see impacting asset protection and retail professionals this year and beyond.
The Internet of Things (Iot) Is Here to Stay.
IoT will further our hyperconnected world in many aspects, particularly in retail. Interaction with technology will create a more personalized experience for the customer, who will shop using augmented reality and interactive smartphone apps. Retailers will need to continue to invest in IoT in order to stay connected with their customers. As early as 2018, 88 percent of early adopters of IoT in retail reported that IoT helped them gain increased insight into customer preferences. For example, IoT devices fitted with RFID technology can be used to create smart shelves, which can improve inventory management by automatically tracking inventory and sending alerts to managers if a certain item is running low on stock or will expire soon. This is just one example of how IoT devices can help retailers make more efficient decisions in their inventory management to avoid oversupply, shortage of products, and theft. IoT devices will also become a growing part of store associates’ equipment, so they can better serve the customer. These devices, such as mobile devices outfitted with intuitive apps, bring inventory management data from the warehouse
Customers expect store associates to be able to quickly provide information about inventory and create a personalized shopping experience. Retailers need to invest their resources into training and equipping store associates with the resources they need, such as intuitive technology and training in digitization, so they can evolve with their customers’ needs. LP MAGAZINE
Meehan is retail technology editor for LP Magazine as well as chief strategy officer and chief information security officer for CONTROLTEK. Previously, Meehan was director of technology and investigations with Bloomingdale’s, where he was responsible for physical security, internal investigations, systems, and data analytics. He currently serves as the chair of the Loss Prevention Research Council’s (LPRC) innovations working group. Meehan recently published is first book titled Evolution of Retail Asset Protection: Protecting Your Profit in a Digital Age. He can be reached at TomM@LPportal.com.
directly to the store associate to increase the retailers’ understanding of the customer.
Brands Will Continue to Evolve with Technology. Though well-known brick-and-mortar stores have closed their doors and many others have filed for bankruptcy, this does not mean the end for other retail stores. Many retailers have already begun adapting to a more digital age, focusing on having a smaller brick-and-mortar footprint and improving their customer experiences both in store and online. Brands are investing more into social media marketing after recognizing the impact of social media on customers’ decision-making. Big-name retailers, such as Sephora and Samsung, have also expanded into experiential retail to target millennials, who tend to prefer experiences over products, to create compelling reasons for shoppers to visit a brick-and-mortar store.
Retailers Need to Create an Immersive Customer Experience in Order to Handle the Generational Difference in Customers.
In 2019, millennials have surpassed baby boomers to be the largest living generation in the United States. Nearly all millennials own a smartphone, and nearly half of them make purchases on these devices at least once a month, with almost a third doing so once a week. The growing millennial and Gen Z populations want a more convenient and accessible shopping experience, and they are more than willing to provide some personal information to retailers in order to have a more personalized customer experience. However, as the digitization of shopping increases, retailers need to protect customers’ private data to maintain and further increase trust in their brands.
Retailers Will See an Increase in Cyber Attacks, and How They Respond Will Be What Saves Them.
With the rapid growth of data breaches and other cyber attacks targeting major organizations, retailers need to acknowledge this threat in their cyber-security protocols. In 2019, data breaches targeted many major retailers, including Macy’s, Poshmark, Planet Hollywood, Kay Jewelers, Marriott, Adidas, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Panera, whose customer data became compromised in these attacks. Implementing basic
checkout faster and easier for them. Other checkout evolutions, such as self-checkout, “scan and go” checkout, and cryptocurrency, all tie back to ease of checkout for the customer. As we enter 2020, more retailers should introduce digital payments to their systems to improve the customer experience.
security measures, such as strong passwords for IoT devices and encryption, is the simplest way to deter a cyber attacker from targeting your store. Having response plans in place is another way to alleviate the impact of a cyber attack, should one get past your cyber-security measures.
Big-Box Retailers Are Becoming More Competitive with Amazon.
We Will See a Greater Focus on the Store Associate Experience.
It is obvious that Amazon has redefined retail for the twenty-first century, from the birth of its digital assistant Alexa to the launch of Amazon Go, its chain of automated convenience stores, in 2019. But it is important that instead of becoming distracted by Amazon’s technological developments, retailers compete by offering a superior customer experience. Though Amazon dominates the online shopping market, it cannot compete against other big-box retailers like Walmart, whose large physical footprint has maintained its status as a household name in the United States. Retail sales still heavily favor brick-and-mortar in the US, with 85 percent of transactions still taking place in stores.
With all these technological developments, many retailers have been caught up in preserving the customer experience while ignoring their own store associates, which is just as important. As IoT devices and other technology are introduced into retail stores, associates’ roles are changing rapidly. Customers expect store associates to be able to quickly provide information about inventory and create a personalized shopping experience. Retailers need to invest their resources into training and equipping store associates with the resources they need, such as intuitive technology and training in digitization, so they can evolve with their customers’ needs.
Retailers Need to Make the Checkout Process More Seamless.
Technology is not here to eliminate us; it’s here to make our jobs and our lives easier. Though there has been a period of adjustment in the past few years, retail will continue to evolve with technology. As retailers, your responsibility is to focus your efforts on improving the customer experience using the new tools at your disposal.
Most retailers are a ways away from completely cashierless stores, but customers still expect digital or contactless payments, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, to be more widely accepted to make
EVIDENCE-BASED LP by Read Hayes, PhD Dr. Hayes is director of the Loss Prevention Research Council and coordinator of the Loss Prevention Research Team at the University of Florida. He can be reached at 321-303-6193 or via email at email@example.com.
© 2020 Loss Prevention Research Council
verybody likes a heads-up. The sooner we know we have a problem, the better. And with tech sensors continually improving, we’re more capable than ever at deterring or disrupting a bad actor to minimize the damage they can do because we more rapidly know we have an issue. Since the dawn of crime and loss prevention, law enforcement and LP practitioners have used sketches, Polaroids, teletype messages, and phone or radio alerts to let them know a potential problem person was on the way, arriving, or on the property. And today, as in yesteryear, the alert is just that—an alert. It’s a heads-up and no more.
Values and Priorities
LP practitioners exist to enable their organizations by suppressing crime and loss problems, thereby allowing profitable commerce in a crime-saturated environment called “the world.” Our overall priority is simple: we want to do our level best to safeguard vulnerable people in confined spaces. Our employees, customers, and vendors need to feel and in fact be as safe as is reasonable while they’re with us. We also strive to protect other critical assets to stay in business, but people are primary. Safeguarding vulnerable people is made more likely when we have good alerts. We can be more focused and, most importantly, proactive when we have a heads-up. If we don’t deter an event, all bets are off—the first domino has been activated. We need to know before a criminal launches their efforts, so we can try to stop them.
It’s Not Easy
Barriers to enhanced life safety include physics and technology limitations, budgets, and what some label the “privacy illusion.” All of us, every day, generate biological and digital exhaust and signatures. Digital signs are newer than bio
All humans generate bio and digital signatures. Part of our protective mission is to enhance and evaluate offender signature detection, definition, and response capability to create safer and more secure places. LP MAGAZINE
signatures, but not very new. Radios, teletypes, and early mobile telephones have given off “interceptable” signals for decades, but like now, users made value-to-risk decisions. Perceived value for giving up total privacy can include convenience, time-saving, an entertaining experience, health monitoring, or life safety. Think social media posts and signing up for our favorite products’ advertising. Risks today are like risks of any public action (even presumably private action), over millennia: exposure and exploitation. Mobile phones, social media posts, emailing, landline phone usage, wearable device emissions, ticket purchases, credit card usage, public mail including catalogs, and public movement and speech—all expose our utterances, preferences, and behavior to others. And unfortunately, stored physical or digital data has and will always have unplanned access vulnerability.
Capability Can Lead to Greater Human Safety
As mentioned, all humans generate bio and digital signatures. Part of our protective mission is to enhance and evaluate offender signature detection, definition, and response capability to create safer and more secure places. Capabilities include objective and evidence-based early threat detection, accurate threat validation and definition, focused alert use, alert to action speed, threat change detection and definition agility, and unity of effort whereby private and public protectors can work together to better head off and/or handle problems.
Key Signatures to Consider
Violence, theft, and fraud remain a growing concern across retail organizations, and the Loss Prevention Research Council’s Loss Prevention Innovation Working Group (LPIWG) is working the Signatures Innovation Initiative to formalize emerging signal recognition, identification, and action-support research and development (R&D). Signatures might help us better protect and serve vulnerable people, places, and assets including but not limited to: ■ Protect employees and visitors via smarter place-access control to screen out violent offenders ■ Detect the presence of crime tools like magnets, foil, and weapons ■ Identify a suspect, crime plan or attempt, or pattern for action ■ Identify and track assets, protective devices, their security, and their status ■ Reconcile/validate checkout, delivery, and return transactions with items and people
LPRC Kickoff Meeting
The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) held a 2020 kickoff meeting at Bloomingdale’s New York City flagship store on January 15 following the National Retail Federation Big Show. More than seventy LPRC retail and solution provider members and guests were given updates on new developments at the LPRC and brainstormed 2020 initiatives. The meeting was hosted by Peter Chie, operating vice president for asset protection and risk management at Bloomingdale’s, and Read Hayes, PhD, director of the LPRC. Jordan Burchell and Kevin Tran from the LPRC also presented to the attendees.
and investigation as with “wanted photos,” fingerprints, or DNA. Limited or biased algorithms may initially or persistently exist due to “training” protocols and technical or data access limitations, but as with other scenarios, the human must decide and take any further action; alerts themselves cannot dictate or take further action. Additionally, it is in the organization’s best interest to develop and improve alert accuracy to maximize people safety. Negatively biased processes will not accomplish this and instead will create issues and reduce desired outcomes. Research-informed place-manager training is important. Managers need to understand what the alerts are letting them know, what their response options are if they validate an alert, and how to execute responses, and of course action ramifications. Issue 3: collected signature data protection is important. Organizations strive to reasonably protect collected data via encryption, intrusion prevention, detection, neutralization, limited retention periods, and other methods. Data privacy is vitally important, part of the overall process, but is segmented from alert needs, accuracy, and usage. Much more alert R&D and discussion is to come for all of us, but it seems important to publicly help us all shape the landscape together to safeguard very vulnerable people in our places and spaces by heading off dangerous offenders.
Provide informed, focused sales attention to a good customer ■ Perceive the possible mood or intent of a shopper or visitor To detect these and other active and passive signatures we use fixed and mobile sensors, which includes everything from canines, cameras, and online monitoring. ■
I personally support privacy rights and limiting data access, but life safety takes priority, especially when citizens voluntarily opt into public behavior. It also seems important to separate issues to facilitate reasonable discussion, R&D, and real-world processes. Issue 1: using prioritized sensor-generated alerts proactively safeguards people. Digital signatures come from wearables, sensors, RFID, and mobile devices, or social media posts. Bio signatures include body and face features and movement gaits. Issue 2: alerts provide heads-up initial information to place managers, as do conventional photos, but do not dictate or conduct further action. A human must verify or confirm that the signature alert indicates a threat is inbound or present by validating whether the indicated person, for example, is most likely the suggested threat as if referring to a photo in their pocket to make sure it’s the right person. Signature accuracy may vary, but again the human takes any possible action based on their interpretation and further separates information
HOW TO SET UP A NEW TEAM FOR SUCCESS FROM DAY ONE By Bruce Tulgan
HOW TO SET UP A NEW TEAM FOR SUCCESS FROM DAY ONE
n the agile, startup-infused culture of most workplaces today, it is increasingly likely for managers to find themselves responsible for new teams that have never worked together before. The members of the team may be entirely new to the organization, or they may have been brought together from other teams. They may have varying levels of familiarity with one another and with their manager. The manager may themselves have more or less experience in their role as a leader—if they happen to be a new manager responsible for a new team, the pressure is really on. No matter what each team member’s background, the goal is the same: to get everyone working together in this new arrangement as effectively as possible, as soon as possible. There is a lot to consider. Who is everyone? What are their responsibilities? Who is working with whom? Who is reporting to whom? What will the general flow of work be like? What are the standard operating procedures for recurring responsibilities? What are the team’s priorities? What is the first goal? It can be difficult to know where to start, particularly when everyone is anxious to get the ball rolling, make their mark, and deliver some results.
The Four Common Stages of Team Building
Thankfully, a new team has no baggage. Nothing is broken. It is a clean slate, an opportunity for everyone to start things off right, refining and maintaining that system over time. That doesn’t mean the process will be without its complications. But the key is that these complications will be identified early—before anyone has had a chance to develop bad habits—and therefore resolved early. Team building happens in four commonly accepted stages, first put forward by Dr. Bruce Tuckman: 1. Forming. The earliest stage when everyone is getting to know one another, the organization, and the work itself. 2. Storming. The stage when conflicts and complications are most likely to arise, as everyone is testing
their new working relationships. This is the most crucial time for managers—without their guidance, the issues that arise now will become part of the team’s culture. 3. Norming. After initial conflicts have been worked through, the team begins to truly develop and become a cohesive unit. Upward spirals of performance that have been facilitated by the manager from day one start to gain momentum. 4. Performing. This is the ultimate ideal state of any high-performing team, where members manage the work and working relationships effectively day to day. Managers can now place more focus on helping team members grow and develop. But it is also imperative that managers continue to refine and adjust the team’s working dynamics as time goes on and changes occur. Even when broken down into its component parts, building a new team is a daunting challenge. It requires rigor and discipline in order to get it right. If
While the storming stage is where most managers fall short, the forming stage makes the difference between building a high-performing team in eight weeks or in eight months. managers can avoid the pitfalls and commit to the process, some simple strategies will set up everyone for success from day one.
Team Building Pitfalls to Avoid While the storming stage is where most managers fall short, the forming stage makes the difference between building a high-performing team in eight weeks or in eight months. This is the
HOW TO SET UP A NEW TEAM FOR SUCCESS FROM DAY ONE
stage at which most teams engage in some form of “team building” exercise, usually with the goal of making everyone more comfortable with one another. But too often, managers don’t have much of a team-building goal beyond this. Putting the team at ease is important for opening communication and establishing everyone’s commitment. But it fails to address the details or provide the structure necessary for a team to sustainably produce the best results. Here are three primary team-building pitfalls to avoid. 1. The “hit the ground running” approach. This is usually an approach taken by new or inexperienced managers who have heard some form of the common “hire good people and get out of their way” wisdom. These managers offer little to no real team building, instead relying on the team to naturally figure things out in the process of working together. It’s a tempting choice, particularly in organizations with a reputation for hiring superstar talent. Often,
managers see it as a shortcut for establishing trust and giving team members ownership over their roles and responsibilities. But the biggest issue with this approach is that, even with the most superstar talent, people will inevitably go off in their own directions without any coordination or alignment. 2. Forming bonds by focusing on the personal. This is another shortcut usually promoted as some kind of “engagement” measure—the thinking goes that if employees have a friend at work, they will be happier, or more productive, or generally easier to work with. The team may be encouraged to go to lunch together, get drinks after work, or go jogging on the weekends. Bonds indeed may form around hobbies, interests, or experiences. But when coworkers form bonds that are primarily personal, it usually becomes more difficult to address the work, especially when problems arise. 3. Nonwork team-building activities or exercises. Forms of nonwork team-building exercises abound, from building houses to relay races to the classic trust fall. These are usually, at best, ice-breaking distractions. Team members may leave feeling invigorated, inspired, or at least with a better understanding of whom they will be working with. But these activities rarely provide much context for how employees will really be working together day to day, or even the particular culture and values of the organization. Why delay? What is most important for everyone to focus on at the outset is how to engage in the work together. What they really need to know is what their relationships with their coworkers are like in the context of the real work they will be doing together. So what are the goals of good team building? Beyond relieving anxieties and making the team more comfortable with one another, what should managers aim to achieve in the critical forming stage? LP MAGAZINE
The best initial team building should establish the norms and procedures of working together; set expectations for communication, feedback, and accountability; and set the manager’s tone as the leader. Having a “Who I Am at Work” meeting is a great way to achieve all three. The best initial team building should establish the norms and procedures of working together; set expectations for communication, feedback, and accountability; and set the manager’s tone as the leader. Having a “Who I Am at Work” meeting is a great way to achieve all three.
Day One: The “Who I Am at Work” Meeting
What everyone on the team wants to figure out on day one, and what most find awkward and unfamiliar, is whom they will be working with and how they will work together. If left to their own devices, people will facilitate these conversations on their own, of course. But these conversations are so much more effective when they are facilitated by the team’s manager. Holding a “Who I Am at Work” meeting on day one is a great way for managers to get their teams thinking about how to best work together. But, like with all meetings, it requires some amount of preparation in order to be effective. Self-assessments, whether formal or informal, are usually a good starting point. The only requirement of the self-assessment used is that it provides insight into an individual’s working styles or preferences. Simpler is typically better. And of course, data is
HOW TO SET UP A NEW TEAM FOR SUCCESS FROM DAY ONE most useful if everyone on the team uses the same self-assessment. Once self-assessments have been completed, a good Who I Am at Work meeting includes three components: 1. T he resume-style introduction. Everyone must introduce themselves—with a focus on the work. Managers should encourage each team member to make their introduction as though they are submitting a job application and resume. This includes the basic information such as who they are and their role in the new team. But it also should include some past work history, past accomplishments and achievements, skills and strengths, and the working style and preferences identified in their self-assessments. It also doesn’t hurt to ask team members to consider what their professional goals are or what commitments they would like to make to the rest of the team as part of this introduction. 2. I dentify what will help you work better together, before you’ve even begun. In a new group, it’s common for people to either hide or minimize their shortcomings. Everyone wants to make the best possible first impression. But this results in a lot of unnecessary friction down the line once people really start working together. Of course, they should present their best selves. But it’s important to be authentic and honest. Don’t allow the team to set itself up for broken promises or unmet expectations. Instead, managers should ask everyone (yes, including themselves) to speak up about what will help others work better with them. Some people might work better with written checklists. Some prefer everything summarized in an email. Some might rather collaborate on an app. Whatever it is, get it out in the open now. 3. I dentify what you don’t yet know that will make the team stronger. The primary mission of this first meeting is intelligence gathering, to find out as much as possible about every person on the team and make
Everyone must introduce themselves—with a focus on the work. Managers should encourage each team member to make their introduction as though they are submitting a job application and resume. a smart working plan based on that information. Ironically, this process will reveal a whole lot about what the team doesn’t yet know about working together. Don’t simply rely on hypotheses and speculation. Managers should identify what those unknowns are, in concrete terms, as information to be tracked down and adjusted for in subsequent team-building meetings. What doesn’t the team know that they need to know in order to make a smarter work plan?
After Day One: Defining Roles and Responsibilities Early on, managers need to clarify individual roles and responsibilities for
every single member of the team. Of course, these roles will be more or less preestablished by title and position. But it is the manager’s responsibility to leverage the strengths of each person on the team and identify where roles or relationships are not working. Yet again, this is a process that will be substantially more effective if the manager does their due diligence ahead of time. They should gather as much information as possible on each member of the team before day one: resumes, letters of recommendation, project reviews, and examples of past work product. Ideally, the manager will review a robust paper trail for each team member in advance of managing them. Whether or not this type of paper trail is available, any team-building effort will fail if it is not supported by routine, ongoing, one-on-one conversations between the manager and direct reports. One-on-ones are where managers get to know their team members best, where they can provide individualized guidance and support, and where upward spirals of performance are created. High-structure, high-substance one-on-ones are a manager’s secret weapon, especially when it comes to new teams. There’s no reason to wait to start having those one-on-ones. Immediately after the first team meeting—the Who I Am at Work Meeting—is often the
HOW TO SET UP A NEW TEAM FOR SUCCESS FROM DAY ONE best time. This allows the manager an opportunity to establish how they will work with each team member right from the start. These are the questions that managers should addressed with direct reports during those first one-on-ones: n What is your role on the team? n Whom will you be working most closely with? n What information do I need from you, as your manager? n What information do you need from me, as your manager, in order to do your best work? n What resources or support do you need to succeed in your role? n H ow often should we meet? (It is advised that managers meet one-on-one with each person at least once every two weeks.) n H ow long should our meetings be? (The sweet spot for most one-on-ones is between ten and fifteen minutes.) n What unanswered questions will help us work better together? After meeting with every person one-on-one, the manager should know whom they are dealing with and exactly what human capital assets they have to work with. At this stage, it may seem wise to leaders to back off a little and see what unfolds. However, this typically backfires. Following the intensity and structure of the first day or week, the change in dynamic may be confusing at best, or appear to have been a meaningless exercise at worst. It is important that a new manager set the tone of their leadership style and maintain it. By about the third or fourth team meeting, there needs to be a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities. It should be 100 percent clear what role each person is going to play. Who owns which tasks, responsibilities, and projects or project components? Who is expected to do what, and exactly how, where, and when? Armed with the information gathered in the first team meeting and every subsequent one-on-one, the manager will be in a much stronger position to make these decisions and justify them.
One-on-ones are where managers get to know their team members best, where they can provide individualized guidance and support, and where upward spirals of performance are created. High-structure, high-substance one-on-ones are a manager’s secret weapon, especially when it comes to new teams. Team Building Is an Ongoing Process
No matter how well a team is set up for success, it is important to remember that team building is an ongoing process. Every new project, task, or responsibility presents another opportunity for the team and the team’s working relationships to adjust and restructure. It is up to the manager to maintain that ongoing process. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that team building can only occur in team meetings. Some managers may come to believe, over time, that the work is too complex and interconnected to be discussed one-on-one. So they forego the process in favor of team meetings. But the biggest problem with this approach is that it is too easy for individuals to hide in a team setting. Problems, and the potential solutions, go unnoticed under the radar for weeks or months at a time, until it is too late. Being a highly connected team does not mean there is no place for those one-on-one conversations. Managers should keep in mind what team meetings are best for—communicating information that is relevant to every single member of LP MAGAZINE
the team—and try to call them only in those circumstances. A manager may find that, over time, circumstances have changed so much that another Who I Am at Work meeting is necessary. Revisiting that conversation can be helpful, even when the same team members have been working together for a long time. But the manager must never forget that ongoing one-on-ones are where all the action is. That is where they spell out expectations, follow up, provide feedback, troubleshoot, keep score, and correct course when necessary. But it is also where they are able to learn more about their team members, their goals, their strengths and skills, and how those strengths and skills might compliment someone else’s. Things change over time and people change over time. In order to account for these changes, managers cannot let one-on-ones fall by the wayside. Managers must continue asking: n Who needs to be managed more closely? n Who needs more responsibility and autonomy? n Who needs help navigating the complex, ever-changing workplace? n Who needs help with the fundamentals of self-management? n Who needs performance coaching? n Who is likely to improve, and who is not? n Who should be developed and invested in? n Who are your best people? n Who are your real performance problems? n Who deserves special accommodations and rewards? BRUCE TULGAN is a best-selling author and founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking. He is the author of numerous books including the best-seller It’s Okay to Be the Boss, The 27 Challenges Managers Face, and Not Everyone Gets a Trophy. His newest book, The Art of Being Indispensable at Work, is due for release in the summer 2020 from Harvard Business Review Press. You can learn more about his work at rainmakerthinking.com.
Cyber versus Physical Security
By Garett Seivold Seivold is senior writer for LP Magazine. A trained journalist, he has spent the majority of his career writing about security, risk management, supply chain, and loss prevention topics. He can be reached at GarettS@LPportal.com.
What Do CEOs Care About?
EOs today overwhelmingly prioritize cyber over physical security according to a May 2019 study, “Cyber and Physical Security: Perspectives from the C-Suite,” by the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security in partnership with the International Security Management Association. Retail was the fourth-largest sector represented in the survey respondent pool, comprising 8.2 percent of the total. “CEOs and corporate boards of directors are recognizing that a greater amount of dynamic risk attaches to cyber security-related matters than to physical security issues,” the report concluded. “However, survey results do not indicate a diminishing role for physical security. Instead, respondents tended to report a unified security plan.” One likely explanation for the pursuit of a holistic approach are blended threats, including the insider threat, and the importance of physical security to the integrity of company networks. “The integrated approach, as indicated in the survey results, will require greater coordination and information sharing between chief security officers (physical) and chief information security officers (cyber) offices to ensure their respective agendas complement rather than hinder one another’s operations.” It’s a tough challenge, according to a study in the latest Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, “Towards a Conceptual Foundation of Physical Security, Case Study of an IT Department” (Vol. 9, No. 2, 2019). “Protecting physical data, networks, and systems has become difficult, increasingly costly, and tougher to manage as technology and environments become more complex and dynamic.” The study’s primary recommendation for physically securing IT components will be familiar to loss prevention executives. “Like the layers of an onion, different layers of protection are built around the nested components of an information system,” the study concludes, for example: ■ The building where equipment and files are located ■ The room where equipment and/or files are located ■ The computer hardware ■ The computers’ operating system ■ Files and data including paper information
elements are important, and necessary to keep unauthorized persons out of protected places and decreasing criminal opportunities, but it is incomplete as a strategic approach, the study suggests. “Security is a process, not a point project (or product),” notes the study’s citation of previous security research. However, most security programs are not built and managed in a way that reflects this belief, with security processes often going undocumented and performed in an ad hoc manner, the study concludes. What is necessary, according to the study, is a defense strategy based on the idea that security is a process. Physical security of information assets requires looking beyond the mere existence of security controls, and should instead spark examination of physical, human, and engineered elements and how they flow together to either create or mitigate risk.
Consider the following story related in a report by the Alliance for Enterprise Security Risk Management: a network interruption, initially thought to be a server crash, turned out to be the result of RAM being stolen from servers in the computer room. The culprit couldn’t be identified because the room’s surveillance cameras were malfunctioning—a consequence, building operators claimed, because they hadn’t been budgeted for maintenance of the video system. The victim of the server room theft? A police department. As the story suggests, it’s important for all organizations to monitor and measure security performance with respect to the physical protection of information systems. For example, security penetration tests are important to see whether it’s possible to gain physical access to areas with valuable network resources, such as network server rooms and other locations containing critical network components, including network wiring closets. Tracking incidents of unauthorized access is critical, according to the Computer Security Division of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST). NIST says that use of performance measures is the surest way for strategic security planners to increase accountability and link the goals of information security with security controls in place. Incidents of unauthorized access to locations housing network servers demand special investigation to uncover the root causes for such a critical security failure, but companies
A Layered Security Model
The security model proposed in the study differs from a traditional architectural blueprint approach to layered security, however. It’s insufficient to simply map the location of IT assets against physical controls, such as access control systems and monitoring, detection, and auditing systems. These
CALENDAR CEO Prioritization of Cyber vs. Physical Security 86%
Broad importance/ emphasis
Source: "Cyber and Physical Security: Perspectives from the C-Suite," Center for Cyber and Homeland Security; International Security Management Association, May 2019
should also be taking regular temperature of how well physical security is doing to protect information systems more generally, says NIST. It offers the sample performance measure below as a way for retailers and other organizations to keep tabs on performance and bring together the information and physical security teams around the goal of protecting information assets.
Program Level Performance Measure for Physical Security of Information Systems
Strategic goal: ensure an environment of comprehensive security and accountability for personnel, facilities, and products. ■ Information security goal: integrate physical and information security protection mechanisms to ensure appropriate protection of the organization’s information resources. ■ Measure: percentage (%) of physical security incidents allowing unauthorized entry into facilities/areas containing information systems. ■ Measure type: effectiveness/efficiency ■ Formula: (number of physical security incidents allowing unauthorized entry into facilities/areas containing information systems/total number of physical security incidents) x 100 ■ Implementation evidence: (1) how many physical security incidents occurred during the specified period, and (2) how many physical security incidents allowed unauthorized entry into facilities/areas containing information systems? ■ Collection frequency: quarterly (or as defined) ■ Reporting frequency: quarterly (or as defined) ■ Responsible parties: the information owner is the physical security officer (or as defined); the information collector is the computer security incident response team (or as defined); and the information customer is the chief information officer, chief security officer, chief information security officer, or other, as defined. ■ Data source: physical security incident reports; physical access control logs. ■ Reporting format: pie chart comparing the physical security incidents allowing entry into facilities containing information systems versus the total number of physical security incidents. ■
January 11–14, 2020 NRF 2020 Vision Retail's Big Show Jacob Javits Convention Center New York City nrfbigshow.nrf.com February 5, 2020 Cyber Security Summit: Atlanta Grand Hyatt Atlanta (GA) in Buckhead cybersummitusa.com February 12–13, 2020 California Organized Retail Crimes Assocition CAL-ORCA 2020 Conference South San Francisco Conference Center calorca2020.com February 23–26, 2020 Retail Industry Leaders Association LINK 2020 Retail Supply Chain Conference Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center Grapevine, TX linkretailsupplychain.rila.org February 24–26, 2020 INNOVISION 2020 Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort Phoenix, AZ innovisionconference.com/registration March 3, 2020 Loss Prevention Foundation University of Cincinnati Learning Day Tangeman University Center Cincinnati, OH losspreventionfoundation.org March 3–5, 2020 International Supply Chain Protection Organization Global Supply Chain Security Conference 7-Eleven Store Support Center Irving, TX iscpo.org/conference March 16–19, 2020 Merchant Risk Council MRC Vegas 2020 Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas, NV merchantriskcouncil.org March 20, 2020 Cyber Security Summit: Tampa Hilton Tampa (FL) Downtown cybersummitusa.com
Recruiting Quality LP Associates via Internship Programs
By Loss Prevention Media Staff
The magazine website, LossPreventionMedia.com, offers readers daily breaking news, industry surveys, videos, press releases, case studies, and original articles from LPM writers and loss prevention contributors. The website is updated daily with the latest information included in our daily e-newsletter. Sign up at LossPreventionMedia.com/subscribe for free to add your email address to receive our newsletter and other digital offerings. This column highlights some of the content readers will find on the magazine website and newsletter.
By Karl F. Langhorst, CPP, CFI Ask almost any asset protection executive what one of their challenges is, and they will tell you it is recruiting quality candidates to join their team. Ask that same executive if, when they started their career, they had considered asset protection or loss prevention as a possible career path, and the answer you most likely will receive is “no.” Asset protection, for the most part, continues to be the great unknown for many college students seeking careers. Besides the role of undercover shoplift agent, few are aware of the diverse and rewarding careers that await in the industry. Fortunately for the asset protection industry, large reservoirs of quality candidates are eager to find rewarding careers. However, only a few asset protection leaders have cast their recruiting nets into these bountiful waters. Universities across the country are filled with energetic, inquisitive students who are actively contemplating their career paths. Except for the occasional job fairs, the asset protection profession overall has been woefully limited in their attempts to educate and cultivate team members from this diverse talent pool. This is surprising in that a 2012 survey of loss prevention executives commissioned by the National Retail Federation (NRF) Loss Prevention Education Committee reflected that 71 percent of respondents stated team members with a college degree add organizational credibility to their department. Additionally the survey, conducted by Professor Robert Hanson at Northern Michigan University, further indicated that 93 percent of respondents felt that a baccalaureate degree was beneficial for a promotion to a district or regional LP position.
training the next generation of assets protection professionals.” As one of the largest retailers in the country, Target takes a multilayered, comprehensive approach to maintaining safe stores and preventing theft that includes partnerships with local law enforcement, technology, tools, and robust team member training. Tyler noted that Target strives to “instill a culture of learning and growth among our team. As part of that culture, we have an internship program within our stores that helps educate future asset protection leaders about the nuances of the retail industry and hones their expertise working closely with law enforcement. We found success through our pilot program last summer with a dozen interns and look forward to expanding the program in 2020 with more than twice as many participants.” Michael Renger is a University of Cincinnati College of Criminal Justice graduate and asset protection operation manager for Target. As is true with many criminal justice students, Renger knew very little about the asset protection career opportunities and was initially focused on obtaining a job in law enforcement. His internships during college were with law enforcement agencies rather than asset protection. It was only when he obtained a part-time store position with the Target AP team while he attended the University of Cincinnati that he learned of the many career paths available to him in retail. Renger explained, “The lessons I learned from my internships with the Cincinnati Police Department and University of Cincinnati Police Department were invaluable. The internship experience helped me develop a better understanding of a police organization and the investigation process, as well as how loss prevention team members in retail and law enforcement can support and interact with one another to establish lasting partnerships.”
Partnering with Universities
Some asset prevention organizations, however, have learned the value of establishing ongoing relationships with universities to recruit potential new talent. Target is one of those companies that not only recruits team members at university job fairs but also has taken its recruiting efforts to the next level by creating an AP intern program. Erin Tyler, senior director of assets protection for Target, stated, “We know we play an important role in Erin Tyler
Starting an Internship Program
Susan Bourke, University of Cincinnati associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the School of Criminal Justice, coordinates the asset protection internships for the college. The university has almost 900 criminal justice students who, according to Bourke, “are always looking for internships and continued on page 60
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continued from page 58
career opportunities. Internships are an excellent opportunity for employers to recruit wonderful employees.” Most students, according to Bourke, have never been exposed to the career opportunities that are available to them in the asset protection field. Professor Bourke explained that it is very easy for a company that is interested in starting an asset protection internship to do so at the University of Cincinnati. “Our goal at the university is to not only educate students but, as importantly, help them be successful in obtaining jobs when they graduate. Internships are a key component in helping students achieve that goal.” AP executives have many priorities competing for their attention. In speaking with executives while conducting research for this article, the reason received for not having an AP intern program in place at their company was quite frequently, “I have thought about it but don’t know how to start one.” This is a legitimate response and one I experienced while I was leading the loss prevention program at Kroger. While serving on the education committee for the National Retail Federation Loss Prevention Council, committee members discussed new ways to recruit talent to our industry. Trying to work with colleges at that time to develop asset protection internships was a struggle because, much like today, professors knew very little about our industry and the multiple career paths. I was fortunate while at Kroger to connect with Professor Bourke who was very interested in learning more about the loss prevention profession. After a few meetings, Professor Bourke suggested that we start an internship at our corporate office. With the support of my corporate LP team members, human resources staff, and Professor Bourke, we developed the job profile for the position. The profile included goals and a training plan that would ensure that the intern would not only be exposed to the multiple corporate and division areas of our loss prevention program but also spend time participating in the cross-functional meetings we had with other business units that we partnered with. The first year of our internship, we asked the University of Cincinnati to circulate our internship position. We were rewarded with numerous quality applicants. My corporate LP managers and our HR manager conducted interviews to select the final candidate. The following years, working with our corporate recruiters, we were able to circulate our intern position to other universities. Much to my surprise, we received interest in our internship position from candidates who lived in other states. The students were eager to learn and were willing to travel to Cincinnati for an opportunity to do so.
Professor Susan Bourke (fourth from left) with some of her University of Cincinnati criminal justice students.
we had initiated an intern program and with the quality of our candidates. Additionally, we were able to cultivate interest with the interns in applying for full-time positions with our company after they graduated, both within loss prevention and in other areas of the business. The size of a company’s asset protection program is not relevant to a college student seeking an internship opportunity. What they want is an opportunity to be exposed to leaders who are willing to provide them insight into a profession that they might not otherwise be exposed to. They want an opportunity to be part of a team. The asset protection profession as a career continues, for the most part, to be an afterthought for many college students. AP executives have stated that they value having college-educated associates on their teams, but few have taken a proactive approach to recruiting those candidates. Our industry holds the key in its hand to unlock the flow of a new and diverse talent pool to our industry. AP internships can be a trifecta win for students, colleges, and companies. If you are interested in helping to develop tomorrow’s AP leaders and want to learn more about how to start an AP internship, feel free to reach out to any of the university contacts listed below, or to this author, to get additional insight on this opportunity to help others and our industry. It might be one of the most rewarding things you have ever done in your career.
University Contacts for AP Internships n University
of Cincinnati, Professor Susan Bourke, firstname.lastname@example.org n Northern Michigan, Professor Robert Hanson, email@example.com n University of Florida, Michael Capece, PhD, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jodi Lane, PhD, email@example.com
Benefits of Interns
The experience we had with interns on my LP team during my time with Kroger was very positive. Not only did my team members embrace mentoring them, but also the interns contributed to providing fresh perspectives on projects they participated in that we might not otherwise have been exposed to. An unexpected benefit to our intern program was the positive feedback my team and I received from our peers in the other corporate business units. They were impressed with the fact
KARL F. LANGHORST, CPP, CFI, is a well-known asset protection professional with over thirty years of experience in retail and distribution centers, including leadership roles with The Kroger Co. and Safeway. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Criminal Justice and as a senior advisor to ALTO USA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. |
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Seth Wood was promoted to senior manager, AP, intellectual property enforcement, Internet & Americas, William Lehman, CFI is now a regional manager of AP, and Max Chasin is now an ORC investigator at Abercrombie & Fitch. Elizabeth Porter was promoted to ORC specialist at Albertsons. Shawn Abernathy, CEFI, LPC is now manager of fulfillment investigations North America; Matthew Dawson, CFI was promoted to senior program manager, global security operations; Amanda Buell, MBA, LPC was promoted to standards and compliance manager, global security operations center; Matthew Smees was promoted to investigations manager EMEA; Caglar Ari, CFI was promoted to senior manager EMEA, investigations (Germany); Pat Moran was recently promoted to senior regional manager logistics LP– GSF; Steve Sturgill, LPC is now manager of logistics investigations; Mahi Balan M was promoted to business risk analyst; Jason Hittel, Carlos Vidot, Pamela Blank, and Kim Hooper are now regional LP managers; and Michael Olson is now field compliance auditor at Amazon. Pete Corbett was promoted to divisional AP manager, retail south (UK), and Stuart Guest is now AP manager, ALS North (UK), at Asda.
Josh Koehn is now a district LP manager at Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Andrew Trader is now a district LP manager at Giant Eagle.
Randy Johnson is now corporate director of LP at Building Materials and Construction Solutions.
Kenneth Boremi, CFI, LPC is now director of security and AP at GOAT Group. Angel Torres, LPC was promoted to regional LP manager at The Gilbert Company.
Dawn Roller was promoted to director of LP and point of sale at Brown’s Super Stores.
Michael Burch, CFI was named VP of risk management and AP at The Green Solution.
Barry McDonnell was elected the new mayor of Camas, Washington.
Craig M. Gage, SMS is now director of safety and security at HelloFresh.
Jackie Mossberger was promoted to LP manager, analytics at Cost Plus World Market. Chijioke Kanu, MBA, CFI is now an operations manager at CVS Pharmacy. Rod Fulenwider is now VP at D & L Protective Services. Michael Gray is now division VP, and Brian Buis is now a regional LP manager at Dollar General.
Sarah Hix was promoted to senior director of AP, and Alex Roman was promoted to manager of operations implementation at The Home Depot.
Bob Oberosler has been named senior VP of LP, Joshua Stewart and Christopher Bellamy, CFI are now regional LP managers, and Joseph Piscioneri is now a market auditor/investigator at Dollar Tree/Family Dollar.
Dikaios Mihalitsis is now divisional VP of omni inventory and shortage control at Hudson’s Bay Company. Draper Ray was promoted to regional LP manager at Hy-Vee.
Hawken Averett, LPQ was promoted to manager, risk policy operationsinvestigations at eBay.
Omar Nuhoglu is now head of security and LP at The Iconic (Australia).
Eduardo Flores is now a regional LP specialist at El Super.
Nikki Swiney is now a regional LP manager at AutoZone.
Tally Bonlender was promoted to director of AP at EZ Corp.
Nelson Badillo, CFI, LPC is now director of field LP at Bealls.
Bill Dietzen, CFI is now physical security/LP manager at FabFitFun.
Jeff Turk is now an area AP leader at Big Lots Stores.
Paul Rumsey, LPC is now a district LP manager at Genuine Parts Company.
Kwame Acree, CFI, LPQ was promoted to director of LP, and Sam Ross, Kathleen Avariano, LPQ, and Merete Marino were promoted to senior regional LP managers at Hermès.
Jesse Larson, LPQ is now systems developer/business development manager at InstaKey Security Systems. Steve Sell was named director of commercial channel strategy, Eric Street was promoted to area AP manager, and Vanessa Aviles was promoted to district AP manager at JCPenney.
Daniel Lavin Hoyos is now a zone profit protection manager at JD Sports Fashion (UK). Richard Young was promoted to multistore LP supervisor at Kohl’s. Julie Bélanger was promoted to senior manager, national operations support at Loblaw Companies (Canada). Jillian Sutherland was promoted to senior manager of AP at Loblaw Companies (Canada). Larry F. Sechuk was recently named director of corporate AP at Lord & Taylor. Willie Oliver, LPC and Manny Carrillo are now district AP managers at Lowe’s. Gabriel Levit, CFI was promoted to director of brand enforcement, and Osmany Benitez, CFI was promoted to senior regional manager of AP at Luxottica. Matthew Robinett, CCSP was promoted to director of operations, supply chain, and Chris Dickman and Daniel Poelstra, CFI are now district managers of investigations at Macy’s. Ben Robeano, CFI Legacy is now a regional manager of safety and AP at Maintenance Supply Headquarters. Dustin Ares, LPC is now director, North America, at Malong Technologies. Brooke Smith is now director of security at MaxSent. Guillermo Rossette Aguilar was promoted to head of LP MX at Mercado Libre (Mexico). Frederick Allard is now a regional LP manager at Michael Kors.
Ken Velasquez, CFI, SMIA and Gary Evaniuk, CFI (Canada) are now area LP managers at Michaels. Lisa McElhaney is now COO at the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. Jenna Stephenson, CFI was promoted to global retail and athlete operations manager, and Dominic Ward is now a district LP manager at Nike. Dylan Hundley was promoted to LP systems analyst, Chris Kelly was promoted to regional investigations manager, Canada, and Kiara Coates was promoted to area manager at Nordstrom Rack. Mark Anthony Kidd and Ed Walker are now district LP managers at Ocean State Job Lot. Harjot Sahota, LPC was recently named director of safety and AP at Otter Co-op (Canada).
Andre Lawrence was promoted to senior LP manager of retail and sales operations, and Franklin Klink, MA was promoted to senior LP manager of eCommerce at The RealReal. Joe Troy Jr., MBA is now director of AP and security at Rent the Runway. Brian Dodge is now president, and Michael Hanson is now senior executive VP for public affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). Stacy O’Malley was promoted to senior manager of AP, and Kelsy Liddell, LPQ was promoted to senior analyst of product protection at Rite Aid. Trisa Gildard was promoted to assistant VP of LP, and Jacob Soha, CFI is now an area LP manager at Ross Stores. Nikki Campbell is now a regional LP manager at Sally Beauty.
Robert Seaser, CFI, PCI was promoted to director of investigations and security, and Meredith Plaxco, LPC was promoted to senior director of LP and safety at PetSmart.
Nick Hund is now a market AP manager at Sam’s Club.
Steven Bova was named director of LP at Petco.
Paul Whyte, CFI was promoted to global account director, global clients (UK), and Wes Smith is now an account executive for regional commercial sales at Securitas.
Tom Vecchiarelli was named VP of sales at Product Protection Solutions (PPS). Robert Galaviz is now an AP training specialist at Randalls Food Market. Neil Roberts is now a LP investigator at The Range (UK).
Michael McDonnell is now director of university safety at Savannah College of Art and Design.
Adam Eaton is now director of AP analytics and safety, and Alexandria Hampton is now an AP and safety analyst at Southeastern Grocers. Joseph Trance, LPC, CFI was promoted to director of facilities and AP services, Bryan LeFebvre was promoted to director, corporate AP and sales audit, and Patrick Keegan was promoted to senior district AP manager/field trainer at Stage Stores. Garret Watson was promoted to area AP manager at Steinmart. Inge Sebyan Black, CPP, CFE is now senior information security analyst at Target. Mike Cupchak and Kevin Charles (Home Goods/Home Sense) are now district LP managers; Danielle Robinett and Tommy Milligan are now district LP investigators; Alicia Williams was promoted to market LP training specialist; Przemysław Borucki is now a district LP manager in training (Poland); and Thiago Araujo is now investigations analyst at The TJX Companies.
Ken Matheson, LPC was promoted to project manager, and Marcus Smith, CFI is now a senior LP analyst at Verizon Wireless. Bill Inzeo was promoted to senior director of AP strategic analytics, systems, and support, and Nikki Esguerra, LPC is now an AP solutions partner at Walgreens. Robby Perry, CFCI is now senior manager I, specialty compliance and ethics-fraud analytics/ investigations; Curtis Combs was promoted to project manager II implementation and sustainment; Andrew Hopkins was promoted to manager of trust and safety rules (eCommerce); Scott Smith was promoted to academy facilitator 1; Rachel Ramey and Daniel Eduardo Martinez are now market AP managers; and Robert Garza and John Flowers were promoted to market managers at Walmart. Tom Battye is now head of LP at The White Company (UK).
Sardar Bhaginder Singh, CCPS is now an area AP officer at Udaan.com (India). Jason Krumsky is now director of Atlantic risk and safety at UNFI. Patrick Eidinger, CFI is now director of LP at Uniqlo.
Calandra Guiry is now director of LP at Sephora (Canada).
Javier Leal was promoted to VP of AP and security at Vallarta Supermarkets.
Mike Franco, CFI is now a regional LP manager at Skechers.
Richard Gutierrez was promoted to director of AP and security at Vallarta Supermarkets.
To stay up-to-date on the latest career moves as they happen, sign up for LP Insider, the magazine’s daily e-newsletter, or visit the Professional Development page on the magazine’s website, LossPreventionMedia.com. Information for People on the Move is provided by the Loss Prevention Foundation, Loss Prevention Recruiters, Jennings Executive Recruiting, and readers like you. To inform us of a promotion or new hire, email us at peopleonthemove@LPportal.com.
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Closing Thoughts from Sandy Kennedy
ast fall Sandy Kennedy, president and CEO of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), announced her retirement effective December 31, 2019. During her seventeen-year tenure the industry has changed dramatically. Here Kennedy shared her thoughts on the retail industry, RILA as it stands today, and the asset protection profession.
The RILA we know today is quite different than the association back when you first took the helm. Walk us through some of the changes over the last seventeen years. My philosophy has always been to embrace change as it comes. RILA has evolved right along with the changes in retail. When I came aboard, we were known as the International Mass Retail Association. Our members included national legacy retailers like Macy’s, Federated, and Walmart, but our primary source of revenue was our merchandise convention. In evaluating our role as an association, we eventually made the decision to shift our focus to our membership. Over the course of several years, we ceased hosting the convention, rebranded as the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and Sandy Kennedy established a premier membership tier. We also notched our first major public policy win in that time with the RILA v. Fielder case in Maryland, which signaled to our board that we could successfully advocate for our members where it matters most. Since then, we have grown our membership tremendously—we now represent more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers—and are a strong voice for retailers in Washington. In 2010, we launched the Retail Litigation Center, as an independent membership organization focused on advancing the industry’s policy goals in the judiciary. Just last year, we successfully launched a new brand and website as well as moved our headquarters from suburban Virginia to DC, just blocks away from Capitol Hill. As you reflect on your time as president, what are some of the moments that stand out to you? The people. I’ve had the privilege of working with truly impressive professionals and am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to advocate on behalf of the retail industry. I’m also very proud of the public policy victories we’ve secured for our retail members. We have had a series of major public policy wins, driven by our advocacy work for robust marketplace competition, industry growth, employee flexibility, and empowered consumers. Leading business allies, we advocated against card check unionization and forced
Jim Lee, LPC Executive Editor
the measure to be dropped—a win for both employers and employees. We also helped get vital debit card swipe fee reforms over the finish line as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, and we continue to fight to protect those reforms that save consumers and retailers billions. In 2017, we led the industry-wide effort to ensure that a proposed border adjustment tax would not be implemented, paving the way for the industry to support the historic tax reform package that ultimately passed. And just last year, the industry saw a huge victory at the Supreme Court in the South Dakota v. Wayfair case, leveling the playing field for all retailers and restoring free market competition. Together, these wins have had a real impact on how our members operate and showcase the strength of our industry and what we can accomplish when we work together. How has asset protection transformed during your tenure? Huge technological advancements have drastically changed the way retailers approach asset protection. Everything from inventory management to store safety has been completely transformed by technology, and as a result, retailers have unprecedented insights into their stores, including the key pain points and opportunities. AP is a great example of how the industry has handled disruption more broadly over the last several years. True retail leaders aren’t running from change; they’re embracing it and helping drive the transformation by investing in innovation and collaborating with the disruptors. Asset protection has always been such an important part of retail operations, and it’s such an incredibly supportive community of professionals across the industry that really work hard together to keep our stores, our employees, and our customers safe. As we’ve seen the advent of organized retail crime and the increasingly sophisticated activity that takes place online, the role of the AP practitioner has evolved to address those needs. And the AP function within retail companies has become much more integrated across the business and central to overall success. What leadership lessons have you learned over your career? Listen to others. Leadership isn’t about knowing everything. Know what you don’t know and hire smart people to do great work.
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