Regardless of what your company sells, where you sell it, or your total store count, you as a loss prevention or asset protection professional must win. Life safety, frightened customers and team members, dangerously low margins, and liability are some of your business risks. Violence, theft, fraud, and even poor process design and execution are killing retailers across the globe.
You’re the Resident Expert
Your retail organization needs you to be the resident retail security and loss control expert. You are expected to know how your total retail enterprise operates and, most importantly, how it’s actually functioning in various changing environments across the nation and globe.
You’re looking for weak and leak points, crime and loss patterns, bad process design, challenging market areas, and ineffective, disgruntled, or dishonest employees. You’re the one who is expected to best understand the factors behind crime and loss and how to cost-effectively control those dynamics.
And it is in this critical and complex context that you assess your loss prevention strategies and performance wins and gaps. This is your first step. You’re looking to cost-effectively support corporate goals and operations. You’re trying to protect people, your brand, and company assets. You’re working to make it all happen, which means you have got to win.
Your Loss Prevention Strategies
To win, you need an operating model or strategy. It needs to be carefully designed, but simple in concept and operation. Its impact should be quantifiable and readily explained above and below you—by you and your team. And it should be designed to work.
At the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) and the University of Florida, we don’t just focus on individual deterrent measures; we also work on overall loss prevention strategies and operating models. Our members need and demand this.
Working with LPRC members, we typically look to lay out the context and strategy at each level. An LP or AP organization should be designed and operate to support the retail enterprise, and all of its people and initiatives should support corporate objectives. Those levels can look something like the descending action points below:
- Fully understand and map out all corporate goals and supporting processes.
- Align and map LP goals to support each relevant corporate goal and program.
- Set up the LP strategy, process, technologies, and team structure to support these LP goals.
- Identify and develop overall LP team knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics to support the LP strategy and programs.
- Identify and develop individual LP team member knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics to support your focused LP teams and programs.
- Always remember that outside market conditions and other dynamics will be changing, so corporate and LP goals and process will need to be able to detect this and quickly adapt.
This article was excerpted from “Loss Prevention Leaders Must Win,” which was originally published in 2016. This article was updated June 19, 2017.