Checkpoint Systems recently disclosed findings from its third annual National Source Tagging Symposium, which was hosted at CVS Health Headquarters in Cumberland, Rhode Island.
Additional source tagging road shows and innovative tours will be held around the globe throughout the year starting this month. Attendees typically are represented by various vertical markets, from drug/pharmacy, to discount stores, to supermarkets, to general apparel and specialty accessories as well as cosmetic and pharmaceutical consumer package goods (CPG) manufacturers.
These events provide a forum for retailers and CPG manufacturers to work together on source tagging initiatives that will reduce their labor costs and shrink, while protecting brands and improving their in-store shopper experience.
One VP of loss prevention at a major North American drugstore chain previously noted that source tagging alone reduced theft of high-risk items by 44 percent. Another noted that “visible tags are a great theft deterrent, and source tagging protects the look and feel of premium packaging better than in-store tagging.” Because of the proven benefits of visual source tagging, another major retailer has determined that its products must have visual ‘Security Protected’ marking or visible circuit as a minimum. One of its LP executives noted that it is better to “deter than to catch.”
This year’s presenters included experts from retailers and CPG manufacturers from across the globe. The symposium began with an open panel discussion conducted by Colin Peacock (ECR Community Shrink, OSA Group) who allowed participants to share their shrink pain points and best practices among other loss prevention professionals sharing a major goal in common of decreasing shrink/increasing ROI.
The event boasted a double digit increase in attendance from 2015 with a record number of new CPGs and retailers.
National Source Tagging Symposium Findings
During this year’s session, leading drugstores and specialty retailers in attendance shared three critical factors for source tagging success. These included the following:
· Source tagging must be a group effort, not a solo effort by asset protection. The effectiveness of a source tagging program is greatly increased by involving multiple retail functions, including merchandising and operations, and coordination between retailers and supplier functions, such as category management.
· Source tagging is an ongoing program that must offer win-win outcomes for both retailers and suppliers. The ongoing nature of the program should reflect loss prevention and packaging trends and keep up with the increasing pace of new product introductions and line extensions. These solutions should ideally be part of the initial product design.
· Partnerships between category managers, packagers and retailers are crucial as new product introductions need to be focused on increasing sales and profits. When source tagging follows this comprehensive source-to-customer approach it can have a dramatic impact on sales and profits for these introductions.
According to Keith McUmber, director of Source Tagging, Checkpoint Systems, “We believe it is our responsibility to bring together experts to educate the retail industry and push forward new standards for source tagging services. We thank CVS Health for hosting this session, and attendees and presenters for sharing important source tagging experiences with industry peers.”