LP Magazine was pleased to be invited to attend the 2016 Home Depot Supply Chain conference held at the Store Support Center in Atlanta this week.
Mike Combs brought members of his team in for two days of training and knowledge sharing about logistics and loss prevention at Home Depot. Solveig Siliezar, an asset protection manager from Mira Loma, said she was looking forward to connecting with her peers. Being part of an AP team that oversees AP in five buildings, she feels this meeting is key to leverage the knowledge and experience of the team to help resolve issues she experiences. The audience included APMs from the different logistics channels (distribution centers, transit facilities, etc.) and even the latest acquisition, Crown Bolt, which includes Interline Brands.
James Fierro gave an introduction to the inclusion of Crown Bolt and the challenges of the Interline distribution model. There is a lot of risk associated because there is the potential you could have the person staging, loading, and delivering product to professional builders and contractors. Building a culture of integrity and increasing accountability will be key to ensuring drivers aren’t taking advantage of theft opportunities or being persuaded to “hook their clients up with extra product”.
To build off the knowledge of the different locations and channels, the network modeling team showed off how their models can be used within the supply chain to reduce congestion. Because each facility is so different, they utilize software to test changes to process and SOPs. They ran through some test models that show sometimes common sense solutions don’t always yield the expected results. Small changes to impact speed in one area may not make the entire process more efficient and can often cause more backups in other areas. It’s important to look at the data to ensure adjustments aren’t compromising safety and overall efficiency.
After some internal sessions discussing their specific shrink and audit projects as well as upcoming environmental health and safety enhancements, the legal team came in for an eye-opening session on joint employment and utilization of contractors. The supply chain environment is full of opportunities for contract employees to be on-site and communication is key to ensure there is no confusion regarding which company is responsible for the employee.
Whether performing supply chain duties such as loading boxes or performing asset protection activities such as guards, it’s important to ensure this relationship is clear to lessen the risk of being included in potential lawsuits against the contract company. For instance, contract employees should have a separate badge that states they are a contractor and not be included on internal communications such as emails, documents, meetings or social events. Limiting direct interaction with the contractor employees unless addressing imminent safety or risk situations helps reinforce the accountability with the contract company. The key takeaway was to use your leadership and legal team to help you manage those situations appropriately.
The afternoon was filled with two interactive sessions. First was a session on emergency preparedness and business continuity. Jeff Partin focused on being able to “react to situations that aren’t normal and get them back to normal”. Groups worked through separate supply chain scenarios to come up with what the current process is to deal with the scenario, what controls are in place, and then brain storming what else could be done to lessen the risks to that scenario. Key learnings included how to determine whether the scenario is an actual threat or just perceived threat and the importance of learning how to de-escalate situations.
The final session was a refresher on Wicklander-Zulawski interview techniques with Celia Cortes. Celia walked through the W-Z method and focused on key areas to remember such as developing a rapport and rationalization, developing the right assumptive question, and developing the admission. The session concluded with an exercise of giving a rationalization as if you were in an interview and re-affirmed the need to practice your statements and have them ready so when you are ready to use them, you aren’t focused on remembering your rationalization but you are able to look for your subjects reaction to the rationalization.
The end of the day brought an opportunity for recognition and team building within the Home Depot loss prevention team. First were awards being given out for achievements such as longest safety streak at a facility, giving back, building strong relationships, and creating shareholder value. Then, the whole team went to Top Golf for an evening of fun competition.
Day two kicked off with the THD Supply Chain AP Council discussing their role as an overarching team that helps explore and refine the asset protection tools and methods through sharing knowledge. Developed to encourage consistency across the buildings and formats, the AP Council represents the field teams and reviews new SOP and AP initiatives before they rollout to the field. To partner with the AP Council, there were vendor sessions to discuss system updates and a FAQs on common reports.
Following the vendor sessions, Keith Lewis of CargoNet and John Cannon from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation spoke on cargo theft trends and how the trend of cargo theft is changing. While crews continue to get more sophisticated, the focus on carrier accountability and driver negligence is key to stopping these types of thefts. When thefts occur, time is of the essence and information is invaluable. Being ready with the appropriate information regarding a lost trailer or loss from a trailer will help law enforcement and organizations like CargoNet mobilize and take action to return product quickly.
The last session of the day set the stage to go back to your facility and make a change. Brad Parker from the Learning Strategy team got everyone involved in Active Leadership and reminded us to be active in your daily job especially when it comes to listening and communication. As a member of the Home Depot loss prevention team, it’s important to set the expectations for others and influence them in important areas regulatory compliance, safety, theft and fraud. Keep instruction simple so they know what needs to be done and can take appropriate future actions in line with expectations. And finally, recognize those that are doing well at meeting the expectations.