We’ve reviewed the submissions and our committee has narrowed down the choices to these outstanding finalists for LP Team of the Year! The LP Team of the Year represents excellence in teamwork and performance across the retail organization. True business partners, this team strives to make an impact with each other and with their operational counterparts, to collaborate in driving success for everyone in the company, while contributing to the communities they serve.
The Hall exists to recognize, celebrate, and reward those in and around the retail loss prevention industry, honoring achievement and excellence across a variety of categories. Nominations for the LP Team award must be made in consideration of outstanding performance and accomplishments realized during the calendar year for which they have been nominated. Individuals submitting a nomination may be a part of the LP Team they are nominating, or may be nominated by a third party.
Note: Due to a large tie in finalist selection we have increased the number of eligible finalists for this category and are leaving it to the industry to determine the winner.
AND THE FINALISTS ARE…
FINALIST: The Home Depot Supply Chain Asset Protection Team
This is a group that has managed explosive growth, coupled with unparalleled volume and continued complexity with the addition of many different distribution platforms and expansions of multiple spoke and hub networks in the middle of a pandemic. They have delivered top-flight safety, accuracy, and facility shrink numbers. In addition, the new facility build-outs and expansions have been delivered on time with minimal or no defects. Lastly, the team continues to groom, retain and recruit as they grow the THD SCAP talent to support these efforts. Hat tip to the SCAP senior managers, regional managers, managers, supervisors and auditors. An amazing job, by a selfless team during challenging times.
FINALIST: At Home Stores Loss Prevention and Safety Teams
The At Home LP team is experienced at being nimble and scrappy, but the pandemic took us to new levels. As stores closed we added new responsibilities like interviewing key-carriers in lieu of background checks due to government agency closures. We built fraud protections for curbside and untested BOPIS transactions to protect our business while we placed all our efforts on survival. We ran at 40% of staff for 90 days during furloughs – managing all aspects of the LP/safety world including the addition of COVID.
The team created ways to reduce store labor by building audits and forms within our case management system, to streamline reporting for the stores and improve reporting capabilities for the stores. We also utilized the case management platform to build a COVID tracking and contact tracing system as cases grew. Once out of the pandemic and at full staff, the team shifted slightly from an internal focus to manage the large increase in external incidents.
Vulnerabilities created by new systems to help us survive required temporary remedies until systemic solutions could be created. The team stood tall in every instance and created processes and programs to minimize impact. All through this time, we managed inventories (rescheduled about 80%) to some of our lowest shrink results. Safety has had similar stellar performances in reduced claims, maintained a safety committee and program and adding a dynamic safety manager to further enhance our program. Our support of COVD best practices to assist operations, legal and others was appreciated and well received.
FINALIST: Cherokee Nation Entertainment Loss Prevention Department
This team has made great strides not only in standard asset protection, but in the variety of peripherals that impact customer experience and the company bottom line. They have increased the effectiveness of loss mitigation, asset and property recovery, most recently in the era of the current pandemic they play an integral role in the contact tracing processes on all our properties. They work extremely closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, sharing intel on current concerns and trends that could have an impact to our business and communities.
FINALIST: PetSmart Field Loss Prevention and Safety Team
During the past year the PetSmart field loss prevention and safety team has taken on additional responsibility with COVID and the stewardship of our associates, pets, pet parents, and business partners that we serve. This team is responsible for crisis management leadership and incident commander responsibilities along with driving the culture and metrics for total loss, pet safety and Associate Safety. They have faced an unprecedented year of COVID and crisis management with a fervor and fortitude that goes unmatched in the industry.
This team adapted and led change, they didn’t wait for the changes to come to them. They actively pursued more of the essential workload and were a constant business partner to store operators in the field and Phoenix home office. Whether it was a hurricane, wildfire, civil unrest, looting, or physical security they weren’t asked to respond, they led the response. They are the trusted partner to associates, pets, pet parents, and business partners in every moment of their life during this unprecedented year! I am proud of this team, they were present and faced the challenges head on, I can’t thank them enough and I am proud to walk beside them in the best and worst of times!
FINALIST: Rite Aid Asset Protection Team / Philadelphia Rite Aid Asset Protection Team
2020 was an irregular year in retail. I suppose that is the understatement of the year but, within the retail arena, the depth of the irregular experience can vary. While the entire team at Rite Aid deserves recognition, this nomination highlights particular focus on the Rite Aid asset protection team who supports the Philadelphia metro area. They provided significant support of the first Covid-19 testing site in the Philadelphia metro area. In addition, this team supported their stores during two waves of civil unrest, which left stores devastated, and in need of restoration or total rebuild.
The Philadelphia asset protection team stepped up in a massive way when the pandemic arrived. Rite Aid elected to open their first Covid-19 testing site in Philadelphia to support first responders. The asset protection team stepped up and was involved in set up, operation and support of the drive-thru test site. For example, regional asset protection manager Vito Chieffi stepped out of role for several weeks to serve as the Decontamination Tent lead for the operation. Regional asset protection managers Anthony Berger, Ric Jenkins, Jim Boehmer, Joe Gabriel, Mike Calero and Joe Soto stepped up over several weeks to help in the physical set up, organization, and operation of the drive-thru test site. These actions were in addition to their day jobs, which remained on track and at a high-performance level. RAPL Anthony Berger was also involved in identifying and donating excess PPE supplies to local hospitals in desperate need during the early phase of the pandemic. Their contributions to the Covid-19 testing site provided much-needed virus testing for the first responders who were supporting the hard-hit Philadelphia community.
In late May, civil unrest resulted in damage and loss to many Philadelphia retail stores. Rite Aid locations were especially hard hit. When civil unrest struck, the Philadelphia asset protection team was the first to respond and support the impacted locations and team members. The entire team jumped in to secure, clean up, and restore the impacted locations. To see entire markets devastated by civil unrest has an emotional impact on the associates who enjoy supporting their community. The asset protection team played a major role helping restore a sense of safety and security to a hurting team. After weeks and months of restoration, almost all stores had been restored when civil unrest struck again in October. Although drained from the May events, the asset protection team again jumped in, did whatever it took to restore the Philadelphia Rite Aid locations, and provided major support in the road to recovery.
2020 will likely be unequalled in the challenges it presented. The Philadelphia Rite Aid team stepped up, led forward and supported their stores through a succession of unfortunate events. I nominate the Philadelphia Rite Aid asset protection team for rising to the challenge and for leading their stores through this irregular and challenging year.
FINALIST: OSAC CHENNAI CHAPTER, India
Standards, Service and Quality – OSAC Brand Management. Messages were driven that everybody representing the Chennai chapter are a brand ambassador. We inducted the right members after validation, and they were communicated on OSAC objectives and expectations. Standards were set by sharing WhatsApp guidelines, compliance information and by validating members status quo every quarter. We ensured and authenticated the rightful use of logo and sharing of OSAC contents in common platforms by our members. OSAC Chennai chapter has emerged as an Elite Brand and a go to platform for Safety, security, Risk and BCP related communications among the Professional groups in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Service –We shared other chapter information to ensure knowledge sharing happens between the group members. Members from rest of OSAC chapters in India were included to Chennai Chapter Whats App group to enable active communications between the groups. This has helped members to have flow of information from all over India and at quick intervals. The report from OSAC website was also shared with members to spread awareness of the situations. For the benefit of members and as a service we also ensured that Job postings, webinars, interviews and government communications pertaining to security and safety is shared in the OSAC Whats App group.
Quality – During the quarter an effectiveness study was done to understand the quality and flow of communication in the group. A Content analysis was done with OSAC Chennai chapter Whats App data. The outcome helped us to understand on group member messaging dynamics & messages pattern and based on these data there are certain areas of improvement and many areas of good work were noticed. We ensured that the members ensured only reliable information is shared and with the Source of information and hence the margin of miscommunication was not noticed. We achieved quality by having the right people, process, awareness and compliance.
Crisis or Incident Response – Excellence during COVID times -The situation over the last two quarters were new and tough for all of us. The situation demanded more knowledge sharing but the personal interactions were beyond our reach and the virtual interactions took prevalence. At this period, we partnered with India Bound, Vibe Consulting, Control Risk, Mitkat Advisory & International SOS. These knowledge partners provided hosting platforms for the virtual meets and the subject matter experts shared the expertise over the topics in the webinars.
Innovative Networking – Centralized communication platform for all India OSAC chapter leadership was created by us to enable communication is centralized and is easy to network. Chapter members were provided opportunity to participate in telephonic data collection, Survey management and to be the voice in the webinars .While the offices are shut, we ensured the networking is strong by engaging knowledge partners & utilizing their meeting platforms to keep the group active and connected. We improvised our effectiveness in Police public Partnership to ensure the organizations are aware and has full support of the legal authorities. As part of the innovative networking, meetings with the Top Cops was enabled in order to support lockdown situations.
Leadership – The chapter consists of more than 150+ members from 19 working sectors. Most of the members are in the capacity of senior decision makers or at a higher-level consultant who set great examples of leadership in OSAC Group at all time. Industry leaders were also partnered for knowledge sharing with the Chennai chapter. In order for the members to know how we are performing as a group and as a new initiative a bi-annual report was prepared and shared with the members. This report includes leadership messages of motivation and vision for the future. An opportunity was found to connect all the OSAC chapter members from pan India locations. Lead was taken to collect the details and a centralized Platform was created to share and coordinate the OSAC India leadership communications. The regional security officer, chairman, secretary and the executive committee members provided constant support, Knowledge and vision for the betterment of OSAC Chennai chapter and was appreciated from all members
FINALIST Meijer – AP Investigations Team
I am nominating this team due to their highly driven results in the year of 2020 from everything from assisting law enforcement, civil unrest/COVID monitoring, to digital fraud prevention. This team wins due to combining all their unique skillsets to create one unstoppable team.
The corporate Meijer Asset Protection Investigations team managed by Ryan Themm is made up of three powerful components that monitors all Meijer internal and external incidents/emergencies/crime, and this year mitigated up to $40 million in potential fraud loss, has assisted over 50+ law enforcement agencies including The FBI and Secret Service in over 850+ Investigations in 2020.
The first component towards success as a team is our two corporate investigations coordinators; Mike Moll and Karlyn Crotty. Mike stepped to the plate to assist with over 600 Law Enforcement Requests and has helped identify over 25 subjects committing financial crimes, larcenies, home invasions and even a high-profile homicide in around the Mid-West. Mike has gone above and beyond in his role with assisting law enforcement in investigations during 2020.
Karlyn Crotty led and built the Meijer.com fraud prevention system for all of Meijer’s digital shopping. The Meijer online fraud prevention program did not start until November of 2020. In just two months, Karlyn was able to develop rules that prevented over $7 million in confirmed fraud/identify theft over the holiday season, plus an additional $25 million from bot attacks/fraud attacks on the online PS5 launch release. Additionally, Karlyn also developed online rules that prevented massive buyouts of COVID-19 items and assisted in multiple online digital fraud investigations (People using cellphones to encrypt credit card numbers/making it hard to find in your POS system).
The second competent that makes the team a success is the Meijer Remote Operation Center; the Remote Operations Center is led by Austin TenElshof. The Remote Operations Center is a 24/7 command center for Meijer that responses to all emergency events and send escalations through the proper communication channels for Meijer. This team assisted with monitoring all civil unrest, political events, on-property incidents/alarms and all different types of external disturbances from weather to crime. The team sent out over 1,500 alerts throughout 2020 identifying incidents for proper escalation. This team of 8 in 2020 also implemented people counting software via camera/monitoring system (due to covid purposes) and maintained counts in over 250 locations to keep staff safe away from the front door/directly contacting people.
The third, but not least component on our team to drive success is the field investigations team led by David Cammenga. The field investigations team in the year 2020 assisted law enforcement and other retailers in three fencing investigations that recovered over $140,000 in stolen merchandise from all different retailers, and additionally over 80 other major case investigations for Meijer. This team helps our asset protection teams in all our markets connect cases and goes after ORC activity/repeat offenders to build bigger cases.
FINALIST: SSP Group Loss Prevention Team (United Kingdom)
2020 it was a tough year for the travel sector and so it affected all our employees. I can very proudly say though, that our loss prevention team, even if we had to reduce the number of employees due to the low business results, continued an excellent job.
They show we are one team when they have supported our operation during the store closures and openings, managing the safety of our employees and stock.
They proved we are bold when they considered the company’s benefits and carried out investigations and activities to ensure the correct operational behaviors in order to maximize revenue and profit.
During the whole year, they managed to keep the loss prevention KPIs on the expected levels, showing that we are results-focused.
Reducing the headcount and the difficult circumstances didn’t stop them from starting to work on new projects, like trailing a centralized CCTV investigation model which could bring cost and time saving globally for the team, meaning we all make a difference!
And now I am nominating them, because I would like to celebrate our success together!
FINALIST: Paradies Lagardere Asset Protection & Safety
This team faced many challenges in 2020, taking on a dining division while continuing to oversee a retail division with stores throughout the US and Canada. Navigating thru not only a pandemic but travel restrictions as well in the airports we service. This team was creative as they found new ways to investigate and identify DE’s and maintain safety. We had to gel as a team and lean on each other. We had to have uncomfortable dialogue which brought us even closer together. This is no longer a department, this is a family!
FINALIST: Lowe’s AP & Safety Team
The Lowe’s AP & Safety team stands out as an example of a team that came together and showed incredible resilience and teamwork throughout the pandemic. Within days of covid-19 hitting the US, the team had a formal business process in place for all their locations and LP employees. This comprehensive process was up and running in record time and allowed this essential business the ability to report and track covid-19 cases, store cleaning, exposure risk, store closures and re-openings, and allow business partners to follow up with each affected individual. Their response helped the Lowe’s organization to operate at a high performance during the beginning days of the pandemic, despite the challenges that hit the retail industry.
But it’s not just their COVID-19 related work that makes them a great team. They also went through a leadership change when their director was promoted to a different role, but they continued to work together as a team and continued doing awesome work.
Now, they are working on creating a new analytics program that is implementing analytics and reporting across the entire user-base of over 1400 users. This huge step forward will allow every single user to see how their location is performing. Enhanced visibility means that the LP employees will be able to see the bigger picture and know exactly where they need to focus their attention, to bring greater success to Lowe’s across the entire organization.
FINALIST: Hibbett Sporting Goods AP Team
The AP team at Hibbett Sports is a dedicated team that is innovative in the way they approach loss prevention. Last year was challenging for all retailers, and Hibbett’s AP team faced many challenges with the pandemic and with incorporating the team from the recently acquired City Gear. Hibbett came up with a unique and new way to analyze their data that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the industry and is a really innovative way to look at their data and make the most of their team’s resources.
The team uses custom dashboards that report and compare their daily performance and measure it against the same day last year. For example, if today is the 40th day of their fiscal year, they can report on exactly what happened in their locations today, and then see in their dashboard what happened on the 40th day of the previous year and measure how they improved or identify areas where they declined. This enables them to see patterns in their data and make necessary changes to improve their performance at each location and see exactly where to focus their efforts.
Even while in the midst of a pandemic and also incorporating another team into their business processes last year, Scott Myers led his team in automating this unique process and utilizing it across the organization to bring fresh insights and showing value. They are raising the bar and leading the way to a completely new style of AP reporting in the loss prevention industry.
FINALIST: McDonald’s Corp. US Security Team
As everyone would agree, 2020 was a year like no other. The McDonald’s US Security Team consisting of ten very talented individuals, led by Rob Holm, global director of safety, security, worked together to support ten field offices and 15,000 restaurants across the U.S. They rose to the challenge and brought a level of expertise, institutional knowledge, and professionalism to every situation. In the beginning of the pandemic, this team was instrumental in working with internal teams as well as external agencies in getting the required materials needed for essential restaurant employees to get to and from work when shelter-in-place orders were delivered. The team worked countless hours supporting company-owned locations and franchisees with physical security initiatives, getting correct equipment and third-party vendor solutions in place to close locations that have always been 24/7 operations.
Writing policy or updating processes to keep in line with new and continually changing state executive orders, the McDonald’s US Security Team had a seat at every table, providing updates, recommendations as well as guidance to all levels of management up to the C-Suite.
When we thought we had a cadence with the “new normal” the country experienced a level of civil unrest not seen in ages. We created a culture of awareness within the system, by teaching, training, coaching and educating restaurants on how to handle situations before they became incidents.
The McDonald’s US Security Team was pioneering new trails for the QSR industry and benchmarking with competitors. The team created workshops on deescalating aggressive behavior as well as protocols for management on handling difficult situations.
The McDonald’s US Security Team did this while ensuring they stayed connected, relevant and always available to the customer. They supported company’s core values, ensuring everyone was safe and secure and always kept the arches shining bright.
FINALIST: CVS Asset Protection Team
Built on the mission of “Helping People on Their Path to Better Health,” CVS is committed to demonstrating and continuously delivering on several core values – Innovation, Collaboration, Caring, Integrity, and Accountability. Throughout an incredibly challenging and unprecedented year, the CVS Health AP Team navigated unfamiliar terrain with agility and unwavering resolve, and most certainly exceeded in delivering on these critical company values across our most important stakeholders: our colleagues, our customers, and the local communities we are so honored to serve.
Like many, the CVS Health Asset Protection team truly had to “walk to the talk” in 2020; an organization built on supporting the health of our nation was suddenly forced to strike the incredibly delicate balance between upholding its mission and protecting the health of colleagues, while simultaneously ensuring that increasing risks were mitigated and our stores were safe and secure. To this end, and in very quick fashion, the CVS Health AP Corporate and Field teams devised a comprehensive, multi-faceted work-from-home strategy and toolkit that allowed for the ability to conduct virtual and in-person visits, investigations, and to continuously protect the most critical assets—our customers and colleagues.
As traveling became restricted, our teams could not continue to have the “normal” store oversight they were used to. Additionally, we mobilized our case management system so the field team could conduct their store assessments, enter cases, review reporting and dashboards on their mobile devices to promote simplicity. As a team, we have closed the gap between corporate and field AP partnerships, and in a time where we could not work “together” physically, unbreakable synergies were created, and unimaginable results were delivered. Most importantly, this strategy allowed the most vulnerable members of the asset protection team (and their families), as well as those team members that were directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19, to remain safe and healthy in while still doing the jobs they love.
In addition to facing the challenge of protecting its colleagues amidst a global pandemic, CVS Health – and specifically the asset protection team, also did not waver in its commitment to customers and patients. While many retailers were forced to close their doors, CVS Health remained steadfast and accountable to its organizational mission; however, this was not without facing increased and unprecedented risks. To ensure the store and customers remained safe and the doors remained open, the CVS AP team played very visible and significant role in support this: new pandemic-related SOP’s were developed and reviewed during AP stores visits, additional corporate reporting was created to enhance visibility to new risks, incremental security resources were deployed, new law enforcement and retailer partnerships were forged, and CVS’ ORC team rose to the occasion (several times) in dismantling several high-profile, national-level organized booster groups creating unrest and havoc in our stores.
CVS Asset Protection leveraged their Core Value of “Caring” to think and act about what changes needed to be made to positively impact our colleagues, customers, and communities. CVS Asset Protection also led the charge with COVID-19 Testing and PPE response at the very onset of the pandemic. Asset Protection colleagues across the nation came together to support hundreds of COVID-19 Testing Sites, collaborating with Minute Clinic, National Guard and Community/Policing Agencies. They showed up each day, working together to increase testing availability and result rates to “Stop the Spread” across the U.S.
Within our AP department the Diversity and Inclusion team united, taking center stage to expand awareness, create dialogue, and cultivate understanding. All the while, our AP team respectfully kept a constant finger on the pulse of protest activity partnering with local law enforcement and officials to safeguard the well-being of our associates and communities. Additionally, our asset protection teams rose to the challenge to support the communities in which they worked and lived. Hundreds of asset protection leaders worked tirelessly through the nights, reviewing video, communicating with field leaders and law enforcement, and responding to events in order to ensure CVS would be there for our local communities and their healthcare needs in a time of great need. After the events were over, the asset protection teams continued to support the stores and communities by being visibly present in stores, working volunteer events to provide food, water, and PPE to the communities and beyond.
One of the greatest strategy evolutions was the development and launch of the Asset Protection Engagement Pillars. The pillars were divided into 4 teams of leaders, working groups, and advisory boards that would focus on the asset protection team’s development, diversity and inclusion, modernization, and communication efforts. These larger pillar teams would review what feedback the teams have provided in the past, present and what they wanted to see in the future.
Continuing with a collaboration mindset, CVS AP department also had the opportunity to join forces with “Buy America Safe Coalition” working with various groups and officials to protect consumers from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods. From targeted product protection at store level to corporate ORC task forces our asset protection team became laser focused in developing and executing resolution strategies that would continue to result in favorable outcomes.
The support provided by the asset protection team undoubtedly served as a foundational component of CVS’ ability to remain open during this time – and to remain a beacon of hope in local communities across the nation.
HOW TO VOTE
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EACH CATEGORY WILL BE OPEN FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS OF VOTING – TELL YOUR COWORKERS, YOUR PEERS, AND YOUR FRIENDS – AND GET THE WORD OUT TO VOTE ON THE FINALIST YOU FEEL MOST DESERVES TO WIN!
Visit The Hall homepage to learn more about each of our categories and finalists