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Checklists Matter

Before starting an incision, confirm the patient’s identity. Clearly mark the exact surgical site. Ask about allergies. Discuss any anticipated blood loss. Introduce yourself by name. Know your fellow surgical team members. These are some of the nineteen tasks on the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist, a short list of actions to be completed before surgery to cut errors and save lives.

The growing use of medical practice checklists now enjoys broad empirical support: multiple randomized controlled trials support their use. But—and this is a key point—evidence shows checklist users need to understand the purpose behind all checklist (CL) components, buy into them, embrace the CL practice, and have their leaders emphasize them over time. And this should all sound familiar.

Checklists are simple and important for LP/AP as well. Standardizing and executing some form of checklist enhances high-risk, high-reward individual and group planning and efforts. Think about these and more your organization can devise or are already using:

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  • Developing or adjusting your LP/AP program, including objectives, framework, strategy, budgeting, execution, and continuous improvement
  • Offender apprehension handling and reporting
  • Employee investigation handling and reporting
  • Operational audits across the enterprise

Another CL key—consider moving your audits and checklists to steadily more-convenient smart platforms if not already doing so since this further increases full compliance over time.

Featured Research

We all know partnerships are mission critical to effective total-enterprise protection. Intracompany partners like buyers and merchants, IT, logistics, store operations, and real estate should be kept up to speed on the latest crime and loss issues, numbers, and relative protective efforts and why and how you devised them.

Your buyer partners are important as you battle to keep stolen, counterfeit, and altered goods (SCAG) out of your organization. Your product manufacturer partners should be treated the same in this regard. At the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC), we have been tasked with looking at the influence wholesaler/diverter buying has on bringing stolen, counterfeit, and altered product into your supply chain and the harm these products can do to your customers and your organization.

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To this end, LPRC conducted surveys to provide more insight into possible motives and protocols for buying from other than the original product maker. The important findings are below.

  • Product suppliers are concerned about the gray market because it takes profit from them; distresses their direct customers that may have to compete against gray market resellers; and can introduce stolen, counterfeit, or otherwise compromised-quality goods into the marketplace.
  • Some retailers (or at least individual buyers) endorse the gray market since it can help them compete by providing quality goods at competitive prices due to slight wholesale cost differences. Others are not against it since they can use the wholesale “wire” to move items they overbought or no longer want or need out of their organizations. They may also find occasional opportunistic bargains.
  • Buyers feel tremendous pressure to buy off the “wire” to boost margins and feel almost all gray market-sourced goods are licit and safe.
  • Some retailers are against the gray market since it encourages competitors that do not have the same overhead (or sometimes ethics) to introduce stolen or otherwise illicit product (sometimes product stolen from retailers) into their supply chains.
  • Europe experiences the same problems with gray market goods, but EU law precludes products sold to non-EU countries being diverted into EU countries. However, some retailers are defying this premise.
  • High-tech suppliers, such as Nortel, Xerox, Cisco, Lexmark, and HP, have set up an alliance to tackle gray market issues.
  • Retailers should work with their supplier partners to address consumer service and the near-term and long-term impact of gray markets.
  • Suppliers, retailers, and wholesalers should adopt industry practices and written agreements including random inspection protocols to help preclude the movement of stolen, altered, and other illicit goods.

Recommended Reading

The Prevention of Crime by Delbert Elliott and Abigail Fagan, published by Wiley Blackwell, provides a scientific look (tied into prevailing theory and tested empirically) at practical and overall crime prevention methods.

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