The energy level remained high at Day Two of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Asset Protection Conference at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, Texas. The educational programming began bright and early with a 7:30 a.m. session on inventory inaccuracy. The session revealed the findings from a big data and analytics project that used financial and store data to determine risk metrics. The project was commissioned by 7-Eleven and executed by students at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.
Immediately following breakfast, five-time entrepreneur and trendwatcher Michael Tchong gave a high-powered talk on how to “Unbox Your Thinking to Create Innovation Breakthroughs.” Tchong’s presentation was both entertaining and illuminating as he challenged RILA AP attendees to look at the ways in which they can fuel innovation in their own organizations.
The conference attendees fractured into breakout sessions next, each according to his or her personal interest. Topics ranged from directional analytics and e-commerce fraud to safe lifting techniques and managing Millennials. Sessions facilitated in-depth conversations among industry professionals and gave everyone some food for thought. For instance, did you know that the working benefits valued most by Millennials tend to be training, flexible hours, and bonuses—in that order?
Everyone gathered again in the Grapevine Ballroom for a valuable and sobering conversation about “The Changing Face of the Active Shooter,” led by Michael Balboni. Balboni is a former state senator of New York and deputy secretary of public safety. He is now the president and managing director of Redland Strategies, Inc. In his talk, Balboni covered the existing threat landscape and ways in which security professionals can learn from past global terror events, such as those in Paris and Brussels.
Lunch was held in the exhibit hall to give attendees the opportunity to initiate (or finish) discussions about the morning sessions and to network with others in the industry. Then it was back to the Ballroom for a general session panel on the future of organized retail crime. Panelists included Dave Roberts, director of investigation at Lowes; Nelson Harrah, director of ORC at Gap; and Chance Bowlin, manager of corporate loss prevention for Petco. Joe LaRocca, founder and president of Retail Partners, moderated an engaging discussion on the latest game-changing technologies used to fight ORC, the legislative issues surrounding ORC, and what it takes to be a leader in the battle against ORC.
Breakout sessions again took place in the afternoon, covering areas of interest from data visualization techniques to enterprise video strategy and beyond. The Retail AP Innovation Awards winners were announced at 4:00 p.m. by Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations for RILA. Congratulations to all winners and finalists!
To wrap up the day, a reception was held in the Exhibit Hall. Many attendees took advantage of the final opportunity to network with peers and solution providers at the booths.