Attendees at the LP Magazine annual meeting and members of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Asset Protection Leadership Council took things into high gear for Thursday’s agenda in Nashville, TN.
RILA’s Asset Protection Leadership Council met bright and early. At the meeting, the council announced a new chair/spokesperson to help inform upcoming meeting agendas and initiatives. Congratulations to Paul Jaeckle, LPC!
The APLC meeting also featured an exciting new program, the (R)Tech Innovation Showcase. Prior to the meeting, members had spent time vetting startups to determine whether their solutions could have a positive impact on retail AP. On Thursday, a few selected startups pitched solutions to a panel of ‘sharks’ (retail practitioners), as in the popular television series Shark Tank. The best of the bunch were awarded the opportunity to pilot their technology with a retailer at a later date, with funding from Intel to assist. “This was not just about startups pitching,” said Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations with RILA. “It was also a chance for retailers to inform the future of retail AP technology.”
The afternoon’s magazine meeting featured an annual update from the LPM team, followed by a host of thought-provoking presentations by top experts in the LP industry and beyond:
- Lorie Fridell, Ph.D., started us off with a deep dive into hidden biases: what they are, and how they may affect the work of LP associates and managers. Dr. Fridell is an associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida and is well known for her research on biased policing. Fridell cautioned attendees on the dangerous illusion of objectivity: “Even well-intentioned managers who are wholly committed to diversity and equal opportunity have implicit biases, which can undermine those aspirations.”
- Walter E. Palmer, CFI, CPP, CFE, CEO and president of PCG Solutions, spoke next about the research, trends, and data from ECR Europe and beyond. LP professionals can usually agree that data is crucial to our industry’s credibility. Palmer shared a look back at the virtual data desert in 2000 compared to the “verdant valley of growth and resources available to us” today in 2017. He updated attendees about the latest initiatives in progress on inventory accuracy, collaboration with suppliers, the ROI of RFID, omni-channel returns, and the current state of data analytics in LP.
- Ed Minyard, president and chief information security officer of ResponseForce1, rounded out the series by illuminating the importance of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a major seismic zone and prolific source of earthquakes in the central United States. An earthquake of significant magnitude along this zone could have tremendous implications due to the areas that could potentially be affected (many are hubs of the national transportation system). “Preparedness is not paranoia,” said Minyard, a remark that rings especially true in the wake of the recent rash of devastating hurricanes and earthquake in Mexico.
Thursday’s evening activities kicked off with a very entertaining performance of loss-prevention-themed songs that had been penned by meeting attendees the night before in the songwriting collaboration activity. Marc-Alan Barnette’s tuneful delivery of themes and allusions that only an LP person could appreciate had the crowd roaring.
During dinner, Jim Lee, LP Magazine’s executive editor, honored a handful of LPM “Magpie” Award recipients for their outstanding contributions to the LP profession. Congratulations once more to Mike Lamb, LPC; Melissa Mitchell, CFI; Mike Grady, LPC; Cita Doyle, LPQ; Gene Smith, LPC; Hedgie Bartol; and Tom Arigi!
The day concluded with an energetic performance by Patrick Henry, an author, songwriter, and humorist. Henry blended humorous songs and anecdotes with useful business takeaways and closed out a terrific day.