Plan to Win

Table 1

Every loss prevention and asset protection team puts together some kind of “plan to win.” As we’ve discussed before, there is too much at stake to lose not to plan. Crime and loss means injuries, reputation damage, revenue loss, and much more. And the way we win is to defeat potential offenders. We convince them not to attempt crimes in the first place, or we disrupt their efforts so that they’re not profitable, or we get them apprehended and sanctioned.

LP has layers. The top decision-maker is clued into how their company works and what and how their goals and process to success is designed to work. The “number ones” should very often live at the strategic level. (Strategy should always come first and is defined as a plan of action designed to achieve a major or overall aim.) Being strategic isn’t easy or even trained, and in fact it can be difficult. Many leaders avoid it by hiding in tactical details and tasks. But if you’re the corporate asset protection head, then the company’s leaders are looking to you to strategize how your department is going to support their plans and overall corporate success.

An LP plan to win incorporates layers including:

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1. Enterprise Support Strategy. At this level we determine our protective focus, our LP priorities. We determine important business outcomes, like sell more handbags or increase store safety, that need better precision and success to achieve organizational goals. We also look to improve our protection of key processes like handbag supply chain and in-store display while focusing on the highest-risk places and assets. Our goal here is to support overall corporate safety, sales, and margin-growth objectives by reducing loss and crime risks at data-identified opportunity points. This level is our asset protection strategy.

2. LP Operational Framework. After our strategic-focus planning, the team outlines the required protective process-how we will specifically protect and enable important company goals and processes. At this level, the leader and team spell out their action framework. In other words, we must precisely describe who does what, where, when, and why. The framework should outline a highly focused but agile, cross-functional game plan designed to address the strategy with specific people, programs, and systems. The framework also outlines how deployed treatments will be placed and kept refreshed to maintain treatment effects and ease of use over time.

3. Evidence-Based Protective Countermeasures. The lowest level describes specific evidence-based programs, technologies, and tactics. Here is where we plug in our components.

Featured Research: ePVM Impact Evaluation

Retailers striving to further suppress crime attempts are using varying ePVM (enhanced public-view monitors) to create deterrence in high-theft and other risky locations. This paper compares different studies conducted by LPRC to understand the effectiveness of the public-view monitor (PVM) and the enhanced public-view monitor (ePVM means enhanced to boost the likelihood of an offender seeing, getting, and fearing it) in reducing shrinkage.

This paper also describes shopper, employee, and offender perceptions of the ePVM as an effective (and employee/customer friendly) crime-prevention intervention. This paper employs quantitative and qualitative analysis. The quantitative analysis from experimental or randomized controlled trial (RCT) research results shows the implementation of PVMs in selected high-theft product categories can be both impactful and cost-effective. LPRC RCTs have shown both shrinkage reductions and sales increases in a majority of the tested or treated stores between the pretest period (before the ePVM is put in) and the posttest period (after the ePVM has been installed). A summary of these studies is shown in Table 1.

Table 1

In addition to the quantitative analyses of impact of ePVMs on ROI and shrinkage, the LPRC also conducted numerous small qualitative projects to understand customer, employee, and active-shoplifter perceptions on current or enhanced asset protection devices, including ePVMs. LPRC studies have found the majority of shoppers were oblivious to ePVMs, where many walked by the ePVMs without noticing them. More than 80 percent of customers in all studies said the presence of PVMs did not adversely affect their shopping experiences. Customers usually acknowledged they feel safer in the store with the ePVMs. Customers also noted their shopping experience was not affected by the ePVMs, and finally, they would buy the items protected by ePVMs. A summary of these findings can be seen in Table 2.

Table 2

The results from the employee survey show most employees interviewed about the ePVMs were positive about its effectiveness. All employees in every study were aware of the PVM and felt PVM works to deter shoplifters in the store. Employees also pointed out the ease of use of PVMs compared to loss prevention techniques like fixtures, spiders, and boxes.

The results from various offender surveys show there is wide variation in the likelihood an offender will notice an ePVM. Enhancements such as sounds and flashing lights can increase the chances an offender will notice the ePVM. Once the shoplifter’s attention is drawn to the ePVM, LPRC studies have shown most shoplifters understand why the ePVM was there. Nearly 65 percent agreed the presence of PVMs deters them. In one study, it was found an ePVM with a picture-in-picture box (PIP) displaying a “security guard” deterred 30 percent more offenders than ePVM without PIP. A summary of these results can be found in Table 3.

Table 3

Our University of Florida and LPRC teams continue to work new ePVM dosing options including unit placement, numbers per store, constant slight changes to maintain freshness, and aural and visual priming cues to boost the treatment’s noticeability and credibility.

2018 IMPACT Conference

LPRC members set another attendance record at the beautiful University of Florida venue in two ways. First, overall participation hit just a hair under 400, and top LP leaders went from the typical dozen or so vice presidents to over thirty. While LPRC member engagement went up, so did the number of reviewed LP research projects in Learning Lab breakouts, posters, and main stage presentations rising from twenty-plus to forty-one.

LPRC IMPACT is truly a learning and sharing environment. The Impact Mad Scientist gamification, the LPRC Solution Experience Center, updated conference app, along with the senior LP leader STRATEGY@ session made this year’s event even more unique. Next year’s LPRC IMPACT is already being planned and will be held September 30 to October 2.

A Growing Research and Results Community

As of this writing, the LPRC community continues to rapidly grow with over seventy retail chains, over seventy solution partners, industry partners like the Loss Prevention Foundation, LP Magazine, D&D Daily, the Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association, the National Association of Safety Professionals, and a half-dozen manufacturers like P&G, Mead Johnson, Bacardi, Coty, Duracell, and Stanley/Dewalt.

What this means is more data, more test locations, and much more LP talent working together in eight working groups, the iLab, at summits, webinars, and Impact, and in the field to transform LP action and results. Please contact kevin.larson [at] kroger.com or jessi [at] lpresearch.org to learn more about how your organization can engage with us.

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