Interview with Mike Isch
Isch is vice president of sales for STANLEY Security based in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a member STANLEY’s senior leadership team and is responsible for developing strategic retail partnerships with the company’s largest customers. He has worked for Stanley Black and Decker for over twenty years and holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University.
Can you provide strategy examples that help retailers reach their loss prevention goals?
Most of STANLEY Security’s customers are operating from tight margins, which means the loss of inventory can make the difference between staying competitive or closing the doors. We help our customers with both seen and unseen strategies to reduce shrink.
Tell us more about the difference between seen and unseen strategies.
Seen strategies are being more visible on the floor from an employee perspective. Saying hello in a department or offering to help a customer find something isn’t just good customer service—it’s also an opportunity to reduce shrink. If a thief knows someone is in the vicinity, they may be less likely to steal.
Unseen strategies are often security technologies where innovation is used to monitor surveillance and record evidence. It’s never appropriate to allow technology to interfere with the customer experience, so we recommend video cameras are installed accordingly and security automation is used to ensure devices are working properly. However, we’re still prepared for anything because organized crime is growing at a pace we’ve never seen before.
One of the more important facets of retail career development is customer
management skills. Do they understand how to speak to customers they
may feel suspicious about? We need to instill in them a culture of loss prevention,
so they recognize even the smallest loss still risks the future of the company.
You mentioned technology. What types of innovation are you seeing in retail security?
STANLEY has a business-intelligence software that has been received well by our retail customers. It incorporates exception-based reporting with video surveillance to help reduce shrink at the cash register. For example, if an employee is entering a customer return, but no actual customer is standing at the register, the intelligent analytics recognize the empty checkout lane and sends investigation alerts with video to corporate asset protection teams. That’s leveraging business intelligence beyond what we imagined ten or fifteen years ago.
How do we help our younger generation in loss prevention recognize the impact they can make?
One of the more important facets of retail career development is customer management skills. Do they understand how to speak to customers they may feel suspicious about? We need to instill in them a culture of loss prevention, so they recognize even the smallest loss still risks the future of the company.
Finally, what are other easy tips for retailers that can accelerate their security strategy?
I would examine your floor plan and merchandising strategy. We recommend that your staff should be able to scan a department quickly from a distance or walking up and down aisles. Make it harder for criminals to hide their intentions—and then record it on video surveillance when you catch them in the act.