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Solving Complex Investigations and Tackling Organized Retail Crime

For over nine years, ThinkLP has disrupted the loss prevention and risk management industry with its speed of innovation. As a result, the company’s vision of creating impactful software for loss prevention professionals has been embraced by industry professionals at some of the largest retail organizations worldwide. Their centralized platform allows teams to streamline their data, digitally transform their functions, and unlock hidden insights to improve performance, creating a “one-stop-shop” experience for retailers. One particular big box retailer has found immense success with ThinkLP in recent years and is familiar with the one‑stop‑shop approach.

Streamlining Organized Retail Crime Data

The retail-wide issue of organized retail crime (ORC) impacts retailers around the world, and big box retailers are not immune to this trend. Although curfews, closures, and other pandemic restrictions suppressed shoplifting incidents in the initial stages of the pandemic, as restrictions lifted, shoplifting incidents occurred at higher than pre-pandemic levels. Throughout the implementation of ThinkLP, there were many changes to the retailer’s business. These changes required adapting to new processes and ways of doing business to address these evolving issues. This retailer’s AP team was one of the first clients to leverage the ThinkLP platform to monitor and track nearly every facet of its ORC efforts.

Before ThinkLP, the team relied on many external systems to track, manage, and understand the nature of ORC in their stores. When investigators are pressed for time, searching multiple systems for information to make informed decisions can slow down essential investigative efforts. This delay can result in further losses between the incident and obtaining relevant information. By partnering with ThinkLP, all sources of investigative details were brought together into one easy-to-use and managed space. This centralization of systems eliminated all the previous headaches that initially existed. In addition, the retailer’s AP team found the intuitive nature and usefulness of ThinkLP’s features—such as drag-and-drop customizability—incredibly valuable to their process. As a result, the ThinkLP software is now a central hub of information for their team—a single source of truth!

Accurate Case Tracking

Despite being essential for restitution and budget allocation, equipment and case expense tracking are complex elements of an investigation that typically get overlooked. These elements were nearly impossible for the AP team to track accurately prior to implementing ThinkLP. Instead, managers relied on sign-out sheets, email chains, and other ad hoc methods for tracking investigative assets that were not well documented. With ThinkLP, assets and equipment are not only tracked from team to team, but the equipment list can also be checked into inventory lists. From there, the inventory lists are attached to specific operations and records and are used to demonstrate ROI and operational value for any active case.

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With ThinkLP, investigators can put investigative tactics into the system with all the vital details of assets and equipment needed, as well as other resources that may be involved in closing a case. Doing this helped the AP team track all operational expenses allocated to specific cases rather than just a general budget for the department. It made it much easier for the team to advocate for their department’s costs. The ability to associate the exact cost of individual cases and demonstrate value for the team’s efforts was invaluable for annual assessment conversations.

Theft Input Portal

One of the most innovative solutions that ThinkLP offers retailers is a store input portal. In one store’s experience, the portal allowed users to access and submit valuable information that the team used to submit data instantly in one centralized location. The AP team utilized this for theft incidents, and they called it the “Theft Input Portal.” Store level users could access the portal from any terminal or cash register to submit theft tips directly to the system immediately after it happened. They were able to submit critical details such as time of day, area of entrance or exit, and description of the perpetrator(s), all within ThinkLP.

Before ThinkLP, collecting these details would have been near impossible for the retailer’s investigators unless they were on‑site at that moment. In fact, the Theft Input Portal received over 300,000 tip entries per year on incidents from the store level! These incidents were quickly escalated in ThinkLP, tracked, and picked up by the ORC team to pursue. Those with required access credentials on the team can view instances at the store, district, regional, and corporate levels, and once they are reviewed, initiate further action in the system with a few simple clicks. This process is made more efficient by the ease of accessibility to the ThinkLP platform, meaning those with access could also view submissions from anywhere and anytime via desktop or mobile device. Incidents escalated to the AP team could be assessed, and they could create BOLOs and send out state-wide store announcements to help identify high-risk individuals should they enter a store location.

Dashboards and Reports

Not only does ThinkLP serve as a comprehensive space at this big box retailer for investigators to access information and gain insights, but it also allows for a high-level overview of all active and open cases. ThinkLP’s live-reporting dashboards made it easier for management to view all the information attached to any active case logged in their org. This feature led to increased productivity and job efficiency among investigators. Moreover, whenever an investigator left, it proved more efficient than ever to pass along information without anything lost in translation over the course of an investigation. Unlike other ad hoc methods from the past, it was easy to leverage the chatter feature in ThinkLP to communicate with supervisors, track all the steps investigators are taking, and streamline the approval process.

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