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The Formula for Success in Loss Prevention

In his book The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success, physics professor Albert-László Barabási penned the equation for success: S (success) equals r (the potential value of an idea) multiplied by Q (the ability to execute on the idea). Thus, success equals the potential value of an idea times the ability to execute on that idea.

Leaders inherently understand this formula. Economics is the study of scarce resource allocation. Business management ultimately is the decision process in allocating scarce resources for the production of goods or services. Loss prevention leaders live the success formula every single day because shrink and risk problems are so great, resources are so few, and the constant interplay between these two factors drive everything.

When we analyze the success formula more closely, the question becomes: how can you maximize the potential value of an idea and maximize the ability of the organization to execute on that idea? Expanding on that question, it becomes: how can you maximize the sum total of the potential value of all ideas and maximize the ability of the organization to execute on as many ideas as possible? Let’s explore each component of the formula to help skyrocket the success of our teams.

How Can You Maximize the Sum Total of the Potential Value of All Ideas?

There are two components to maximizing the sum total of the potential value of all ideas: increase the number of ideas and maximize the value of each individual idea. Examples of how we can do this in the practice of loss prevention include:

- Digital Partner -
  • Get incident reports from as many sources as possible. Incident reports are a great source of intelligence. The easier it is for the widest range of people to submit, the more comprehensive your intelligence picture becomes. ThinkLP’s platform provides a dozen ways to capture incidents, which can be configured to your exact business ideas.
  • Use case linking and machine learning to unlock bigger issues and hidden links. Using a combination of automated machine-learning algorithms and visual case-link reporting allows you to connect the dots and create a treasure trove of links within incident reports. These crime-linking diagrams can be a powerful way to identify serial criminals and organized retail crime (ORC) groups, allowing you to more easily gather evidence and build cases.
  • Utilize prescriptive analytics and exception reporting to turn analytics into action. Loading point-of-sale, returns, e-commerce, inventory, gift card, HR, time, and other data into an exception-reporting and prescriptive-analytics tool is a great way to identify potential sources of loss. The ThinkLP platform allows our client-partners to plug their existing exception-reporting software into ThinkLP, or choose to use the ThinkLP loss prevention analytics platform right within ThinkLP to accomplish the same objectives. Either way, the intelligence gathered from the identification of these issues is an important driver to reducing loss.
  • Leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to point you to problem areas. This is truly revolutionary: ThinkLP AI-driven data discovery analyzes your data in minutes, surfaces deep insights, and recommends ways to improve outcomes. Our objective is simple: augment every loss prevention team with a powerful and automated AI-driven data-analysis tool. Knowing every team operates differently, the machine learning built into this tool is truly remarkable. If you already have data scientists or business intelligence analysts on your team, the ThinkLP AI data-discovery tool will augment your existing team, but if you’re one of the countless teams who don’t have in-house data analysts, this will supercharge your efforts.
  • Work closely with peers and vendors to ideate on sources of loss. The greatest aspect of our industry is that we’re all in this together, we speak with peers in other organizations, share ideas, brainstorm together, and share results of our findings. Whether we’re collaborating through the Loss Prevention Research Council or utilizing the great work done on the Total Retail Loss framework, the trick is putting ideas into practice rapidly, and that’s where the ThinkLP platform shines.

Generating ideas of potential sources of loss within an organization is typically not difficult as most practitioners would be more limited by resource constraints than a lack of good loss-reduction ideas, which brings us to the other component of our success formula.

How Can You Increase the Ability of the Organization to Execute on as Many Ideas as Possible?

There’s a saying: “execution eats strategy for breakfast.” Let’s explore a few ways the ThinkLP enterprise loss prevention intelligence software platform can help create and sustain execution excellence within your organization:

  • Consolidate all your data into one central intelligence platform. Having the data described above along with other information sources all combined into a central intelligence platform is a dream come true for LP professionals. Most organizations operate on numerous platforms with siloed information, and the ThinkLP central data hub revolutionizes the way departments operate.
  • Monitor store execution and compliance using an intelligent auditing tool. Most organizations conduct some type of audit or assessment to gauge compliance with corporate standards and obtain an on-the-ground read of what’s happening. The ThinkLP intelligent audit software utilizes knowledge gleaned from your central intelligence platform to target the right compliance controls in the right place at the right time, coordinate follow-up, and distribute reports automatically.
  • Automate your business processes using a business process automation tool. Every team has dozens or even hundreds of processes both inside their department and those that need to be coordinated with other teams such as operations, HR, legal, safety, internal audit, and more. Visually mapping and automating complex business processes inside ThinkLP helps keep everyone on the same page. The collaboration and insights can help marshal resources while saving an enormous amount of time and energy.
  • Mobile-enable your team with an awesome mobile app. With the exception of this pandemic, we are mobile most of the time, and being able to have all of your information in the ThinkLP mobile app, with all the workflow automation and data visualization capabilities that it includes, is invaluable to operating a modern, mobile, effective team.
  • Use ThinkLP to help build a culture of excellence. With every team member able to access their information, in a user-friendly manner, augmented with recommendations from artificial intelligence and analytics, the stage is set to accelerate team performance.

Getting Started Is the Most Important Thing

Mark Twain has been credited as saying, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” A mind-boggling number of major components make up the capabilities of the ThinkLP loss prevention platform, and we’ve made it incredibly affordable for teams of every size to launch ThinkLP. Each organization is leveraging a combination of these components on their own journey of success, innovating new ways of using ThinkLP to solve unique and fascinating business challenges. They all have one thing in common: they got started.

According to Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Peter Drucker, one of the most influential thinkers and authors on management in the twentieth century, and Warren Bennis said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” When we dovetail Drucker’s quote with the success formula, we see perfect alignment.

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Success equation

As leaders, it has never been more important to set the stage and provide the strategy, direction, and tools necessary to enable our teams to achieve success. At ThinkLP, we are humbled and honored to be cocreating the world’s most advanced loss prevention software platform with truly amazing client-partners. We’re encouraged by and applaud all the leaders and teams who, in the face of unprecedented circumstances, pandemic, recession, and headwinds, are diligently writing their own loss prevention success stories.


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