Back-to-school season marks a fresh start for everyone, even the loss prevention professional. The influx of composition notebooks, day planners, and freshly sharpened pencils in store displays has everyone thinking about getting a little more organized. This is where your smartphone comes in.
A slew of mobile apps are making the day-to-day lives of loss prevention professionals everywhere a little bit easier. The very best business and travel apps improve productivity and efficiency for busy LP pros who are always on the go. With the thousands of options available, however, it’s sometimes difficult to decide which apps are worth your while and which are a waste of time. The LP Magazine team, with some valuable input from the members of a panel at the 2016 RLPSA event, created this list to get you started.
This popular weather app offers hyper-localized, precise weather forecasts that provide up-to-the-minute information on impending rain or potentially dangerous storms. The app is customizable—you can set your own weather alerts for anywhere in the world to be delivered to your device as a push notification. Sophisticated, well-designed maps offer a contextual view of storm patterns that you can manipulate to view over a given time period. Available for iOS and Android.
This app functions as a mobile PDF creator for scanning any and all documents. Users can conveniently digitize and share travel receipts with colleagues via email or save business cards to their smartphones. Enhanced features allow users to extract text from images for editing and annotating purposes. The app also includes collaboration and security tools, such as document password encryption, for added functionality. Available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Loss prevention professionals tend to travel a lot. Concur for Mobile allows users to manage travel itineraries and expense reports from their mobile devices. Loss prevention executives can approve or reject expense reports submitted by their team members, and the app can even be used to import credit card activity data, add event attendees, book suggested hotels, and keep track of car mileage. Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry.
Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter
Social media apps get a bad reputation for being time-wasting distractions, but for the loss prevention executive, they’re a must. Not only do they allow you to keep in touch with family and colleagues while you’re on the road, but they serve the important function of being an investigative loss prevention tool. People (including criminals) often publicly post where they are and what they’re doing on social media. Use this information to your advantage. Both apps available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
This app has also proven to be valuable to loss prevention professionals during the course of their investigations. It permits users to create and dispose of phone numbers for any situation that might require disposable contact information. The average smartphone owner may use a Burner-generated phone number for online sales transactions (Craigslist, eBay). An LP pro may want it for online fraud investigations and controlled buys. Available for iOS and Android.
This app from the Transportation Security Administration gives travelers easy access to frequently sought information, such as which items can pass through security checkpoints, which airports support TSA PreCheck, and what the weather conditions are at any airport. Users can also check approximate wait times for security checkpoints and share their own wait time to help others. Available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.
No “Top Apps for LP” list would be complete without the inclusion of the LP Magazine app. LP Magazine has been delivering top-quality news and educational content for over 16 years. The invaluable app provides users with the latest content about retail loss prevention, security, LP technology, upcoming conferences, and more. It offers simple navigation and is updated daily. Available for iOS and Android.
Honorable mentions go to email apps for simplifying the daily deluge of messages (Gmail, Outlook); Evernote for storing thoughts, ideas, and research notes effortlessly; and Waze, for driving efficiency.
This list is far from comprehensive. We want to hear from you, too! What apps do you find most useful? Comment below!
This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated August 29, 2017.