LPM Media Group was on site in August at Walmart’s Asset Protection National Meeting in Rogers, Arkansas, where the theme of the event was problem solving—simplification, embracing change, embracing the uncomfortable, and engineering out the complexities. Joe Schrauder, vice president of asset protection and safety, emphasized that “preventing loss becomes even more important if we can stay relevant. If we change and if we figure out new ways to leverage technology and to serve customers the way they want to be served, while making the company profitable, we think there’s a bright future for AP to be more relevant than they are today.”
At the event, nearly 500 field leadership attendees received a brand-new yellow vest. No, they are not all becoming door greeters. Instead, AP leadership wants to be more accessible when they are out in the stores—for associates and customers alike.
“Our program is about deterrence through offering really good customer service,” said Schrauder. “If we want that to happen, the customers need to be able to see us. We [asset protection] want to be seen as problem solvers and business partners, so rather than hiding in the shadows or working behind the scenes, we want to be visible and out on the front lines. We are taking a page from the ‘More at the Door’ program to encourage the interaction.”
Leadership at the meeting reinforced that the “Drive to 75” is still Walmart AP’s objective—to reach their .75 shrink goal long term. The teams are making a great impact by continuing to use the Direct-Deter-Detect strategy, leveraging technology, and simplifying processes.
Other highlights of the meeting included an annual AP awards banquet on Monday evening and a team-building event at Fast Lanes, where the great-big-extended-family feeling of Walmart’s asset protection organization was truly evident.