LPM Media Group is on site at Walmart’s Asset Protection National Meeting this week in Rogers, AR, where the theme of the event centers around embracing change to enable the transformation of the business while reducing losses and accidents.
Walmart AP’s transformation journey started three years ago on their quest to achieve their aggressive shrink goal, and this week they are able to celebrate the progress that’s been made in reducing unknown shrinkage.
According to Joe Schrauder, vice president of asset protection, the shrink reduction success was not brought about by just one thing, but rather the combination of many factors working together. Schrauder spoke to the fact that investments made in the stores and in the associates are working, but he emphasized that the AP leadership is to be credited for bringing the strategy to life across 4,700 stores.
Schrauder then challenged the team to deliver better results by staying ahead of change, driving innovation, and providing the leadership that will push the team to get better every day. “Change is hard, and the pace of change will not slow,” he said. “The better we become at adapting, owning, and implementing it—the easier it will get.”
To further drive this message, Schrauder shared an audio recording of former Walmart President and COO Jack Shewmaker from 1978 as he addressed the organization, highlighting this poignant point: “We must change as circumstance, and time, and competition, and our customers, require us to change.”
The AP team heard from CEO Greg Foran, who stressed that the way to get better is not by luck, but by hard work. He implored the team to keep building the muscle that deals with change and to enjoy the journey, explaining that the AP team is making the difference. “Great people make a big difference to the performance,” said Foran.
The team was also surprised by a visit from legendary NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, who spoke on leadership and conducted a 30-minute Q&A session with Schrauder. Fifty attendees who have each experienced a great year qualified and were selected to have a private meet-and-greet with Manning.
At the event, over 500 field leadership attendees experienced hands-on rotation sessions that mirrored parts of the store: the sales floor, receiving, and front end, where teams aligned on proper processes and were challenged to solve problems they encounter on a daily basis. A dynamic safety and security rotation session stressed the importance of situational awareness and used virtual reality to engage participants with an active shooter and a tornado scenario.
As is tradition with Walmart, the meeting concluded with the annual AP awards celebrating the hard work of Walmart asset protection’s best of the best.