Since the magazine began publishing in 2001, we have included occasional articles on supply chain topics such as cargo theft and distribution center loss prevention programs. However, readers may have noticed that we have included more editorial on supply chain in the recent few years. Why?
With the evolution of omni-channel retailing where customers can order online, pick up in store, or return items delivered to their homes at nearby stores, the supply chain and inventory control play a much more important role than a decade ago. And because asset protection organizations play a vital role in supply chain, we have focused more editorial on the subject.
Understanding Today’s Supply Chain
In this issue we have several feature articles and columns dealing with different aspects of supply chain. The first is an interview with one of the better-known loss prevention executives in the supply chain security and risk management arena, Maurizio Scrofani, CCSP, LPC.
Scofani started in loss prevention as a store LP associate before moving into supply chain, so he has a broad perspective on both the loss prevention aspects of supply chain and the overall evolution of omni-channel retailing. In our interview he expresses his opinion of the importance that all LP professionals should have a fundamental understanding of supply chain:
It’s the right time for brick-and-mortar associates to start shoring up their glossaries because supply chain AP and store AP will all be talking the same language sooner or later.
In a second feature article, we look at some of the traditional challenges of supply chain risks related to cargo theft in transit and inside our distribution centers. The statistics revealed in the article by LPM Senior Writer Garett Seivold show that despite improved programs and technology, supply chain loss by theft is still an issue for retailers:
While cargo-theft data overall seems to suggest that shipments are growing safer, experts insist that loss prevention practitioners need to stay consistently engaged as obstacles and opportunities cause cargo thieves to shift tactics.
Two columns in this issue also address other aspects of supply chain management. In our ongoing Supply Chain column, another well-known supply chain executive Glenn Master discusses issues related to managing contracted third-party logistics providers who may handle any number of services for moving product throughout the supply chain, including the “last mile” delivery to consumers.
In our Strategies column, we interview Guy Yehiav, the CEO of Profitect, about how analytics are helping retailers fine-tune their logistics and supply chain operations to maximize merchandise on-shelf availability and to support omni-channel retailing.
For LP professionals looking to learn more about supply chain, there are two upcoming events to consider. The first is the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Retail Supply Chain Conference February 24-27 in Orlando. The second is the International Supply Chain Protection Organization (ISCPO) annual conference March 6-7 in Dallas.
Shoplifting Response and Self-Checkout
Our two other feature articles should not be overlooked. The cover article discusses an extremely important topic that continues to be debated in our industry—how should retailers respond to shoplifting apprehension? Do we, or don’t we? Walter Palmer, CFI, CFE, and Jacque Brittain, LPC, offer their perspectives.
Professor Adrian Beck’s article reports on his research into self-checkout. His two-year study takes an in-depth look at losses associated with fixed self-checkout stations and scan-and-go technologies used by thirteen retailers in the US and Europe. His findings are both alarming and insightful for LP organizations tasked with managing losses with self-checkout programs.