LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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continued from page 32 for Shoplift Prevention (NASP), who I had been associated with for twenty years. Frank Johns and I rolled out one of the first retail pilots of NASP's offender education program in Los Angeles twenty years ago. Given this technology startup was paired with a very reputable group of people that I knew were passionate about fixing shoplifting and helping retailers, I thought Turning Point Justice (TPJ) was a good fit for me. When I say that TPJ was a true startup, I really mean that. For the first six months we had a small office with plastic tables, using our own cellphones, and holding meetings in hotel lobbies to try to get sales and make things happen. I worked hard to get some key retailers to give us a chance and build our sales, and we did quite well with that. We were able to put operating disciplines in place to make sure we had good purchasing, that we had the right product. We were able to always continually adjust our technology product to make sure that we were in line with both legal and statutory requirements, whether it be district, state, or county. I really enjoyed the entrepreneurship. As you know, one day you're doing HR work, the next day you're recruiting, the next day you're packing boxes and shipping stuff, or you're on the phone with your retail counterpart. Some days that's good, and some days you're scratching your head saying, "What did I accomplish today?" as you're driving to the mailbox to drop off shipments. It was a great experience for me to help build that company and put an infrastructure in place. EDITOR: You've also had one other very important industry involvement as one of the founding members of the Loss Prevention Foundation and are currently on its board of directors and executive committee. Why have you remained so actively involved in the foundation? JONES: I remember sitting in a room talking about why our industry didn't have an organization that was committed to developing the professionalism of the loss prevention industry. We all knew that there were many great leaders of loss prevention that you could put against any senior operator, and they could run the business as well as the next person. But how do we make sure that we didn't lose the new generation of LP people coming in? I think that concern really inspired me to be part of the LP Foundation, to help be a beacon out there for loss prevention people coming in. I get a real kick out of going on LinkedIn and seeing these new loss prevention professionals so proud that they passed the LPC. And I just am proud to see that so many of these people that have gone through LPQ and LPC have gone on to be leaders in our business. I can testify that certification is not just something where you sign your name, pay the money, and get credentials. It's a course that truly puts a framework around what it is that we should do as practitioners. I'm also proud that we have stayed on course and never strayed from our mission. It isn't about making money or prestige. It's about taking care of this profession and making sure that it continually grows, that it's professional, and that it's taking on new challenges. I know we have a number of new offerings coming out from the foundation, and I'm very excited about them. EDITOR: You deserve a lot of credit for where the foundation has grown today. If you could, reflect back on the last twenty years of what you've seen in the loss prevention industry and give us your thoughts on where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. JONES: I can say ten to fifteen years ago, we were all about driving numbers, hoping shrink would come along with it. Sometimes we had data, but most often we were going on instinct. As technology evolved and we had exception reporting, we learned how to use data to start driving decisions. In fact, what I saw in my career is that we in loss prevention did it better than the operators. We took the time to make sure that data drove decisions, and then we developed the solutions around what the data told us. We developed programs, built training, and awareness behind that, and then we saw our shrink get fixed. When you take that approach to allow data to drive the decisions, and you make the investment in getting the right people who are very smart, you'll have a great solution. I hope to get people sitting around me that are smarter than I am and very diverse in their thinking. I've seen a number of times in our industry where retailers make an easy decision to put an operator to run a loss prevention organization. More often than not, it hasn't worked out so well. It reminds me that an LP executive brings a unique discipline to the table with the understanding of how to put together what the data tells you with how to build a program and pull the levers to make sure that you are driving your shrink down, at the same time impacting your sales in a positive way and keeping people safe. Loss prevention professionals really are great leaders who add more and more value to their companies. If you look back to the aftermath of 9/11, most of us took on crisis management roles. As the world changed, we had to learn what to do about workplace violence and organized retail crime. Now we're managing programs for active shooter. Some are starting to take on data-security roles and looking at cyber crime. And now risk management. Today as we move to a total cost of loss strategy, I think it helps us build a better return on investment. I believe most LP practitioners have always taken into consideration what the total cost of loss is, but now there is framing around it that creates a more powerful message to speak to the corporate business leaders. I really can't think of another industry with professionals who add value and impact their company as much—an industry where a high percentage of people are willing to take phone calls, share a program, and give you their advice. That, to me, has made this a phenomenal industry to be part of. 34 JULY–AUGUST 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM INTERVIEW

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