LP Magazine

NOV-DEC 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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22 NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM With nearly 50 percent of sales going to resellers, Keenan sees substantial risk from collusion with employees. "It's very easy for an owner of a store that sells collectibles to tell the guy behind the counter that if any Stars Wars items come in to let him know, and that he'll buy it on the side from him." These items are exactly the ones that can make or break a Goodwill's financial fortunes. If sold in an online auction, they can command a substantial price. "You can't measure success with shrink or loss, but what I've told my group is that with effective LP, we will see an increase in sales because more of the best product will be available," said Keenan. "But many of the most expensive donations never make it to the store or on e-commerce. The most valuable stuff has gone right into people's pockets." Training employees to funnel donations to the platform where they can fetch the best price is important, and so is addressing theft at the point of donation, including video surveillance and integrity shops to assess if valuable donations make it into the sales pipeline. "I'm a firm believer that you publicize the program so that people have to wonder when something comes in if it might be a test and worry that they'd be caught if they didn't turn it in." To reduce temptation, Keenan is trying to attach a value to every donation in the minds of employees; for example, each donated item contributes $5.33 to providing services. Identifying a specific value—calculated by a finance team and promoted to employees—helps workers make that critical connection. "It can be two dollars or five dollars, but you want to put some value to every donation, so people can understand that it is what funds the mission," he explained. Attaching a monetary value to donations creates a deterrent and helps drive a successful shrink-reduction program. It also avoids other problems. When employees don't equate a donation with a value, Keenan explained, they're more likely to send a good product to salvage, less likely to protect it from damage, and may simply throw it away. Keenan also believes in expanding avenues for employees to report loss control issues, including the ability to provide confidential tips and offering incentives for doing so. He also sees store leaders as critical for driving loss control into the organizational culture and believes store visits have to include questions on loss control issues. Keenan acknowledges that he sees everything through an LP lens, but he believes it is serving him well as he steers his Goodwill organization in a more profitable direction. "I was always involving myself in the entire retail experience and tried to understand how LP fit into the entire picture, so I felt well prepared with my experience to direct the entire enterprise," said Keenan. "Plus, if you don't pay attention to LP, then you're going to get hammered from a business point of view." What Keenan was unprepared for, however, was the extent to which Goodwill was going to sink its hooks into him. "I initially joined back when I was with Gap because they were encouraging people to serve on local boards," he said. "I thought about Goodwill and figured, 'I'm a stores guy. They have stores. It's probably a good fit.'" He didn't expect his commitment level to grow so substantially. But when you see lives being completely transformed, it's easy to get pulled in, he suggested. Plus, it has been a chance to show that an LP guy can make a positive difference when given the chance to run the entire operation. That the organization is already on the path to profitability, after just six months, is nice validation. "That's been kind of fun," he said. Goodwill is a big operation. It has 161 member organizations, comprises 3,250 North American stores, and has approximately 130,000 employees. It's the second-largest nonprofit in the US, serves 36 million people annually, and has helped put people to work since 1902. MISSION DRIVEN

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