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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32 NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM GETTING TO KNOW YOU MODERATOR: Speaking of shoplifting, it seems that as an industry we continue to debate whether or not to detain shoplifters. What is your position on that question? LAMB: I worked for one company where year-on-year, we kept growing the number of shoplifting apprehensions. While you might pat yourself on the back and say, "Look how good we are at this," there are two problems with that. One, we were too easy to target, and secondarily and most importantly, it wasn't affecting the shrink performance. So we shifted the scales more toward prevention versus apprehension. At the same time, I do think organizations, both large or small who have asset protection teams, must train those teams to apprehend shoplifters with an emphasis on safety. MODERATOR: We talk a lot about the evolution of loss prevention and the things that we were doing five or ten years ago versus what we're doing today. Can you identify something that you or your successor will be doing in five years that you're not doing today? LAMB: I think your question is a good one and almost impossible to answer. With the way we're digitizing retailing and the way in which the consumer wants to shop, you want to be ahead of it—invent the future instead of trying to predict it. The most immediate issues for me are at the frontend. I envision a world with possibly no cashiers in less than three years. It's already out there with Amazon Go. We have an enormous challenge and opportunity to use technology to better leverage people, not only today but as things change down the road. Mobile pay, scan-and-go, self-checkout have changed the artistry of theft too. The notion of the five principles to detain a shoplifter can be thrown out the window. STINDE: We heard earlier today Professor Adrian Beck talk about his research on self-checkouts. We've done some small tests with self-checkout, but we're going to skip over self-checkout and go right to mobile scan-and-pay. As LP practitioners, many would say that's completely ridiculous, and yet the operations team is trying to figure this out. Our job is to support the learning process, do our best at educating them on the risks, and figuring out the best ways to mitigate losses. But that's just one example. To Mike's point, tomorrow it'll be something else. MODERATOR: That dovetails into a question about how the skillsets of LP professionals may change in the future. Do you need an IT person, a lawyer, a data scientist on your staff? LAMB: I don't know if you need them on your team, but you need them at your side, and they need us at their side. We have to be tied into how the corporation is digitizing the business because there will be decisions made where shrink isn't necessarily even in the discussion. If that's the case, then you find yourself chasing the problem versus addressing it on the front end. STINDE: I have someone over my analytics team who's a CPA. Her experience has been in inventory control, accounting with some loss prevention background, but she takes the lead as it relates to analytics. Even though the team "Success almost always comes down to people. It's so much easier to get things done if you've got great people who are committed to the job. When you have people committed to what you're trying to get done, you're not trying to manage the nonsense with people who are not committed and standing in the way. I think that's key." – Mark Stinde, 7-Eleven

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