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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SCREAM IF YOU WANT TO GO FASTER 45 LP MAGAZINE | NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2018 Florida. I spend a week in each location to meet as many people as I can. "Much of my time is at the closer attractions. I travel a lot to Europe as well, scheduling time in Italy, Germany, and at Legoland, Billund, which is just over the road from where the Lego factory is located. "Profit protection is really a face-to-face business, and you can't do it all over the phone, which is why Skype has also made such a huge difference to us," said Blethyn who attended the opening of a new resort in Japan in 2017 and will attend Merlin hotel launches in Dubai and California during the next twelve months. "Our next Legoland opening is scheduled for Goshen, New York, in 2020, which is to be my last before I retire. It will be a very emotional occasion for me," she said. "This opening will be another chapter in the Merlin and profit protection journey within the US, one we will all share and be incredibly proud of, and one I'm very proud to be a part of." Intelligent Analysis The face-to-face nature of the business is one of the reasons that Blethyn invests in certain types of technology and solutions to help her do her job. Being in a people business, Blethyn needs to understand the human behaviors behind dishonest motivations—whether they are members of the public or staff employed by Merlin who may have issues in their lives that lead them into making bad decisions and betraying company trust. To this end, she has put all her investigation teams through Wicklander-Zulawski non-confrontational interview techniques training. She has also engaged the services of IntelliQ data mining to understand the numerous and creative point-of-sale scams that may happen at cash kiosks across the estate. "We did a trial with IntelliQ, and this quickly brought to our attention the antics of a member of our staff who became known as 'the sprinkles lady,'" Blethyn said. "On paper she was doing an excellent job, never went off sick, and had even won cashier of the year. It was only when we did the analysis that we realized that for every ice cream she was selling at full price, it was only the price of the sprinkles that she was putting through the till. Because guests to our parks rarely check their receipts, she was pocketing the difference. On a good day she was making around £250 pure profit. "It was only through the analysis that we understood what she did and why she never went off sick. She knew exactly what amount she could remove from the till every day without arousing suspicion and, if we had not caught her, could still have been creaming off the business. "Another team of twelve at Chessington was charging for fish and chips and voiding the payment so that it only showed the price of the mushy peas. "I learned early on that we had to do it differently and very quickly. I needed to get everyone on board with a strategy that works, whereas previously people were not getting on board the profit protection train because, for whatever reason, it was not stopping at their station."

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