LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2019

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.

Issue link: http://digital.lpportal.com/i/1078914

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Page 27 of 77

26 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM method for the retailer to ship a customer order to someone who may be located on the other side of the planet. For example, picture a consumer in Seoul, South Korea, ordering a pair of shoes from a US-based retailer. The order will be picked, packed, and shipped out of the retailer's distribution center in Atlanta, Georgia; however, the retailer is contracted with an end-to-end logistics provider. The parcel arrives at the provider's US distribution center, is scanned in, and then placed with other retailers' packages all destined for Seoul. The end-to-end provider then uses a large network of contracted partners that will handle that parcel as it moves from the US to Korea. The key to this type of solution is volume. The more volume the end-to-end provider can get from the retailer, the lower the cost is to the retailer. Having a Proactive LP Plan Based on this very complex network, one may ask how anything resembling loss prevention can be incorporated into this model. The answer is simple. As I mentioned earlier in this article, the shear growth of e-commerce is creating industries and subindustries that did not exist five years ago. With retailers worldwide continuing to look for cost-effective shipping solutions and customers demanding more flexibility, it was inevitable these type of hybrid solutions would be created. If the retailer has a direct contract with the end-to-end solutions provider, then the loss prevention responsibly will fall on that solution provider. Remember that once the parcel is received, the solution provider essentially owns it. With a high probability and depending on how the contract is worded, responsibilities may include labeling, customs clearance, tracking, security of the parcel, investigation of losses, and claim liability if the package is lost or stolen. Therefore, it is essential that a comprehensive loss prevention program is in place with the end-to-end solutions provider. However, it doesn't stop there. What about all these contracted companies that are used? Here is where the rubber meets the road and where loss prevention must have a proactive plan in place that consist of the following elements: ■ A comprehensive security protocol that the contracted carriers must adhere to. ■ A robust auditing program that reviews compliance in the areas of security, scanning, and inventory control. As with most auditing, the basis is going to lie with the contractual verbiage that's in place. ■ Loss analytics that can identify trends by country, company, route, and final mile. The foundation of this reporting is looking for package exceptions where the scanning stops, or what is commonly known as "going dark." This is very similar to what retail loss prevention uses when running exception reports, except you are looking for trends for all touch points in a global supply chain. Regardless of whether a package circulates the globe and touches five different companies, if a scan is put to the package, and you can review that through reporting, you will see where losses are occurring. ■ Proactive communication with the carrier's facility management, so they understand your expectations, loss trending analytics, and method of investigation. You will be surprised how receptive they will be to accept help and identify problems before they get out of hand. The one caveat is that unlike dealing with transportation companies in the US, there are specific government laws in each country that may limit the ability to conduct certain audits. This is more directed at specific actions, such as reviewing criminal background checks or drug screenings for employees verses operational processes. However, as a good rule of thumb, you should always check with your legal department and inquire about country-specific laws related to the transportation industry. As e-commerce continues to evolve, so will loss prevention. We have literally entered a new era in how the consumer shops, and retailers must continue to figure out ways to ship these orders. What was once a supply chain dominated by a few large, proprietary companies is now expanding into a multifaceted approach that involves a myriad of companies that must all work together to support this growth. continued from page 24 The result of this evolution in the supply chain is the development of the end-to-end service provider. These logistics companies support retailers as a hybrid solution, providing services that range from distribution, customs clearance, transportation, and final-mile delivery. If the retailer has a direct contract with the end-to-end solutions provider, then the loss prevention responsibly will fall on that solution provider. Remember that once the parcel is received, the solution provider essentially owns it.

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