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 57 of 77

reliably informed about which items needed to be detagged was considered a real concern by respondents. Controlling the SCO Environment Dynamically Just as risk differs across the retail landscape, the use of strategies to manage SCO systems should also be tailored to the circumstances in which they are being used. Different operating environments may well require not only a different palette of interventions but also variable tolerance settings depending on the circumstances. Compliance Is Key Store teams need to be clearly guided on why agreed practices and policies relating to the control of SCO systems need to be rigorously and consistently enforced, such as the maximum number of fixed SCO units per supervisor. The provision of unambiguous data on the impact SCO-related losses are having on the business will be a key first step in achieving this goal. Developing a Framework to Manage SCO in Retailing The extent of the losses presented in this new research suggest that retail businesses, and their partners, need to rebalance their assessments of the benefits that can accrue from investing in SCO-related technologies. The ROI calculation needs to fully take account of what the negative impacts might be. Using a variant of an existing loss prevention model, the research developed a framework for how retail businesses can go about developing an organization-wide approach to managing the risk associated with use of SCO systems, focusing on eleven key themes: ■ Ensuring there is senior management commitment focused on understanding all the outcomes of investing in SCO. ■ Developing cross-functional organizational ownership and embedded responsibility for the control of SCO. ■ Establishing a clear set of data management protocols to fully understand the impact of various types of SCO technologies on the business. ■ Prioritizing operational excellence in how SCO is developed and managed. ■ Committing to a program of innovation and experimentation to improve control. ■ Forging better collaboration between different retail functions and with SCO technology providers not only to understand the risk side of the SCO equation but also to develop and evaluate interventions that may help mitigate the identified risks. ■ Recognizing and prioritizing the role people can play in actively managing and controlling SCO systems. ■ Striving to develop SCO leadership that can articulate all aspects of its use within retailing, including not only the possible benefits but also the possible risks. ■ Ensuring that there is communication with all parts of the business on all aspects of SCO. ■ Delivering store management responsibility by providing them with data to understand the challenges, training, resources, and technological tools to create an environment that minimizes risk and incentivization to ensure that they remain compliant. Taken together, the research concluded that these factors offer an approach to begin to develop a more coherent and coordinated strategy to better manage the risks associated with SCO systems in retailing, one that continues to recognize the benefits but also takes more account of the growing challenges that they now seem to be presenting. Certainly for those employed in loss prevention, this research will hopefully enable a much more joined-up and realistic assessment to take place in retail companies, one where their concerns are better heard and all the consequences of "choices" retail businesses make are properly taken into account. For a free copy of the report, visit the ECR Shrinkage and On-shelf Availability website at ecr-shrink-group.com. For a copy of Professor Beck's book on this research, search "Adrian Beck" on Amazon.com. The key was ensuring suitable, properly trained, and motivated supervisors were used and that they were operating in an environment that facilitated rather than hindered their duties. Overall, respondents to this research thought the optimal supervisor-to-SCO machine ratio was 5:6, although this could flex depending upon the SCO environment in place. UNEXPECTED LOSS IN THE BAGGING AREA Emeritus Professor ADRIAN BECK spent his academic career in the criminology department at the University of Leicester in the UK where he focused on retail crime and shrinkage issues. He currently is an academic advisor and researcher for organizations like the ECR Community's Shrinkage and On-shelf Availability Group and the Retail Industry Leaders Association. Beck is a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide and a contributor to both LP Magazine's US and Europe publications. He can be reached at bna@le.ac.uk. 56 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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