LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 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/1121134

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 84

continued on page 24 TOOLS AND TRAINING HELP LP TEAMS PUNCH BACK AGAINST VIOLENCE To devise a program that maximizes its value to employees, LP might benefit from doing more investigation into what the actual exposures and problems are, suggested Stanley. "When you're doing a store visit, everyone will put on their happy faces. Most people will just say that 'it's going great,'" said Stanley. "But we need to use our Wicklander skills, to really interview people and to uncover how asset protection teams and employees really feel about these challenges and how big the problems are, so we can create a plan to help them." Stanley said it's important for retailers to find a vendor who will be a true partner and is able to alter training approaches to best align with the brand and the company culture, be it intensive workshops or computer-based training, and who has the ability to embed training on disruptive behavior into the company's broader training program. Singleton, too, thinks a training provider's ability to customize training is a key point for retailers to consider, as well as the scope of topics it can address so that training can expand as a retailer's program matures. "Ideally, you want a training vendor that is able to train on the entire spectrum, from non-escalation, to crisis intervention, all the way through to active shooter." Finally, there is no denying the substantial resources that training consumes, but retailers that have made a point to track outcomes have often found a positive return on investment, according to Stanley. He said one measurement-driven retail client found its investment paid for itself in less than nine months, based solely on a reduction in injuries and workers' compensation cases associated with shoplifting stops. Others have tracked significantly higher customer satisfaction scores, as employees become more skilled at managing complaints, as well as higher rates of exchanges compared to returns, and increased employee job satisfaction and lower attrition. "It can make a huge difference to shift the paradigm and shift people's behavior—so that instead of seeing a challenging customer as a problem, they see it as an opportunity," said Stanley. Tools Technology can play a role in protecting staff, including well in advance of the point when de-escalation is called for. For example, crisis-management software from Everbridge is designed to incorporate myriad streams of information, from social media feeds to weather data, to give companies a heads up if threats seem on track to intersect with its assets. That can provide value on a large scale, such as in monitoring supply chain risks, as well as a personal level, by giving corporate LP teams a warning when targeted violence seems to be headed a store's way, in the shape of an ORC gang, a violent flash mob, or if social unrest is starting to roil. It's vital life-safety intelligence that corporate teams can then use to reduce the risk of harm to staff by warning store managers to be vigilant, ramp up security or staffing, or close stores. "Here in Boston we regularly have severe weather. And while it's not a bad thing, we often have Super Bowl parades. And you need to plan for how that might affect stores," explained Ravi Maira, vice president of industry and solution at Everbridge. "If it's a snowy day, and all those people on the parade route come in to your store, what is your plan? Have you communicated it consistently across all of your stores in the affected area? For any type of potential disruption, you want to be as proactive as possible." Such a centralized approach can also lift some of the security management burden off store managers, who might be knowledgeable about neighborhood crime but might not have the expertise to make good decisions on what to do about it, Maira added. By layering company policies and protocols on top of the threat data, the solution can automate execution of predefined communications processes and track progress—a big help for big retailers. Especially in retail, this has long been a problem without good options, said Maira. "How can you centrally provide support and expertise in a distributed threat landscape for thousands of locations? But an individual store also can't monitor and keep track of all the weather events, planned protests, construction projects, and other more threatening issues that can be a disruption or put employees in harm's way." As a selling point, this type of tool can yield business as well as safety benefits. It may even help elevate the role of LP, suggested Maira. It's part of the larger industry story of how retail security teams can provide more value by migrating from a focus on responding to events to being more predictive, he said. Case in point: while retailers can't control the weather, they can leverage weather-related data to drive their bottom lines, according to a new report from IBM. The survey of At the 2019 ISC West trade show, booths touting gunshot detection solutions had a larger footprint than in years' past, from big names like Johnson Controls to smaller ones like Amberbox and Safe Zone. Although the retail applications may be limited, the technology seems to be ripening, and cost has also come down. Ravi Maira 22 MAY–JUNE 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of LP Magazine - MAY-JUN 2019