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.

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Amtel employed Sennco Solutions' BricTECH benefit-denial solution to safeguard merchandise, deter thieves, improve worker safety, and generate analytics to facilitate compliance. The company started rolling out the solution in October 2018 and currently has it activated in eighty-eight stores. Using any Android device as an install "wand," an Amtel store manager can activate the application via Bluetooth or near-field communication (NFC) on any Samsung device. Once BricTECH is activated, the phone has several locking features that essentially render it worthless—via a "this phone is the property of" display— if someone unplugs it from a display or takes it outside a defined geofence. That makes it a universal deterrent to opportunists, grab-and-run thieves, and organized retail crime alike. The geofencing feature can also be disabled, so instead of making a phone immediately worthless, LP investigators can follow and track stolen phones to break up crime rings and aid arrests. "We've called people to remind them they are in possession of stolen merchandise," said Herrera. "We've actually had people take stolen phones back to the store, and word has also gotten out on the street that it's impossible to erase the software because it's built into the phone, and you can't tell which phones have this feature." Return on Investment But theft isn't necessary for a return on investment. Immediately upon activation, the software starts providing business value, said Herrera. It's one of his favorite features, along with not needing a special type of device to install the software or needing supporting infrastructure to activate geofencing. "One thing that's so great is that it's not just about deterring theft, but the analytics also support the merchandising side of it," said Herrera. "If there are issues or questions regarding the phones we have on display, it gives us data to utilize." It also supports compliance. For example, T-Mobile specifies a certain number of high-end phones should always be available for customers to touch and try; data from BricTECH shows if stores are meeting that standard. "If we see a store has four instead of the five phones they need to meet standards, we can call up the store to ask, 'Hey, why isn't this device up?'" "Once installed we can look virtually at each device we have in each store," explained Herrera. "It allows us to intertwine the product protection aspect with the merchandising, compliance, and servicing customers, who demand being able to interact with phones." The business value is additive. Strictly from a loss prevention perspective, it's already been successful for Amtel. Those stores in South Dallas that were being hit multiple times per week? In less than thirty days after installing BricTECH on high-end phones, unit theft dropped 60 percent. Amtel is one of T-Mobile's largest premium retail partners and operates in over 152 locations nationwide. Partners Ehab Sweis and George Tadros only see Amtel growing in the coming years. 71 LP MAGAZINE | MAY–JUNE 2019

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