LP Magazine

MAR-APR 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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"Certainly the breadth of the role has changed. We don't have the funding to buy narrowly tailored solutions. It's a situation where any one solution has to be addressing multiple issues." — Scott Glenn, EJD, LPC, Sears Scott Roubic Brian Goddard 16 MARCH–APRIL 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM T he giant course correction hitting retail now appears pointed squarely in one direction—toward technology. It was the sum and substance of presentations at the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Big Show in New York in January. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the retailers that win the future will be those that realize they are tech firms as well as retail companies. The NRF's senior vice president for retail strategy painted a picture of the retail store to be—with augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, and other tech tools—then noted that the future was two years away. Morning-after headlines reinforced the foremost conference takeaway, like the New York Times' "At Retail's Big Show, Technology Takes Center Stage." And so did its coverage: "It was a conference about shopping that looked more like an expo for tech, as if the electronics trade show CES had decamped from Las Vegas and moved to the Javits Center in Manhattan." It seems increasingly clear what the great retail shakeout is boiling down to, but what impact does it have on asset protection? Retailers are on a mission to innovate. "Innovate or die," they're being told. So how can loss prevention participate? Or, better still, lead? First, LP organizations will need to be as tech savvy as any organization within the company, according to Scott Roubic, vice president of internal audit, asset protection, and real estate at JOANN Stores. "Innovation and use of technology is an absolute must," advised Roubic. "AP departments across the retail industry are under resource pressure. I think there are very few where it's not an issue, where it's not a case of having to do more with less. And because of that, technology and innovation become even more important." Second, the approach of LP toward innovation may need to change. Industry leaders who have shepherded successful technology projects aren't saying that the rules of innovation have changed exactly, but they've certainly tweaked. Select strategic elements, which you may have been able to skirt in the past, are now mandatory. Select skills, ones that were nice-to-haves in the past, are now central to success. Should-haves become musts. And it all starts with—and hinges upon—the LP innovation projects you push for. Thinking Broadly It may seem inconsonant advice, but to be a successful leader of LP innovation, you can't focus on innovating LP. Your focus has to be on more-expansive opportunities, say industry leaders. "For those of us who set policy and strategic direction, we've been forced into broader areas than just shrink and away from solutions focused on theft issues or other areas of narrow opportunity," explained Scott Glenn, EJD, LPC, chief security officer at Sears. "Certainly the breadth of the role has changed. We don't have the funding to buy narrowly tailored solutions. It's a situation where any one solution has to be addressing multiple issues, and it's why there are such gains in the area of analytics and predictive modeling and why firms like Agilence are getting a lot of traction—because those are solutions that solve multiple problems." At Macy's, Brian Goddard has innovation built into his job description. He is the retailer's AP innovation and implementation manager, and he views the LP innovation i mperative similarly. "AP has to innovate to be relevant in today's world, and that's only possible if you maintain a holistic approach. If you are able to involve everyone, you're more than likely going to be successful, much more so than if you're going after something that is AP-specific. I believe that if it only benefits AP and there isn't a wide scope of involvement, then your chances of sustained success are drastically reduced." For one new LP department, a series of innovation projects was necessary in order to bring asset protection up to speed. With a blank slate acting as a catalyst, one of the first technologies it pursued was the 20/20 Retail™ data analytics platform from Agilence. The ALL TOGETHER NOW

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