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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to have this done for you. However, you know your business best, so take the time to ensure that the person managing the process knows what to look for. If a third-party auditor is just checking off a list of your ten predefined KPIs, they may miss other important issues. For example, if you are a quick-service restaurant or fast-casual restaurant, an auditor focused solely on cash handling might miss the equally important fact that an employee is cross-contaminating food. It's essential to ensure that your auditor truly understands your operation and what constitutes good performance and good service. Otherwise, the process is much less valuable to you. One of my recommendations is to have a top performer within your organization view the video in parallel with your external auditor a few times to evaluate it based on your standards. High-Quality Video Makes the Difference There's no point conducting an operations audit if the images are blurry and it's not possible to see what is taking place in the video. Make sure the solution you select offers clear, high-definition video with the level of detail required for investigations and a successful litigation defense, if needed. I can tell you from experience that it makes all the difference. I know of one organization that was facing litigation after a customer slipped and fell inside their premises. The injured person claimed that the fall was due to a wet floor, but their allegation was disproven once investigators reviewed the recorded surveillance video. Because the images were clear, investigators were able to zoom in and see that the customer was wearing flip-flops and had tripped because of her footwear, not because of a wet floor. By considering the above points, you and your organization will be better equipped to decide which type of operations audit best suits your needs. Remember to do your research, ask questions, and request a live demonstration of the solution. There's no point conducting an operations audit if the images are blurry and it's not possible to see what is taking place in the video. Make sure the solution you select offers clear, high-definition video with the level of detail required for investigations and a successful litigation defense, if needed. Staying Current with Your Audit: Getting Smart about Smartphone Use Successful retailers continually tweak their product lines, customer service, and advertising strategies to keep up with trends and remain competitive. They are also quick to adopt technological innovations that help them reach customers more effectively or improve operations. But many companies overlook the impact that simple technologies, such as smartphones, may have on security. Consider these three, real-life examples of how smartphone use is contributing to retail losses. Perfect Timing for a Theft. Using their smartphone, an employee can easily alert criminal partners when the ideal situation exists to commit a robbery. Maybe the manager has just opened the safe to make a night deposit, for example, or has just closed the store or restaurant for the evening. All the employee needs to do is text an outside accomplice to alert them to the ideal opportunity for a robbery. Would You Like (Free!) Fries with That? Another smartphone strategy involves friends or accomplices texting an employee to ask for freebies to be included in their order. This is common in a quick-service restaurant environment, especially at the drive-through window, and is also seen in retail rental operations and houseware deliveries. It can snowball into a major problem if the retailer doesn't act quickly. As one employee continues to get away with it, others will be more likely to adopt a similar practice with their friends. Special Orders on the Side. Theft can also occur when a cashier doesn't ring in the entire transaction contents using the main point-of- sale (POS) register system, but instead uses a smartphone to tally up the cost and collect payment from the customer. This type of theft occurs most often at the end of the night when an employee is closing down a register. This theft is not detectable using exceptions and transaction-based reporting methods. In this case, managers will need to rely on their video surveillance to prove a crime took place. Updated policies around smartphone usage combined with effective video surveillance helps retailers ensure that their policies are being followed, so the opportunity to commit these crimes never arises. If a theft does occur, video evidence can help you better understand the circumstances that led to the crime and help you take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future. continued from page 46 48 MARCH–APRIL 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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