LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 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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29 LP MAGAZINE | MAY–JUNE 2018 INTERVIEW more efficiently. As this happens, we've been asked to take on additional roles yet remain resource neutral. From a department standpoint, this has been one of the biggest challenges. With that said, we're continuously looking to do more here if we can add value to the organization. Ultimately, our department is measured on each of the additional responsibilities we have inherited, which suits us just fine as we pride ourselves on being results driven. If we take on an additional role, it's not uncommon for us to ask for resources. Sometimes it's granted, sometimes it's not, but we find ways to shift or reallocate resources, within the department, to get the job done—continually measuring the business impact financially. EDITOR: If you think back ten or twenty years ago, LP was basically concentrated on shoplifting and dishonest employee investigations. How would you describe the changes that have evolved to today? FAKETTY : In my opinion there's still a strong emphasis on internal, external, and vendor theft. We're active in those traditional roles here but you can't ignore other problems that may be negatively impacting the business. What we've found is that as a department we can actually do more. I think it's one of the reasons the organization has entrusted our team to take on the nontraditional roles we've been given. I remember when our organization was purchased by BI-LO. When I first met the chief financial officer from BI-LO, who is now the CFO here, I spent two hours walking him through the asset protection program. When I began speaking about safety and the role we played in developing new programs, the work in defending accident claims, and others, he asked, "Why do you have safety; it's in operations where I come from." I said, "Because we have a field staff that can do more than just the traditional roles of theft detection." At the time we were active in safety for about a year and a half and were making significant progress in accident reduction and cost savings, all of which were measurable. Safe to say he was impressed with not just safety but the other nontraditional roles we had in the department, as I was eventually identified to lead the asset protection team in the new company now called Southeastern Grocers. In the past, safety was managed by operations in Winn-Dixie, but since we had district asset protection managers in the field, I felt strongly we could help improve results. Considering these asset protection district managers were in stores every day, it only made sense that it should fall under my department. I also ran the corporate safety program in a previous life, and when you see the litigious exposure in supermarkets, especially slip-and-fall accidents and costs associated with workers' compensation injuries, it made sense to be in my purview. Our CFO agreed wholeheartedly. Please recognize I don't want to downplay the traditional roles and approaches to asset protection, but I think if you look at what has occurred in retail over the last fifteen years, you've seen better technology, systems, and effort go into measuring shrink. Even here we have the ability to measure what's missing by category, subcategory, even on the item level in our stores, and we've had that ability for seven years now. Based off the data, we can better understand that theft is not the only thing driving shrink. In fact, we have identified process failures as the leading driver. Put another way, with the data we have available today we can be laser focused on identifying what is driving shrink much more accurately than ever before. By using this same data we can also make smarter merchandising decisions on not just what products are driving shrink but more importantly what isn't selling in stores. As you know, nothing good can happen to product that sits on store shelves or in the backroom. This also alleviates the need in having so many bodies in the field performing the traditional role of thief catcher, and instead we choose to reallocate those same resources to support other parts of the business. The traditional investigative role is important and will always need to be addressed, but you can now be more focused than ever before in identifying the root cause of shrink and allocating resources accordingly, whatever that is. EDITOR: What about the impact of organized retail crime? In your opinion, has it changed over time? FAKETTY : It's still a serious problem. But as stated, using data, you can identify and truly recognize ORC much more quickly than you could ten or fifteen years ago. Our data-driven approach gives us the ability to immediately see where incidents are occurring, allowing us to address them in real time. Ironically if you look at external theft in general, you still have amateurs or opportunist. You train your people on how to deter that type of theft. There's also the local booster—the individual coming into a store and taking all your deodorant, for example, and selling them on a street corner. You then have the more hardcore organized retail crime groups. How you deal with We take the time and effort when designing our systems to ensure they interface with each other. We've made choices to purchase single-source equipment, use the same integrators to install it, and utilize the same software, where possible, to run it. All to be consistent across the enterprise and make things easy for stores and our AP team.

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