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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30 MAY–JUNE 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM INTERVIEW each one of those three classifications is completely different. I am disappointed that our industry tends to focus on the ORC problem only, when the other two, based off frequency, may be driving as much or more of the problem. Don't get me wrong; resources must be allocated to deal with the ORC thief. In fact, we're addressing a problem now as we do this interview. Our field teams investigate and resolve ORC problems as they come up, but from a resource allocation standpoint, we also have our field teams involved in safety, business continuity, audit, food safety, and all the other responsibilities we spoke about. One thing I will say is we throw every available resource at ORC problems involving violent crime. Grocery stores, in general, still have a lot of cash on hand and as such are prone to armed robberies. When dealing with a criminal enterprise that targets stores, and especially those involving takeover situations, these problems must be addressed immediately. The good news is our armed robbery incidents have dropped dramatically here over the past ten years, and while we don't have many, our asset protection field team resolved 90 percent of the ones we did have last year, primarily through the use of technology and our AP field teams. Those are the situations that we're aggressively paying attention to because they're putting our associates and customers at risk. This is also an ORC crime, at least when you identify multiple suspects, targeting multiple retailers where the target is cash as opposed to merchandise. EDITOR: There are a lot of people who believe that crime has turned more violent in recent years. Are you one of those who believes that? FAKETTY : I don't have a statistical measurement on it, although we have seen some increases here, mainly customer-on-customer violence, but in some cases customer-on-associate violence as well. It just feels as if there's more of it, and it is top of mind with the NRF loss prevention council. Six years ago, Larry Barton, a well-known expert on workplace violence, gave a presentation at the NRF PROTECT conference. A big part of his message dealt with the media and how the statistics on workplace violence at the time were low, yet he was suggesting the media was overexaggerating the true picture. It would be interesting to see what he would have to say today because violence in retail stores is real. I can assure you we have programs designed to proactively prevent and react to these situations if and when they arise. Much of our strategy has been designed through what we learned from Barton. We take protecting people very seriously here and put a lot of effort in keeping our customers and associates safe. EDITOR: Since you've been in your current role, you've made significant strides with the use of technology and, I assume, continue to contemplate new technologies that could help your program. Talk about some of those initiatives and solutions that you've put in place. FAKETTY : We've worked in this space quite a bit, actually. Five years ago, we launched our AP analytics center, which has been a tremendous success. So much so were adding resources in this area. We've also received tremendous support from our executive leadership team for supporting our technological solutions. 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. For example, in our AP analytics center, you can immediately link any single transaction in a store to video. But in order to make that happen, you have to ensure that every single camera in every single store is centered on every single register. Since we're regularly remodeling stores, that can be challenging and takes a lot of effort in preplanning, but we have strong relationships with our construction, maintenance, and merchandising groups, which helps us manage this program. We're also involved in remote auditing from within this area. For example, recently our logistics team came to us about a concern with some of our third-party warehouse drivers. They asked if we could identify what time they're showing up at stores, whether or not they're actually helping store associates unload freight, and how long, on average, it takes them from the time they park in the loading bay until they leave. While GPS can tell you some of this, it can't tell you if the driver parks his trailer and leaves the store for an hour or more. We did the comprehensive audit in over 100 stores, and within a few days we were able to report out and resolve a number of issues. Once a week I report out to our executive leadership team on how many critical incidents were phoned in from stores, how many were responded to, and how many were closed. We then use the data to ensure we allocate resources into our highest-risk stores through enhanced security tools, updated equipment, even identifying which locations may need a contracted service.

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