Loss prevention leaders of today work in a dynamic environment, it’s a landscape which has changed dramatically as has the retail industry. It’s an environment that is multi faceted, with various components and devices used to mitigate risk and protect people and property. Loss Prevention, or LP, leaders are well aware that their environment presents various challenges, from budgetary pressures to limited time and resources.
What has changed in the Loss Prevention environment is the technology and tools that help LP executives bring greater value to their organisations. In the past, LP was often not included in executive-level discussions. For example, most Loss Prevention executives concentrated and focused almost exclusively on shrink, physical security, and safety. However, risks have evolved in today’s environment and LP professionals are addressing issues and challenges that cross the entire organisation. High-level risks like physical security threats, terrorism, and the loss of proprietary information are beginning to fall under the LP area of responsibility. As such, today’s LP executives are very much an integral part of every business.
A Collaborative and Flexible Approach
Loss Prevention is not a standalone function. Effective loss prevention takes a collaborative approach due to the understanding that loss covers a multitude of areas, as recently demonstrated by Adrian Beck’s work on Total Retail Loss (source: https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/criminology/people/bna/bnapublications).
The LP function should focus on demonstrating an agile and flexible approach to the changing needs of the business. A commercial mindset and holistic view of the enterprise is key in this. Having a seat at the executive table enables LP executives to discuss potential risk exposures and enlighten senior management. Backing this discussion up with insights and analytics is extremely effective. Furthermore, LP teams are more often than not the key-holders of a powerful tool – business data – from measurables such as online/offline transaction data, CCTV and IoT.
As technology is constantly evolving, LP leaders should be in sync with its functionality and with new innovations. They should look to develop relationships with their IT teams and have a seat at the table when the CIO or CTO are building a prevention strategy.
LP executives should have a solid understanding of the overall business and can identify what is driving their success, and how they can contribute to the bottom line. The best LP executives are proactive and are as concerned about sales and operations as they are about shrinkage reduction.
The Future of Loss Prevention
Retail organisations must decide when is the best time to invest in the LP function. They must also decide how their chosen technology solutions should support LP. There are a multitude of solutions on the market. Retailers should choose a solution provider that takes a collaborative approach. Ocucon has a proven track record of working directly with retailers to provide bespoke solutions to ensure that LP executives are able to deliver value to their organisation. Contact us today to learn more.