OPERATIONS

Retail Loss Prevention Resolutions for 2016 and Beyond

BY Hedgie Bartol

With 2016 upon us, most everyone is thinking about the New Year’s resolutions they have in place for the upcoming year. The perennially popular resolutions range from losing weight to getting out of debt.

If you look closely, the resolutions could mirror goals that retailers may want to consider in 2016, especially as it relates to loss prevention (LP).

Getting in shape could mean running leaner. Getting out of debt could mean budgeting expenses better. Learning something new could be improving training programs for staff. Below I’ve identified what I think are the three most important retail LP resolutions for 2016 and beyond, and how your organization can stick to them.

Lose Weight and Get Fit
This is easily the most popular resolution each year, but how does this apply to your LP initiatives? It doesn’t mean to cut staff; after all, people are your number one asset. This is more a matter of improving operational efficiencies and running the business better.

So through the modern marvel of migrating to IP-based video, you can lose the weight of the DVR that you have been shackled to for so many years, thereby cutting some “fat” from costs associated with the total cost of ownership of those systems. Just by getting out from under the weight of those proprietary systems and into the open standards of IP-based surveillance, you will be operating much more efficiently through the use of video content analytics and standard communication protocols to integrate solutions.

IP video also gives you the ability to use your staff in the most efficient way possible. For instance, you have the ability to do more remote investigations as opposed to forcing your team to waste time and money behind the wheel going from site to site.

The actionable video from HDTV quality video allows for much faster search of video and identification of individuals for prosecution and, subsequently, restitution. So by implementing much of what has been discussed above, you are able to allow the system/technology to take over many of the tasks for you and allow your staff to focus on what they do well, instead of searching through hours of video or simply standing idly by and counting people.

Learn Something New
Of course we can all learn something new each day at the rate that technology is changing, but you can achieve this New Year’s goal by learning something new specifically about your stores and your business.

Traditionally, retailers have relied on video surveillance systems solely to mitigate merchandise theft. However, retailers now can access detailed analytics that not only deter shoplifting, but also drive marketing decisions and enhance the customer experience.

A comprehensive understanding of customer patterns and trends is a key ingredient to retail success. Network video analytics rely on queue analysis, people counting, heat mapping, dwell time assessment and facial recognition to provide retailers with an automated analysis of customer behaviors, so don’t be afraid to tap into them for more than just LP.

You can also use your surveillance technology to strengthen employee initiatives, too. You’re monitoring your customer behavior and patterns, correct? Why not apply the same analytical behavior to your employees?

I don’t mean in a “Big Brother” type of way either. I mean in a way that will actually help them achieve growth and success within your organization and become fully engaged employees. See which behaviors and interactions result in a higher sale, or which ones keep checkout lines too long, and manage your staff accordingly. You’ll be empowering them with better intel to do their jobs successfully and confidently, and ultimately improving your bottom line.

Be a Better Communicator
With all of the technology at our disposal, today’s retailers can do amazing things. However, more open communication between retail staff – especially loss prevention – and IT is still very much needed.

As these two departments become increasingly intermingled, this silo approach will only end up costing you. Regardless of where the budgets go, the bottom line remains the same for both IT and LP – boosting overall operational revenue for the business as a whole. Both IT and LP divisions have information that can benefit the other, and the entire organization, so constant communication and collaboration should be a top priority in 2016.

There are a lot of things retailers can accomplish in 2016, but focusing on the three items above will have you in a good spot to drive momentum throughout the year.


Hedgie Bartol is business development manager for the retail segment in North America at Axis Communications.

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K.Singh says:
Apr-19-2017 01:20 pm

With 2017 going on, making use of the technologies mentioned here has accelerated to the next gear. While installing IP based cameras is still in trend, businesses today deploy surveillance/live monitoring services with cloud-based storage options. Other common methods of retail loss prevention (and employee productivity improvement) include the use of security signs, mirrors, and RFID tags among others. Visit the blog to know more about the simple (yet effective) ideas retailers use to prevent loss in their stores alongside improving business productivity. http://gizmosupport.com/4-simple-ideas-for-loss-prevention-in-retail/

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