Inventory Control Is More Than Just Retail Theft Prevention

Checkpoint systems- 5                                                                                                    WC Blog 472
Checkpoint tags-3
Retail theft prevention-3

Inventory Control Is More Than Just Retail Theft Prevention

    Does Inventory control involve more than simply retail theft prevention? It does but often that is the first thing retail managers look at when they are trying to determine causes of shortage. As a former Loss Prevention Manager I dealt with all of the areas that impacted shortage and worked to prevent those losses. There were issues related to theft and Checkpoint Systems were one of our methods of addressing that type of merchandise shrink. I made sure our store was tagging merchandise with Checkpoint tags and labels to deter and detect theft. I also ensured our Loss Prevention Team was staffed with personnel who would monitor the check lanes and front doors. I also had staff walking the salesfloor looking for shoplifters. While we made a significant impact on theft issues from our efforts to stop shoplifting to identifying and preventing internal theft, one of my largest recoveries of inventory had nothing to do with theft or fraud.

     I will continue my story in a moment but I do think it is important to talk about Checkpoint Systems because so much of the success we did experience overall was due in large measure to the effort we placed on theft prevention. Checkpoint Systems use a combination of devices to deter and to prevent the theft of store merchandise. The operating parts use electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology to protect products. Checkpoint labels are soft peel off tags that can be placed on a variety of surfaces including plastics, cardboard even shrink wrap. Checkpoint tags are pinned to clothing or through materials and in some instances plastic blister packs. Both types of devices send out radio waves that are picked up by EAS towers if they come into range. A tower that picks up a radio wave sounds an alarm that resonates through a store. A trained employee will respond to an alarm and determine what caused it through a receipt check. If unpaid merchandise is recovered (which happens in the majority of alarm activations) most stores will offer an opportunity for the person with the merchandise to purchase it or turn it back over. Tagged product also deters criminals since they know it will sound an alarm. Often the shoplifter will simply leave rather than chance being caught. You can see now how EAS tagged merchandise impacts retail theft prevention. 

     While our Loss Prevention team did make a significant number of deterred recoveries with the help of Checkpoint Systems and apprehensions for shoplifting I did make one very large recovery as I alluded to earlier. Our store had received our inventory results back and even though the results were good (well under 1%), I was not satisfied. I reviewed the detailed shortage results and one of the highest shortage departments was our shoe department. I knew some theft had taken place in this area we had made apprehensions of shoplifters and recoveries from the EAS system. We also occasionally found footwear that was old indicating someone had swapped out shoes. In spite of this I did not believe the shortage was primarily due to theft I believed the issue laid elsewhere. 

     I opened the store’s profit and loss (P&L) statements for the past year. I took each month and carefully reviewed the weeks for that department. Eventually I came to a line that showed a large charge to the P&L for the department in question. There was no reasonable cause that I could attribute for the spike. There was no seasonal change that may have prompted this size of a billing and there was no plan-o-gram change that I could think of that may have instigated this size of a bill. I ran the spike past my store manager who forwarded it to Headquarters. It took some time and our inventory booked. A couple of weeks afterwards we had a post-inventory adjustment and our inventory results improved. My store manager said he had never in his 20 years in the company seen a booked inventory changed. We received a $10,000 adjustment in shoes. I had identified a billing error in our P&L that Headquarters could confirm was an error. 

     I am proud of this paperwork recovery as it demonstrated that dollars are lost by more than just theft. However, if we had focused all of our efforts on paperwork errors and ignored retail theft prevention we would never have had the kind of results we did on a consistent basis. With Checkpoint Systems and the use of Checkpoint tags theft can be significantly reduced and shortage kept low. Don’t lose sight of the other areas that impact shortage like administration and operations but to truly make a difference use Checkpoint towers, labels and tags.
For more information about Checkpoint Systems contact us or call 1.866.914.2567
  

Does Inventory control involve more than simply retail theft prevention? It does but often that is the first thing retail managers look at when they are trying to determine causes of shortage. As a former Loss Prevention Manager I dealt with all of the areas that impacted shortage and worked to prevent those losses. There were issues related to theft and electronice article surveillance (EAS) was one of our methods of addressing that type of merchandise shrink. I made sure our store was tagging merchandise with hard tags and labels to deter and detect theft. I also ensured our Loss Prevention Team was staffed with personnel who would monitor the check lanes and front doors. I also had staff walking the salesfloor looking for shoplifters. While we made a significant impact on theft issues from our efforts to stop shoplifting to identifying and preventing internal theft, one of my largest recoveries of inventory had nothing to do with theft or fraud.
     

I will continue my story in a moment but I do think it is important to talk about electronice article surveillance because so much of the success we did experience overall was due in large measure to the effort we placed on theft prevention. An EAS system uses a combination of devices to deter and to prevent the theft of store merchandise. The operating parts use electronic article surveillance  technology to protect products. Labels are soft peel off tags that can be placed on a variety of surfaces including plastics, cardboard even shrink wrap. Hard tags are pinned to clothing or through materials and in some instances plastic blister packs. Both types of devices send out radio waves that are picked up by EAS towers if they come into range. A tower that picks up a radio wave sounds an alarm that resonates through a store. A trained employee will respond to an alarm and determine what caused it through a receipt check. If unpaid merchandise is recovered (which happens in the majority of alarm activations) most stores will offer an opportunity for the person with the merchandise to purchase it or turn it back over. Tagged product also deters criminals since they know it will sound an alarm. Often the shoplifter will simply leave rather than chance being caught. You can see now how EAS tagged merchandise impacts retail theft prevention. 

     

While our Loss Prevention team did make a significant number of deterred recoveries with the help of an EAS system and apprehensions for shoplifting I did make one very large recovery as I alluded to earlier. Our store had received our inventory results back and even though the results were good (well under 1%), I was not satisfied. I reviewed the detailed shortage results and one of the highest shortage departments was our shoe department. I knew some theft had taken place in this area we had made apprehensions of shoplifters and recoveries from the EAS system. We also occasionally found footwear that was old indicating someone had swapped out shoes. In spite of this I did not believe the shortage was primarily due to theft I believed the issue laid elsewhere. 
     

I opened the store’s profit and loss (P&L) statements for the past year. I took each month and carefully reviewed the weeks for that department. Eventually I came to a line that showed a large charge to the P&L for the department in question. There was no reasonable cause that I could attribute for the spike. There was no seasonal change that may have prompted this size of a billing and there was no plan-o-gram change that I could think of that may have instigated this size of a bill. I ran the spike past my store manager who forwarded it to Headquarters. It took some time and our inventory booked. A couple of weeks afterwards we had a post-inventory adjustment and our inventory results improved. My store manager said he had never in his 20 years in the company seen a booked inventory changed. We received a $10,000 adjustment in shoes. I had identified a billing error in our P&L that Headquarters could confirm was an error. 
     

I am proud of this paperwork recovery as it demonstrated that dollars are lost by more than just theft. However, if we had focused all of our efforts on paperwork errors and ignored retail theft prevention we would never have had the kind of results we did on a consistent basis. With an EAS and the use of hard tags theft can be significantly reduced and shortage kept low. Don’t lose sight of the other areas that impact shortage like administration and operations but to truly make a difference use EAS towers, labels and tags.

 

For more information about electronic article surveillance systems, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567  

Take The Guess Work Out Of Shortage Reduction By Using The Free Loss Prevention Calculator

 

Can Loss Prevention Be Free? -3                                                                                              WC Blog 539
Free Loss Prevention Calculator-3
Take The Guess Work Out Of Shortage Reduction By Using The Free Loss Prevention Calculator
     It seems like it would be an odd question to ask retailers whose business is selling stuff but can loss prevention be free? I am certain that the majority of readers will be thinking that there would have to be a catch because nothing comes without a cost even if it is a hidden cost. I think of my sons going to college. Both were able to go “for free” taking into account the scholarships they were being given each semester. The money from the scholarships covered all of their necessary education expenses. It looks great on the surface but there is/was a catch. In the event their grades fell/fall below a certain grade point average they would lose those scholarships and they would be responsible for paying for their classes. That was a heavy weight for my older son to carry and one my younger son is still dealing with in his senior year of college. This is not a complaint, as we are extremely grateful that the scholarships have been available to enable them to attend school. It is only an acknowledgement that there is a certain price associated with the acceptance of the “free” scholarship. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. founder Bill Bregar knows that there is skepticism when anything is offered as free. His company, Loss Prevention Systems Inc. is focused on making stores profitable through shortage reduction and theft prevention. To do this he recommends stores install a Checkpoint System that will pay for itself. That’s right, an anti-theft system can reduce shortage and ultimately be free and by trying the Free Loss Prevention Calculator you can find out it is true.
     How free is this tool? Anyone can access the Loss prevention Systems Inc. website, click on the ROI Calculator and begin inputting numbers. There is no registration required, click on the link for the ROI Calc. at the top of the page and the form is right there. A manager or owner will enter the amount of their store’s annual sales and the amount he/she may want to spend on a Checkpoint security system. The Free Loss Prevention Calculator has a default estimated shrinkage calculation built into it of 1.2%. This is about the national average for retail shortage. The calculator assumes store shrinkage will be reduced to .65%, slightly less than a half of a percent reduction with the installation of a Checkpoint system. The actual results could be even better than this meaning greater cash savings. The number of months it would take for a system to pay for itself is calculated at the bottom of the page. Can loss prevention be free? The numbers are displayed right on your screen. After a system has paid for itself over the months figured in the calculation then ongoing savings are yours to reinvest, save or use to grow your business. 
     How sure am I that an electronic article surveillance system works? I have worked extensively in Retail Loss Prevention as a Loss Prevention Officer and a Loss Prevention Manager. In those positions I used Checkpoint equipment and I have seen it work. I have also worked with electronic article surveillance tags and antennas in a college library and I have recovered a number of books and media materials from patrons who would otherwise have walked out with them. As the writer of the article I am sure some of you are still a bit skeptical of my claims so maybe I can ease your concerns after you read this information from retaildive.com, by Dan O’shea, March 6, 2017 in an article titled, “Dollar General tags Checkpoint for EAS deployment in 2800 stores”. According to Mr. O’Shea, ““Source tagging alone reduced theft of high-risk items by 44% in our stores” said an unnamed vice president of loss prevention at a major North American drugstore chain quoted by Checkpoint in the press release touting the Dollar General deal.”” The article mentioned that the Dollar General stores had experienced positive results in deterring theft through a trial of Checkpoint systems in a limited number of their stores. Surely the installation of EAS systems in 2800 stores is a testimony to the impact of a Checkpoint System in a store.
     You may not be the owner of 2800 stores but theft in those stores you do own can hurt more than theft in a national chain. You may not be able to afford 1.2% or greater shortage. That means you should be the one asking, Can loss prevention be free?” Use the Free Loss Prevention Calculator and see the answer for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised.
The Free Loss Prevention Calculator is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.
  

It seems like it would be an odd question to ask retailers whose business is selling stuff but can loss prevention be free? I am certain that the majority of readers will be thinking that there would have to be a catch because nothing comes without a cost even if it is a hidden cost. I think of my sons going to college. Both were able to go “for free” taking into account the scholarships they were being given each semester. The money from the scholarships covered all of their necessary education expenses. It looks great on the surface but there is/was a catch. In the event their grades fell/fall below a certain grade point average they would lose those scholarships and they would be responsible for paying for their classes. That was a heavy weight for my older son to carry and one my younger son is still dealing with in his senior year of college. This is not a complaint, as we are extremely grateful that the scholarships have been available to enable them to attend school. It is only an acknowledgement that there is a certain price associated with the acceptance of the “free” scholarship. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. founder Bill Bregar knows that there is skepticism when anything is offered as free. His company, Loss Prevention Systems Inc. is focused on making stores profitable through shortage reduction and theft prevention. To do this he recommends stores install a Checkpoint System that will pay for itself. That’s right, an anti-theft system can reduce shortage and ultimately be free and by trying the Free Loss Prevention Calculator you can find out it is true.

How free is this tool? Anyone can access the Loss prevention Systems Inc. website, click on the ROI Calculator and begin inputting numbers. There is no registration required, click on the link for the ROI Calc. at the top of the page and the form is right there. A manager or owner will enter the amount of their store’s annual sales and the amount he/she may want to spend on a Checkpoint security system. The Free Loss Prevention Calculator has a default estimated shrinkage calculation built into it of 1.2%. This is about the national average for retail shortage. The calculator assumes store shrinkage will be reduced to .65%, slightly less than a half of a percent reduction with the installation of a Checkpoint system. The actual results could be even better than this meaning greater cash savings. The number of months it would take for a system to pay for itself is calculated at the bottom of the page. Can loss prevention be free? The numbers are displayed right on your screen. After a system has paid for itself over the months figured in the calculation then ongoing savings are yours to reinvest, save or use to grow your business. 

How sure am I that an electronic article surveillance system works? I have worked extensively in Retail Loss Prevention as a Loss Prevention Officer and a Loss Prevention Manager. In those positions I used Checkpoint equipment and I have seen it work. I have also worked with electronic article surveillance tags and antennas in a college library and I have recovered a number of books and media materials from patrons who would otherwise have walked out with them. As the writer of the article I am sure some of you are still a bit skeptical of my claims so maybe I can ease your concerns after you read this information from retaildive.com, by Dan O’shea, March 6, 2017 in an article titled, “Dollar General tags Checkpoint for EAS deployment in 2800 stores”. According to Mr. O’Shea, ““Source tagging alone reduced theft of high-risk items by 44% in our stores” said an unnamed vice president of loss prevention at a major North American drugstore chain quoted by Checkpoint in the press release touting the Dollar General deal.”” The article mentioned that the Dollar General stores had experienced positive results in deterring theft through a trial of Checkpoint Systems in a limited number of their stores. Surely the installation of EAS systems in 2800 stores is a testimony to the impact of a Checkpoint System in a store.

You may not be the owner of 2800 stores but theft in those stores you do own can hurt more than theft in a national chain. You may not be able to afford 1.2% or greater shortage. That means you should be the one asking, Can loss prevention be free?” Use the Free Loss Prevention Calculator and see the answer for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised.

 

The Free Loss Prevention Calculator is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

Can Loss Prevention Be Free? -3                                                                                              WC Blog 539Free Loss Prevention Calculator-3Take The Guess Work Out Of Shortage Reduction By Using The Free Loss Prevention Calculator     It seems like it would be an odd question to ask retailers whose business is selling stuff but can loss prevention be free? I am certain that the majority of readers will be thinking that there would have to be a catch because nothing comes without a cost even if it is a hidden cost. I think of my sons going to college. Both were able to go “for free” taking into account the scholarships they were being given each semester. The money from the scholarships covered all of their necessary education expenses. It looks great on the surface but there is/was a catch. In the event their grades fell/fall below a certain grade point average they would lose those scholarships and they would be responsible for paying for their classes. That was a heavy weight for my older son to carry and one my younger son is still dealing with in his senior year of college. This is not a complaint, as we are extremely grateful that the scholarships have been available to enable them to attend school. It is only an acknowledgement that there is a certain price associated with the acceptance of the “free” scholarship. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. founder Bill Bregar knows that there is skepticism when anything is offered as free. His company, Loss Prevention Systems Inc. is focused on making stores profitable through shortage reduction and theft prevention. To do this he recommends stores install a Checkpoint System that will pay for itself. That’s right, an anti-theft system can reduce shortage and ultimately be free and by trying the Free Loss Prevention Calculator you can find out it is true.     How free is this tool? Anyone can access the Loss prevention Systems Inc. website, click on the ROI Calculator and begin inputting numbers. There is no registration required, click on the link for the ROI Calc. at the top of the page and the form is right there. A manager or owner will enter the amount of their store’s annual sales and the amount he/she may want to spend on a Checkpoint security system. The Free Loss Prevention Calculator has a default estimated shrinkage calculation built into it of 1.2%. This is about the national average for retail shortage. The calculator assumes store shrinkage will be reduced to .65%, slightly less than a half of a percent reduction with the installation of a Checkpoint system. The actual results could be even better than this meaning greater cash savings. The number of months it would take for a system to pay for itself is calculated at the bottom of the page. Can loss prevention be free? The numbers are displayed right on your screen. After a system has paid for itself over the months figured in the calculation then ongoing savings are yours to reinvest, save or use to grow your business.      How sure am I that an electronic article surveillance system works? I have worked extensively in Retail Loss Prevention as a Loss Prevention Officer and a Loss Prevention Manager. In those positions I used Checkpoint equipment and I have seen it work. I have also worked with electronic article surveillance tags and antennas in a college library and I have recovered a number of books and media materials from patrons who would otherwise have walked out with them. As the writer of the article I am sure some of you are still a bit skeptical of my claims so maybe I can ease your concerns after you read this information from retaildive.com, by Dan O’shea, March 6, 2017 in an article titled, “Dollar General tags Checkpoint for EAS deployment in 2800 stores”. According to Mr. O’Shea, ““Source tagging alone reduced theft of high-risk items by 44% in our stores” said an unnamed vice president of loss prevention at a major North American drugstore chain quoted by Checkpoint in the press release touting the Dollar General deal.”” The article mentioned that the Dollar General stores had experienced positive results in deterring theft through a trial of Checkpoint systems in a limited number of their stores. Surely the installation of EAS systems in 2800 stores is a testimony to the impact of a Checkpoint System in a store.     You may not be the owner of 2800 stores but theft in those stores you do own can hurt more than theft in a national chain. You may not be able to afford 1.2% or greater shortage. That means you should be the one asking, Can loss prevention be free?” Use the Free Loss Prevention Calculator and see the answer for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised.The Free Loss Prevention Calculator is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.  

Poor Inventory Results? Take Action To Stop Shoplifting And Operational Losses By Creating A Shortage Action Plan

 

Electronic Article Surveillance – 4                                                                                          WC Blog 409
Stop Shoplifting -4
Poor Inventory Results? Take Action To Stop Shoplifting And Operational Losses By Creating A Shortage Action Plan
     Change quite often can be uncomfortable. Have you ever noticed that usually when people are sitting at their dinner table everyone has a particular seat they sit in? I know that in church my wife and I have a tendency to sit in the same seats. Consider your routines when you wake up in the morning. I have a set order I do things, I wake up, shower, walk the dogs, drink a pot of coffee, read from my Bible, brush my teeth and head off to work. I detest being late for something so I set my watch 10 minutes ahead (of course when I am going to go somewhere with my wife and I feel we are running late she tells me my watch is 10 minutes fast, “What’s the rush?”).The point I am trying to make is that we all get into routines and whether we want to admit it or not it can be difficult to change whether it is something about ourselves, something about our habits or something having to do with our environment. I believe retail owners who are reluctant to take adequate steps to stop shoplifting with the use of electronic article surveillance systems are avoiding changes they are not comfortable with.
     Electronic article surveillance systems use radio frequency waves transmitted from a tag or label and picked up by a receiver tower to sound an alarm when tagged merchandise is carried in the field of a tower. Some of the tags also have their own internal alarms that activate when a shoplifter tries to pry it off of merchandise. Because of the variety of tags and labels on the market through Checkpoint Systems and other companies, there are very few items that cannot be protected in one manner or another to stop shoplifting. There are labels that can be peeled from a roll and applied to boxes, shrink wrap, cloth and cardboard hang tags, etc. Hard tags are available that can be pinned to merchandise and not pulled off or detached without a removal key. Tagged goods are items that shoplifters prefer to leave alone. When shoplifters know that merchandise is protected with electronic article surveillance labels or tags they frequently choose to find another store rather than take the risk of being caught stealing.
    It is funny but when I first started as a Loss Prevention Manager we would conduct our inventory and get the results back. When I would begin work on a shortage action plan I remember trying to get other managers to give input. Inevitably the very first cause of shortage for almost ANY category was attributed to theft. Why? Well, first it is always easy to attribute shortage to theft, the primary responsibility for actions to address it fall on Loss Prevention in a big store. If other areas are identified that are related to operations, it meant someone else would have to take an active role in the plan. That also meant following up to ensure any action step was being followed. Lastly, it meant taking a hard look at one’s own department and taking responsibility for things that may not have been done correctly.
  I am of the opinion this is why many managers in retail don’t like to make shortage action plans or if they do make them they don’t always follow up on their plans after the first few weeks. I’ve run into this as a Loss Prevention Manager trying to work with the “store side” managers to create realistic plans and then follow through with them. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit…with shortage action plans I would say 21 months is more like it. For stores experiencing high inventory shortage, it is important to identify the areas/departments with the highest losses, look at the possible causes of the shortages and create action plans with action items, follow-ups and due dates. When theft is the issue, identify it and look for way to stop shoplifting or internal theft. When the issue involves operations call it as you see it, make a plan to fix the problem, execute the plan and follow up to make the store is doing what you committed to doing. If you are only making a plan for the sake of making a plan, don’t waste your time and don’t expect shortage to come down. 
     Electronic article surveillance can go a long way to stop shoplifting. Controls over vendors, stockroom access, shipment check-ins, etc. can make a significant impact on operational shortage. Remember, improving shortage results impacts profits and sales.
Get more information on electronic article surveillance, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

Change quite often can be uncomfortable. Have you ever noticed that usually when people are sitting at their dinner table everyone has a particular seat they sit in? I know that in church my wife and I have a tendency to sit in the same seats. Consider your routines when you wake up in the morning. I have a set order I do things, I wake up, shower, walk the dogs, drink a pot of coffee, read from my Bible, brush my teeth and head off to work. I detest being late for something so I set my watch 10 minutes ahead (of course when I am going to go somewhere with my wife and I feel we are running late she tells me my watch is 10 minutes fast, “What’s the rush?”).The point I am trying to make is that we all get into routines and whether we want to admit it or not it can be difficult to change whether it is something about ourselves, something about our habits or something having to do with our environment. I believe retail owners who are reluctant to take adequate steps to stop shoplifting with the use of electronic article surveillance systems are avoiding changes they are not comfortable with.

Electronic article surveillance systems use radio frequency waves transmitted from a tag or label and picked up by a receiver tower to sound an alarm when tagged merchandise is carried in the field of a tower. Some of the tags also have their own internal alarms that activate when a shoplifter tries to pry it off of merchandise. Because of the variety of tags and labels on the market through Checkpoint Systems and other companies, there are very few items that cannot be protected in one manner or another to stop shoplifting. There are labels that can be peeled from a roll and applied to boxes, shrink wrap, cloth and cardboard hang tags, etc. Hard tags are available that can be pinned to merchandise and not pulled off or detached without a removal key. Tagged goods are items that shoplifters prefer to leave alone. When shoplifters know that merchandise is protected with electronic article surveillance labels or tags they frequently choose to find another store rather than take the risk of being caught stealing.

It is funny but when I first started as a Loss Prevention Manager we would conduct our inventory and get the results back. When I would begin work on a shortage action plan I remember trying to get other managers to give input. Inevitably the very first cause of shortage for almost ANY category was attributed to theft. Why? Well, first it is always easy to attribute shortage to theft, the primary responsibility for actions to address it fall on Loss Prevention in a big store. If other areas are identified that are related to operations, it meant someone else would have to take an active role in the plan. That also meant following up to ensure any action step was being followed. Lastly, it meant taking a hard look at one’s own department and taking responsibility for things that may not have been done correctly.

I am of the opinion this is why many managers in retail don’t like to make shortage action plans or if they do make them they don’t always follow up on their plans after the first few weeks. I’ve run into this as a Loss Prevention Manager trying to work with the “store side” managers to create realistic plans and then follow through with them. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit…with shortage action plans I would say 21 months is more like it. For stores experiencing high inventory shortage, it is important to identify the areas/departments with the highest losses, look at the possible causes of the shortages and create action plans with action items, follow-ups and due dates. When theft is the issue, identify it and look for way to stop shoplifting or internal theft. When the issue involves operations call it as you see it, make a plan to fix the problem, execute the plan and follow up to make the store is doing what you committed to doing. If you are only making a plan for the sake of making a plan, don’t waste your time and don’t expect shortage to come down. 

Electronic article surveillance can go a long way to stop shoplifting. Controls over vendors, stockroom access, shipment check-ins, etc. can make a significant impact on operational shortage. Remember, improving shortage results impacts profits and sales.

 

Get more information on electronic article surveillance, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.