With any ongoing business enterprise, there are always going to be challenges in developing and retaining talent that manage and service the customers of the business. Some would argue that the single most important component of a successful business operation is that the entire team is pulling in the same direction and, above all, protecting the brand that provides their income. The hardest thing I encountered as a loss prevention director was realizing that our guard had to be constantly maintained, during customer transactions and particularly during audits.
In the case of Pawn and Loan, there are some particular employee concerns that should be pointed out. The important thing to remember is that a pawn store employee’s normal routine involves acting as a retail sales clerk, conducting value appraisals on a wide assortment of items and being a character judge and effective loan officer. While this multitasking can be applauded for these folks, it also offers its share of risk to the organization.
In my years of managing audit protocols in pawn shops, including over 1,000 shops spread out globally for a national brand, we found some very specific and equally difficult crimes to detect against our brand. I identified the most frequent and least detectable shrink issues that we were challenged with below
One of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein is “a problem cannot be solved on the same level of consciousness that created it.” This keen observation allows us to consider different perspectives in the loss prevention industry, especially when confronted with a client’s confusion over unexplained reduction of revenue, profits, or inventory. Often times, the client is totally frustrated by repeated attempts to solve the issue, only to find that the perpetrators have circumvented their prescribed solution. In other words, to be effective, we need to understand the level of consciousness in which the problem was created in order to design sustainable solutions. A deeper and more systemic challenge is usually where we begin to turn the trend of these issues.
A good example of this is when we are brought in to solve an “shrink” problem or identify activities that support internal loss, whether from single employees or employees in collaboration with outside customers or vendors. It is usually the first option to install procedures that are designed to apply control right where the leak(s) may be occurring. The disappointment is felt when the stakeholders realize they have not elevated their consciousness to adequately support the process changes and truly install the fix, rather they have just treated the symptoms of the problem. Soon the losses start adding up again
If you ask most people what the opposite of love is, they may tell you it is hate. As security professionals, it is encumbered upon us to understand the subtle difference that suggests the opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is indifference. Hate requires a similar level of passion as love; indifference is devoid of passion.
When planning a commercial security strategy, reminding ourselves that the target is indifferent towards our client is essential to preparing an effective security plan. The civilian perpetrator is only passionate towards compromising the security plan and gaining benefit for themselves, not winning an ideological war.
When it comes to defending an ideology or military opponent, it requires a very different philosophy simply because you are not dealing with indifference, rather an expressed hatred and passion for opposing flag or country. The opponent approaches the target with a passion to capture or destroy, for political reasons instead of reaping the rewards for their own gain.
In the commercial world, the criminal intent also never changes, regardless of the asset or industry we are protecting. It is most always a self-serving and borderline narcissistic soul(s), where in military or political scenarios the acts are normally selfless and sacrificial towards a greater goal. There is a reason the security defense industry is divided into separate worlds. Some specialize in criminal intent that is void of passion, some focuses on opponents that are entirely fueled by passion.
Criminal intent is at the forefront of any crime. When developing a strategy to secure assets in a state of rest or in transit, it is an important to have a healthy regard for what motivation the perpetrator may have. A balanced approach to planning how to make the criminal’ act harder to commit is essential in any effective commercial security plan.
Be safe and profitable
Imagine a retailer in your town...This retailer has a structural hierarchy just like yours. There are managers who oversee operations and train new employees. There are employees who obtain the product. There are employees who price, merchandise, and sell the product. There are even employees marketing the business in the community. Imagine this retailer was selling the same product as you. They are rapidly growing, attracting new customers and employees every day, have multiple locations, and most of their competition is completely unaware they even exist.
Now imagine this retailer is selling your product for fifty percent less than what you do, has an astronomical profit margin, and is generating more money than your business. Sounds pretty hard to compete with, right? Well, you’re probably breathing a sigh of relief that this is an imaginary scenario. But, it’s not. There’s probably a retailer just like this in your town that you didn’t even know existed. What’s worse is that product they are selling for so much less than you might have come directly from your store.
Who Are They?
DO YOU HAVE A WRITTEN POLICY TO ADDRESS ANY OF THESE SCENARIOS?
As a business owner, it’s very important to have written policies and procedures to grow and protect your business.
If you take a look at any successful business, you will see they all have a “road map for success”. This road map was developed over time by identifying and correcting business mistakes.
As an employee or representative for your company, you are given the privilege and trust to oversee merchandise and transactions alike. This is a huge responsibility, and should be viewed as a show of faith by your company and managers.
It is important to be aware of external relationships with family and friends that can pressure you into breaching this trust. Poor judgement in this area can, and almost always will, cost you your job and may result in both criminal and civil charges. In these tough economic times, none of us can afford to be unemployed or have a record. It all starts with “the hook-up.”
So just what is “The Hook-Up”?
Security Tips – What to keep in mind when it’s cold out
It’s getting cold out there! This year, remember that cold weather requires more than coats and scarves, you’ll also need to be prepared for security risks that are unique to the cold weather.
Luckily, we’ve put together some tips to help ensure that your business operations run smoothly even as the temperatures decline.
Want more information on how to take care of potential risks in your business?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get your questions answered!
Be sure to share this article to help fellow managers and business owners get ready for the cold.
The holiday season is here! Of course, we all know this is the busiest time of the year for retailers. Unfortunately, as revenue increases over the season, so do losses! The hustle and bustle of holiday chaos is the perfect atmosphere for potential shoplifting.
Here’s what you can do to deter shoplifting in your store this holiday season:
Train your employees on frequent holiday transactions. Gift card purchases and sale discounts make for a more complex transaction, and these purchases are more common during the holidays. Train your employees on how to take care of these swiftly, so that they can spend less time distracted, and more time on the sales floor or speeding up the line.
Emphasize store organization and cleanliness. A messy store is more attractive to shoplifters, as it implies that there are not enough employees to pay attention to the sales floor