FORE! That’s usually the word I yell after I hit an errant shot off the tee; or four, the number of putts it took me to sink it on hole number one. When we’re on the golf course, we typically think of the course taking shots from us. However, we don’t always think about the “four” being the number of shirts stolen from a pro shop or the $400 putter swiped from a golf bag.
Each golf course will have its own set of unique security issues due to differences in accessibility, the surrounding community, staff experience, and customer engagement. Nonetheless, there are five universal concerns where any golf course should initially focus its security efforts:
Theft can be a major issue on the golf course. The big news out of the Phoenix Open didn’t just involve Ricky Fowler’s victory in the Waste Management Open. Golf enthusiast and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley had his clubs stolen from the course during a Pro-Am round on the Wednesday prior to the tournament. Archie isn’t the only one to have his bag taken. Recently, courses across the USA have reported clubs and other golf equipment stolen from their members and guests.
In a wide-open area like a golf course, there will inevitably be unattended areas. Vehicle break-ins and graffiti can occur by individuals who don’t have to check in at the clubhouse first. Even after check-in, locker rooms can be lucrative targets of theft when no one is around to change their shoes and keep an eye on the valuables left off the course.
Damage and vandalism are also a major hazard for golf courses. Sergio Garcia was recently disqualified from a European Tour tournament for damaging greens. He was apparently kicking the greens with his heel and damaging the soft surfaces, thus making it difficult for his fellow competitors playing in the groups behind him. Another example of damage occurred at Heron Creek Marsh course in North Port, Florida. A vehicle was driven over the course, with the tires digging into the greens and aprons of the course. The estimated damage was well over $10,000.
Finally, golf is supposed to be a relaxing sport. We play golf not just to get out of the office or spend time with the family. We play golf to put our mind at ease for a few hours. So, neither the course nor the golfers benefit when rowdy groups of onlookers or unwelcome items trespass onto the course during a round. Check with the Pro Shop before you test your new drone to find your ball.
Security cameras are a great tool to help with golf course security, but they are not the be-all-end-all. Cameras can only record things as they happen and will only help after the damage has occurred. Just like other businesses open to the public, golf courses need to be more proactive and less reactive.
One solution can come from having security personnel around the golf course. Courses can either hire a security guard or have current staff members rotate around the area. Having a person actively monitoring high-risk areas at all times will help lower the risk of theft or damage. One course that I play at constantly has a golf pro driving around the course. He helps monitor not only the course boundaries but also the golfers themselves. If anyone is acting out of line or possibly damaging the course, the pro is there to correct the actions and prevent further damage from occurring.
As for outside vandals, having proper fencing, lighting, and security signage can keep unwanted outsiders away from the course and the grass in pristine condition. In the example with the car driving on the course, the vehicle entered from a driveway that was not fenced off. Any open area is a target for vandals and trespassers. Installing the proper type of fence in that area can keep the vehicles off the course, and conditions safe for everyone.
It’s in the Hole!
Lately, thieves have been targeting golf courses and clubhouses. In addition, there has been an increase in damage created by golfers, members, and visitors. In order to help the courses maintain their fresh green looks, new security measures need to be implemented. By making changes such as having an appropriate fence and security signage around the course and adding human monitors to go with proper camera placement, golf courses can keep their “green jackets” and help golfers get from tee to green with as few strokes as possible. In return, the golfers and members can help the course prosper and grow during these difficult times.
Bottom of the ninth and two outs, and your turn up to bat. You look for your bat and it’s gone? So is your helmet, and you can’t just use someone else’s equipment.
You must use your own. You don’t get as juiced up when using your teammate’s stuff. What do you do? Sports retail stores must answer the same questions when it comes to protecting their own equipment.
With security being at the forefront of any sports retail business, the big question on the minds of businesses is how to improve it and the bottom line. Whether a team has been in business as long as the Boston Red Sox or is creating their brand like the Las Vegas Golden Knights, merchandise can be flying off the shelves. Hundreds of people can be coming in and out to grab new clothing and signature edition gear from the stores. So the question remains, how can stores engage with customers in discussions about big games or shirt sizes, all while monitoring the merchandise? One way that companies are doing this is by integrating and unifying their security systems.
Watch the Tape
Most stores have an analog system that monitors that specific location. This can be problematic because it requires someone at that location to monitor the situation. Any time another location wishes to have that information, the footage must be moved to find the specific instance that needs to be reviewed. When a chain has multiple locations, this process becomes tedious, reviewing thousands of cameras individually across hundreds of locations and updating everyone through all avenues of communication.
The Game Plan
Unified systems are taking the stress away from employees by advancing security through speed and ease of use. Unified systems create an easily intertwined system that can be used by multiple areas of security. The systems are like a pane of glass as that article says, “they can do everything from that system, and they don’t have to bounce back and forth”.
So why should companies move to a unified system? What are the benefits of unifying all aspects of security? Unified systems are now expanding areas of coverage and constantly adapting, all while maintaining ease of use. Gunshot detection, facial recognition, glass break alerts and other emerging technologies can be combined into one system. They can even help track the day-to-day operations. The data collected can help improve security for the everyday goings-on.
One specific retail sporting goods company, Dick’s Sporting Goods, has helped solve these issues by moving from an antiquated system and moving to a cloud-based system. Most stores have multiple cameras placed strategically throughout the store, monitoring customers and merchandise on a constant basis. They record all movement throughout the day for any loss prevention supervisor to review. Dick’s realized that this system however was outdated.
In order to better protect their merchandise and serve customers, several retailers moved on to an integrated security system over a cloud. Now any coach or manager from any store or even the corporate headquarters location has access to all of the film from any camera angle in any store. With this new capability, all security teams can view footage of all scenarios. Any product retention team can monitor the goods within the stores as well as view warehouses to make sure all shipping needs are being met. Even areas such as the point-of-sale (POS) can be better monitored to ensure customer safety and to prevent fraud (authentic autographs only!). Transactions that may be reported as suspicious are now more easily found and corrected.
Another benefit of converting to a unified system is the unified cost. For any business looking to upgrade their systems, they might think getting rid of the old system and installing a new one will cost a fortune. Most unified systems, although requiring upgrades, can still be compatible with older systems. Through gradual upgrades, companies can now slowly unify systems at a budget friendly pace.
The Final Score
Unified security systems are becoming the trend in systems today. Through constant adaptation and growth of these systems’ capabilities, all areas of the security team can improve their daily business. From daily operations to protecting products to customer security with cameras and POS systems, unified systems are constantly upgrading and helping all businesses easily improve their benchwarmer defense into an All-Pro lineup.
Safety may not always seem like a priority, but an accident can be costly if you’re unprepared. Being PROACTIVE is always less expensive than being REACTIVE. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help protect both your business and your greatest assets; your employees and customers.
There are myriad challenges facing small businesses and one of the largest is safeguarding the health and safety of their employees. All the safety concerns that affect large companies are still present for small businesses. Small businesses unfortunately have to work with lower budgets and smaller less-experienced staffs, making safety issues harder to handle. Small businesses still have to meet all of OSHA’s small business requirements and their workers require adequate safety training and protective equipment, as well as ongoing support.
This problem is exacerbated for higher-risk businesses such as pawn shops, where the employees will frequently have to handle significantly more dangerous items than many other businesses deal with, such as firearms, bladed weapons and power tools, among other things. It’s not all bad news though - there are ways to make the most of a minimal safety budget without risking a workplace accident down the line. This article will explain 7 ways to ensure health and safety on a budget fit for a small business.
1. Understand the Relevant Rules and Regulations
OSHA holds small businesses to different standards than large corporations. These standards are specifically designed by OSHA to accommodate a smaller staff and work-space. The first step in securing your company’s workplace safety is to get educated on current OSHA small business safety regulations. Once you are fully cognizant of what comprises workplace safety for your company, you can then take the steps to satisfy those requirements. Also, don’t hesitate to work with your state pawn association or a third-party team to learn more about what is required.
2. Have a Company Safety Manual
A safety manual plainly lays out all aspects of the business related to safety for all employees to see. Ensuring that all employees have read the safety manual before beginning employment will help educate them against any potential hazards in the workplace. Additionally, it can also keep the company in compliance with OSHA regulations by explaining what to do in the event of an accident or emergency and how to keep records in accordance with OSHA guidelines. Ensure that your policies are kept in line with current regulations and best practices are stored in a single location accessible to all employees. This will simplify access for any refresher courses as well as streamline documentation requests made by compliance inspectors.
3. Dedicated Safety Training
Your employees may have already gone through extensive training, but it is likely that the training did not fully cover every aspect of worksite safety. Some employees may not have fully grasped what was being taught during the original training and would therefore benefit from additional training. Perhaps procedures have been updated since initial employee orientation. In order to ensure that everyone in the company fully understands the safety program, it helps to conduct dedicated safety classes. These classes can also help your employees to understand how they can help improve the safety program by spotting new hazards and providing feedback, as well as keeping an eye out for any incidents that may occur.
Being aware of the most prevalent safety issues for your business is a vitally important step in eliminating the dangers that they create for your business. Prioritizing safety risks can also help you maximize the effectiveness of your safety program by ensuring that vital resources aren’t squandered preventing issues that were never going to happen. The most common safety hazards in the workplace are:
Retail businesses can have trouble gathering all your staff all at one time. If this is true for your business, schedule a couple brief informal talks over the course of a week about safety issues, ensuring all your employees have the chance to ask questions or bring up concerns.
4. Posted Reminders
Safety posters or reminders are a surprisingly effective way to remind employees about health and safety. One important thing to keep in mind is to be careful when designing the reminder so that the reminder has the desired effect. Overly-aggressive signage or signs simply telling them to do something are a surefire way to either ensure that the message is either not retained by your employees or ignored entirely. A sign simply telling employees to do something that is obvious can even come off as condescending. An alternative idea is to keep the messages short and positive. Using a funny image or a meme with the message can help the employees actually listen to it instead of just rolling their eyes and ignoring it.
5. Do Your Own Safety Audit
Occasionally conducting your own safety audit can keep you on top of any potential health, safety, and fire hazards before they become a problem. By using these surveys and assessments, you can ensure compliance with all applicable building and fire codes as well as aid in the detection of any potential hazards. A regular but unannounced safety audit can keep your employees on their toes and help ensure that should an OSHA audit take place; your business will have a better chance of experiencing no surprises.
6. Find Someone with Experience for Guidance
One valuable resource for a small business to have is someone with experience in dealing with safety issues that can help ensure the business remains safe from workplace incidents and injuries. This person may come from a larger business where incidents happen more frequently than in a small company. Finding someone who already has experience with these incidents and has learned the necessary lessons can help protect your business from a painful lesson down the road. A small business may not have it in the budget to hire someone to function as solely a safety professional, but those responsibilities could be folded into the various other parts of a manager’s scope of responsibilities.
7. Incentivize good behavior
There are strong incentives to create a safe work environment that are not readily apparent. This can go beyond just a desire to comply with federal safety regulations. Compliance costs are calculated per employee and there are certain costs embedded regardless of business size. This means that small businesses with fewer than 20 employees pay the most in compliance costs per employee. In addition, workers’ compensation rates are affected by on-the-job incidents and rising rates can have a serious impact on a small business’s ability to stay afloat. The good thing is that workers’ comp insurance provides a discount to any businesses with no claims. This discount incentivizes small businesses to offer a safe working environment.
Employees that want to be more involved in the business can be encouraged to engage within a the “Safety Team” or “Safety Committee”. Most experienced employees enjoy autonomy in their tasks – link that to their safety performance.
Getting ahead of the problem is always better than reacting to one, and safety issues amplify this effect. Lower your liabilities and show your employees that you care by focusing on safety at your business.
Yigal Adato is the founder of Pawn Leaders – a coaching company that helps pawnbrokers make more, stress less, and live an epic life. He was kind enough to let us post this very informational video on our website.
And now that you know what a Pawn Pirate is, go into your shop and deal with any Pawn Pirates. Not only does it affect your business, it affects your day-to-day happiness and health. A toxic environment is never beneficial and can slow you and your employees. Having a positive and respectful environment is the most essential thing you can achieve not only at work, but also at home and in general with your social life.
We hope you found this video helpful and gained some motivation to go ahead and deal with this problem.
For more information please visit: https://pawnleaders.com
Infographic kindly provided by CaliExtractions
The state of cannabis prices varies widely depending on where your business is. While the Midwest and East Coast have developing or restricted markets which permit companies to have sufficient margins, West Coast states such as Oregon or Washington are experiencing unheard of prices in wholesale cannabis prices of around $500 per pound. The passage of the Farm Bill will further supply these markets with CBD products. Similar problems may realize in Canada, even for companies who have made significant vertical investments.
Megan Stone recently wrote an article describing business tactics that will help dispensaries stay afloat as the competition becomes fiercer. This inspired us to take a look at security issues for companies who start to see declining margins. There are 6 questions to ask yourself so you stay secure and in compliance, but within budget regardless of what your sunk costs are:
1.Are you overpaying to replace your security equipment?
You invested heavily in excellent cameras and access control devices when you were building your facility. But if you have to replace an out-of-warranty camera, do you need to reinvest? Often, your network video recorder (NVR) or your video management system (VMS) can adapt to cameras of other brands. Use your top-tier cameras in key locations, but locate compliant HD cameras in areas of lower activity.
2.What is your hourly return on investment of your security officers?
Security officers are still an important component for cannabis cultivators and retailers. Security officers provide peace of mind to customers, employees, and owners, and can react quickly to onsite events before law enforcement arrives. However, at night a certain level of trust should be placed in your video surveillance and alarm systems. For a fraction of the cost of an overnight security guard, measures can be taken to improve the reliability and benefits of these advanced systems such as backup power, signage, and analytics. Also review if your security officers are performing redundant operations or operations that can easily be performed by a standard employee with proper cannabis security training.
3.Do you appear secure from the outside perimeter?
More people have home security signage than have home security subscriptions. Why? Because appearances are everything. A dilapidated fence is a vulnerability. An upright fence is a sign of fortitude. Are your outside cameras visibly powered on? Does your signage indicate that your safes have time delays? On the same note, don’t advertise all your security deficiencies to your employees. Loose lips sink ships.
4.Are you tempted to divert excess cannabis? (Tip: DON’T)
Historically, mass production of goods incentivized companies to create demand in new markets. Exports, government projects, clearance stores – great for other domestic production industries. Not so much for cannabis. Letting cannabis leave your state is considered a violation of federal law, and penalties can be much more severe than losing your license. The chances of a Strategic Cannabis Reserve are currently slim. Transactions of cannabis greater than the legal amount to individuals will be flagged by any seed-to-sale system. And diversion may help you in the short run, but it will ruin the fun for the rest of the industry.
5.Are you being realistic about your risks?
65% of product theft is by employees. Your security plan should prepare you for armed robberies or shoplifters or cannabis transportation liabilities. With that in mind, if margins are tight then agroterrorism-focused prevention is not likely the best investment of your resources. A policy requiring four machine-gun wielding security officers patrolling a small grow house should be reevaluated, not only for costs but for efficiency of preventing losses. And check your insurance policy for unusual events that are covered.
6.What could your location sell for?
Security can be a great real estate investment. Grows and dispensaries are constantly being sold, and if the purchaser does not need to renovate the security systems, you could get a few more dollars for it. If you have decided to cash out, then estimate the depreciation of your equipment and argue that your thorough security plan creates a better investment of money and time for the purchaser. One less headache for the new administration.
Overproduction and excess cannabis will affect everyone’s sales, be it lower prices at wholesale or retail or vertically. Are your robbery, burglary, and loss prevention tactics sensible and cost-effective? It can be tough to spend money when revenue goes down. But if and when it does, ask these questions to secure your facility, avoid financial collapse, and overcome any oversupply bubble.
Some security programs for your home or business might be easier than you think. Locks, alarms, lighting, and video systems are always a good start to protect your location from intruders, but there are always more security measures one can take. Outside windows are always a vulnerability because these windows are easily accessible by thieves. Fortunately, Mother Nature has an easy fix for this that can not only better protect your home or business but also decorate it as well.
What we are suggesting is adding “defensive plants” around your house or business at possible points of entry such as outside windows or fence lines. Defensive plants like spiny shrubs or bushes have been used for centuries as natural defensive barriers. These types of plants can create a boundary that thieves will avoid in favor of an easier targets.
This security strategy not only better protects your premises, but also offers a natural and decorative way to display your home or building. Remember: most thieves are lazy, they look for easy ways of getting into a home or business. By taking a few simple precautions you can reduce the risk of being burglarized and make your location more secure.
Listed below are our top 5 picks of defensive plants and helpful tips on some ways you can proactively create natural security barriers outside or around your location. All of these plants are installation friendly and might even increase the value of your property as they protect your assets.
Bamboo Fencing Protection
Bamboo rolls are also very strong and sturdy, which makes it difficult to tamper or destroy. You can install it if you are a DIY enthusiast, but it’s definitely not an easy thing to break through with your bare hands or low-quality tools. Bamboo is very hard to penetrate and makes lots of noise, so it will alert you naturally if someone is trying to go through it, or is tampering with it.
Bamboo is great to build a fence around, and it looks very pretty. It can stand alone or be used to disguise a chain link fence. A similar option is reed fencing. Often, these fencing materials can be purchased from Lowes or Home Depot.
The Blackthorn plant is a great option to put it in front of a window to limit access to your location. It looks like a fruit plant, but it has spines that can really hurt someone, so you might consider this as an option to cover a vulnerable window. And its wood is so tough, the Irish used to make Shillelaghs with Blackthorn wood.
The American Holly is a great option to secure your location. Just as with the Blackthorn, it would be best used right outside your building in front of a window or a vulnerable area. This is a plant that takes as long as 100 years to grow, but once it becomes a bush it’s a great way to keep people away. If you get too close to it, it can cause a lot of pain and damage.
As seen in this picture, you could add Firethorn around your walls or even in front of a window. This plant has some thorns, which you wouldn’t want to mess with. This is why it’s such a good option to keep people away, not only it can make burglars uncomfortable but it is very difficult to penetrate. Another good thing is that it grows pretty quickly.
Lastly, Shrub Roses are great to keep people away with their thorny stem. This will limit possible intruders from attempting to burglarize your location. This beautiful rose comes in many colors. This is perfect to scatter around your location in vulnerable spots, or to simply just decorate your outside. Shrub roses are easy to grow – no landscaping expertise necessary.
Business and home owners are always looking for cost-effective ways to enhance their security. We hope these simple tips to protect your location with defensive plants can provide some safety and peace of mind as well as gardening brilliance!
Be safe and be profitable.
We all know the holiday season is very busy with a lot more people out shopping than usual. So how are you going to maintain your security and safety programs during this busy time?
Since the cannabis holiday season operates differently from the rest of the year, you need to understand exactly how your current programs handle security and safety. After you understand your current programs, you need to plan what would be an efficient way to manage these programs when there are a lot more people in your store. You cannot indifferently rely on the same security and safety procedures you have all year, but instead, need a more dynamic program when it comes to these busy days. Your security and safety programs give your employees concise instructions, which are not only clear but easy to follow.
For the Customers/Patients:
During the holiday season, most people are more stressed and distracted. That’s why it’s even more important for you to be comfortable and trust your normal security policies and procedures before the season even starts. This trust will make it much easier to implement additional security and safety procedures during the holiday’s season. You will need to make sure in advance that every security measure is working properly i.e.: video systems, door locks, alarms system, safe, etc.
If there is something that isn't working properly, you should fix it now – not during the holiday season. Don’t block any cameras or alarms with holiday displays. Anything you put up at the store should be stationary and not interfere with your security infrastructure. Always ensure that vulnerable areas are properly locked or taken care of at all times, i.e. high dollar showcases.
For Potential Robbers:
Unfortunately, during the holiday season, external theft such as armed robberies, burglaries, and shoplifters also increase. Just as it is throughout the rest of the year, proper training of your theft awareness programs for all employees is extremely important. Every employee should be aware of how to react during these incidents.
What is an example of a good robbery prevention program?
Employees should be instructed to try not to panic in an event of a robbery and always cooperate with the robber(s). The employee should be instructed to give the robber what they want and be calm to them. Never be aggressive or defensive, because that puts not only you but also everyone inside the store in more danger.
For Your Staff:
Another important policy to discuss with your staff is store opening and closing procedures. A 20-minute meeting before Thanksgiving may be sufficient to review your Holiday security and safety programs. Having a daily security/safety checklist with reminders for your employees is important to the security and safety of your location.
You should never open or close your store alone and there should always be at least two employees in the store at all times. When opening and closing the store, an employee should always be looking for any unusual activities in the parking lot. This will ensure a more safe and secure environment and also deter robbers.
One of the most important aspects of security is trust in your team. Security and safety at your dispensary should never rely only on one person. Remember, it is a team effort, where every single member of a company knows security and safety policies and procedure and its limitations.
Remember that we work to live, not live to work, so take time to enjoy and appreciate the Holiday Season.
In conclusion, being proactive vs. reactive with your security and safety programs can make all the difference in your holiday season.
Best wishes for a very safe and prosperous Holiday Season!
Jose Alarcon is the Operations Manager at Sapphire Risk Advisory Group. Jose has a degree in Business Administration from Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. He comes from three generations of worldwide physical security designers.
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