As today’s retailers face unprecedented tight margins brought on by increasing competition and challenges, loss prevention technology is more important than ever before. Particularly for loss prevention staff, whose jobs get tougher by the day.
And while numerous forms of loss prevention technology exist – technology that is undoubtedly changing the face of retailing – LP managers are often not being given the budgets to use it.
Findings from the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) National Retail Security Survey 2017 show that two-thirds of LP budgets are flat or declining while the average inventory shrink rate has increased to 1.44 percent of retail sales. In fact, LP respondents to the annual survey say they need another seven employees, just to keep up – especially staff with more sophisticated skills.
There’s a large disparity between what is expected from LP employees and what they need to adequately do their jobs. Which means LP managers must find ways to reduce loss and protect their companies’ assets, even while doing more with less. And with larger territories to manage – often remotely.
Various loss prevention technology solutions exist to help LP professionals stem the tide of retail shrink. And many of these forms of technology are allowing LP staff to do exactly what they need to do: Proactively help eliminate shrink before it happens.
Today’s savvy LP professional knows that proactively preventing shrink is more effective than retrospective investigations. In fact, here’s a small sampling of loss prevention technology available to help today’s LP professional curtail theft and other forms of shrink:
Battery-powered tethers/cable locks. These compact, cable-lock devices can be attached to purses, backpacks, clothing and other items – allowing customers to pick up and examine them. But they need unlocked by a store associate for purchase.
Facial recognition software. This video-based recognition system scans faces in a crowd, sending real-time alerts that allow LP staff to take action when a crook enters a business establishment.
Cash management technology. This consists of a piece or pieces of technology that reduce or eliminate the need to manually handle cash. It helps many departments throughout an organization, but for LP staff, it helps eliminate cash theft, alerts staff of cash-related mistakes as they are being made, and provides an audit trail of each and every transaction. Among other benefits.
Various kinds of retail technology benefit loss prevention teams by allowing them to do their jobs onsite or remotely – whether the territories they cover are small or large. Alerts of potential theft can be fired off to LP managers when they’re at the corporate office, at another store location, at the airport or anywhere.
The conclusion of the National Retail Security Survey 2017 states, “To combine the many facets of shrink, retailers must provide LP professionals the resources to combat an increasingly sophisticated criminal, whether it is an employee who skims a bit off the top or a massive organized retail criminal operation that has mastered return fraud.”
And cash is one of the easiest ways for staff to steal, because without the retail technology in place, cash loss is incredibly difficult to track. The best way to hunt for missing money – or better yet, ensure money never goes missing – is to have the right software connected to your point of sale (POS) system.
Enter an intelligent cash drawer solution. LiveDrawer™ is a customizable cash management software/hardware system that builds Tellermate’s count-by-weight cash counting technology into the drawer itself. This provides real-time visibility of the cash in the drawer, virtually eliminates cash loss at the point of sale (POS), and deters internal theft.
Not only does LiveDrawer™ Manager (the software component of the cash management system) reconcile the cash in the drawer against the POS to show discrepancies caused by accidental loss or theft; but it automatically counts coins and bills the minute they are placed in a cash drawer. In fact, its dashboards allow you to drill down to the exact employee, time of transaction, lane number and more.
The time spent counting cash is slashed. Accuracy is improved. And LiveDrawer decreases the chance for potential internal cash theft since employees know each and every transaction is recorded in real-time.
Software programs, according to this LPM Insider article, often come into play to help monitor POS transactions and other store functions. They provide covert surveillance opportunities to thinly stretched LP staff – whether onsite or remote.
LiveDrawer Manager shows them the amount of cash in a drawer – down to the last penny – not just what the POS thinks there should be. It is so clever, in fact, that it sends an immediate alert when a process is not followed or an overage or shortage occurs. In summary, it makes stealing cash at the POS nearly impossible.
Recently, a large, multi-store retailer in the UK tested LiveDrawer during a six-week pilot at one of its problematic stores where employee theft was rampant. Prior to its implementation, the retailer’s cash handling process consisted of managers placing uncounted cash in a safe and waiting for a third-party vendor to pick up and count it every two weeks. Once Tellermate’s intelligent cash drawer solution was implemented in the problem store, the theft completely stopped. Staff knew it provided visibility for each and every transaction.
But even when cash loss isn’t intentional, LiveDrawer also pinpoints which cashiers consistently make mistakes; and sends alerts when processes are not followed. This exception-based reporting allows you to identify the staff or stores that could benefit from retraining.
And when LiveDrawer is used in combination with an intelligent safe at the POS, bills can be checked for counterfeits and securely stored until the end of day or when the safe is full. It’s a nimble but powerful alternative to bulky and often expensive cash recyclers.
All this means that the cash management solution can increase security, reduce shrink and provide greater profitability. Which definitely enables remotely located LP staff to better do the job of protecting their companies’ cash assets.
Shrink is up. And the number of LP staff retailers employ — for the most part, is either flat or down. Loss prevention technology can help an entire organization – not just LP staff. That’s why many retailers are now implementing innovative retail technology that allows both LP and operations staff to get a clearer picture of what’s going on in their stores even when they’re on the move.
Learn more about the innovative loss prevention technology that can help you get better visibility of your store’s assets. From cash counters to intelligent cash drawers to smart safes – and more. Download The Cash Management Jungle Ebook to find out which form of cash management technology is right for your business.
‘Tis the season to invest in loss prevention technology