Regardless of what a business is selling, the goal should always be to lose as little of their product as possible. And the best way to consistently achieve this is to have a strategy in place for the protection of products. This strategy for product protection is referred to as the loss prevention pyramid. This pyramid consists of a solid and continuous base, followed by units which interlock and reinforce themselves. At the pyramid’s apex is the point where product and consumer intersect.
But what does the loss prevention pyramid have to do with security labels? In a word, everything. Because without a sound loss prevention strategy, no label will be enough to effectively protect a product.
The loss prevention pyramid involves the support and leadership of senior management and directors, who can provide the correct resources for product protection, as well as remove anything that may hinder that protection. As well, they ensure that any plan in place for the protection of products is aligned with the strategy of a company.
Collaboration is Key
Any effective strategy for protecting products should be the result of collaboration between the loss prevention team and the buying department, whose job it is to work both together and with individuals including suppliers to craft a sound strategy for product protection.
In order to inspire senior management to invest more heavily in a loss prevention strategy, a decrease in product loss with a corresponding increase in revenue should be proven. Any reporting done should be based on data gathered at the category and SKU levels. The goal here is ensure that high-quality data is being collected, and not simply large amounts of data. As well, the right tools to analyse this data should be used, and individuals assigned to assess the data skilled at doing so.
Any security labels chosen for the purpose of protecting products should include criteria with clear specifications. For example, information should be present which clearly describes the protocols and processes for the deactivation, application and detection of labels. Without these three elements, the product protection strategy will not be effective.
The Job of the Loss Prevention Manager
The loss prevention manager’s responsibility is to determine where security labels need to be placed in order to obtain the best results. They will also be tasked with determining whether obvious or concealed labelling will be best.
Labelling is one part of the Process
In order for a product protection strategy to work well, there not only needs to be support and quality data available at the start, but also some kind of assurance that all of this support, planning and implementation does the intended job in the actual retail location.
At the retail level, it is the shop manager who must not only lead by example, but also ensure that staff is trained to understand and here to product protection practices. The manager is also responsible for ensuring the smooth and consistent implementation of these practices.
Any security labelling system must be audited on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to be well-operated and maintained. Also, the staff in a shop must also be audited regularly to confirm that the correct procedures concerning product protection are being followed.
A labelling system for product security is only as good as a company’s loss prevention team is updated. Developments and trends relative to the business need to be watched in order to ensure optimal protection. As well, there needs to be a process for the submitting and analysing of feedback. This will allow for the free and constant flow of information which will ultimately ensure that appropriate action is taken at every point from senior management to staff on the shop floor.