What comes to mind when you think of loss prevention?
Is it fraud? Customer or employee theft? Damaged product?
Grocery has been treating loss prevention the same way for decades, focusing on the negative aspects of business that result in, well, loss. We teach our employees how to identify potential threats, how to prevent customers from leaving the store with products they haven’t purchased, and the protocols that they can take while remaining compliant with the laws on shoplifting. We outfit our stores with CCTV to better identify customer and employee theft, and we work with our vendors to reduce damaged product losses.
However, there is more to running a healthy business than this traditional idea of loss prevention. In 2020, loss prevention is getting a new mindset and a new moniker: asset protection.
From Loss Prevention to Asset Protection
We’re not calling it loss prevention anymore – the modern grocer is focused on asset protection.
Loss prevention tends to have too narrow of a focus on theft and damaged product. It limits our thinking on what is truly causing our stores to experience a loss on our bottom line.
When we reconsider this phrase and think of it instead as asset protection, we begin to think more holistically about how to control shrink in our stores and improve our company culture around it.
Changing Employee Culture
For your employees, this simple turn of phrase can make all the difference. When they’re working under the umbrella of loss prevention, they can become suspicious of customers, worried about being the one who drops the ball on a theft, and anxious about the responsibility of preventing loss.
However, by reframing these tasks as part of asset protection, you’re enabling employees instead of putting pressure on them. They see themselves as proactive protectors instead of reactive heroes who catch the thief, detect the fraud, and save the day.
In 2020, when employee satisfaction could dictate the future of your business, this subtle repositioning of a traditional grocery department could be the difference maker.
Expiration Date Management
So asset protection sounds better than loss prevention and it takes the pressure off your employees, but what does it actually mean? What can your employees do to bring the concept of asset protection to life?
One suggestion is expiration date management. True, you probably already have some sort of rotation or spot checking system in place in your store, but the key to asset protection is remaining proactive before loss can occur.
Expiration date management is the simplest thing that you could be doing right now to protect your assets. Using an expiration date management software makes the process seamless, because it provides you with alerts when products are about to expire so that you can take action on them and avoid loss.
In 2020, consider changing the name of your loss prevention department to your asset protection department. Through this simple switch, and a few new processes, you will not only enable your employees, but also provide a larger incentive to proactively protect the products in your store and decrease loss on your bottom line.