Protecting profits with the help of a Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta Georgia

A loss prevention investigator works to drive sales by proactively investigating many types of losses. As a retailer in the United States, you face many sales killing challenges including internal or employee theft and the brutalizing affect of Organized Retail Crime outfits.

Working a variety of stores from grocery to high end beauty products, I have seen the negative impacts of these types of losses. It is not a pretty site when a store closes because it simply cannot sustain the losses incurred as a result of poor inventory controls, employee theft and external factors. At times, these losses could have been mitigated simply by bringing loss prevention consultants and spending the money to counter these losses.

If a business is losing money, it is crucial to act fast and acknowledge the “hows” and “whys”. As loss prevention investigator , I was brought in to investigate a store experiencing shrink as high as 25%. This was a chain of about 50 stores, which were small boutique type no larger than 3000 sqft. Looking at other stores in the company, this was not the only one with high shrink, just the highest. I looked into everything starting with their receiving practices. I followed the delivery truck several times; I watched trucks being unloaded and audited the store’s receipts. Matching what I could, I found no issue that would lead to explain the losses.

Further, I conducted night surveillances, watching the closing crews and management. Now, any loss prevention investigator worth his salt could tell you that what I saw was cause for alarm. Management on at least 4 nights was in the store several hours past closing, alone. Not only is this a safety issue but offers ethical challenges. As a result of these poor controls, management took advantage.

Several nights of my surveillance, I witnessed the manager put box after box of merchandise outside the back door, near the emergency exit. As she left the building, she would simply drive around back and pick up here “prizes”.

In the next few days, as the loss prevention investigator , I interviewed the manager. She admitted to taking merchandise daily for the last year and a half. However, my investigation showed losses for more the 2 years, in fact, the same amount of time the manager had been with the company.

Work by loss prevention consultants would have stoped this problem before it started.

For more information about loss prevention consultants visit us at loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 26th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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A loss prevention investigator working Organized Retail Crime – Atlanta Georgia

One of the many tasks faced by a loss prevention investigator is that of Organized Retail Crime. Commonly referred to as ORC, businesses everywhere suffer from this nuisance.

Recently, a loss prevention investigator was working a small chain of stores. He received information from 5 different stores of large amounts of merchandise were missing. Starting his investigation, the loss prevention investigator gathered information on the missing merchandise. All of the merchandise taken from the stores was the same, high street resale value and in high customer demand. Looking at several of the merchandise locations, the items were placed in the worst locations possible… in the back aisles of the store where employee view and interaction was minimal.

Further investigation and review of CCTV showed the merchandise being taken by the same group of people. It appeared that 4 males entered the stores, 2 peeled off and spoke with management, while the other 2 cleared the shelf of merchandise and into a black trash bag they carried. Then while the other 2 were distracting management, the trash bag was walked out of the store. Simply, the thieves outside would use their cellphone to communicate with others inside, ending their spree. This operation took no more than 5 minutes each time.

The loss prevention investigator , having a solid partnership with local law enforcement and other retailers, reached out for help. He sent out video, and screenshots of the suspects. Luckily, another local retailer had experienced the same suspects recently. The investigator put together the case. The word was out. The hunt for these “boosters” was on.

A phone call came in to the investigator at about 8pm that a loss prevention agent apprehended one of the suspects. The loss prevention agent , working undercover, observed one of the suspects clear a shelf of merchandise and head for the exit. The loss prevention agent apprehended him, while the other suspects fled.

The loss prevention investigator arrived and interrogated the suspect. He was able to get more valuable information and the local police department was contacted.

During the course of the investigation, the investigator was able to gather information on this ring that led to the arrest of 15 other accomplices and the recovery of $1.5 million in merchandise.

For more information contact us at loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

 

Posted November 24th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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The benefits of hiring a loss prevention agent for your business – Atlanta Georgia

A loss prevention agent can be a great benefit to your company. Specializing in the apprehension of shoplifters the agent can help control a large portion of shrink occurring in your stores and help you remain profitable.

As a former loss prevention agent , I can tell of the many instances working for my employer and positively impacting shrink in the stores I worked. I knew my job was important. The responsibilities given to me by the store management could be stressful at times, but challenging.

Working stores in areas where the customer base was difficult didn’t make things any easier. None-the-less, my goal was to keep the store profitable. I did this a number of different ways. First, I made sure I apprehended shoplifters every day I worked. More so, I made myself visible to employees. The employees seemed to be more productive when I was in the store, and I could tell. Making myself visible to the employees also worked to prevent employee theft and boost morale.

I knew that by simply being in the store, I could not completely stop employee theft, but it certainly would alter it in one way or another.
A loss prevention agent working your stores should be able to blend in with the customers, and really become one of them.

Having the right person working as a loss prevention agent means better results. It’s always recommended to hire loss prevention consultants when looking into a loss prevention program. Loss prevention consultants can offer you the advice and expertise you may be looking for when considering instituting an undercover agent in your stores.

As a loss prevention professional, I always recommend only what will benefit the company I am working for. I understand the need for a business to stay profitable and grow.

For more information about loss prevention agent contact us at loss prevention consultants or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 22nd, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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A day in the life of a Loss Prevention Investigator

As a former loss prevention investigator , I built many positive cases for my employer.

A loss prevention investigator is trained on and with a variety of different tools. Specifically, the investigator uses tools like computer based exception reports and CCTV equipment. Spending time on the exception reports, the investigator can identify any dishonest employee manipulating the register system.

I remember a case I had working for a sporting goods retailer. I decided to visit a store that had very little upper management involvement; it was somewhat of an isolated store. During the visit, I walked around talking with any associates and management I could.

While I was in the shoe department, I spoke with the salesman on duty. I noticed he was wearing a new pair of running shoes. In small talk, I acted as if I were really interested in purchasing a new pair of running shoes and said to him, “I really like the way those look!” , pointing to his shoes. He says to me, “Yeah, these are bad, but we don’t sell them here…”. I knew we didn’t sell those shoes yet, they were shipped to the stores in anticipation of their public release. So I asked him, “How much would a pair of those cost”, he says “Oh, well, I’m the only one that has these; I bought them here at a special price”. I thought to myself, “Does this guy not know that I work for the same company?”

I ended the conversation, went to the office and ran all employee transactions for this store. Being the loss prevention investigator , I went and looked at the stock. We were missing 6 pairs of the $150 dollar running shoes; none had been purchases in this store.

I reviewed CCTV; saw no purchases matching these shoes. Reviewing the back stockroom camera footage, I saw the same salesman put 2 pair of these shoes and boxes in the trash. He then put the bag of trash out back. Later, he picked up the bag and walked away.

Based on this info, I interviewed the employee. He admitted to over $10,000 in merchandise theft over the period of about 1 ½ years. As a loss prevention investigator , my job didn’t end there.

For more information visit us at loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 19th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Looking for Loss Prevention Consultants? – Atlanta Georgia

Are you a business owner looking for loss prevention consultants to help you identify losses?  Let me shed some light on these professionals.

Loss prevention consultants were hired recently at a small chain of hardware stores. The stores had been experiencing some severe shrinkage, as identified through the results of a recent inventory cycle. Wanting to help keep the small company profitable, the loss prevention consultants offered advice.

First, the store was recommended a loss prevention agent . For the past year, the stores have seen an increase in shoplifter activity and in many instances these shoplifters have taken very expensive equipment. The consultants detailed the loss prevention agent program and put together a plan of attack. To help the loss prevention agent increase his/her productivity and to additionally help the stores protect their assets, the recommendations to install CCTV equipment at the point of sale, at entrance and exits and in the receiving department.

Next, the loss prevention consultants reviewed the potential for internal theft. They noticed that in the evenings, the management was less involved with store employees and sometimes seemed to be non-existent on the salesfloor. Knowing that evenings are a very important time in the retail world, the consultants recommended bringing in a loss prevention investigator . A loss prevention investigator would be assigned the task of employee theft investigation. Although the management felt their employees would never steal, the consultants knew employee theft investigation could turn large results.

The loss prevention investigator was tasked with performing store surveillance in the evenings and at odd hours. Additionally, the loss prevention investigator was to report any and all finding to the consultants for documentation. The loss prevention investigator was also given access to the stores electronic journals to review transactions in the store and over CCTV.

The management agreed to the recommendations, and the loss prevention program was rolled out. Immediate results were produced by the loss prevention agent . Shoplift activity slowed. The loss prevention investigator also turned in positive results and uncovered several employees including one manager involved in merchandise and cash theft.

For more information visit us at loss prevention consultants or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 17th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Taking a look within – the role of a Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta

A loss prevention investigator can be brought into a business when there is a suspected loss caused by employee theft.  These types of cases need to be investigated and analyzed by those that are experts in the field of loss prevention and asset protection.

When a loss is discovered that is caused by an employee, the loss prevention investigator will analyze data, identify the extent of the loss, and use various reports to confirm the loss.  Once the loss has been pinpointed and a suspect identified, witnesses may be interviewed in an effort to build a case against the suspect.

In the same way police investigate cases, the loss prevention investigator explores all aspects of a case in order to build it into one that can be prosecuted if so desired.  Once a case is completed the investigator will probably conduct an accusatory interview of the identified suspect.

During an accusatory interview, the investigator will visit with the suspect and explain the situation, giving the suspect an opportunity to discuss their role in the loss the business has experienced.  A loss prevention investigator is trained to conduct these types of interviews.

Businesses that handle internal theft investigations, with or without an outside investigator, need to have a policy and set guidelines in place. Loss prevention consultants can help businesses create the type of protocol necessary to conduct a thorough and legal internal investigation.

Employing the expertise of loss prevention consultants and investigators is a sure way to develop a solid, legal, and prosecutable case against those employees that choose to betray your trust and steal from your business.

For more information about loss prevention investigator contact us: loss prevention consultants or call 1.866.914.256 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 15th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Does your store show signs of internal theft? – Atlanta Georgia

Internal theft is a nuisance. It is never ending, it is omnipresent.  Loss prevention consultants agree on one thing and that is employees steal merchandise from their employer’s everyday of every month of every year. It is nonstop.

Take a look around or listen to what your employees are saying. They can tell you what is going and in most instances wanna do the right thing and report their co-workers activities. Put your pride away for a week. Talk with your employees openly and directly about theft.  If the need be, consider hiring a loss prevention investigator . A loss prevention investigator can do a thorough review of your store and conduct the necessary investigation to prove theft. Internal theft is not going to simply disappear, it’s gonna take some work.

Consider this; recently I took part in a loss prevention related webinar. Statistics for internal theft were released. In the US alone, this specialist estimates 43.7% or $17.2 billion of losses in these businesses were directly related to employee theft, (Source: The Global Retail Theft Barometer 2010). These numbers are amazing when you really think about it. What does this really mean? It means employees are taking your business to the cleaners and your business is not immune to internal theft.

The solution to this problem: I recommended hiring loss prevention consultants to do a complete survey of your store(s). Loss prevention consultants can make the recommendations to boost your profits and protect them in the future. Loss prevention consultants can and should in most cases recommend a loss prevention agent . Have a loss prevention agent work your stores can help impact the morale aspect of your stores.

When you have a shoplifting problem and management is doing nothing about it because they can’t or won’t, your business will suffer with poor employee performance. Their morale can really be negatively affected by shoplifters.

For more information about loss prevention agent or loss prevention consultants contact us at loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 12th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Recovering that which was stolen – the role of a Loss Prevention Agent – Atlanta Georgia

A loss prevention agent is an “undercover” shopper that is actually an employee of your business.  This person dresses and acts as a shopper, but is out on your sales floor watching for potential shoplifters.

A business must have a policy in place if they are going to employ a loss prevention agent .  There must be guidelines to be followed so that the detection and apprehension of shoplifters occurs in a consistent and legal manner. loss prevention consultants can help your business develop this type of policy.

An agent must be trained on the policy once it is created by loss prevention consultants   This policy must be strictly adhered to and enforced by management and the agent, and those choosing not to adhere to the loss prevention policy must be held accountable for their actions.  Falsely accusing a customer is not only bad for business, but can have many legal ramifications should the falsely accused choose to sue.

There are basic guidelines that are part of every good policy regarding apprehension of shoplifters.  A loss prevention agent must witness the selection of merchandise that is later taken, and the agent must witness the concealment of the merchandise itself.  The agent must then have continuous observation of the shoplifter, to know that the merchandise was neither discarded nor purchased.  Lastly, the actual approach and detention of the shoplifter needs to take place past the last point of sale (past all the registers) as the shoplifter is leaving the business – preferably just outside of the doors.

Loss prevention consultants are experts in the business of apprehending shoplifters – bring them into your business to help you and your loss prevention agent recover what merchandise is walking out your doors.

For more information about loss prevention agent contact us at loss prevention consultants or call 1.866.914.256. Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 10th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Loss Prevention Consultants hot on the trail of profitability – Atlanta Georgia

As loss prevention consultants , you wear many hats. In Loss prevention , to be successful at what you do, you need to understand the business you’re working for, the business you are investigating for and the business you are helping make a profit.

Every year retailers go into Black Friday mode. This is the day many retailers give deep discounts in hopes their customers and new customers will shop their stores and bring them back into the “black” on the books. As loss prevention consultants , it is important to know what your role is in helping a store or business get the most out of a day like this.
What do you have to offer? Put on your customer service hat, get out and meet the employees.

As loss prevention consultants some of the most important work that can be done is help increase the employee awareness. The education of all store associates can help any business boost its bottom line profits and keep a company in the black. Knowing where to start can be challenging, but is relatively simple.

Talk about the basics, talk about Shrink. You’d be surprised at the length of time some people, even managers that have been in the retail side of business for years and still don’t really know what Shrink is and or how it happens. Shrink, as it is, is the difference between a physical inventory count and what is actually on the books.

Loss prevention consultants assess all aspects of what affects shrink both positively and negatively. Discussing shrink with store employees can make all the difference.

All in all, loss prevention consultants work to benefit the business. Advising the business owner or store management on the causes of loss and creating an action plan to help defend against it should the direction taken.

For more information visit us at loss prevention consultants or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 8th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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The loss prevention investigator working to uncover losses

Overt or covert, the loss prevention investigator is working to safeguard your assets and boost your profits.

The loss prevention investigator was called into a store in a hard hit area of an inner city. The store has been experiencing heavy losses. The management is pretty certain it’s not customer related, but doesn’t really wanna point fingers at any of his long term employees.

The investigator starts from the beginning. He covertly gathers information on who might be involved, what is being stolen, when was the last time merchandise was lost, where did the merchandise come from and why was the merchandise lost (was it really employee theft?) Answering these questions is gonna take some thorough work, but the answers will be found.

The loss prevention investigator sets up shop in the manager’s office. He interviews management first. Creating a list of merchandise that has been taken and a list of the employees that had access to this merchandise, the investigator narrows his list to 3 or 4 employees.

These 3 or 4 employees become the investigators job. He conducts surveillance, sets up covert CCTV equipment and monitors the activities of these employees while on the clock. After about 1 week, the loss prevention investigator believes he has the suspects narrowed down to one or two employees.

The least likely suspect is interviewed first. The investigator talks about his job with the company and explains what he has been doing over the last week. The employee quickly realizes he has nowhere to run and admits to the investigator that he is involved with the theft. He also admits to the investigator that another employee has been working with him on causing these losses. Because the investigator was diligent and left no stone unturned, he already knew the “other” employee was involved.

For more information visit us at loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

 

Posted November 5th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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