• April 23, 2018

    RLPSA Active Shooter Resources

    RLPSA’s goal it to help our members operate safe and successful restaurants.  Considering recent events, we pulled together some resources from the Department of Homeland Security for easy access.

    Available Materials from the Department of Homeland Security:

     

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  • April 20, 2018

    Podcast – Sexual Harassment Interview Training

    Brett Ward, CFI, Divisional Vice President of Business Development & Client Relations at Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates (WZ) takes a deep dive into this sensitive yet relevant subject of Sexual Harassment training with podcast hosts Amber Bradley and Kevin Trimble. WZ will be participating in both the upcoming RLPSA CONNECT in Denver May 3 and the 39th Annual Conference in Dallas August 5 – 8, 2018. Register today for both value-packed events!

    Click here to check out this Podcast

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  • February 14, 2018

    The Evolving Loss Prevention Focus, Impact & Opportunities – A Fresh Perspective

    If it feels like your Loss Prevention initiatives are not priorities within your organization, consider it may be time to evolve the focus of how your LP team assesses and presents information in an effort to change the conversation.

    In Loss Prevention, it’s far too easy to focus efforts on identifying internal or external theft in your retail, QSR or big box locations, but consider how short sighted doing so might be considering today’s prioritized expectations.

    To be fair, everyone in the LP field, as with law enforcement, thrives on the take down! Seeing someone you’ve identified as a thief fall to the hand of justice. It can be intoxicating to any investigator. Consider though, many specialists in the LP field have yet to recognize the magnitude and true nature of how the area of Loss Prevention has evolved for reasons that elude them. It’s surely in no small part due to being too close to the day to day and failing to reassess on a regular basis. It’s like watching the pot boil, when you’re so definitively focused on a specific aspect, you lose sight of larger evolving circumstances.

    Investigators from 5 or 10+ years ago are now called analysts, and the critical tools driving case closure rates can be linked to the effective use of Relational Databases and Exception Based Reporting systems.

    Tracking case closure rates and loss amounts is a traditional model. While it can be impressive, consider any of today’s LP Teams not yet tracking and reporting on both case closure stats as well as projected “Loss Aversion” stats has plenty of opportunity to demonstrate the value they are bringing to their brand.

    Along with enhancing the visibility into the impact your LP Team is providing to your organization, Loss Prevention teams must also expand their defined focus to demonstrate greater impact opportunities and how they are contributing to overall company performance.

    Expanding the defined focus can also create an opportunity to partner with your operations teams instead of engaging in a long-standing tradition of butting heads with them. Simply, if you become their partner, they become your advocate.

    Consider the same report presented from 2 separate LP Teams reflecting their impact.

    While Team 1’s performance report outlines the # of cases identified, # of cases closed, amount of losses sustained. The overriding theme is ‘look what we uncovered this month”.

    LP Team #1 Example Reporting:

    Based on this report, LP Team 1 is doing a great job. Well done Team.

    Separately, consider LP Team 2’s performance report includes a broader perspective of metrics which have a greater overall impact to company performance. It additionally includes a measure for “Averted Loss”, which represent losses that were reasonably prevented from occurring.

    LP Team #2 Example Reporting:

    Based on this report, LP Team 2 isn’t just doing a great job. They are instantly recognized as contributing to the overall performance of the organization and a critical asset to the company.

    The overriding theme here is to: 1) Broaden the scope of focus beyond identifying internal or external theft to more accurately capture the overall loss reduction opportunities within your company. 2) Enhance your reporting to improve visibility & more accurately represent the broader impact your Loss Prevention Team is contributing to your organization.

    Ryan Berkey
    Manager – Safety, Security & Strategic Loss Prevention Initiatives
    Domino’s Pizza LLC

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  • July 24, 2017

    From Retail LP to Solution Provider to Restaurant Brand Protection

    LP Magazine recently sat down with RLPSA 2017 President, David Johnston, for a conversation about his background, loss prevention approach and his role with RLPSA.

    To read the entire article, download it here.

    Or to read the interview and other content from LP Magazine, go to LossPreventionMedia.com.

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  • July 19, 2017

    Why Denny’s Keeps Going Back to the Axis Retail Leadership Forum

    When I first attended the Axis Retail Leadership Forum, I was in search of an education that would take my career to the next level.  I’ve been in Loss Prevention for many years and I’ve used surveillance equipment extensively but felt I needed to learn more… something that would set me apart from the rest within my company. I learned more than I’d ever imagined I could at the first forum, but my hunger to learn even more brought me back so I could make a difference at my organization, and for Axis too.

    Laura Metrick | North America Sr. Manager of Asset Protection | Denny’s Corporation

    Year 2, I became a Leadership Advisory Board member and now I feel like a voice for the “newbies”. When I first attended, I was sometimes afraid to raise my hand to ask questions, but there were people there who I could ask in private. Now in my leadership role, I can help get those questions answered without anyone ever having to ask.

    Axis is committed to developing industry leaders through education. Through them, I have strengthened my existing skills and acquired many new skills that I was missing, not only in the world of cameras, video equipment, and access control but in networking with my peers and learning from their experience.

    I get so excited to participate in this Leadership Forum every year. This will be my 3rd year attending this event in New York City on August 14-16, 2017. If I had only one conference to attend annually, it would be this one. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

    “We don’t know what we don’t know!”

    So, Why attend? To sum it all up, there are endless opportunities to Learn, Network and GROW.

    – Retail security, loss prevention, and IT professionals are coming together to learn and discuss topics that matter: such as advances in IP technologies, trends in retail security and the future of retail surveillance technology. They will share best practices with new contacts, discuss industry issues, and find inspiration on how to conquer their challenges.

    – This forum is exclusive and free for all retail professionals, not just Axis’ customers, who would like to take part in a confidential environment to discuss their IT experiences, challenges, demands and other topical areas of interest.  This is NOT a sales event… you can’t buy anything here, even if you want to!

    – Developed by the Retail Leaders Advisory Board, the agenda is comprised of topics that are relevant and focused on everyone’s needs. Participant input and suggestions are welcomed, as the entire Axis team hopes to learn from us, too. You ask for it, they respond.

    – Experience powerful presentations from leaders in the retail space; uncover trending leadership strategies, and learn the keys to success firsthand from your peers and walk away with the knowledge that will benefit your organization and career.

    – Bridge gaps between loss prevention and other critical IT initiatives. Discuss freely, in a closed-setting, IT challenges you’d like to overcome this year

    – Find a mentor… This is the perfect opportunity to find help with writing an RFP, migrating from analog to IP, and discover what’s new in the industry etc. There will be more experience available to you in one room that’s free than one could ever afford to pay for. Simply ask and you can be matched with your perfect mentor.

    – The agenda is focused on education. That is why conference attendees will be eligible to earn up to 9 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) towards their Loss Prevention Foundation LPC Recertification.

    Finally, this is not all work and learning.  There will be plenty of time for fun!!

    – Welcome reception Monday evening

    Keynote Speakers – Cyber Security and Forensic Videos

    – Saks Fifth Avenue Onsite Solutions Tour

    – Dinner and networking events

    Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to grow as a professional and build your network of elite retail security, loss prevention, and IT professionals.

    I look forward to meeting you and your IT colleagues to share experiences and accomplish our goals together, but be sure to register while space is available. It has been a full event the last few years.

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  • June 25, 2017

    Smart Safes for Smart People

    Cash is King
    It has been said that cash is king, and nearly every Loss Prevention (LP) professional would likely agree. One of the greatest challenges for LP professionals has always been how to protect their respective organization’s cash from the time they receive it from customers to the time it gets deposited in the bank. Although revenue is the engine that drives business, it has no value unless it makes its way to the company’s financial institution and gets transferred to the balance sheet.

    Problems with cash protection have existed since the beginning of time. From the bank robberies of the Wild West era to the gas station robberies of modern day, cash is the most highly sought after commodity in existence. The reasons cash is so desired is obvious, but why has it always been so difficult to protect?

    The Problems of Profit Protection
    Regardless of the size and shape of the mouse trap, criminals have always found ways to get their hands on other people’s cash. From dishonest cashiers pocketing $10 from the cash register to the Great Brink’s Robbery of 1950, Loss Prevention and security professionals have never been able to put their finger on a truly robust cash security solution. As a result, resources such as time and money have continually been doused on the flames of cash security.

    All of this has left LP professionals wondering when a solution would finally be created that will vastly reduce the amount of time they spend on cash protection and cash theft investigations.

    “The rise of computer crime and armed robbery has not eliminated the lure of caged cash.” – James Chiles

    The Power of Profit Protection
    With the help of technological advancements, the day has finally come. During a webinar hosted by Amphion Security Products, retailers and restaurateurs gathered to learn about the latest, most innovative approach to protecting cash: Smart Safes.

    Smart safes not only streamline cash management procedures and processes, but they also create a safer environment for storing money. The safety improvement is derived from the smart safe’s ability to store cash into cassettes within the safe once the money is validated. No longer do cash-handling employees have free access to large stacks of cash. And although some Smart Safes are proprietary to specific CIT carriers, Amphion revealed their Smart Safes are CIT-agnostic, meaning their products easily integrate with any business’ CIT carrier of choice.

    How Smart is Smart?
    Smart safes do more than just protect cash. They have completely reinvented cash management protocols for businesses. Before smart safes, it was typical for cash to be counted anywhere between 3 to 5 times before it made its way to the bank. With smart safes, users simply insert cash and the safe does the rest. It validates to ensure the cash is not counterfeit, it records the cash, then securely stores the cash. And because smart safes are connected via the web, they provide managers and business owners with the ability to monitor cash deposit events. They track and store real-time data and provide the business with immediate cash deposits to the bank before the cash even leaves the store.

    Another great feature of smart safes is that various departments who are granted access to the smart safe’s stored data can generate various reports they may need. Loss Prevention, internal accounting and even the CFO can have real-time data right at their fingertips.

    The Return
    There are many more advantages to smart safes, such as labor savings and cash shortage reductions. In fact, some businesses have realized over a 50% reduction in cash shortages…a fact that is destined to get the attention of any senior executive. The cash handling industry is no longer at a crossroads. The popularity of smart safes has continued to grow so steadily, it is no longer a question of “if” a business should use them. It is now a question of “when.”

    About Amphion
    Amphion is a security integrator delivering unmatched service to national restaurant and retail customers across the country. Specializing in loss prevention and security products and services, they are the one-stop-shop to safeguard your business assets.

    Amphion manufactures and supplies the highest quality security products available on the market today! SOLINK ANALYTICS, CCTV, NVR’s, DVR’s, Custom Safes (Amsec, Fire King, Tidel, Gunnebo Cash Recycler Systems), Safe Locks (ESL, Securam, LPlocks), Access Control Systems (SFIC keying systems, InstaKey, Biometrics and Aiphone), Counterfeit Detectors, Exit Control door hardware (Detex, Alarm Lock, Code Locks), and much more.

    With its nationally renowned technical support task force, Amphion provides certified technicians on-site within four hours, 7-days a week, 365 days a year. With a US-based, live 24-hour, technical support team and a comprehensive service management model, no one stands behind their products and services like Amphion.

    To contact Amphion, call (800) 520-2677, or visit Amphion.biz.

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  • May 31, 2017

    RLPSA Member Spotlight: Calvin Quan, Envysion CEO

    Meet Calvin Quan, CEO at Envysion, a leading provider of video-based business intelligence solutions, in our RLPSA Member Spotlight.

    1. What is your greatest quality/strength you are best known for?

    My strategic vision coupled with decisive action. I am able to share a clear and compelling vision with my team, and make the decisions necessary to get us across the finish line.

    1. What would you consider to be your area of expertise?

    Building value in companies and managing change to help them flourish. I’m proud to say we’ve achieved significant growth at Envysion since I’ve started—we’ve already created over 100 jobs in less than 2 years!

    1. What is your greatest professional achievement?

    I thrive on the impossible! When I was hired as the CFO at Verio, a $300M internet service provider built through acquiring 67 companies, the company had never been profitable. I led Verio to its first profitable year within my first 9 months—something neither the Board of Directors nor the company thought this was possible.

    1. How long have you been working in the food industry?

    While I’m a newbie to the food industry, I quickly realized that the core principles that drive success in software and SaaS businesses still hold true here: it’s all about listening to your customers and providing the best experience possible.

    1. When did you first become involved with RLPSA and what benefits have you gained as a result of this partnership?

    I became involved with RLPSA when I joined Envysion. Our relationship with RLPSA has proven very valuable because it offers us a window into the lives of loss prevention professionals across the restaurant industry, helping us to learn about the challenges they are trying to overcome firsthand.

    1. What would you consider to be your organization’s area of expertise?

    Definitely our suite of loss prevention solutions for restaurant and retail operators. Since the company was founded over 10 years ago, we have focused a lot of our efforts on helping restaurant and retail leaders protect their businesses and boost their bottom lines by leveraging the video & POS data in their stores. Our motto is: “see at scale and act on what matters.”

    1. What is on the horizon for your organization whether it be product development, pilot programs, etc.

    We are relentlessly focused on finding ways to help our customers be successful. This led to our acquisition of Next Wave last year, as their solutions and expertise were an excellent complement to our strengths and presented a great opportunity to significantly increase value to our customers. Stay tuned! Very soon we will be releasing our combined solution, featuring a new and improved incident management platform, which will drive substantial behavior change and yield sustainable food cost savings.

    1. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

    Out in my fields! When I’m not behind a desk I’m behind the wheel of my tractor working at my farm. I guess you could say I have a green thumb whether I’m growing corn or profits.

    To learn about Envysion, click here.

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  • April 25, 2017

    How to Stay in the Black if Profits Decline

    New Year News— 2016 was a terrible year for the restaurant industry!

    Here’s the low-down from TDn2K (Turning Data into Knowledge), a restaurant-industry supplier of statistics and analytics: The last month of 2016 was the weakest for sales growth in the past three years and the 4.3 percent decline in sales for December brought down the entire quarter, resulting in fourth quarter sales being the worst in five years.

    These findings, based on weekly sales reports from 26,000 restaurants representing over 130 brands, revealed that 2016 was the worst year for restaurants since the recession. Victor Fernandez, executive director of Insights and Knowledge for TDn2K, says, “The last time the industry experienced a year with all negative quarters was 2009, when the economy was suffering the effects of the great recession.”

    Why are sales off?

    TDn2K cites several reasons for the current decline in restaurant sales.

    1. Shopping malls reported a decrease in customers. Shoppers opted to join the ranks of online purchasers rather than visit traditional brick and mortar stores. Consequently, food courts (and external eateries around these shopping areas) also saw a decline in traffic.
    2. Restaurants experienced a drop in their average guest check amounts.
    3. Family restaurants and casual dining establishments, especially the “bar and grill” segment, were particularly challenged to show profits despite increasing sales reported at quick service restaurants and fine dining places.

    Protecting profits for 2017

    These factors – less consumer traffic, sluggish check growth, and disparate segment viability –  will, of course, be the focus for many newly-developed marketing plans in the coming year.

    But the new year’s forecast is not all doom and gloom and restaurants can work to develop plans to protect their profits by focusing on areas other than sales.

    Make 2017 a better year!

    Here are some keys to sustaining profits during a declining sales period.

    1. Retain employees and keep them happy!

    Turnover for all levels of employees, from hourly workers to upper management, is continuing its upward trend. Analysis of TDn2K data “links higher restaurant management turnover with lower sales and traffic growth.” So now may be the right time to beef up employee training or institute orientation sessions that can enhance employee morale, or find new ways to build loyalty among employees. Unnecessary labor costs can eat into company profits. Minimizing workers’ compensation claims can also help protect profits and decrease employee turnover.

    1. Know the laws, old and new!

    Being familiar with all legislation regarding minimum wage and overtime regulations can prevent citations, fines, and unnecessary work and money to defend an action, etc. Completely understanding OSHA laws and how they affect employees and the company is imperative. Compliance in all areas will eliminate fines and prevent obstacles to continued business success.

    1. Increase security!

    Enhancing current security measures may cost a little, but could save a lot. Easy-to-implement things like training employees how to safely handle money, make secure deposits, or be vigilant with cash drawers, doesn’t cost much, but missing or stolen money can make a difference in bottom line profits. Other actions, such as hiring additional security personnel, upgrading computer protection networks, or installing intricate safety systems can save money and prevent future losses.

    1. Ensure customer and employee safety!

    Insisting that everyone follows all safety precautions from external and internal lighting to door and freezer locks can prevent labor and product loss due to negligence or ignorance. It might be prudent to update all relevant safety rules, initiate additional safety training sessions, or educate employees about mandatory safety standards. Maybe it’s time for those initiatives that have been put on the back burner, such as implementing the “buddy system” for night closings or installing parking lot cameras.

    1. Train security teams!

    Ensuring that loss investigations for both employee and customer theft are identified, investigated and resolved promptly will take on greater significance as money gets tight. Training in these investigative and interrogative areas is available and can be well worth the money spent.

    Future news can be good!

    TDn2K’s Chairman Wallace Doolin says the new year will be “one of winners and losers that are not necessarily determined by the segment, nor the age or size of the brand.” Increasing sales, capturing more market share, outperforming the competition, and operating a successful business will be important profit indicators in 2017. The future “winners” will also be those companies that work harder to capitalize on what they already do well to achieve peak, profitable performance …they just have to do it better.

    For more restaurant resources, #JoinRLPSA in Las Vegas for our 38th Annual Conference and Expo! Register here.

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  • March 2, 2017

    Associate Member Spotlight: Pedro Ramos, VP Sales at Agilence

    Meet RLPSA’s Associate Member, Pedro Ramos, Vice President of Sales at Agilence, the industry leader in cloud-based data analytics solutions for store operations and loss prevention for retail and restaurant organizations, in our RLPSA Associate Member Spotlight.

    What is your greatest quality/strength you are best known for?
    Not sure how to answer. Anything I say will only be a fabricated answer, I don’t spend much time thinking about it.

    What would you consider to be your area of expertise?
    It has evolved from leveraging technology to drive results to now showing others how to do the same.

    What is your greatest professional achievement?
    Adapting well to the various business challenges throughout my professional career thus far. Being a creative problem solver. How long have you been working in the food industry?

    How long have you been working in the food industry?
    34 years, 25 as a food retailer and 9 as a solution provider.

    When did you first become involved with RLPSA? What benefits have you gained as a result of this partnership?
    2013 was when I first became involved with RLPSA. Learning about the challenges facing the restaurant industry and meeting some great professionals that have helped me expand my knowledge about the restaurant industry.

    What advice would you give a millennial as they launch their new career?
    Listen, keep an open mind and challenge yourself by doing something that scares you.

    What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    Spending time with my family, very involved in my community by volunteering in sports programs, cooking, and movies.

    If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
    Going for a drive with my wife and kids, the location is irrelevant.

    What is your favorite book?
    From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman, it was relevant then and still remains very relevant now.

    Who are your heroes/role models?
    My parents who had the courage to leave all they knew behind in their mid-40’s to emigrate to the U.S. to give my brother and I better opportunities.

    What keeps you up at night?
    Heartburn from acid reflux and the fear of failing.

    To learn more about becoming an RLPSA Associate Member, visit: rlpsa.com/join-us.
    To learn more about Agilence’s cloud-based analytics data solutions for store operations and loss prevention, visit: agilence.com.

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