Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Internal Theft/Fraud Research Question

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Internal Theft/Fraud Research Question

    Throwing this out to those of you involved in the interdiction of internal theft.

    PREMISE:
    1. A low likelihood of detection is part of the calculation made by the typical dishonest employee when deciding to steal or commit fraud.

    2. The knowledge that some other thefts have been detected can have an impact on others who are making the calculation described in #1.

    QUESTION: Is there a "tipping point" in terms of the rate of detection of thefts below which detection has little or no impact on others thinking of stealing, and above which detection does have a deterrent effect?

    QUESTION: If there is a "tipping point", how might this be discovered, even if only in approximate terms?

    RATIONALE: If there is a "tipping point", and if we can say, for instance, that a 20% detection rate has a much greater deterrent effect than, say, a 15% detection rate, we can strongly rationalize to management the need for just those resources necessary to achieve 20% or greater detection rates. In other words, the ROI on the entire investment changes completely.

    The company spends, perhaps, $100,000 per year to achieve 15% detection and, aside from the recovery aspects, sees little deterrent benefit from that investment. Perhaps, under this "tipping point" theory, it would only be necessary to spend another $20,000 to achieve 20% detection rates and, as a result, achieve a much greater deterrent benefit from the detection program that "the first 15%" does not achieve.

    An analogy to this idea might be the "killing level" of an antibiotic. You have to have a certain level of the antibiotic in your system to do any good, and if you take less than the amount needed to achieve a "killing level", you might as well not take any at all. So, 4 pills a day will kill the bug you've got, but 3 pills a day does little or nothing. It's that one additional pill that makes all the pills effective, and without it none of the pills do you any good.

    Incidentally, I have not been able to find any documentation of the notion of a "tipping point" in the first place, but I have a strong suspicion that it exists. It would be different in each venue, of course, and it might only be discoverable empirically, and perhaps only as a rough approximation. It's just my gut feeling that there's "some point" at which detection has a deterrent impact, below which detection doesn't much "phase" other people thinking about stealing. In fact, I'm not even sure that very low detection rates don't actually reinforce the calculation that "I won't get caught". But that's a question for another day.

    If there is a "tipping point", security managers would have a target to shoot at that is much more do-able than "trying to catch whoever we can", and certainly more do-able than thinking, even in vague terms, that you're going to "catch them all". And, we would know that perhaps we don't need to do a lot more than we're doing now, but perhaps just a little more would make a big difference - and it's usually easier to convince management to give you a little more resources, especially when you can show that it changes the ROI on the money they're already spending.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 04-30-2007, 12:36 PM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

  • #2
    This makes for an interesting conversation, and a detailed study would be even more interesting. I think the concept of "tipping points" do exist, but personally, I don't think they are related to the number of internal theft incidents discovered. I think "tipping points" would be more closely related to employee morale issues.

    While there may be some merit to your two premises, the flaw is that these premises seem to imply that employees have already decided they want to steal and they are just evaluating the risk associated with stealing. In my opinion, once you have employees who have decided they want to steal, they are going to find a way to steal. While, clearly, some thought goes into the likelyhood of getting caught, the problem I see is that every person who plans to steal thinks they are smarter than the last guy who got caught and believes they have a better plan. I have personally discovered employees who were stealing the following day after several employees got busted. I really don't put much value in other employees being caught serving as a deterrent to theft. I have never seen a correlation and I have not seen any other studies that show a correlation. In fact, if you just look at the NRSS, you find that shrink has dropped as fewer employees are being caught, and shrink goes up as more employees get caught. This shows me that investigations are only a response to the success or failures of prevention strategies and are not part of the influence over employee decisions. When employees are evaluating the risk of getting caught, I think seeing other employees getting caught has very, very little impact on their decision.

    I think we need to identify the earlier tipping point that affects the mental preparation to steal. What are those tipping points that make employees mentally decide to steal? I don't believe that it is as simple as saying that people who are dishonest will steal and honest people won't. There is a wide range of people in between who rationalize their decisions to steal. Where is that tipping point? How do we convince employees that they should not even want to think about the risks associated with getting caught stealing?
    www.plsolutions.net
    www.customerloyaltysolutions.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Lynch Mob
      This makes for an interesting conversation, and a detailed study would be even more interesting. I think the concept of "tipping points" do exist, but personally, I don't think they are related to the number of internal theft incidents discovered. I think "tipping points" would be more closely related to employee morale issues.

      While there may be some merit to your two premises, the flaw is that these premises seem to imply that employees have already decided they want to steal and they are just evaluating the risk associated with stealing. In my opinion, once you have employees who have decided they want to steal, they are going to find a way to steal. While, clearly, some thought goes into the likelyhood of getting caught, the problem I see is that every person who plans to steal thinks they are smarter than the last guy who got caught and believes they have a better plan. I have personally discovered employees who were stealing the following day after several employees got busted. I really don't put much value in other employees being caught serving as a deterrent to theft. I have never seen a correlation and I have not seen any other studies that show a correlation. In fact, if you just look at the NRSS, you find that shrink has dropped as fewer employees are being caught, and shrink goes up as more employees get caught. This shows me that investigations are only a response to the success or failures of prevention strategies and are not part of the influence over employee decisions. When employees are evaluating the risk of getting caught, I think seeing other employees getting caught has very, very little impact on their decision.

      I think we need to identify the earlier tipping point that affects the mental preparation to steal. What are those tipping points that make employees mentally decide to steal? I don't believe that it is as simple as saying that people who are dishonest will steal and honest people won't. There is a wide range of people in between who rationalize their decisions to steal. Where is that tipping point? How do we convince employees that they should not even want to think about the risks associated with getting caught stealing?
      I agree, at least to some extent. You have the "hard-core" thieves, who are indifferent to the possibility of being caught, or maybe too cocky about their "thieving skills", or just plain too stupid to think about it. What I wonder about this group is whether the "tipping point" for them is within our scope in security/loss prevention at all, because basically we're talking about a character defect that they brought into the company with them. Where our company is concerned, the only realistic "tipping point" would have been for HR to identify this defect (and solid, properly-conducted background checks will reveal these people more times than not) so we don't hire them in the first place.

      However, there is another group - I'll call them "opportunists" - who might be said more to be "yielding to temptation or pressure" when they steal, and I think it's pretty generally agreed that those people do consider the potential risk when they're making that decision to steal. I guess these would be the ones impacted by the "tipping point" that I'm referring to.

      You're right - this is an interesting discussion. Thanks very much for your input!
      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

      Comment


      • #4
        SecTrainer, Lynch Mob: This is some really good information. When in college as part of the psychology core, we had a required course entitled, Business Law. You two must have had the same courses as one of the driving points they stated and restated, over and over, customers will steal your profits your employees will steal your business.
        Where is the tipping point and is there a psychological profile on the thieving employee.
        Some customers who shoplifted were described as "Thieving Magpies" as they were attracted to things that glittered or fulfilled a flight of fancy.
        Mall Director, please way in with your thoughts.
        Warm regards,
        Bill

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bill Warnock
          SecTrainer, Lynch Mob: This is some really good information. When in college as part of the psychology core, we had a required course entitled, Business Law. You two must have had the same courses as one of the driving points they stated and restated, over and over, customers will steal your profits your employees will steal your business.
          Where is the tipping point and is there a psychological profile on the thieving employee.
          Some customers who shoplifted were described as "Thieving Magpies" as they were attracted to things that glittered or fulfilled a flight of fancy.
          Mall Director, please way in with your thoughts.
          Warm regards,
          Bill
          Bill, I'm pleasantly astonished that this subject was discussed at all in your Business Law class. One of the big criticisms about business management courses in college is that they usually don't mention anything about security concerns and people graduate with degrees in business without knowing the first thing about these subjects. Kudos to your instructor!
          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SecTrainer
            Bill, I'm pleasantly astonished that this subject was discussed at all in your Business Law class. One of the big criticisms about business management courses in college is that they usually don't mention anything about security concerns and people graduate with degrees in business without knowing the first thing about these subjects. Kudos to your instructor!
            SecTrainer, our instructor was Mr. Suttlemeier, Suttlemeier's Business Law. He taught that course years before I attended and years after I left Ohio. The year was 1967. In addition to his teaching, he was a practicing attorney and he brought many of those adjudicated classes to class. He taught a course of instruction at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Academy in 1970. He tried to get us to understand these shoplifters and internal thieves fit a profile, long before profiling became a hot topic. His block of instruction was entitled, "Unlocking Human Behavior in Police Work." This was long before that came into vogue. In my security guide, I try to use many of his notions in the prevention side of this business. Most of the cadets and well as the college students remarked favorably of Mr. Suttlemeier as a practical man who explained law needed by police and deputies in understandable language and terminology. Later in my federal career some of his ideas really helped me be a better general investigator much to the discomfort of some federal building managers. Damn, he was a marvel!
            Enjoy the day,
            Bill
            Last edited by Bill Warnock; 04-30-2007, 11:57 PM. Reason: Missing word

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SecTrainer
              I agree, at least to some extent. You have the "hard-core" thieves, who are indifferent to the possibility of being caught, or maybe too cocky about their "thieving skills", or just plain too stupid to think about it. What I wonder about this group is whether the "tipping point" for them is within our scope in security/loss prevention at all, because basically we're talking about a character defect that they brought into the company with them. Where our company is concerned, the only realistic "tipping point" would have been for HR to identify this defect (and solid, properly-conducted background checks will reveal these people more times than not) so we don't hire them in the first place.

              However, there is another group - I'll call them "opportunists" - who might be said more to be "yielding to temptation or pressure" when they steal, and I think it's pretty generally agreed that those people do consider the potential risk when they're making that decision to steal. I guess these would be the ones impacted by the "tipping point" that I'm referring to.

              You're right - this is an interesting discussion. Thanks very much for your input!
              There is a concept called the 10/80/10 rule. It means that 10% of your employees will never steal, no matter what. 10% will attempt to steal regardless of any safeguards you put in place. They are the "hard core" thieves you are describing. 80% are on the fence. They may or may not decide to steal depending of various circumstances.

              I think that these numbers are actually fairly accurate. It is the 80% we must focus our efforts on. The more of them we influence to not steal, the better off we are. It has also been shown that the primary motivating factor for employees to steal is how they feel about the company/manager. Take a look at this link.

              http://www.reuters.com/article/domes...lso_on_reuters

              There is an interesting quote in the article. "Interestingly, the survey showed that reinforcement of criminal penalties and ethics training may do little to deter unethical behavior at work."

              I have long held the belief that attempting to influence behavior by them seeing others face penalties does not deter behavior. Think about it, how do people react when they see someone getting a speeding ticket? They slow down while the cop car is in sight, and the moment it is out of sight they speed up again. That proves that seeing someone facing a penalty does not change behavior. The feeling of potentially getting caught themselves (by the presence of a cop) is what changes behavior. You get the same results to slow speeding by placing a radar speed sign, where the driver can see what speed the radar catches them going. However, the same results apply. Drivers slow when going by the sign, and speed up right after the sign is behind them.

              Humans do not learn from other people's mistakes. If we did, we would have a crime free society, where there were no drug addicts, where there were no smokers, and the civil courts would be empty. Vices would not exist. We would have world peace. Since we know that all of these problems continue to exist, and will always exist, we can be absolutely certain that we will never learn from other's mistakes. This applies to retail internal theft. Employees are not going to learn from the mistakes of others. We might as well stop trying to hold up others as examples.

              Now, if we go back to the speeding analogy, we have to examine what it is that changed behavior. It was a clear and obvious sign the the POTENTIAL to get caught existed. A cop on the side of the road, or a sign displaying your speed, has that effect. But, it is not a lasting effect. What would make it a lasting effect? The only way to slow people down, on their own accord, is to make them believe it is in their best interest to slow down. I don't have the answer on how to do that for speeders. I could probably make a lot of money if I figured that out. But, I do have the answers for internal theft. It is about how employees feel about their company. If they are happy with their job, and happy with their boss, they don't want to screw that up. They also don't feel like they are owed something beyond what they are already getting. This is where it starts.

              In a sense, catching more people has the potential to actually create ill-will with employees. If they feel that the company does not trust them, and is always looking to catch them doing something wrong, they are actually more likely to do something wrong. LP must always be conscious of the impact they may be having on employee morale. If employees feel they are not treated fairly by LP, the results will wind up being the exact opposite of what you want, which will result in even more investigations creating more ill-will, and the cycle will just continue. I am not saying that internal investigations will always have this effect, but we must be aware that it could have that effect if we do not do a good job at building relations and communicating with employees.

              So, with those "opportunists", as you described them, I do not believe that catching more people will create that tipping point. We need to find the tipping point associated with morale.
              www.plsolutions.net
              www.customerloyaltysolutions.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lynch Mob
                There is a concept called the 10/80/10 rule. It means that 10% of your employees will never steal, no matter what. 10% will attempt to steal regardless of any safeguards you put in place. They are the "hard core" thieves you are describing. 80% are on the fence. They may or may not decide to steal depending of various circumstances.

                I think that these numbers are actually fairly accurate. It is the 80% we must focus our efforts on. The more of them we influence to not steal, the better off we are. It has also been shown that the primary motivating factor for employees to steal is how they feel about the company/manager. Take a look at this link.

                http://www.reuters.com/article/domes...lso_on_reuters

                There is an interesting quote in the article. "Interestingly, the survey showed that reinforcement of criminal penalties and ethics training may do little to deter unethical behavior at work."

                I have long held the belief that attempting to influence behavior by them seeing others face penalties does not deter behavior. Think about it, how do people react when they see someone getting a speeding ticket? They slow down while the cop car is in sight, and the moment it is out of sight they speed up again. That proves that seeing someone facing a penalty does not change behavior. The feeling of potentially getting caught themselves (by the presence of a cop) is what changes behavior. You get the same results to slow speeding by placing a radar speed sign, where the driver can see what speed the radar catches them going. However, the same results apply. Drivers slow when going by the sign, and speed up right after the sign is behind them.

                Humans do not learn from other people's mistakes. If we did, we would have a crime free society, where there were no drug addicts, where there were no smokers, and the civil courts would be empty. Vices would not exist. We would have world peace. Since we know that all of these problems continue to exist, and will always exist, we can be absolutely certain that we will never learn from other's mistakes. This applies to retail internal theft. Employees are not going to learn from the mistakes of others. We might as well stop trying to hold up others as examples.

                Now, if we go back to the speeding analogy, we have to examine what it is that changed behavior. It was a clear and obvious sign the the POTENTIAL to get caught existed. A cop on the side of the road, or a sign displaying your speed, has that effect. But, it is not a lasting effect. What would make it a lasting effect? The only way to slow people down, on their own accord, is to make them believe it is in their best interest to slow down. I don't have the answer on how to do that for speeders. I could probably make a lot of money if I figured that out. But, I do have the answers for internal theft. It is about how employees feel about their company. If they are happy with their job, and happy with their boss, they don't want to screw that up. They also don't feel like they are owed something beyond what they are already getting. This is where it starts.

                In a sense, catching more people has the potential to actually create ill-will with employees. If they feel that the company does not trust them, and is always looking to catch them doing something wrong, they are actually more likely to do something wrong. LP must always be conscious of the impact they may be having on employee morale. If employees feel they are not treated fairly by LP, the results will wind up being the exact opposite of what you want, which will result in even more investigations creating more ill-will, and the cycle will just continue. I am not saying that internal investigations will always have this effect, but we must be aware that it could have that effect if we do not do a good job at building relations and communicating with employees.

                So, with those "opportunists", as you described them, I do not believe that catching more people will create that tipping point. We need to find the tipping point associated with morale.
                Good points, to be sure. I wonder about the speeding analogy, though, because I don't think the universal reaction is to slow down and then speed up. Some do, of course.

                Others like me, however, will be reminded to check our speedometer, and if we find that we might have inadvertently been going a bit over the speed limit, we're reminded to keep a closer eye on our speed and will do so for quite some time after the police car is long gone from view, no? I know that this is true for me.

                And, even for those who slow down and then speed up, do they not really speed up because they think "The cop is busy with that guy" and thus they are calculating that their risk of being caught is actually reduced when they see the cop is tied up with another speeder?

                Neither of these comments is in any way intended to detract from the enormous value and validity of your observation regarding the impact of employee morale and loyalty, which I think deserves to be Point Number 1 in Loss Prevention. Hire well, pay them well, and treat them well...if only companies could understand that this will return $$ to the bottom line (because happy employees make your customers happy!) while reducing the costs of poor performance...AND THEFT. Sadly, many cannot grasp this.

                But in practice, I've also encountered employees who, for instance, had very good jobs and were, as far as anyone knew, happy in those jobs, but they came under some sudden financial pressure to steal - sometimes by circumstances beyond their control - and this pressure completely wiped out the "morale effect". Their "vision" narrowed down to the immediate trouble they were having and they basically forgot about everything else.

                Something else I'd like your views on is the impact of "management example". Not long ago, I was asked to review the merchandise returns practices of the employees at the Customer Service desk of a retailer. They were to obtain the customer's ID, check the receipt, make an entry in a log, and issue a cash credit slip (if it was a cash sale), or a credit card reversal slip (using the same card used for the sale, of course). Sale items could not be returned for cash or credit card reversal; only a store credit could be issued.

                While I was watching, a line developed and a manager came over to help out, and handled three customers. With EVERY ONE of the three customers, he violated some aspect of the returns procedure. He failed to enter one return in the log properly, he "recognized" one of the customers (but not by name, as he had to ask that) and did not insist on seeing her ID, and he issued a cash credit on sale merchandise. I didn't comment on it at the time, of course, but when I mentioned it to him later, he just blew it off, saying "That's why I'm the manager". To my way of thinking, it is precisely because he IS the manager that he should be the MOST scrupulous about following procedures.

                Perhaps we're a bit like the six blind men describing the elephant here...each of us describing different aspects of theft control that are all interrelated (and important) pieces of the same animal.
                Last edited by SecTrainer; 05-01-2007, 02:42 AM.
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is there a part of your 80% will steal more than the other? Would you say the younger workforce population in that percentage has a higher risk of theft than the older, or is it spread across all ages and genders equally?

                  Do front line employees steal more than the back end workers? If we can figure out which group of the 80% steal more than the other, we can amend our strategies to fit the population within that 80% that will steal more than the other.

                  I agree that we should be preventing all of our employees from stealing, but it the vast majority of your theft is coming in the form of 35% of your 80%, why not focus hard on that area? I know that every business is different, but if you know that your losses are occurring on the front line with the registers, aren't you going to amend some of your cash register programs and procedures?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LPCap
                    Is there a part of your 80% will steal more than the other? Would you say the younger workforce population in that percentage has a higher risk of theft than the older, or is it spread across all ages and genders equally?

                    Do front line employees steal more than the back end workers? If we can figure out which group of the 80% steal more than the other, we can amend our strategies to fit the population within that 80% that will steal more than the other.

                    I agree that we should be preventing all of our employees from stealing, but it the vast majority of your theft is coming in the form of 35% of your 80%, why not focus hard on that area? I know that every business is different, but if you know that your losses are occurring on the front line with the registers, aren't you going to amend some of your cash register programs and procedures?
                    It certainly would make sense to concentrate your resources on the areas where you have the most problem, assuming that you're reasonably sure where that is, and providing you don't find yourself totally focused there and wind up ignoring the other areas.

                    In defining where "the most problem" is, I'd use dollar loss, rather than the number of incidents, as the yardstick.
                    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LPCap
                      Is there a part of your 80% will steal more than the other? Would you say the younger workforce population in that percentage has a higher risk of theft than the older, or is it spread across all ages and genders equally?

                      Do front line employees steal more than the back end workers? If we can figure out which group of the 80% steal more than the other, we can amend our strategies to fit the population within that 80% that will steal more than the other.

                      I agree that we should be preventing all of our employees from stealing, but it the vast majority of your theft is coming in the form of 35% of your 80%, why not focus hard on that area? I know that every business is different, but if you know that your losses are occurring on the front line with the registers, aren't you going to amend some of your cash register programs and procedures?
                      Each company may have a different area that tends to be higher risk. I doubt that we would find, for example, that cashiers steal more consistently in most companies.

                      There is one area that is consistent across the board. Disgruntled employees. You will inevitiably find that, regardless of the company, it is your disgruntled employees that will steal most frequently and steal the highest amount. This is what I am talking about. LP needs to start focusing on disgruntled employees as a means of preventing theft. If you spend your time looking at areas of the store, specific products, or anything else, you will be missing the biggest group of thieves.
                      www.plsolutions.net
                      www.customerloyaltysolutions.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SecTrainer
                        It certainly would make sense to concentrate your resources on the areas where you have the most problem, assuming that you're reasonably sure where that is, and providing you don't find yourself totally focused there and wind up ignoring the other areas.

                        In defining where "the most problem" is, I'd use dollar loss, rather than the number of incidents, as the yardstick.
                        By the time you are using dollars or number of incidents as a measurement, you are too late. That is reactionary Loss Prevention. You are only reacting to losses that have already happened. If you want to be proactive, you need to find the proper indicators of employees who are most likely to steal, and identify those indicators before the employees have already stolen. Focusing on employee morale does this. You can see which employees are starting on that downward spiral towards theft, and take steps to cut them off before they get their.

                        Think about it this way. If there were some early warning signs that your kid may evenatually start using drugs before they use drugs, wouldn't you step in and start addressing those? What if you found that when a kid is in elementary school and junior high there was a correlation between skipping school and not doing homework, and drug use in high school years? If you knew this was true, wouldn't you jump on this trend right away if you saw your kid starting to skip school or not doing homework? Of course you would. If making some basic changes before the drug usage starts can steer your kids away from drugs, you would take advantage of it, if possible. You would never sit back and say, "Oh well, there are great rehab programs out there, so if my kid starts using drugs I will just get them in rehab." One is reactionary and one is proactive.

                        Be proactive in LP. Disgruntled employees are your thieves who may not have even stolen yet. Concentrate your efforts on ensuring that employees are satisfied with their jobs and you will lower shrink.
                        www.plsolutions.net
                        www.customerloyaltysolutions.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lynch Mob
                          By the time you are using dollars or number of incidents as a measurement, you are too late. That is reactionary Loss Prevention. You are only reacting to losses that have already happened. If you want to be proactive, you need to find the proper indicators of employees who are most likely to steal, and identify those indicators before the employees have already stolen. Focusing on employee morale does this. You can see which employees are starting on that downward spiral towards theft, and take steps to cut them off before they get their.

                          Think about it this way. If there were some early warning signs that your kid may evenatually start using drugs before they use drugs, wouldn't you step in and start addressing those? What if you found that when a kid is in elementary school and junior high there was a correlation between skipping school and not doing homework, and drug use in high school years? If you knew this was true, wouldn't you jump on this trend right away if you saw your kid starting to skip school or not doing homework? Of course you would. If making some basic changes before the drug usage starts can steer your kids away from drugs, you would take advantage of it, if possible. You would never sit back and say, "Oh well, there are great rehab programs out there, so if my kid starts using drugs I will just get them in rehab." One is reactionary and one is proactive.

                          Be proactive in LP. Disgruntled employees are your thieves who may not have even stolen yet. Concentrate your efforts on ensuring that employees are satisfied with their jobs and you will lower shrink.
                          I don't think one (reaction versus proaction) is necessarily exclusive of the other. Security - including LP - is always both reactive and proactive, and an LP manager is missing some very important information if he isn't paying attention to the known history of past events. The past IS prologue to the future to some degree, at least.

                          For instance, if the area where you've historically had the most theft is the loading dock, it isn't suddenly likely to shift to the cafeteria simply because you might have two disgruntled employees in the cafeteria and only one on the loading dock. Certainly, the disgruntled employees in the cafeteria should point your antenna in that direction, but the history on the loading dock is still highly relevant as well. That's what I mean when I say that I agree with your concept of "proaction", but reaction (in the sense of learning from past events) is still a very effective tool as well.

                          Again, this is a complex subject and I think we're probably often just describing different aspects of the same overall objective, rather than disagreeing in any significant way.
                          Last edited by SecTrainer; 05-02-2007, 12:19 PM.
                          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SecTrainer
                            I don't think one (reaction versus proaction) is necessarily exclusive of the other. Security - including LP - is always both reactive and proactive, and an LP manager is missing some very important information if he isn't paying attention to the known history of past events. The past IS prologue to the future to some degree, at least.

                            For instance, if the area where you've historically had the most theft is the loading dock, it isn't suddenly likely to shift to the cafeteria simply because you might have two disgruntled employees in the cafeteria and only one on the loading dock. Certainly, the disgruntled employees in the cafeteria should point your antenna in that direction, but the history on the loading dock is still highly relevant as well. That's what I mean when I say that I agree with your concept of "proaction", but reaction (in the sense of learning from past events) is still a very effective tool as well.

                            Again, this is a complex subject and I think we're probably often just describing different aspects of the same overall objective, rather than disagreeing in any significant way.
                            I never said we should not react to problems, or learn from past events. The problem is that, historically, LP has been almost exclusively reactive. The entire name of Loss Prevention really is a misnomer, as Loss Prevention has rarely prevented losses.

                            In your example of the loading dock vs. the cafeteria, I would say that if you have historically had problems on the loading dock it is one of two issues going on. Either you have been overly focused on the loading dock, resulting in the self-fulfilling prophecy of catching more thieves there than other places, or we have not learned from our past and made the necessary changes to reduce loss. In either of these cases, you are probably spending an inordinate amount of time focusing on a certain area and missing losses in another.

                            As you described the scenario, if I discovered I had two highly disgruntled employees in the cafeteria, I would find out why. What are they disgruntled about? What is the manager doing about it? What are the performance of these two individuals like? How many other employees feel the same but are not as verbal about their concerns? If I address these problems, I might be able to prevent any theft from happening at all, and could be preventing many people from stealing. If I just focus on catching people at the loading dock, because we have caught a lot of people there in the past and I have not fixed the problem, I catch one at a time, and probably lose a lot of merchandise I will never recover before I actually catch the person stealing.

                            If we are to be working as Loss Prevention, of course we need to learn from the past, but learning means fixing. If you continue to have problems in the same areas, you are not doing a good job. If you keep going back to that same well to catch people, you are not fixing anything, nor preventing anything. If you are not fixing problems or preventing theft, you are not really helping your company at all.
                            www.plsolutions.net
                            www.customerloyaltysolutions.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Catching the ones that are vocal about their dislike for their boss, job, company are the easy ones to catch. The ones who are quietly sulking and pissed off at whatever in life are the hard ones.

                              Theives are manipulators too, they can con many LP and Managers into believing that they are the company man, while they bilk thousands from right under their noses.

                              I would say that each segment of retail, whether it be department store, big box, discounter, fast food, restaraunt or grocer has their own unique theft "hot spots". I would say that more night shift and front end, cash office associates steal more in the grocery enviroment, while it would be spread evenly through a department store.

                              Comment

                              Leaderboard

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X