Loss prevention initiative safeguards the assets of the organization. From external sources the business can be harmed by shoplifting, vandalism, counterfeiting, robbery, and burglary. The businesses need to adopt effective measures to protect their assets from internal sources too. The US Department of Commerce data reveals that employee dishonesty contributes to 30% of all business failures. The key job of a Loss prevention Manager is to prevent cash handling theft, inventory control, facilities, and equipment damage, security access violations, fraud, and a variety of audits of employee activities.
Small businesses are always struggling to procure working capital to keep the operations going and the added expense of security and loss prevention is sometimes not valued as prudent. But ironically expert estimates show that 80% of all small businesses close in the first three years because of poor management. A good and efficient loss prevention system needs not be expensive.
Good policies and appointment of a proficient loss prevention manager are at the heart of any good security program. The most vital and intangible asset of the retail business are its employee morale and customer goodwill. However, the paradox is that these if not managed appropriately they can turn into a liability.
Also the company needs protection from lawsuits filed due to negligence or insufficient security measures undertaken by the company. Insurance protects the business from unforeseen losses but for a business to qualify for insurance, it needs to have a superior efficient loss prevention policy in place.
The loss prevention manager needs to work closely with the management, inventory team, and retail store managers to ensure smooth and safe functioning. He needs to understand the ongoing security plans and provide value added inputs to improvise. He does not need to have an in-depth knowledge of the type of business, but he needs to understand the structure of the organization, flow of assets, and information and operations network.
He is required to make sure that proper alarm systems are in place at vital points. The cameras are appropriately fixed and monitored and the inventory flow is according to the plan. He has to balance between maintaining the employee morale and ensure important check points to prevent thefts. He must advise management and HR on employee incentive programs.
It is critical that he ensures that the systems at the cash counters are functioning appropriately to minimize cash mishandling. Also in case of thefts and mishandling it is his job to ensure that apt investigation procedures are followed.
Many retail outlets prefer that a loss prevention manager should hold a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, although other 4-year degrees may also be acceptable in some retail outlets. Sometimes work experience and special skill sets holds more weight and is preferred over an academic degree.
A loss prevention manager needs to have very good communication skills to convey ideas, advise management on his plans and implement his security plans. An eye to detail is a valuable quality along with high ethical standards. An understanding of how the retailing inventory control and management works is also a must.
Additional training in school and upgrading knowledge on new and innovative security gadgets always gives an edge. Training on how to conduct ethical training is also important.
Working as an assistant or a part-time stint at a retail store gives great training and experience. It helps when procuring desired jobs in the future.
The economic growth and urbanization always adds new job possibilities for each new batch of graduates. An understanding of international brands and products helps in choosing the appropriate training. Learning new languages allows international movement also.
The salary ranges from $38,000 to $84,000 for loss prevention managers. The key factor used in determining the compensation is the size of the retail operations and also in many cases the sales volume. Other benefits for him could be full benefits packages which often includes merchandise discounts.
Every business requires some type of security prevention program. The size of the program is tailor-made according to the needs of retail outlet and with conscious planning effort help in achieving the final objective - Loss Prevention.