Factoring the future into your loss prevention ROI

Future Proofing Retail Loss Prevention

When it comes to selecting the right loss prevention strategies for your storefront, it’s not just about considering the issues affecting your retail outlet in the present.

Effective loss prevention also entails ensuring the equipment you purchase now will continue to serve you in the future to ensure the longevity and best return on your security investment.

Here are the top items you need to consider when it comes to selecting the right loss prevention strategies that will stand the test of time and could ultimately cost you less in the long run.

Tags – Durability and strength

Fashion security tags are an investment designed to ensure the security of your stock. And in doing so they have a host of purposes to serve. Tags need to be reusable, durable and secure enough to guard against increasingly savvy thieves.

That means retailers should consider higher strength, good quality security tags now, so they continue to serve them in the medium and long term.

The reality is as technology improves, so does shoplifter’s ability to thwart it, with older, standard-strength tags more susceptible to theft. That’s because the magnets used to detach older tags can now be bought on the internet, while information about circumventing them is also readily available online.

The minimum strength recommended for tags is Superlock, with anything above that offering extra peace of mind and a better ROI in the long-run due to improved security.

State-of-the-art options include HyperLock and Multipolar and both harness unique magnet technology that will last in years to come.

HyperLock features a combination of multiple high-powered magnets arranged into a single detacher body. Available in the BossTag range, the detachers are difficult for would-be criminals to manufacture, source and carry around.

Meanwhile, NeoTag Multipolar tags feature the latest proprietary technology and require sophisticated magnets to release a tag. Multipolar tags cannot be released by any other magnet detacher no matter how powerful. They represent the pinnacle of magnet release tag technology.

EAS – RFID rollout

Electronic article surveillance is one of the most effective and enduringly popular forms of loss prevention, and like all technology it continues to improve.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest incoming trends associated with EAS is Radio Frequency Identification. RFID is a system which allows retailers to account for labelled stock at all points of the supply chain, from the point of manufacture right through to shop floor.

A key feature is that it can count inventory instantly and on demand, offering an up-to-the-minute insight into what stock is available.

For retailers investing in EAS, it’s worth considering whether you will be looking to implement RFID in the future because it could affect the electronic article surveillance system you select now.

Radio Frequency EAS lends itself to RFID upgrades, with the technology working side-by-side, whereas acousto magnetic EAS does not offer the same potential.

Electronic Displays, kiosks and POS stands – Connectivity

Whether you’re looking to secure interactive electronics in countertop displays or protect your mobile Point of Sale, retailers need to consider the connectivity of their displays and the compatibility.

For example, are the relevant connections MFI licensed if you’re looking to display Apple iPods and iPads, or does the charging dock support the latest USB connection?

Little things like this can impact whether the displays you have invested in will still serve you effectively in two or three years’ time.

Locks – Replacement and ease of use

If you’re investing in locks for cabinets, drawers or displays, the future is definitely smart keys. Smart keys allow one style of key to be programmed for entire or specific store areas, allowing staff to quickly access the areas they need without searching for the right key.

When considering locks and keys, factor in whether the brand you’re opting for is reputable. Can keys be replaced if required? And can you easily buy more?

Meanwhile is the way they’re programmed and charged likely to still be relevant in a couple of years’ time?

What to look for

As you weigh up the return on your security investment and look to ensure its longevity, be sure to understand and consider:

• Whether the technology you select is part of a brand or ecosystem that can be scaled up or added to over time. (For example, the Invue range features an array of compatible security products that are interchangeable, with programmable keys that fit displays, cabinets and drawers)

• What is the service level of the manufacturer or supplier?

• Are parts readily available and can they be replaced if required?

• Are products ISO certified by a third party and are the compliant with Australian expectations and law?

• What is the level of installation support and ongoing advice you can expect from your supplier?

• Is the technology you’re considering now sufficient enough to be relevant in a few years’ time. If not, can it be easily and affordably upgraded?

• What’s the reputation of both the manufacturer and the supplier i.e. do their products stand the test of time, and are they established enough to continue to offer support?

Loss prevention is an investment and like all purchases, involves considering whether the cheapest option now will actually cost you in the long run. The reality is a little extra outlay for quality products with an established reputation may just work out a lot more cost effective and offer better value over time.