Losses occur in every business and are not only limited to retail theft. Many occupations deal with loss prevention on a daily basis. The professionals doing these jobs help businesses reduce the chance of loss by offering suggestions that will help maintain profits and cut down on preventable loss.
Loss Prevention Specialist
Insurance companies protect businesses against loss under a number of situations that are not only theft related. They employ loss prevention specialists to inspect their clients' facilities looking for potential problems such as dangerous operating conditions that could cause the company's insurance company to sustain a loss. Based on their findings, they suggest improvements to reduce the insurer's exposure to potential loss and make the business safer.
Retail Loss Prevention Specialists
Retail loss prevention specialists help retail businesses prevent and reduce merchandise loss using procedures and systems designed to safeguard assets. They are responsible for accomplishing a wide variety of tasks, particularly auditing and inspection. Employee audits are routinely performed and suspicious activity is investigated. Store audits are conducted to isolate problem zones or procedural flaws. Inventory audits are performed to detect stock shortages. Access points, buildings and equipment are frequently inspected to evaluate potential security risks. Distribution centers, loading docks and other places susceptible to loss are covertly surveyed. Investigating, documenting and reporting theft or fraud are other responsibilities.
Loss Prevention Manager
Loss prevention managers look for ways businesses can experience a loss of assets and then devise strategies to reduce the likelihood. They administer the necessary systems to control inventory, while reducing loss and increasing safety. As a team leader, they supervise surveillance, detection and apprehension of those criminally responsible. Asset loss can be reduced through increased employee awareness, so loss prevention managers regularly train their immediate staff, and other store employees and managers on loss control and prevention techniques. Loss prevention managers also ensure the optimal use of loss prevention personnel and technology at all business locations at all times.
Store detectives are also called loss prevention agents. Wearing plain clothes, they patrol the premises in an attempt to catch those stealing merchandise or causing property damage. Responsibility and honesty are two important attributes that store detectives should possess. Keen observation skills help spot suspicious shoppers and prevent potential theft. Attention to detail and good communication skills are necessary when calling the police and describing events. Store detectives must write reports and record witness accounts to provide the court with evidence.
Security guards are uniformed personnel that monitor business premises to prevent theft and violence. They provide an instantly recognizable presence that can help deter potential threats. They typically monitor the entrance and departure of employees and visitors during opening hours and while the store is closed. Premises are surveyed routinely and any irregularities are immediately reported, either in writing or calling authorities in an emergency.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
- O-Net OnLine: Summary Report for Retail Loss Prevention Specialists
- O-Net OnLine: Summary Report for Loss Prevention Managers
- O-Net OnLine: Summary Report for Private Detectives and Investigators
- O-Net OnLine: Summary Report for Security Guards
- Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images