The NRF Loss Prevention Conference & Expo 2014 takes place this week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and as the industry’s biggest show, it promises to be a productive week. Big topics of conversation are certain to be technology innovations in LP products and services, discussions on combatting the growing cost of organized retail crime (ORC), and continued debates on profiling and privacy.
But here’s one topic that we recommend for all attendees: integration. It’s the biggest topic affecting LP professionals.
As a practice, LP has traditionally been isolated from other functional groups within retail businesses, often reporting into Information Technology and owners of its very own data systems and processes.
Now, retailers everywhere are better understanding the needs of collecting and analyzing shopper data in order to make better, more informed decisions—both strategy decisions and real-time, tactical decisions. However, no retailer is afforded such a luxury as separate data systems for separate business functions. Not only are additional capital expenses prohibitive, redundant, and possibly conflicting, but also administrative “care and feeding” is unwieldy, inefficient and, ultimately, ineffective.
Data needs are now integral across all functions of retailers, from Loss Prevention to Marketing, from Retail Operations to Store Planning. Every function has a “seat at the table,” and data systems need to be flexible and customizable, with data accessible in real time across a variety of locations and mobile platforms. As such, the biggest question attendees should be challenging exhibitors with this week is:
“How does your product integrate with existing hardware and software systems and deliver the comprehensive needs of our entire organization?”
As Loss Prevention professionals continue to see their function grow more strategic and integrate more closely with other functions, their particular needs and specifications will become a sub-set of the enterprise’s larger data needs. ROI and scalability are paramount considerations.
If you’re in Fort Lauderdale this week, be sure to drop by the RetailNext booth, #827. Our staff of retail and technology professional would be happy to discuss your company’s needs.
Additionally, if you missed May’s webinar, “Staying One Step Ahead: Adopting Advanced Technology While Optimizing Your LP Investment,” with American Apparel’s Blue Montez, be sure to access the recording here. Blue addresses a variety of topics, with a focus on ROI and benefits to both the business and shoppers.