This is the third installment of FMI's Technology Blog Series, which explores digital innovations for the food industry and shares compelling insights from our research.

By: Tom Cosgrove, Director, Industry Relations, FMI

Technology solutions asset protection

I don't think this will come as a surprise to anyone, but the need for robust and creative asset protection solutions has become increasingly critical to our businesses. Technology is a powerful ally in this endeavor, offering innovative solutions to identify, deter and combat bad actors. I commend my colleagues on the Asset Protection Council for their creative problem-solving and dedication to exploring technology solutions to reduce shrinkage in their companies. My appreciation also extends to our solution provider partners for their innovative support and to the FMI Board of Directors for recognizing the central role of technology in both FMI and the food industry's priorities.

The world of asset protection has grown over time, as has the term "shrink". In this blog, I'll focus on asset protection regarding human malice, such as theft, organized retail crime (ORC), human error and improper scanning.

Working with the Asset Protection Council, I have seen many different forms of technology created to help reduce loss. Some of these technology solutions are focused on prevention before the act, while others focus on actions after the incident has occurred. These solutions come in various forms, such as surveillance efforts, deterrents on the shelf and deterrents on the front end of the store. These innovations continue to impress me.

Technology Solutions Provide Many Benefits for Asset Protection
  • Improved profitability: Technology aids in reducing shrinkage at different points throughout the store, such as the point of sale and self-checkout (SCO), thereby improving retailers' bottom line. Additionally, it can help optimize inventory management, store operations and customer service, enhancing overall efficiency and productivity.
  • Enhanced security: Technology is vital in protecting assets from theft, damage or loss through special locked cases and other theft-deterrent systems. It ensures the safety of both customers and associates through a range of advanced solutions including internal and external video surveillance systems, metal detectors and weapons detections systems.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: Embracing technology not only enhances the shopping experience for customers by speeding up service, it also cultivates lasting loyalty and trust by demonstrating a commitment to safety and integrity.

These solutions cannot be used (or relied on) in a vacuum, however, and require a strategic and holistic approach to be effective. It is also important to get all parties potentially affected by technological changes into the same room. Asset protection professionals must collaborate with (and gain buy-in from) departments like IT, finance and operations. There are many compelling discussions to be explored regarding the integration of technology-driven solutions in asset protection.

To learn more about these and other asset protection topics, I encourage you and your team to register for the Asset Protection and Grocery Resilience Conference on May 20-23, 2024 at the Westin Galleria in Dallas. I look forward to seeing you there!

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