The ECR Shrinkage Group, an expert group focused on shrink, with the support of merchandise availability solutions supplier for the retail industry Checkpoint Systems, has announced it is launching a free online benchmarking tool that enables retailers to understand how well they are managing shrink versus others, and assesses the relative strengths and opportunities of their loss prevention programs. Based on extensive global research, the tool provides global benchmarks on the strategic, organizational and operational standards that underpin an effective shrink management strategy, according to the companies.
To access the benchmarking tool, retailers simply complete an online questionnaire. Once the responses have been entered, the tool generates a color-coded model that highlights the areas of the shrinkage framework where they have strengths and then in turn, the areas that need to be prioritized.
The framework, shaped as a pyramid, focuses on ensuring that organizational commitment, starting with senior management, is embedded within a business’ practices, policies, procedures and strategic thinking. The objective is to provide a framework that ensures the creation of high-quality data and data management systems, prioritizing operational excellence, internal collaboration and innovation, and keeping shrink on the agenda throughout the company. Finally, the pyramid highlights the importance of empowering store staff to take responsibility for dealing with shrink and recognizing how operational failures are the root causes of many forms of retail loss.
"The tool was developed after extensive research with some of the leading retailers in the world and is designed to help organizations better understand how their businesses not only view the problem of shrinkage, but also help them to identify the key areas on which to focus to improve their overall performance," said Professor Adrian Beck from the University of Leicester, who developed the benchmarking tool for the ECR Europe Shrinkage Group.
"We used the tool in a planning and strategy session and it was absolutely superb," said Tim Butler, senior director international asset protection at Walmart. "I would certainly recommend that other loss prevention professionals within the industry take advantage of this free and easy-to-use resource."
The benchmarking tool is free-of-charge and available to all retailers from any sector of the industry. It can be accessed at http://ecr-shrink-group.com/benchmarking-tool.