While working for a mid sized clothing retailer I experienced the growing pains of a company trying to implement goals and policies from a large clothing company. One of those tools was the Checkpoint system which is a rf based clothing alarm system. It is the best clothing security system on the market. The decision to employ a clothing alarm that requires security tags on clothes lets you know from the beginning it is an interactive process to make use of storewide clothing security. That interactive partnership is not just within the loss prevention department but with all employees including management. This can prove to be a challenge since any requirement that demands more work and additional payroll can cause conflict among department heads.
The main conflict was between loss prevention and the sales department. The sales department assumed that the loss prevention department would responsible for placing all of the checkpoint tags on the product. Three people could not place the security tags on clothes while also protecting the store. The sales department and loss prevention had to sit down and review Checkpoint’s training materials which very explicitly explained that implementation and success was based on every employee’s willingness to take part in the deployment of the system. While the structure was being installed we jumped into the main differences between the departments to diffuse the problems before the system installation was complete. Once we reviewed the overall clothing security plan which included attaching, auditing and removing clothing security tags, it was fully understood by both sides that they had to work together to ensure a successful deployment. The training material and the support from the checkpoint representative were the grease on the hard to mesh gears. The training material mapped out the success to clothing security in a very detailed fashion. The main overall point throughout the training was triumph through teamwork. We also learned that consistency on the application of the clothing security tags was very important as well as daily or weekly audits of the checkpoint tags for compliance.
The process was slow only because of the friction that already existed within the company between sales and loss prevention. I do feel though that because the checkpoint system required interaction from everyone it brought the two departments closer whether they liked it or not. Employees from both sides of the fence working shoulder to shoulder placing security tags on clothes gave them all a vested interest to protect inventory as well as insight into each others day to day activities. Loss prevention took care of the auditing process to ensure the checkpoint tags were placed on the clothes correctly and consistently. The sales department ensured all employees knew how to react when the clothing alarm was activated if someone attempted to take a piece of clothing from the store without the clothing security tags being removed. The sales department also ensured the checkpoint tags were removed at the point of sale to reduce false alarms. It was every employee’s duty to ensure the detacher that removed the clothing security tags was kept secured at all times. In the end the checkpoint system became a healing salve that allowed the company to grow closer and start the process of growing together to become bigger and better everyday.
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