One disadvantage associated with legacy loss prevention applications is that they perform post mortem analysis: by the time you know there is an issue, the incident is over and can’t be prevented.

In these after-the-fact scenarios, there are inherent challenges in recreating the details of the incident, and tracing it back to the specific individuals that were involved is often difficult. That makes remedial planning to prevent future incidents sketchy at best.

A better solution for retailers would be a real-time loss prevention application to flag incidents as they are taking place so that there could be a determination if the action is permissible.

Real-time loss prevention allows for an even wider net of activity tracing, because the remedial action doesn’t have to be limited to denial of whatever functionality is deemed problematic. It can also be used to trigger a category of activity that is permitted, a category that is prohibited, or a category that requires an approval of someone else such as a supervisor.

The core of the real-time loss prevention decision engine is built around two concepts: policies and prohibitions.

A policy is a pattern of behavior or accountability that is used to trigger category activities to red flag possible loss scenarios in progress. These could include circumstances like a cashier that is doing more returns or voids than average on a given day. Any of these policies that are developed can be fine-tuned and adjusted over time, and the triggered responses can be things like a warning being displayed to that cashier, a requirement for manager approval, the need to involve a central approval authority, or a denial of functionality.

A prohibition is a more surgical rule that will trigger whenever a specific person is involved in a transaction. This might be used to prohibit a cashier from doing a return, bypassing a specific manager in favor of a central approving authority, or always requiring scrutiny for a specific cashier to do any void.

At RedIron, we implement such real-time loss prevention applications with plug-and-play ease using a proprietary SOA middleware platform we call RI Broker.

RI Broker allows us to capture events and activities in the POS environment in real time and an enterprise data storage mechanism we developed called Retail Repository (or a third-party repository such as SAP CAR) allows us to feed and analyze the events as they arrive. RI Broker is then able to affect behavior in the POS environment to prohibit or require additional scrutiny for any given triggered action.

To learn more about how RI Broker can simplify omnichannel integrations like real-time loss prevention, we invite you to download a complimentary copy of our whitepaper, “Plug-And-Play Integration For Retail IT”, by clicking here.

RI Broker White Paper Download