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What You Need to Know About Maryland Senate Bill 508

 

On October 1, 2016 Maryland Senate Bill 508 will go into effect. Under this new law a retailer will not be able to pursue statutory civil penalties in the state of Maryland. A retailer can only demand the following remedies from a shoplifter: (a) the stolen merchandise (b) if it cannot be recovered, or it is recovered in damaged condition, or “otherwise has lost all or part of its value”, the merchant can demand an amount equal to the merchandise sales price plus (c) pay the merchant for any other “actual damages.”  Store security, lost time, or wages associated with the apprehension or prosecution of the shoplifter can no longer be considered as demand.

Maryland Demand Letter: The demand letter must be prepared by a lawyer admitted to practice law in the state of Maryland.  This letter must then be either hand delivered personally to the responsible person, or mailed to that person’s last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested.

  • If payment in full is not received on or before the date specified in the initial demand letter, a second and final letter shall be sent to the responsible person.

  • If the second letter is returned unclaimed to the merchant or if the full payment is not received on or before the day specified in the second demand letter, the merchant may file a civil action to recover damages, along with court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Maryland Reporting: On or before January 15th of each year, a merchant that sought damages during the preceding calendar year must submit a letter to the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation that includes the following information for the preceding calendar year:

  • The number of alleged shoplifting or employee theft incidents.

  • The number of demand letters sent and the amount of money received in response to the letters sent.

  • The number of criminal prosecutions sought after by the merchant and the final dispositions of those prosecutions.

  • The number of civil suits filed under this subtitle by the merchant and the final disposition of those suits.

If you have any questions, please respond to this email and we will follow up within the next business day. To review the complete Senate Bill 508 visit the state’s website at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov.

The Zellman Group Featured in Women’s Wear Daily

Keep your eyes out for the August issue of Women’s Wear Daily.

In this issue, The Zellman Group is featured in the article, “Crime Stoppers,” which discusses loss prevention options retailers have to combat professional retail criminals. The article discusses the huge problem for retailers that is organized retail crime. Organized retail crime costs the industry over $30 billion dollars and has affected 97 percent of those members that were surveyed.

The Zellman Group is mentioned as a leader in the loss prevention world, with a variety in services from Civil Recovery to Analytics. The main focus of the piece was emphasizing The Zellman Group’s expertise in Civil Recovery Service and the great benefits it has for retailers. The article dives deeper into the processes and options retailers have within the recovery field.

Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) is a fashion industry journal that focuses on upcoming beauty and fashion trends, breaking industry news, and updates about the creative and business aspects of the fashion world.

You can find the article on newsstands now and online here.

FsTec 2016

 

This September, The Zellman Group, LLC will be attending the Annual FsTec Conference in Dallas, Texas.

The FsTec Conference focuses on engaging service providers, small and large businesses, and executives in new technology in the food service sector. This year’s agenda is a mix of different workshops, breakout sessions, and boot camps focusing on changing the way we think about tech inside and outside of the food service community.

With over 50 speakers, this year’s FsTec Conference has something for everyone. Speakers this year vary from Paul Brown, CEO of Arby’s to 43rd President of the United States of America, George W. Bush. Topics include security and loss prevention, utilizing mobile and video, and monetizing content across all platforms.

FsTec is sponsoring donations to the Carre Foundation and Your Grateful Nation. The Carre Foundation is a special foundation that focuses on leadership through charitable giving. All FsTec attendees are given the opportunity to donate to the less fortunate while building stronger relationships. Your Grateful Nation is an organization that’s purpose is to provide support and guidance for veterans as they enter back into everyday civilian life.

The Zellman Group will be in attendance to discuss and demonstrate the benefits of our Food Service Analytics Managed Services. Through this service we are able to analyze a business’s data through a restaurants POS system and detect and report theft and fraud.

You can find us at FsTec in booth 112 that we are sharing with Agilence.

 

Learn more about FsTec here .

The Importance of Living Your Values

Nowadays it seems like it has become mandatory business practice to have a company mission statement.

Company mission statements are seen as a standard or a code of conduct for all aspects of the business. Although most businesses have these statements prepared, not all practice what they preach.

As a business, ethics will always be the most important part of your business from an internal and external point of view. Being honest, accountable, and reliable will always ensure the trust that is needed not only by clients, but also by employees. Living by these standards will create a credibility that is needed to be successful inside and outside of your company doors.

Trust is the most important thing while building client relationships. Clients want to work with a business that has their best interest in mind. A business that sees this relationship was an equal partnership, where both sides will gain. Not only clients look for this trust in a business, employees also want to work for a business that is ethically sound and values their employee’s hard work. A company that lives its values sets a standard for all employees. A company that does not live by its values sends the message that a mission statement is merely words and not the standard to adhere by.

Here at The Zellman Group we have our own mission statement and core values that we live by as an organization.  Our mission is to provide our clients with a third party perspective, while preventing loss, maintaining consistency, and maximizing profitability. We work together to service each of our clients by creating a partnership that is unique to their ideals. It is our mission to work as a team, internally and externally, treating each of our clients as our only client. On top of our mission statement we also have five core values: Accountability, Group Leadership, Passion, Innovation, and Commitment.

We know the importance of transparency with our clients and employees and hold ourselves accountable to living all of our values on a daily basis. Living our values has helped us grow into a successful business over the last twenty years.

Find us at www.zellmangroup.com and see for yourself how our ethics and values make us different.

 

 

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It’s All In the Details

 LP Analytics – Making the most of your analytics program.

For over 20 years, loss prevention analysts have been mining through mountains of POS data looking for theft, compliance issues, training opportunities, and systemic problems that may not only affect the bottom line, but that also expose operational vulnerabilities. The methodology used to get the best results out of the available data is always evolving, and The Zellman Group’s analytics team maximizes all available data by mastering the available tools to get you the best exceptions possible.

A common misnomer is that analytics programs only find theft, and of course theft is at the top of the list, but if ignored, operational breakdowns, and training opportunities can create margin creep, and spiral out of control without ever being addressed by your organization. A common example of this is a cancel/mid-void transaction. Instead of using the price-lookup key, associates may use the cancel key to check prices. Cancels are also a commonly used theft method to drop sales and pass-off merchandise. When price checks are allowed to happen using the cancel function, dropped sales and pass-offs may not be identified, because the fraudulent cancels are mixed in with mountains of skewed cancel/price lookup data.

What is often missed is that the ROI for your analytics program is directly related to the quality and details of the exception review/investigation that was done by your team, and most importantly, that those detailed results are communicated back to your analyst within 14 days of an issue found.  Feedback from resolutions are essential for the analysts to learn about your organization.  It allows them to modify data that will help them analyze for theft more effectively.

Detailed responses create a clearer picture for your analyst. Instead of a brief, “This is not theft,” a more productive response would be, “CLIENT RESOLUTION 5/9/16; Cycle counts were conducted on the cancelled SKU’s, and all inventory is accounted for. It appears that the cancels were generated in poor judgment. Consequently, it is suggested that John Smith receive additional cashier training.” Loss Prevention analytics are incredibly important and effective in detecting and stopping theft. Look at your business right now and ask yourself:

Does your organization have procedures in how to review exceptions?

Is your staff trained, and do they know what they’re looking for?

Does your organization have a standard for responding to exception reviews with detailed resolutions?

Are you responding within 14 days of receiving an issue to ensure activity is being addressed in timely manner?

If you have answered no to any of these questions, please contact The Zellman Group today for best practices on how to maximize your analytics program.

The Why Behind Workplace Incentives

What makes a successful business?

 

This is a very complex question that can be answered in many different ways.

 

One may answer, “high profits.” Another may answer, “a powerful leader.” Although these answers are not wrong, there is one attribute to every business that is proven to increase the success rate of a company: happy employees.

 

According to a study led by Professor Andrew Oswald at Warwick Business School, workers who identified themselves as being happy in their job were 12 percent more productive than workers who identified themselves as unhappy in their workplace. If employees felt as though their work was being valued and celebrated they were more likely to be happy in their position, therefore more productive.

 

But how do companies make their employees feel valued and important. Many companies harbor a “work hard, play hard” mentality. This is often implemented through incentive programs. An incentive program is a plan created and promoted by a business in order to encourage its employees to meet particular goals or influence behavior. Incentive programs alone do not foster a positive and productive work environment, there are many other factors that go into creating a company of happy employees. The Zellman Group is a prime example of a successful company that understands what goes into creating happy employees. Zellman’s success can be attributed to a strong management teams that keeps all employees accountable for their work, open lines of communication between employees and management, an incentive program that frequently awards employees hard work, and the innovative criteria in which employees qualify for recognition.

 

There are a variety of incentive programs that focus on different aspects of performance. One company may focus solely on numbers and revenue, while another may focus primarily on teamwork and company values. At Zellman we have implemented a program that is a healthy mixture of the two, emphasizing our desire for success, while truly living our five company values: accountability, passion, innovation, group leadership, and commitment. Our program includes a monthly value rally, where employees nominate each other for gift cards based on living the values of our company while having lunch catered in. Besides these monthly events we also award prizes and monetary incentives to employees who meet their monthly goals.

 

Incentive programs have the ability to make very real and positive changes to a company. Employees that feel like they are being valued are more likely to be happy, and therefore more productive. The extra effort put forth by happy and loyal employees can potentially help an organization reach its goals, gain and maintain new clients, and foster an environment that is productive and enjoyable for all. The Zellman Group is a great example of how making a job feel less like a job and more like a home, can make all the difference.

 

 Learn more about a career at The Zellman Group here

What You Need to Know About Civil Recovery

Written by Chelsea Barry July 21, 2016.

There is a common misconception that shoplifting is a seemingly harmless offense.

That shoplifting is a crime only committed by teenagers and does not cause real harm to the business being stolen from. The reality is that shoplifting is a very real, and very costly problem for retailers across the nation.

With increasing losses, state legislatures implement laws to compensate the retailers for the expenses needed to apprehend the shoplifter and protect their business. The expenses include the time, money, and effort that goes into catching and pursuing shoplifting cases.

These cases are referred to as civil recovery and are based on tort law. In a civil recovery case the shoplifter is held liable for a civil penalty that one must pay back to the retailer. Penalties vary depending on the state, for example in the state of New York the penalty can be no less than $50 and no more than $500.

Shoplifters are penalized by the statue of the state in which the crime was committed. In most states conviction is not necessary in order to demand civil penalty. If unpaid, the retailer has the legal right to pursue this case in civil court. Even when a civil penalty is paid, it does not replace or clear potential criminal charges one may face.

Retailers have the benefit of choosing whether or not to abide by the maximum of each state statue or deciding on a lesser penalty. From a service providers point of view, choosing a lesser amount is generally more beneficial for the retailer. Demanding a lesser monetary penalty often increases the likelihood of receiving the full penalty and decreases the amount of time it takes to recover the desired amount. This also benefits the retailer from a public relations point of view, where the retailer is seen as been legally and ethically fair in how it handles shoplifters.

Understanding the legality behind civil recovery is important when educating oneself. By further educating yourself as a consumer and a retailer you can have a better idea of why civil recovery is important and necessary in combating shoplifting.

 

The Zellman Group joins The Loss Prevention Research Council

Written by Chelsea Barry, July 19th, 2016.

The Zellman Group, LLC is proud and excited to announce joining The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) as a solutions partner member.

As a solutions partner member, The Zellman Group has the opportunity to collaborate and participate with the LPRC to continue to help retailers increase sales while decreasing shrinkage.

“We’ve just added another key LPRC member,” says Dr. Read Hayes, Director of The Loss Prevention Retail Council. “The LPRC and our 40 retail chain members welcome The Zellman Group to the fold; especially since their ORC expertise- and creativity in several other important LP/AP areas are a nice compliment to several of our very active working groups.”

Throughout their almost twenty years of business, The Zellman Group has always emphasized the importance of contributing to and improving the LP community. “We are excited to be a contributing member to the Loss Prevention Research Council. I find that the LPRC vision is in line with Zellman’s as we both are looking to identify Loss Prevention solutions for the Loss Prevention industry.” Zellman CEO, Stuart Levine states. “The LPRC work groups and action teams are in line with the services provided by Zellman. As the leading provider of data analytics or ORC recovery we are excited to participate in these groups.”

The Loss Prevention Research Council is a leader in real world research and analysis in the loss prevention and crime industry. Since its founding in 2001, by 10 leading retailers and Dr. Read Hayes, the LPRC has conducted 120 real world loss prevention research projects. These research projects are conducted through evidence-based studies with field experiments to provide retailers and solution providers with ROI data, statistical models for reducing shortages, supply chain and violent crime R&D, and an immense understanding for employee dishonesty and shoplifter dynamics.

The Zellman Group is a loss prevention services company that focuses primarily in retail, food service, and hospitality. At Zellman, we provide our clients with a third party perspective, while preventing loss, maintaining consistency, and maximizing profitability. Based in Greenvale, New York, The Zellman Group executives have an intimate knowledge of loss prevention, audit, civil recovery, analytics, and consulting.

 

Learn more about the Loss Prevention Research Council here.

The Zellman Group and the International Association of Chiefs of Police focus on ORC Recovery

This October, The Zellman Group, LLC is sponsoring the 123rd International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference and Exposition in San Diego, California.

The IACP Annual Conference and Exposition is the largest gathering of police officers in the United States. Currently the IACP has over 20,000 members, made up exclusively of police officers who have held executive roles in police agencies. The IACP is dedicated to advancing the law enforcement profession through advocacy, outreach, education, and programs.

The Zellman Group has a long history of working closely with police, especially through their work in Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Recovery. At the conference, CEO Stuart Levine, and Director of ORC Recovery Bill Ramos, are discussing the growing problem that is ORC and the importance of police involvement in ORC/ORT. “The relationship with Federal and local Law Enforcement leadership is instrumental in bringing ORC/ORT cases forward for prosecution and eventual recovery.  Our sponsorship with the International Association of Chiefs of Police ensures this continued networking to support the retail industry,” Levine states.

In a study conducted by the National Retail Federation in 2015, 97% of surveyed retailers were victims of Organized Retail Crime. Out of every $1 billion in annual sales $453,940 was lost from ORC. Out of those retailers surveyed, 78.8% support the need for federal ORC legislation. In states with ORC legislation, approximately half of retailers surveyed note that ORC laws are having a positive impact from increased support from law enforcement.

 

Learn more about The International Association of Chiefs of Police at: http: www.iacp.org/