Value Of The Weekly POS Activity Summary
Over the last few years, SEI’s Loss Prevention Department has gone through many changes, including changing their approach to handling certain critical inventory situations with franchisees. Loss Prevention has even changed its name to Asset Protection, which has led many franchisees to wonder whose assets they are protecting more—franchisees’ or SEI’s?
The changes within the department began with the rollout several years ago of a new POS system all over the country that employed scan data to raise questions about transactions at store level. At the time, franchisees viewed the system with curiosity and trepidation, and we wondered how it would be operated and used by SEI. Would our franchisor use it to view how we operate our stores, or would it be used to help uncover theft and other inventory problems?
We soon got our answer, as some franchisees began receiving FIWs, coupon markups, and in some cases the markups for SEI’s share of lost gross profit dollars based on data from this system. These actions raised franchisee anxiety levels significantly, and we questioned the triggers for these moves and how different kinds of markups were calculated. Although SEI explained new software had been installed to monitor all POS activity for “red flags” that would lead to further investigation and accumulation of data, franchisees always felt that Asset Protection did not provide enough education on what the department is looking for and what exactly triggers red flags. After many meetings between franchisee leadership and SEI on the subject, we now have a tool that tells us exactly what’s been happening at the POS level—the Weekly POS Activity Summary.
This report is sent to franchisees via the store e-mail system as an attachment every week. Franchisees may log in to 7-Connect, go to the e-mail section and print this report.
The Weekly POS Activity Summary contains aggregated data for a range of seven days. The first page gives totals by each cashier’s store I.D. number for transactions, items, sales total, average basket size and amount, drawer violations and length of cash drawer open in minutes. It also gives the top three Highest Volume Activities, which can differ from store to store. For example, some stores may have the highest number of item voids, no sales or penny rings, while other stores may have a higher number of manufacturer coupons than the market average.
Page two covers Exception Categories by cashiers. It gives you the market average, store totals and a breakdown of store totals by all the cashiers with details showing Count, Amount and Percentage for all sixteen categories comparable with the market average. Franchisees can also compare all the Exceptions with sales total numbers per cashier and figure out which Exception Category is higher for a particular cashier. This would allow you to discuss with them the reason behind it and guide them to use caution. It is a good report, and once you start printing it regularly it is easier to understand and figure out the causes creating all the exceptions above market averages.
The Weekly POS Activity Summary is a good tool to narrow down to one or two store cashiers those with a higher number of exceptions. Then you can start monitoring other reports like the Void or Abort Transaction reports, the No Sales report, or details of the transactions from your ISP via the Electronic Journal to see if the cashier is doing something wrong or stealing. At that stage you may involve your field consultant and Asset Protection manager, as they have adopted a new policy now that if you involve them you may not get a markup for SEI’s share of lost gross profit dollars, although it is also a controversial subject as franchisees already pay for shortages.
Overall, the Weekly POS Activity Summary is a good report to print regularly and analyze so you can minimize your losses.