The 2012/09/25 at 08:00
After over ten years working in the consumer industry, namely at Unilever-Bestfood and Maxxium-Lixir, Patrice Bahuaud joined Checkpoint Systems in 2007 in charge of the France Sales division, where he has diversified the company’s portfolio, at that point focused on the food sector. He was appointed General Manager of Checkpoint Systems France in January 2011.
Commerce International: What is meant by the term “unknown shortfall”?
Patrice Bahuaud: This refers to all inventory differences between the products a retailer believes to be in stock and those actually in stock. The missing articles represent the unknown shortfall. The Centre for Retail Research publishes a global survey on the topic every year: the Global Retail Theft Barometer. This survey allows us to draw up an accurate assessment of this issue. This is how we know that thefts carried out by clients represent 43.2 % of unknown shortfall, compared with 35 % committed by employees. The remaining 21.8 % is due to administrative, inventory or documentation errors. This information is followed up very closely by major retailers as unknown shortfall deprives them of an average of 1.4 % of their turnover, which is far from negligible.
What products are the most threatened by theft?
In mass retailing, these are primarily textiles, hygiene and beauty products, as well as alcohols. Generally speaking, they are small-sized products, high in value, that have a considerable resale value on parallel markets. It should be noted that theft has a tendency to get professionalised and that real resale networks have thus been organised.
What are the solutions offered by Checkpoint Systems?
We offer major retailers (food, textiles, household appliances, etc.) as well as industrial groups supplying them, many protection and follow-up solutions based on forty years of experience with RF (radiofrequency) technology. It would be fastidious to describe this in technical terms here, but we offer detection antennas, deactivation solutions, statistical and data software, anti-theft or labelling equipment. We therefore work more and more with our clients on the basis of a list of specifications on protection “at the source”: these solutions are then inserted during the manufacturing of the products. Other than the increase of protection, and savings in time and money represented in points of sale, this solution offers the advantage of being generally more discreet than in-store protection. Theft is thus made more difficult.
What is the RFID that you mentioned?
RFID (radio frequency identification) allows unit-level merchandise visibility. Information on size and colour for example is entered onto the label. This label is read via antennas allowing the item to be quickly identified… We can therefore follow up items all through the supply chain, from their place of manufacturing up to the point when they are paid for. The main advantage of RFID is that it allows inventories to be carried out much more quickly, reliably, and more frequently than in the past. It provides a more relevant picture of stocks, unknown shortfall and therefore necessary restocking. When stocks are up to date, increased shelf availability of articles leads to a minimum rise in sales of 5 %, with all other things being equal.
What are your assets compared with your rivals?
Our international presence is one of the factors behind our success. The main players in mass retailing are globalised, so our organisation allows us to support them and meet their needs, wherever they are set up. We are also the only ones to offer them a comprehensive palette of solutions. Each of our rivals offers a type of product while we offer a whole range…
2011 turnover: 865.3 million dollars
100 billion products secured in the last 40 years
Over 1 million radiofrequency systems installed in stores
Partnerships with the world’s 200 largest brands