A loss prevention consultant is a person who works with one or more companies to provide evaluation and assistance with various loss prevention issues. These consultants use procedures that can include anything from mystery shopping and running background checks on potential employees to investigating occurrences of theft and performing employee interrogations. While major corporations and large companies typically hire loss prevention associates and have employees who work full time in loss prevention, smaller companies cannot often afford full-time pay for loss prevention. A loss prevention consultant will typically work with these types of companies to provide the protection and services of a loss prevention department without the need for ongoing, full-time pay.
The methods used and services provided by a loss prevention consultant will typically vary from company to company, and are based on the needs of the business looking to hire a consultant. Loss prevention is a part of business that focuses on preventing a loss of profits due to theft, customer dissatisfaction, internal employee misconduct, and loss of product. This is often associated with shrink within a company as well, and major corporations often hire employees who specialize in loss prevention. Smaller companies often cannot afford these types of employees, and so a loss prevention consultant can be hired to provide these services.
There are a variety of services that can be offered by a loss prevention consultant, though in general they tend to focus on reducing shrink and ensuring customer satisfaction. Mystery shopper programs are a fairly common and popular method of evaluating how well employees perform their duties and interact with customers. These programs use a loss prevention consultant who appears to be a customer, but who is actually looking to see if employees are meeting various job criteria, such as providing friendly service, asking certain types of questions, and behaving appropriately around customers.
A loss prevention consultant can also be brought into a store by management to investigate incidents of theft. This can involve outside theft or employee theft, and may include viewing surveillance materials and walking through a store to find areas that might be used by potential thieves to escape detection by management or employees. Consultants can also run background checks, and many companies hire consultants who are licensed private investigators. A loss prevention consultant can also look for opportunities to improve efficiency within a company, as well as find and eliminate dangerous environmental factors in a workplace that could create possibilities for lawsuits.