Open for Business in North America: Welcoming Bobby Haskins
A few weeks ago, I made a massive career (and life) decision, to leave an Asset Protection (AP) job that I love, where I worked with great people and supportive management, to jump onboard with an exciting new entrant to the North American market as their first US team member.
I’ve always been motivated by the opportunity to challenge teams and people to think differently. This mentality is grounded in the desire to help teams and people drive improvement from that change. Through my role in Asset Protection Innovation at Target and my involvement with the LPRC, I’ve had the opportunity to help improve the collective AP industry, with a passion for experimenting and learning from new capabilities.
It was in this role that I first came across Auror, a young and ambitious company from New Zealand helping retailers report, solve, and prevent crime in-stores. I stumbled across them in one of the far corners of the giant exhibitor hall of NRF Protect in DC in 2017.
While they were early in their journey and capability, what struck me was their innovative approach to supporting retailers to combat crime and ORC in stores. They wanted to learn about our challenges around crime in-stores and they listened. They also like challenging the status-quo. I believe this approach is critical in helping AP make step changes in this country.
We’ve kept in touch over the last couple of years and I’ve watched their thinking evolve. Earlier in 2018, they told me they were going to rebuild their Retail Crime Intelligence Platform from the ground up. I asked them why, given their existing platform was already very impressive looking and helping retailers in Australia and New Zealand achieve unheard of levels of reduction in losses in the market. It came down to all their learnings (they really were listening) from discussions with major retailers in North America and the UK, and knowing they needed to provide more flexibility, enterprise level control, and capability. They felt it would be easier to do this by rebuilding from the ground up. It’s this boldness, long-term thinking, and belief in how they are supporting retailers that got me excited!
Before I go any further on why I joined the Auror team, let’s address the big elephant in the room….how do you actually pronounce Auror? While using our thick American accent to pronounce Auror it is best to think “Aura”, like an aura of mystery (exactly how we all felt about how to pronounce Auror). Hope that clears it up for everyone!
So why did I join the Auror team?
- In my previous role in AP Innovation, and chairing the LPRC LP Innovation Working Group I spent a lot of time looking at new technologies in AP (and wider). I found many incumbent solution partners in the AP space continue to innovate around features which can generate incremental improvement, but very few solution partners are bold enough to challenge the whole approach to a problem like stopping crime in your stores. Innovating around a problem first is where I believe the potential for step change improvement exists.
- Retailers continue to invest significantly in reducing external theft related loss. But it’s hard to really turn the dial. I believe there is a lot of opportunity in this space, to help retailers reduce external lost, and invest less to do it.
- There is industry appetite to collaborate around ORC. The problem has gotten that bad. I believe technology has a significant role to play to underpin the AP industry’s efforts. I believe this is the opportunity for Auror. To help support the industry to collaborate effectively to combat ORC once and for all.
It’s clear I’ve got big aspirations for how AP/LP can evolve their approach to combating crime and ORC in-stores. Like all new approaches, there are some challenges that will need to be overcome around this approach but I’m excited to meet and work with the innovators and early adopters in the industry to help reduce crime in your stores.
Keep fighting the good fight!