From interacting with shoplifters on the frontlines and leading grocery AP/LP teams to overseeing ORC investigations and implementing advanced technologies at scale, Chris Ochs has seen it all in his 20+ years of industry experience.
That’s why Auror is so excited to have Chris on the team as a Retail Partnerships Manager – his direct experience and insights are wildly impactful for our entire community.
We caught up with Chris to learn more about his vision at Auror and how he plans to keep making an impact across retail communities.
Can you summarize your AP/LP journey?
I’ve spent the last 20 years in AP/LP, starting as a store LP specialist where my job was to interact with shoplifters on a daily basis. I progressed in my career to store LP manager, district LP manager, and division AP leader. I branched out to reclamation, wrapped up with implementing artificial intelligence solutions, and then was a product manager deploying direct store delivery software solutions for AP.
What was the industry like when you started? What’s changed?
It was a calmer world. Shoplifting back then didn’t always resort to weaponry. ORC and recidivist offending didn’t really exist in the same way it does now.
The advent of technology has changed the environment. It allows for easy transportation, easy links and communication between people. This allows the bad actors to organize more effectively, to communicate, to plan and to structure what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it.
Going forward, what do you think the biggest challenge in the industry will be?
Personnel safety. With the rise in retail violence, it’s difficult for retailers to get quality help and to find the people that will do the job well. Finding the right balance between training and technology is going to be key to survival for all organizations.
Technology cannot completely replace labor and labor cannot completely replace technology. The two become interdependent and you use one to leverage the strength of the other. So training people on effective use of technology will be a key to success.
I like that I get to help people and solve problems – guiding clients and helping them understand how the platform can empower them to safely prevent crime, loss, and harm. Not only that, helping them communicate with their industry peers as well as law enforcement.
I also like Auror’s mission. It’s not lip service to say that Auror wants to stamp out retail crime. It’s truly believed here and we’ve assembled an amazing team to do it.
We heard you’re passionate about eliminating food insecurity?
I have never experienced food insecurity in my life and it took me working in a food kitchen with people who were food insecure to realize the benefits I’ve received in my life and to realize not everyone has been as fortunate.
In my reclamation manager role at a large grocer, I worked hand-in-hand with food banks across the US and gained an understanding of what it meant to keep people fed and how difficult that is in some communities. With our longer logistics supply chains, businesses that food banks rely on are not actually donating food to their own communities. Instead, their donations are actually being sent back to processing centers that could be several miles away and the food is getting redistributed wherever those centers are.
I continue to stay in touch with food banks and help connect them with local restaurants and other opportunities to help them feed their own communities.
Chris and everyone else at Auror are focused on serving more than 75,000 AP/LP professionals around the world to prevent crime and loss in their stores. Amongst them are some of the world’s leading grocery retailers – learn more about how we serve these communities: How Retail Crime Intelligence works for grocery stores