The speed of business has exponentially accelerated the supply chain, and our members rely on a variety of vendors’ tools, technology, and services to help them make their departments and the flow of goods run effectively. Our Vendor Spotlight Series aims to highlight innovative companies and their C-Level leaders who are taking the industry to the next level when it comes to LP & security.
We recently caught up with ISCPO Board Member Maurizio Scrofani, Vice President, Supply Chain Security & Intelligence of ALTO US, a comprehensive collaboration program that combines technology, marketing, and intelligent prosecution, bridging the gap between retail and law enforcement to create safer environments.
Maurizio has over 25 years of experience in asset protection, risk management, and supply-chain security. He has held various senior leadership positions with Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, De’Longhi, and more notably Verisk Analytics, where he was the co-founder and president of CargoNet™, a supply-chain risk management company.
ISCPO: How has the industry evolved over your tenure?
When my team and I built CargoNet, the core challenge was “info-share.” The databases were very remedial at the time and many victims were not discussing their losses or knew where to put the lost data without fear of being financially penalized by some entity knowing they had an event. CargoNet assisted in one of the many phases of the desperately needed industry renaissance.
Much of my retail tenure has focused on connecting the dots and understanding where the golden nuggets were hidden within the infrastructure of a multi-billion-dollar department store chain that had a global logistics footprint. Then a giant wrench called “omni-channel” was thrown into the mix. Omni-channel changed everything and that was when my retail team and I needed to move quickly into understanding the dynamic world of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its impact on both the consumer and the seller.
Buy online and pick up at store. Return to store but not the one you bought from. Return from your home to the closest warehouse. Basically, we had to solve the challenge of “buy anything, anytime from anywhere and return any which way you choose.” The logistics LTL and parcel world became a must have versus a nice to have.
In addition, the gap between brick-and-mortar professionals and supply-chain asset protection experts grew exponentially, and the ability to hire talent was strained. It quickly became evident that successful supply-chain talent was defined as logisticians with an expertise in asset protection versus asset protection experts learning logistics, let alone supply chain. The net became much wider, the systems became more advanced, and the skill sets needed to be shored up quickly.
Today, there are a handful of domestic and global SMEs that understand where to find the golden nuggets and how to expose the vulnerabilities. You can see the evolution of security to loss prevention to retail asset protection to supply-chain asset protection to eventually its final evolution—supply-chain risk management. It’s likely that omni-channel will eventually be absorbed into the supply-chain risk management umbrella.
ISCPO: What are the three most important elements a company must do to maintain a high standard of supply-chain protection?
In its simplest term, a company must strongly consider vetting all its sourcing points—who they are buying from and selling to. And that effort needs to focus on real-time visibility because today even the best planners and forecasters is surprised by unanticipated situational events.
Plus, there must be an audit or compliance program that supports best practice standards, government regulations, and the organization’s internal standards as well, while stressing testing compliance through a comprehensive assessment program. Omni-channel will continue to gain momentum, complexity, and speed so waiting and watching is unacceptable and will quickly foster unintentional risk exposure.
ISCPO: What are the biggest challenges to supply-chain protection and security, from a holistic industry level?
I believe system integration continues to be a challenge. There are those that continue to use the phrase “big data.” However, the data resides in multiple places. Even in the same company, one often can’t get to the information or doesn’t even know where it is available if it is at all. Most subject-matter experts are deep within their vertical but not often wide. Those who understand it holistically are not able to teach or touch as many folks as they need to in order to continue to shore up the industry risk mitigation efforts.
Industry acceptance as it relates to consultive efforts to shore up a retailer’s loss prevention program remains a problem. If you look at the supply-chain space, we do bring on consultants, and they assist in moving projects and programs forward quickly. However, when you look at the brick-and-mortar space, you will see minimal adoption by loss prevention departments of this commonly used practice. My experience has been that if I needed to run multiple efforts or projects in parallel, my team was never big enough or had the amount of bandwidth necessary, so we had to use outside help.
ISCPO: Tell us a challenge you see facing many professionals in the industry today and how your product/service helps to solve this issue?
As we speak with both Fortune 100 and smaller clients, we notice that the size of the company does not correlate to the size of its challenges, as they are all facing similar problems. The various solutions that are legacy based or bought off the shelf, all have one fundamental flaw—they do not integrate well and are not exposing “what you don’t know that you don’t know.” We work tirelessly to ensure that we have looked at all facets of the supply chain, not just the logistics channels, and can eat that elephant with our clients one forkful at a time, while still meeting their day-to-day demands.
We focus on a modular system that can come online and fits the client’s annual sales horizons, so we are not a financial burden. We expose their risk in terms of dynamic scoring from static origin locations, to dynamic in-transit scoring, to business partner selection as their personal vetting agent, if that is their need. We give them a comprehensive business intelligence platform that ties in an innovative event management platform, solid relationship analysis tool, and an omni-channel investigation system. We work feverishly to assist in democratizing their data to be useful and actionable. Our goal is to make complicated data easy to read and execute against.
ALTO is a comprehensive loss prevention collaboration program that combines technology, marketing, and intelligent prosecution, bridging the gap between retail and law enforcement to create safer environments for customers and associates as well as enhanced business profitability. To find out more visit www.alto.us.