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Risk Intelligence Aids Asset Protection

Risk intelligence and assessment play a critical role in asset protection and security at Wegmans Food Markets. With 99 stores (#100 opening soon) across seven states, regional and corporate headquarters, over 50,000 employees, and hundreds of thousands of daily customers, asset protection is a daunting task. Wegmans data oriented risk intelligence approach makes this much more manageable.

Mike Capozzi, Director of the Wegmans Asset Protection Risk Team, outlined the approach used at Wegmans at the September 19, 2019 ASIS Rochester meeting. Wegmans deploys a continuous process consisting of: Identify – Measure – Manage – Monitor – Report.

Identify – Wegmans maintains a detailed framework covering all aspects of risk (defined as the possibility of loss or injury). The framework includes Crime, Activism, Workplace Violence, Accidents, Food Tampering, Terrorism, broken down into many sub-categories and data sets. This establishes a known common basis across the entire company for measurement, reporting, etc.  

Measure – Wegmans not only uses internal data but connects to a variety of outside sources to build a complete profile of risk. The main vehicle for pulling this together is the Annual Risk Assessment conducted at each location. Data gathered includes: UCR crime statistics, violent crimes within 1 and 3 mile radius, FBI drug data, on property incidents both internally reported and via police department, and apprehensions in the geographic area. From the data gathered, a crime risk assessment is developed. The data is analyzed and site characteristics established. This allows for comparison with other stores with similar characteristics including development of risk profiles for new store locations under consideration. Wegmans employs a PhD Criminologist and PhD Statistician on the Asset Protection staff to guide and continue to develop the measurement and predictive modelling process.

A key part of the measurement process is the work to include multiple data sets including “outside” data. Wegmans makes use of multiple resources like ESRI for personal crime data, FOIL requests, newsfeeds within 3 mile radius for verification of data, social media monitoring, and other tools like geospatial analysis/geo-mapping.

Manage – Assessments are conducted annually or more frequent if needed (e.g. a string of incidents) and reviewed with by the Asset Protection team and store management and local law enforcement. The assessments along with predictive modelling guides day to day and strategic decision making covering such items as level of visible presence of Asset Protection personnel, additions of lighting, technology monitoring, training, and hiring practices. While the data and assessments provide valuable insights, Wegmans also relies on the input of its personnel in the decision making process.

Monitor – Another aspect of the program is to actively monitor for risks. This is done by store management and employees, on-site security, Threat Intelligence team, and the use of high-end cameras and monitoring technology. Wegmans expects that advances in Facial recognition and analytics will further support monitoring efforts.

Report – In combination of internal databases with all types of incident and threat data, annual assessments and threat intelligence reports warn of future risks to help prevent them from occurring. This approach helps Wegmans get in front of risk situations rather than just react.

Wegmans has honed its risk intelligence process over 20 years and continues to develop it further. It continues to be dynamic and evolving, yet provides a stable disciplined approach to support the management of the many and varied risks Wegmans faces on a daily basis.

 

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