The Security and Loss Prevention department of a large discount retailer reached out with a request to build an emergency response program for their owned high rise in New York City. The success of this initial program resulted in the addition of all other offices and facilities within the system. Within a year, they also added an emergency response program that could scale to meet the needs of all 2,500 of their retail locations.
The company was in high growth mode with stores being added at a rapid pace. At the project inception, they were just launching a 24/7 response center to handle calls and incidents across the system. All of their various facilities needed to be tied together with consistent protocols and actions to ensure the analysts in the response center could assist seamlessly no matter what the emergency and at which facility.
- The need to account for interaction with the general public in stores; especially challenging were store locations in areas with high crime rates and consistent and ongoing incidents.
- All materials needed to be operationally accurate, but also useful for a staff with little training and high turnover.
After the initial assessment, the project team determined that the program should be designed around the most common scenarios faced by each facility, but with consistent actions, checklists, and guidance:
- Scenario-based guidance for stores was organized in a colorful and high UX flipchart with concise language accessible by even the lowest level staff.
- Guidance for major facilities such as the high-visibility NYC building was structured to meet the highest regulatory standards.
- Scenarios for the data center were designed to give response actions for specific systems and controls in use, such as an oxygen-suppressing halon system. Security and access control protocols were adjusted accordingly.
- The 24/7 response center received a playbook containing over 100 process diagrams to make all actions across the entire system understandable to analysts, with built in if/then scenarios for triaging criticality in incident response.
All materials were developed utilizing a content management system, which allowed for efficient development, consistent look and feel, cross-utilization of topics within different guides, program-based translation services, and output to Word, PDF, and HTML for various publication channels.
- Creating an entire organic system and structure across all facilities in the system ensured consistent response actions and adherence to best-in-class standards for Loss Prevention.
- Utilization of a cross-functional project team made up of subject matter experts paired with technical writers and UX designers resulted in tightly written materials with high operational accuracy.
All systems and materials are in constant use and the entire program has scaled successfully to the current count of 3,500 retail units.
All materials are maintained on an ongoing basis and receive a twice-yearly review and update.