How to Speed Up Your Work by Using Hotkeys

It seems that no one writes with a pen and paper any more. If you’re like most, typing has become useful than writing. Here are a few hotkeys to make life easier.

For Windows computers use Ctr + C to copy highlight text. Use Crt + V paste past what’s in the clipboard. Ctr + P is to print; Crt + A is to select all; and Ctr+ Z is to undo.

These are just a few hot keys to help make life easier. I will list more hot keys in upcoming Tek Tips.

CONTROLTEK Declared Integrator of the Year Award by Nedap

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., (October 25, 2017)CONTROLTEK, an emerging leader in retail product protection, has received the Integrator of the Year Award by Nedap, the Netherlands-based manufacturer of increasingly popular iD Top and iSense EAS systems.

“Nedap is pleased to honor CONTROLTEK for leading the way in total system deliveries this year and for the success of its first time right program,” said Pat O’Leary, Nedap’s vice president and general manager.  “Together, our two companies have successfully executed one of the largest rollouts in 2017 industry-wide, and we look forward to continuing to serve the industry together with cutting edge technology solutions and unparalleled execution.”

“Here at CONTROLTEK, we are especially proud of our first time right program, which boasts a success rate of 95%,” said Dave Hardeman, CONTROLTEK’s director of Client Solutions Delivery.  “What the program meant to our clients is less headaches, fewer disruptions and the peace of mind knowing that their systems are working as promised.  We are very pleased with our partnership with Nedap, and believe that the quality of their hardware combined with the quality of our deployment makes us the highest value option when it comes to EAS.”

The two companies have had a successful partnership since 2015, and jointly offer a suite of EAS and RFID options, which include systems, analytics, tags and labels.

You Have a Magnifying Glass You Didn’t Know About

No, it’s not a metaphor – I am talking about a real magnifying glass. For people with less than perfect eyesight, this simple tool is a lifesaver.

The magnifying glass I am talking about is built into your phone. It’s a little known feature of both iPhones and Android phones, and it’s called the Digital Magnifying Glass. You can find it and turn it on in the accessibility settings.

If you often use your phone as a flashlight to read a menu in a dark restaurant this tool may help. Take it from someone who uses it all the time.

CONTROLTEK Exhibits the Latest in Security Packaging at the AFP Conference in San Diego

Team CONTROLTEK participated in this year’s conference of the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) by demonstrating different ways thieves attempt to steal cash in transit, and the anti-theft measures our company incorporates into our security products.  On display were the methods including heat, cold and liquids often used by would-be thieves, and how such methods are foiled with tamper-evident packaging.

The two tamper-evident bags that generated the most interest among the conference attendees were the SafeLOK (for its simplicity and ease of use) and TripLOK (for its innovative triple-seal closure).

AFP is a professional society that promotes the standards of excellence in finance.  Its membership consists of corporate finance professionals, banks and technology partners.

Take Control of Your Social Media Identity

Recently I attended a conference about cyber security. After exchanging business cards with several people, I started to add folks to my LinkedIn network. One of the individuals sitting at the table with me made it a point to say how he didn’t have a LinkedIn account and he didn’t like social media.

I still searched his name on LinkedIn and lo and behold – a profile appeared. I showed it to him and he was shocked – the profile had all his information but it wasn’t him. Someone was impersonating him.

Social engineers and hackers look to assume certain security professional’s identities. It can start simply with creating a social media profile. So whether you like social media or not, you probably should create an account on popular networks using your email and name. You can make the account private, which will make it more difficult for people to assume your identity this way.

There have been instances of several high level government officials being impersonated using fake LinkedIn profiles. Don’t let it happen to you.

What happens when you delete something on Social Media? Delete doesn’t always mean it’s gone.

Ever wonder what happens when you delete a tweet, public Facebook post, or comment on a news story.
In theory, once you delete, bam it’s gone. More often it’s around forever. Several services index the web, Google, and Bing use indexing to make searches respond faster. Search engine indexing collects, and stores data for fast and accurate information retrieval. If you deleted a Tweet that was indexed it could still come up in the cached search results. There are also several services paid and free that index and store web info for marketing and research purposes. The basic rule of thumb is once it’s posted it’s out there forever. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to defend in court or talk about at work.

CONTROLTEK’s Tom Meehan Presents the Latest Study Into Retail Security Operations Centers at This Year’s LPRC Conference

Tom Meehan, a recognized expert in the field of loss prevention, offered to the conference attendees the data that shows how emergency response can be improved through the setup and proper use of security operations centers.  Some of the topics he touched upon were how collaboration between different departments within an organization improves emergency response, how incident command systems are used to organize a response within a hierarchical structures, and how publicly-available information sources can be used to speed up emergency response.

Team CONTROLTEK also displayed our latest loss prevention technologies at the conference’s show floor, including our latest FlatGuard™ tag for small leather goods and ThePadlock self-alarming tag with an adjustable-length lanyard.

LPRC (Loss Prevention Research Council) is a non-profit organization lead by a team of scientists from the University of Florida who conduct research into retail security and theft-prevention.

Who Has Your Login Credentials?

I’m sure you’ve seen the news about the security breaches of different web service providers. Yahoo, LinkedIn, Adobe and Dropbox, just to name a few, have all been compromised by hackers. Regardless of how old the breaches are, once the information is out on the web it’s available to the bad guys pretty much forever.

Are you wondering if your login credentials have been compromised? Here is where you can check:

Follow the instructions by entering your email, and this site will tell you if your credentials are at risk. If it turns out your information has been a part of one of the many breaches, be sure to change your password immediately.

Brick-and-Mortar Is Not Dead; Amazon Just Proved It

(This article originally appeared in Loss Prevention Magazine)

Brick-and-mortar didnt die, and Amazon just confirmed it with its purchase of Whole Foods. Unless you live under a rock, you have seen the news related to Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods for more than $13 billion. Over 90 percent of retail purchases are made in-store today. So why all the news of store closings and retailers that are underperforming?

Have all the mergers and acquisitions over the years made some retailers too big to maintain their size, or have some retailers not evolved with the change in consumer behaviors? Could it be that customer expectations have changed rapidly in the last five years with technology? What role does the Internet play?

Today, customers are more educated than ever on product costs, sales, and quality. The Internet allows customers to be more educated than ever and to set the tone for the experience and their expectations. Don’t forget that the demographic of the world is changing, and there are more people from more generations than ever. So how does a retailer cater to everyone? While I certainly don’t have the exact answer, I want to throw out a few things that Amazon has done to continue to grow and thrive, regardless of their success, profitability, or longevity.

Amazon Prime

The Amazon Prime service has a fee associated with it but is very similar to a loyalty program. For a yearly fee, you get expedited shipping and access to content like music, videos, and books. All the benefits are tangible and easy to understand. When you think of loyalty programs, normally what comes to mind is airlines and hospitality. While airlines and hospitality seem to have the loyalty piece figured out, it’s far from being straightforward and often has a lot of confusing fine print. Amazon Prime, on the other hand, was designed to be simple: pay this fee every year, and—bam—you get benefits. Free two-day shipping, a better price in some circumstances, free content like videos, music, books, and magazines, and access to digital services are only some of the perks. Amazon Prime is more about the customer experience and the technology itself. While most will look back and say Amazon is a technology company, I would challenge you to think about how they use technology to enhance the customer’s experience.

Amazon Go

Amazon Go, while technically still a pilot, is a small-footprint store with minimal customer detractors. This allows the customer experience to be quick and easy. It can be considered the next generation of self-checkout. While the Amazon Go concept is still in pilot, it draws attention to the fact that Amazon is always geared toward the customer experience or at least the presentation is. Amazon Go uses advanced technology to allow the customer to go into a store, pick up an item, and leave without ever interacting with a cashier or point-of-sale (POS) system by using a smartphone and sensors throughout the store. My point with Amazon Go is not whether it is a good or a bad idea. The simple fact is that Amazon is consistently willing to try to enhance the customer experience.

Amazon Books

Amazon Books is a brick-and-mortar bookstore with a lot of extras. When you think of Amazon Books and you include Amazon Prime, it takes the best of both worlds and combines them together. Amazon Books has a select number of products generally in the most popular categories and allows you to shop as you would in a regular bookstore or with your app. You can use your app to pay, or you can pay in a normal fashion. If you’re a Prime customer, you receive all the price and extra benefits of Prime while you’re in the store. Much like the Apple Store, Amazon Books stores are extremely modern from the lighting to the setup itself. While I only had an opportunity to go into two Amazon Books, the experience is fun and quick with fast and friendly service.

Whole Foods

Lastly, why would Amazon buy Whole Foods? For starters, Amazon has been working on same-day grocery delivery for some time. Delivering fresh groceries is much more challenging because they’re perishable and a lot more susceptible to damage in delivery. Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, in my opinion, is about a logistics and supply chain—a bigger network of warehouses to get customers fresh food within four hours.

Retail Loss Prevention

At this point, if you’re asking yourself what this has to do with retail loss prevention, I hope I can tie it together. What Amazon has done, and some retailers have failed to do, is figured out how to create a customer experience that is conducive to the evolution of technology, economic state, and the generational differences. So the next time you think of tackling a loss prevention challenge like shrink, I would recommend taking a step back and taking those three considerations. For example, twenty-five years ago, if you had a problem in the store, your first inclination may be to lock it up or staff the store. What if you found ways to sell the product quicker, faster and better while increasing inventory visibility by utilizing RFID to pinpoint the problem?

Another example could be working with real estate to determine risk. In the past, you would look at crime and other statistics. Today, you can use your advanced marketing model, customer shopping behaviors, and your dot-com data on orders. What about identifying a dishonest customer today? You could reverse your good marketing models to see the bad customers.

Lastly, with EAS in the past, you would look at an AM or RF solution. Today, you can use an RFID solution to protect your product while enhancing your inventory to help fulfill online orders.

My point here is not that Amazon is a danger but rather a company that should help raise the bar for all of us. Use all your data and resources. Always think of the customer experience first. Remember that more than 90 percent of people still shop in a store. Make their experience great, so it stays that way. Always think bigger.


Tom’s column regularly appears on every issue of LP Magazine. To subscribe to the printed version of the magazine and enjoy other great content visit