Albertsons Home Center Fraud & Theft Case Study

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Albertsons Home Center CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORY Track Down Employee Theft Quickly and Efficiently OVERVIEW Albertsons Home Center Parksville, British Columbia albertsonshomecenter.com BUSINESS CHALLENGES: • Albertsons uncovered an inventory discrepancy where Spruce showed product on hand, but the item wasn't physically on the shelf. • The missing item uncovered a concerning pattern of fraudulent product returns made to a debit card instead of the original charge account. BENEFITS OF SWITCHING: • Spruce developer Wendy Hitchcock created a dashboard report filtering returns by return type (to a credit or debit card), by the last four digits of the card used, and by employee ID. In Parksville, British Columbia, Brandon Ford and the rest of the team at Albertsons Home Center have been happy users of Spruce lumber and building materials software to run the business since 2015. "If you're in the building supply business, Spruce makes it easy to take care of ordering, receiving, and getting customers through the checkout smoothly," says Ford. "And because it's Windows-based, our new hires can be up and running with Spruce on their own after just a few hours." In addition, Ford says Spruce has also brought new levels of efficiency, timeliness, and accuracy to the company's inventory management and invoicing, while its flawless purchasing interface with Orgill helps that side of the business run smoothly too. Recently though, Spruce played a different, but no less important role for Ford, as he found himself facing a major case of fraud by an Albertsons employee. An inventory discrepancy signals a potential crime "It all started when a customer wanted a circular saw and while our computer said we had one, it turned out we were out of stock," he recalls. According to the computer, the saw had been returned—hence the inventory count of one—but an extensive search revealed there was actually no product. "We looked at the sale detail and saw that while it had been purchased through an account, the return was made to a debit card and that immediately raised a red flag," Ford explains. But while eyeballing return details on one transaction might have signaled the presence of a potential problem, going any further using the same approach would be a daunting task. By Ford's estimate, Albertsons takes about 250 returns a month and that would inevitably make any kind of manual review a tedious, time-consuming process. "I started looking through the details of receipts that were done to a return to see if there was a trend in card numbers. Five hours later, I had identified about $3,000 in returns that had been made to two different card numbers by the same employee," Ford recalls. 866.374.3221 | www.ecisolutions.com | How business gets done. ©2019 ECI and the ECI logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of ECI Software Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

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