Magazine Article | December 21, 2011

How Do You Prove ROI On An Idea?

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

January 2012 Integrated Solutions For Retailers

By Tim Fisher, director, asset protection and safety, Best Buy

Benefit denial, the term coined by Dr. Read Hayes, is being reconfigured to protect products from the point of manufacture, through the supply chain, to the POS.

It was Mark Twain who said, “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.” There are a few “cranks” running around the retail loss prevention community talking about a new technology — an idea that can/will change the way we all do business in retail. Call me crazy, too, but I think these “cranks” are on to something. The unfortunate part for me is I am forced to answer the question, “How do I prove the ROI for a solution that does not yet exist in the real world?”

We all know that in the world of corporate capital expenditure committees everything that hopes to get funded has to prove to have a favorable ROI. Generally to calculate the ROI for a technology, you benchmark other experiences, implement a test environment, measure impacts, make a few assumptions for scale, and calculate the ROI. This is all a little hard to do when the new idea is not yet a fully developed product. The big idea I am talking about is the latest reimagining of technologies the industry is calling benefit denial.