Q – Who is RILA?

A – The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

Q – What is RILA’s Horizons Committee?

A – RILA’s Horizons Committee is comprised of executives across retail segments having responsibility for identifying effective technology solutions that mitigate emerging and future loss prevention risks. A primary objective of the Horizons Committee is to stimulate innovation across industries to improve retail loss prevention technology.

Q – What is the Retail Loss Prevention Technology Priorities Document (TPD)?

A – The TPD describes functionalities for certain theft deterrent technology that have been identified by retailers represented on the Horizons Committee.

Q – Does the TPD set minimum standards or impose mandatory business requirements on solution providers?

A – No. The TPD is informational in nature only – it describes technology functionalities that reflect the preferences and priorities of retailers represented on the Horizons Committee, for the purpose of providing information to potential technology providers.

Q – What is the purpose of the TPD?

A – The overall purpose of the TPD is to stimulate innovation in the retail industry in an effort to mitigate emerging loss prevention risks. Additionally, the TPD was created to encourage non-traditional solution providers to work on retail theft deterrent technology, to encourage collaboration across industries and to facilitate the exchange of information between retailers and solution providers regarding technology-based solutions.  

Q – What was the driving force behind the creation of the TPD? 

A – Thanks to the hard work and commitment of industry solution providers, retailers have at their disposal many technology solutions to help combat theft and fraud. However, despite solution providers’ best efforts and the investment of billions of dollars by retailers, theft and fraud continue to significantly impact retailers’ bottom line profits. Through the TPD process, retailers want to challenge existing industry solution providers to design innovative technology to address the challenges retailers face in the future. Additionally, retailers hope to identify non-traditional solution providers who can support retailers in their efforts to combat theft and fraud.

Q – Why is the TPD being shared with solution providers outside the retail industry? 

A – We recognize all of the technology solutions may not reside entirely within the retail industry. For example, non-traditional suppliers, government agencies, research institutions, think tanks and academia are largely untapped resources that could help facilitate the advancement of theft deterrent technology in the retail industry.  We want to encourage collaboration across industries so that we can bring the best minds together to develop cutting-edge, sustainable technology solutions.

Q – Which companies provided input into the TPD?

A – RILA’s Horizons Committee helped create the TPD and the surrounding information exchange process. Committee members include Best Buy, Big Lots, CarMax, CVS, Dollar General, jcpenney, Gap, Lowe’s, Safeway, Sears, Staples, The Home Depot, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. The Horizons Committee sponsor is Hart Systems.

Q – Who is the target audience for the TPD?

A – The target audience for the TPD is any company or individual with the capability to effectively compete in providing advanced solutions to theft and fraud deterrence.

Q – How does the TPD address the challenge faced by technology solution providers regarding the need to invest significant capital to adjust equipment designs and capabilities?

A – The TPD identifies functionalities  for theft-deterrent technology that are important to a majority of retailers on the Horizons Committee. Solution providers can use the information in the TPD to help focus their research and design efforts on solutions that are likely to be most valued by the retail community.

Q – What materials should I review as part of the TPD process?

A – You should review the Letter to Solution Providers, the TPD and the Request for Information (RFI).

Q – Where can I find the Letter to Solution Providers, the TPD and the RFI?

A – All of the documents can be found at http://www.changingretail.org.

Q – How does my company submit a response to the RFI?

A – Your company is encouraged to  complete and submit the RFI. Failure to complete the RFI in its entirety will result in your company’s submission being rejected.

Q – What can I expect to happen once my company submits its response to the RFI?

A – Members of the Horizons Committee will meet on a monthly basis to review responses received during the previous month and determine whether to request additional information from the submitting company. 

Q-  Will my company’s name be shared with the Horizons Committee along with our response to the RFI?

A – No. Company identifying information (including individual contact information) will be removed from your company’s response to the RFI before it is shared with the Horizons Committee.  

Q – When will my company’s name be disclosed to the Horizons Committee?

A – After the Horizons Committee decides whether or not to request additional information from your company, the identity of your company will be disclosed to the committee. 

Q – How will the Horizons Committee’s decision be communicated to my company?

A – You will receive an email from info@rila.org within forty (40) days of submitting a response to the RFI.

Q – If the Horizons Committee  does not wish to request additional information from my company, can individual committee members reach out to my company directly to request additional information?

A – Yes. Committee members are free to contact solution providers directly.

Q – What additional information may the Horizons Committee request from my company?

A – The nature of any additional information will vary from one solution provider to another. The Horizons Committee may ask for information regarding company resources, current technology solutions, research and design capabilities, plans for future theft deterrent technology and/or any other information that will enable retailers to learn more about your company’s products and capabilities.  

Q – Does my company complete a second RFI during this phase of the TPD process?

A – No. The Horizons Committee will identify on a case-by-case basis the specific information they are interested in receiving from a given solution provider.

Q – How will  my company receive a request for additional information?

A – The request will be made via email from info@rila.org.

Q – In what form will my company be asked to submit additional information?

A – The form of any follow-up submission may vary from one solution provider to another. Possibilities include a conference call, video conference, WebX, written submission, etc. Additional information will be presented to the Horizons Committee as a whole, but companies will then make individual decisions regarding those suppliers with which they will follow up on a one-to-one basis. RILA and the Horizons Committee will have no further role in the discussions between retailers and potential suppliers after providing the forum for the additional information to be presented. 

Q – Are non-disclosure agreements executed as part of the TPD process?

A – The RFI does not ask for proprietary or business sensitive information so an NDA should not be necessary. To the extent a solution provider requests an NDA prior to releasing additional information, the Horizon Committee will consider the request. 

Q – Is a solution provider’s response/effort limited to the technology identified in the TPD?

A – No. Solution providers are encouraged to share their advancements to other theft-deterrent technology and to research and design new technology solutions that address challenges retailers will face in the future based on emerging business trends.

Q – Will the TPD be updated periodically?

A – Yes. As the retail environment evolves, so too must theft deterrent technology. The Horizons Committee will review the TPD on a semi-annual  basis and make any appropriate enhancements.

Q – Is there a deadline for responding to the RFI?

A – Yes. Retailers have a sense of urgency around the need for cutting-edge technology to address the theft and fraud challenges that lay ahead. Responses to the RFI should be submitted by September 14, 2012. Submissions received after September 14 will be accepted but will not receive priority consideration by the Horizons Committee.

Q – Will the TPD be redistributed following each semi-annual review?

A – If enhancements are made, the TPD will be redistributed using the various channels used for the initial distribution. 

Q – Does my/my company’s submission or participation in the TPD secure any guarantees of future business or revenue?

A – No. Submitting a response to the RFI or providing additional information upon request does not constitute a guarantee or promise of future business or revenue on the part of RILA, the Horizons Committee or any individual retailer.

Q – May I respond to the TPD on behalf of joint partnerships (Company X and Company Y working together, Company X and University of Y, etc.)?

A – Yes. Indeed, partnerships and industry collaboration are strongly encouraged.