Founded in 1999 and headquartered in the Hague, Netherlands, T-Mobile Netherlands—the largest telecommunications company in the Netherlands—brings its state-of-the-art 5G network to roughly 6.9 million customers. Read on to learn how Resolver helped
We can no longer imagine our lives without smartphones. Many of us would sooner forget our wallets at home than leave without our mobile phones. But how many of us consider how our smartphones make their way to us?
Imagine your local mobile phone shop, where some merchandise is on display, but the bulk of the product is stored securely out of sight. While security systems and protocols make a simple grab-and-dash from a mobile phone store increasingly difficult, retailers are reporting more dangerous armed robberies, like what we might think of at a bank. Security experts are seeing collaboration and planning between organized crime groups (OCGs) and street gangs. In some cases, up to half of the store’s merchandise is stolen before OCGs smuggle them out of the country, where they are then “wiped” and rendered untraceable to the retail supplier and costing millions in lost revenue. In their 2020 Organized Retail Crime Survey, the U.S. National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated the toll from organized retail crime to be massive, “with the average loss topping $700,000 per $1 billion in sales.”
In 2009, only 5% of the global population owned a smartphone (roughly 340 million units). Fast forward to 2022, when global annual smartphone unit shipments are predicted to grow to more than 1.4 billion units. According to researchers, the global smartphone market will grow roughly 9% annually, reaching nearly $800 billion by 2027. With the worldwide demand rising just as quickly as the price of the devices themselves, it’s no surprise that device theft is one of the fastest-growing crime sectors.
A single pallet of smartphones has a potential street value of £750,000. With the rise of peer-to-peer markets (like Facebook Marketplace) and growing income disparity in Europe, a robust black market for smartphones has emerged. For a business such as T-Mobile Netherlands, the financial impacts range from massive stock loss, customer dissatisfaction, a reduction in sales (and therefore revenue) due to decreased stock to skyrocketing insurance premiums.
Measuring shrinkage is an issue for most retailers. Market research reports rely on surveys, but with few companies having central incident data management, distinguishing between known or unknown shrinkage can be a challenge in loss reporting for risk professionals. According to BSI and TT Club’s Cargo Theft Report 2021, electronics make up 9% of global commodities stolen, with hijacking and “theft from facility” being the primary concern. But retail and personal theft of smartphones are also advancing, both in incident numbers and sophistication of tactics, meaning security matters at every stage of the smartphone lifecycle.
According to Europol, “Organised crime groups make use of various online services to facilitate their burglaries. This includes checking on social media platforms whether individuals are away from targeted residences, scouting targeted neighbourhoods using free online navigation tools and fencing goods via online marketplaces.”
Retailers like T-Mobile Netherlands also need to consider the safety of personnel and customers in these escalated incidents. Over time, a company may face brand risk, depending on the scale and frequency of theft attacks.
Enter Michel Beer, Physical Security & Investigations Specialist at T-Mobile Netherlands. A Resolver client since 2019, Beer’s job is to protect T-Mobile from such incidents, Beer relies on Resolver’s risk intelligence solutions to build visibility into locations, follow trends on thefts, and effectively predict where incidents are more likely to occur.
“In the Netherlands, maintaining a high level of safety and security is essential for T-Mobile. Last year the Dutch telecom sector saw an increase in the number of raids on shops and quickly acted to protect our stock, but more importantly, our customers and employees. Risks like these are unavoidable in the business but minimising these as far as possible is crucial for T-Mobile.” Michel Beer, Physical Security & Investigations Specialist at T-Mobile Netherlands
Using Resolver’s highly customizable, easy-to-use, no-code platform, Beer was able to centralize incident reporting and data, making it easier to pull reports with the push of a button. He then analyzed the data, assessing which locations were more vulnerable and adjusting security protocols proactively to protect staff and customers.
The severity of these incidents—and their effect on people in the store at the time of the attacks—were of utmost concern to T-Mobile Netherlands and needed to be solved quickly. With common street gangs looking to make a name for themselves, the team had to act swiftly and precisely to deter this violent trend. Enter Resolver.
“Resolver helps us to detect common causes of incidents early and proactively address concerns instead of simply reacting after a loss, often an industry standard. As a challenger in the market, we strive to offer a higher level of service to our customers, whether it be the best network, outstanding customer service, or the highest possible level of security. Thanks to the trend analysis we can create with Resolver, we have gained insight into theft trends and can predict where incidents are more likely to occur. That information helps us optimize our security policy and act accordingly, minimising risks as much as possible.” Michel Beer, Physical Security & Investigations Specialist at T-Mobile Netherlands
Beer cites the ability to find common causes of incidents with Resolver’s link charts, root cause analysis, and trend reporting as helping with their overall efforts to prevent unwanted events. Resolver’s actionable data has helped T-Mobile Netherlands mitigate future occurrences and impact. “You want to act as quickly as possible,” says Beer. “If a robbery happens on Monday, we can act fast through the availability of data to be able to stop the next incident from happening.”
“The most crucial thing for our security team is to have our data instantly accessible and structured,” says Beer. The improved data analysis capability and risk intelligence have clarified the two significant areas of concern to executive leadership: customer safety and gang activity. The benefit has been material both in terms of reducing shrinkage and community protection. Using Resolver in tandem with other security protocols T-Mobile Netherlands has put into place has meant six months incident-free at the retail level.
By leveraging Resolver, Beer and his team can harness the power of their process to improve the security of the organization, ensuring that customers feel safe and secure, and continue to bring their business to T-Mobile locations across the Netherlands.
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