Keeping Your Valuable Stock Safe This Christmas

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Christmas is Upon Us

Christmas is here. Which means that in the next fortnight, more people will be trooping through your doors to find the perfect gift. But the busier you get, the more likelihood there is for what is known in the trade as shrinkage.

Shrinkage is the inventory loss caused by crime or administrative error. It is also the number one cause of reduced profits in the retail industry, worldwide.

We reported several years ago that shrinkage has risen in recent years, and is estimated to cost the retail industry up to £5.03bn in losses. While the largest proportion of this is by shoplifters, a close second is due to employee theft.

Reducing Internal Security Issues

It is a sad fact, but sometimes the people you pay to run your business can try to sabotage you, but it’s a fact.

This shocking statistic cuts across every industry – distribution centre workers have devised elaborate methods of getting parcels delivered to alternate addresses, warehouse handlers collide with truck drivers to divert shipments, shop assistants swipe goods from the stockroom to sell on the black market etc.

With so many avenues to diminish your company profits, from the inside, how can you prevent these losses?

Steps for Reducing Retail Theft

The following installations have been proven to deter retail theft:

  • Steel security shutter
  • A collapsible grille
  • Working burglar alarms
  • CCTV or dummy cameras
  • Visible security guards.

These will scare off most opportunistic shoplifters whose average theft loss per incident is £42.

But there are also other steps that you can take as well.

1. Resolve All Handling Issues.

Warehouses and distribution centres are manic at this time of year with shoppers taking advantage of next day delivery options. In the midst of this organised chaos, parcels and packages get mishandled, fall off pallets, are tossed around by staff, even crushed by speeding forklifts. Counter the losses from replacing items by reminding your staff of correct handling procedures at the start of every shift.

2. Restrict Access To Sensitive Areas.

Not all your staff require access to your inner offices or server room. Restricting access reduces the chances of opportunistic crime. Issue electronic access cards to track and limit people who enter sections contain important information. You can also nominate trusted members of staff as key-holders.

3. Robust Hiring Procedures

No matter if you are hiring through in-house staffing or by third-party recruiters, always carry out thorough background checks. The DBS check can help track employment history. You should also ask for references from previous employers.

4. Incentivise Staff

Sometimes, physical deterrents may not be the solution. Creating a sound company culture can be just as helpful. Are staff happy working for you? Create a rewarding work environment. If you have people in over the holidays, look for ways to incentivise them. Offer discounts, bonuses, extra hours pay etc. Remember you expect them to provide excellent customer service, always. Reward them accordingly.

5. Controls And Countermeasures

Schedule more than one employee per shift; this has been proven to reduce theft. To prevent collusion, frequently rotate schedules and partners. Instituting a bag checking policy at the end of every shift will also help reduce employee theft.

Every store has it’s unique characteristics that make it easier to fiddle with profits. It is vital that you log incidents and over time, use the logs to discover where the exact source of shrinkage is.

At SRL Limited, we know how important the choice of roller shutter is to your bottom line. This is why we work with you to find and fit doors that will guarantee the security of your goods and profits.

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