Warehouse theft is always a concern when you have a successful business. Inventory shrinkage is a problem that has multiple moving parts, but the main focus will always be on the employees. To fight this, companies have to take charge and be ready to make several key changes.
1) Security Labels
Warehouse Security Labels are one of the best ways to prevent warehouse theft. It is easy to get, and even easier to apply to all existing stock. Without a labeling system in place, you will lose control over your inventory and assets. The loss will be gradual, and eventually you won’t be able to tell when it all started. Without a paper trail, finding the culprit of warehouse theft is almost impossible. Before going all out with labeling, make sure to properly group items into categories and subcategories.
2) Update Your Theft Policies
Sometimes problems with theft are related to flexible company policies. Your theft policies may be so outdated that misunderstandings are leading to inventory loss. A good example of this is how employees will sometimes ‘borrow’ things from work without fear of consequences. Sure, there is a morality question at play when this happens. But if multiple staff members at all levels are doing this, then it becomes a culture problem. Your theft policies should always highlight that there is a zero-tolerance towards theft or fraud. The punishment will be the same regardless of the value placed on the missing or ‘borrowed’ item.
3) Managerial Visibility
Presence is a big deal in environments where theft is a concern. A strong managerial presence on the warehouse floor will deter theft. If the people in charge of your inventory spend their entire day in the office, then it will embolden bad employees due to lack of oversight. Finding a good manager to control the floor is well worth your resources.
4) Limit Access to Stock
Every industry has certain restrictions in place that limits access to items based on an employee’s position. A warehouse should be no different, and this limitation should also extend to the physical layout. Barriers should be created that separate the receiving and shipping docks. And when possible, whenever inventory is present there should be a staff only requirement.
5) Background Checks
A company should be fully aware of which individuals are handling merchandise. Taking shortcuts with the hiring process leads to bad employees tricking their way into the company. Background checks can stop a good percentage of these employees from even stepping foot onto company grounds. Never forget that putting the company in a position to fail starts with hiring bad employees. Even after years of correcting this mistake, you will still have trouble returning to normalcy. Get serious with your hiring practices so that this will never be a cause of warehouse theft.
Protect the Company
It’s a good feeling when you can successfully track the cause of warehouse theft. Losing money puts your company in a bad position, and makes the actual good employees look less productive. When theft is stopped, then everyone affected wins.