Strategies to Reduce Company Costs & Employee Retail Theft

While your firm can go to great lengths to find cheap inventory and minimize labor costs, there are many little financial leaks that hurt the company and really add up over time. Here are several strategies to reduce company costs and employee retail theft.

Verify Inventory Counts

Your inventory should be drawn down by customer sales and added to once you receive orders and restock the shelves. Unfortunately, inventory is also whittled away by accidental breakage, customer theft, employee theft and products that go bad. You can limit accidental damage by investing in packaging that protects the product if dropped

The rest of these factors can be addressed by periodically doing a manual inventory. For example, spot checking inventory counts of top sellers and high value items allows you to notice discrepancies sooner than your quarterly or annual inventory of everything in the store. Then you can recognize when items have disappeared almost as soon as they’re gone. You can search for them in case they’re misplaced in storage or sitting in a bin to be restocked. However, if the actual inventory is much lower than expected, you know that theft is a serious issue. You’ll be able to implement anti-theft measures like putting these items behind locked
cases, reducing losses.

Prosecute Shoplifting

While monitoring and surveillance are considered the gold standard for loss prevention, this will only increase the odds you find out who is stealing from you. However, if you want less of something, discourage it. Shoplifting is a problem. It accounts for more than a third of inventory loss. Prosecute organized retail gangs as well as kids who argue they’re doing it for fun. Then publicize these prosecutions. If a group of teenagers faces serious consequences for stealing items, they, their friends and anyone who hears about it is less likely to steal in general. And thieves are less likely to visit your store.

Track Employees, Too

Internal employee theft is a serious issue, accounting for almost a third of all inventory loss. You can reduce the odds of internal theft if you screen employees for integrity. However, there are additional steps you can take. For example, you can monitor their actions, too, when they are stocking the shelves and pilfer items or bag extra items they didn’t ring up when checking out their friends. Imposing consequences for theft and violation of anti-theft policies will discourage others from stealing from the company, too. This means firing those who steal inventory or cash and prosecuting them criminally. A related issue is tracking employees’ time worked. Track time worked via badges and proximity sensors. Ensure that they’re paid for the time the work and verify that they’re properly logging the time they’re working. A culture of honesty and transparency will reduce the odds people steal items because they think they’re owed it for unpaid overtime or extra hours the manager made them work off the clock.

Keep It Clean

Did you know that it is easier to steal items from a messy store? When shelves are disorderly and clothing is piled on the floor, it is easier for someone to sneak an item into their bag and walk out with it. This is why keeping shelves and aisles clean and organized is essential to immediately noticing when something is missing. A side benefit to the clean, orderly facility is that it looks like it is well maintained and cared for, reducing the odds someone thinks they’ll get away with shoplifting. Furthermore, if you immediately report and track broken items so it can be cleaned up, someone can’t lie and claim they were damaged before pilfering it.


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