In today’s business world, theft is a bigger problem than ever. In fact, recent statistics show that businesses in the United States lost an estimated $33 billion last year due to theft. While some of this comes from customers, the vast majority unfortunately comes from employees. Even though experts acknowledge that all theft cannot be eliminated from businesses, they do agree there are many steps business owners can take to substantially reduce theft from occurring.
To keep theft to a minimum, it usually starts with hiring good employees. By checking an applicant’s references, providing a good working environment, and letting employees participate in the decision-making process on a daily basis, chances are the theft rate will be much lower.
With technology becoming a more important part of businesses, one of the best ways to reduce theft is by implementing a computerized inventory tracking system. Not only will this system allow a business to know what items are being sold, but it will also alert management to any unusual shortages that may be occurring with particular items.
Loss Prevention Associates
For businesses big and small, having loss prevention personnel on staff who are knowledgeable and experienced can make a tremendous difference in reducing theft. In fact, more and more businesses now value criminal justice programs at colleges and universities, like the University of Cincinnati, and hire employees who have earned a degree in criminal justice. Having a strong background in law helps when taking a loss prevention position.
In many cases where employee theft takes place, the crime can be uncovered by monitoring sales receipts. By closely monitoring employee activity, businesses can usually determine if something is amiss. For example, many cashiers are able to steal money by performing a “No Sale” opening of their register drawer. While this may occur only a few times per day with most cashiers, if one suddenly starts having 10 or more of these per day, it’s a good bet the person is stealing from the company.
Lock Up Personal Items
Many stores today have theft issues when it comes to certain items that customers may feel embarrassed to purchase, such as condoms or pregnancy tests. To guard against this, many stores now lock up these items or place them behind the front counter, forcing customers to ask for these items prior to purchase.
By implementing these and other steps as part of an overall loss prevention program, chances are most businesses can reduce theft from many sides.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.