When you’re storing and distributing goods on a large scale you might expect some inventory shrinkage, but warehouse theft is a different matter entirely. The very last thing you need is light fingers in your warehouse, chipping away at business profits. And it seems no products are immune, from $7,000 of hand sanitiser and face masks to $7 million in cigarettes.
If you suspect the possibility of pilfering, here are six quick tips to managing and preventing the problem moving forward.
These are some of the most common signs of warehouse theft that are worth looking out for on an ongoing basis:
Of course, you can’t be onsite 24/7 to monitor for these problems and warning signs, which is why your warehouse security camera system is such an important consideration. The presence of even simple security cameras for warehouse monitoring will act as a deterrent to theft, but you can go far beyond this.
Consider a security product such as the Spectur HD5 that will not only provide exceptional clarity and range in footage to prove employee theft, but also offers the option to instantly flood the area with light and a spoken message to deter any thieves who prefer to do their work ‘after hours’. When configured to do so, the built-in Artificial Intelligence system will trigger action when it detects people or vehicles in the warehouse that shouldn’t be there. Your security team receives an instant notification so they can make their way onsite. And with economical pricing to hire or buy, the system could soon pay for itself in reduced crime and theft.
The Spectur solutions can be installed without internet cabling and a simple powered connection indoors, or fully standalone, wireless and solar powered outdoors, to suit your needs.
If you’re finding that significant stock is disappearing between annual stock takes, then you might consider moving to a cycle counting model where stock is more regularly counted by your choice of location, category or vendor. By taking stock regularly and in small lots, this will enable you to pinpoint and focus on any discrepancies faster and strategically direct security systems to catch the thief or thieves.
While employee education may not stop the most desperate of thieves, it can reduce the most opportunistic. Consider setting up an anonymous channel where staff can report suspicious behaviour from team members. Take the time to reinforce your zero-tolerance policies about theft with employees, and explain the outcomes for anyone who is found violating the policy. And using clear footage from your security camera, actively follow through should any incidents occur to reinforce the message.
Another key aspect of managing and mitigating warehouse theft is stepping up your leadership visibility in the warehouse or distribution centre. This might be through unplanned walk-throughs or audits where you can spot-check entrances and loading docks. In many cases, simply checking in with teams in an informal way will make it clear that leadership is actively engaged with the workforce and discourage unwanted issues.
Wherever possible, the last tip is to create large and open spaces around your loading docks or cargo doors, both internally and externally. This provides a clear view for your security cameras to capture any stock that might be sitting around but not intended for an order. Private car parks should also be located well away from warehouse doors or docks.
These simple tips for warehouse theft prevention can help you to address, manage and reduce the occurrence of theft in your warehouse, factories and logistics hubs. If you are looking for theft prevention systems and other security solutions for warehouses, then consider Australian-designed and manufactured Spectur systems. Our team would be happy to discuss the right solution for your needs.