Any form of theft in a business can be very costly, but when it comes to warehouses, the damage caused by theft could range from thousands to millions (depending on the items being stored and stolen) and can be very detrimental to the warehouse’s reputation and trustworthiness in the market. In other words, you’re not only losing money, but current and potential clients are more likely to find another, much safer and reputable, warehouse if theft isn’t prevented.
However, there’s more to warehouse theft prevention than just placing CCTVs in the interior and exterior of your warehouse. As such, we’ll be taking a look at various tips to help you prevent warehouse theft and ensure the integrity of your operations:
Stringent Background Checks
Background checks can be costly, especially when you consider the fact that warehouses and similar labour-intensive jobs have high turnover. This is why many warehouses don’t even bother doing a background check or verifying documents presented by applicants. However, failing to do a background check, particularly on the criminal records of applicants can cost you a LOT. Because you can potentially lose expensive goods and also your warehouse’s reputation, a brief background check on criminal history won’t seem as expensive.
You may also want to check with their previous employers to verify why they left the job (or if they were terminated due to specific issues). If you don’t have the time and resources to do so, an alternative would be hiring qualified applicants through labour and workforce agencies that already perform background checks.
Having a manager or supervisor present 24/7 to check up on the entire warehouse operations can go a long way in deterring theft. While it may be difficult for a manager to supervise the whole warehouse during his/her shift, you can supplement this through the use of systematic record-keeping, task tracking software, or merely hiring additional supervisors to oversee different portions of the warehouse.
Checkpoints and Inspection
You may have noticed some banks that check or even pat down employees going in and out the vaults or the premises. This is to ensure that they’re not bringing in or taking out unauthorised items. It would be a good idea to implement a similar inspection checkpoint system in all entrances and exits of your site. To prevent thieves from exiting through the fire exit, ensure that you have a CCTV and also an alarm in place that goes off if the fire exit is opened (and used as an escape route to avoid inspection).
Improve Inventory Management System and Technology
One of the best ways a warehouse can deter theft is by tracking everything that goes in and out the premises. Proper labelling and tracking through barcodes and specialised inventory systems for warehouses can also help make warehouse operations more efficient. Potential thieves may end up “accidentally” sabotaging equipment that helps with tracking, such as PDA’s and scanners for tracking to force the warehouse to use manual monitoring which is more vulnerable to theft temporarily. This is why you should have a PDA repair service company ready on speed dial to ensure that any broken PDA’s (and other tracking and inventory management equipment) are fixed as soon as possible.
Hire A Professional
Lastly, you may want to consider hiring a security agency that specialises in warehouse security and theft prevention. They’ll be able to detect any vulnerabilities in your operations that could be exploited for theft, as well as other security issues. If you don’t have one already, it’s preferable to hire warehouse security guards and officers to increase the level of safety and security in your warehouse — when you’re handling millions worth of goods, hiring dedicated security staff are integral.
Theft is perhaps one of the most detrimental and difficult issue that every warehouse has to watch out for, but with these simple and effective tips, you’re one step closer towards having a theft-proof and well-trusted warehouse.