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Hard Facts About Employee Theft and Why You Need Video Surveillance

In retail, preventing inventory shrinkage and limiting loss is just as important as having great products and stellar customer service. Unfortunately, the most significant contributor to the problem is employee theft. That means that having the right systems and process in place to prevent inventory shrinkage in place is critical.
Here are some important statistics you need to know about employee theft.

  • Employee theft is common. 75% of employees steal from the workplace.
  • 64% of businesses have been victims of employee theft.
  • 84% of businesses do not report employee theft to investigators.
  • Employee theft accounts for nearly 41% of all inventory shrinkage.

What Do Employees Steal?

Employee theft costs US companies $20 to $40 billion each year, and it is not all in ball point pens. Here’s what gets stolen.

  • Money is most frequently stolen, with thefts ranging from $5 to $2 million accounting for 40% of incidents of employee theft.
  • Product materials account for 18% of employee theft.
  • Office supplies and equipment results in 6% of employee theft.

Proactive Ways to Deter and Prevent Employee Theft

No business can afford to ignore the issue of employee theft, but at the same time no business wants their employees to feel like they are mistrusted or to make the business feel like a prison facility. The solution is to develop a culture of prevention by implementing the right systems and processes, and let those things do the work for you. Here are some important steps you can take to help improve your security and reduce incidents of theft.

  • Always use pre-employment background checks.
  • Establish, clearly communicate and enforce conduct guidelines.
  • Conduct weekly audits of inventory.
  • Use access control systems to ensure the right people are in the right places at the right times. It can also keep unauthorized individuals out of critical spaces.
  • Use video surveillance to help serve as a deterrent to employee theft. With video cameras and CCTV in place employees are less likely to steal in the first place and enforce a culture of integrity. Video surveillance can also help build a better overall retail operation by helping ensure great customer service, and optimal productivity.

Employee theft is an unfortunate fact that every retail operation must address. S-TRON specializes in retail loss prevention and commercial retail security systems. We stay current on the news, trends, and challenges so we can address your individual and highly specialized needs with the most appropriate solutions.

What are the Most Stolen Items This Season? Find Out

CCTV and video surveillance systems are useful all year but during the holidays they take on even more significance as retailers try to keep would-be shoplifters off the naughty list. During the holiday season, incidents of theft go up significantly all across the nation, resulting in loss for both businesses and consumers. And this year, shoplifter have their eyes on some specific items.

Topping the List

According to the 2016 Retail Holiday Season Global Forecast, shoplifting is responsible for 37 percent of a store’s annual shrink loss. This year, apparel, children’s toys, electronics and electronic accessories are expected to be the most stolen items this holiday season in the U.S.

Holiday Shrink Rate to Double

Most retailers book a significant amount of all margin dollars during the holiday season at one-third of the year’s retail sales registered in just three months. Retailers book around 32% of all margin dollars during the holiday season. However, the rate of margin decreases to 29% during the holiday season which is an 8% decline. According to the report, the holiday shrink rate in the US is expected to double over the prior two quarters.

Contributing Factors to Holiday Shrinkage Include Need for More Oversight

Stores are building holiday inventory earlier and earlier for popular, and high-risk items. This leads to increased shrink. Other factors include the need to hire seasonal staff who may not be trained in loss prevention techniques, as well as insufficient surveillance coverage of critical areas, such as in storage areas.

The High Cost of Crime

The 2016 retail cost lost is expected to be $132 per person, of which $50, nearly twice as much as in other calendar quarters, is incurred during the holiday season. These losses place increased pressures on retail establishments, as well as on honest consumers to whom some of the burden is passed on through higher prices.

Better Security Solutions

Preventing shrinkage is a full-time job for retail establishments and one which takes on added importance during the holiday season. One of the best ways to reduce shrinkage is to increase security controls such as implementing CCTV and video surveillance technologies. These technologies reduce incidents of internal shrinkage and shoplifting serving as a strong deterrence as well capturing acts of theft in progress.

S-Tron is an electronic Security Integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies specializing in loss reduction. Call us today to see what makes us different.

Important Tips for Preventing (and Catching) Employee Theft

Whether it is taking an extended lunch or taking products for personal use, it all constitutes employee theft. Of course we always want to believe the best about our employees, and while there are many honest employees, a shocking 75 percent of employees steal or have stolen from their employer according to a 2009 United States Chamber of Commerce study.

Every business, regardless of the size is susceptible to employee theft, and that theft can deeply impact the business. So how can employers deter and detect employee theft? Here are some important tips to move your security in the right direction.

Security Controls that Make a Difference

Security controls are helpful in both deterring and detecting theft. Theft occurs based on a risk assessment; the greater the threat of getting caught, the less likely someone is to commit theft. So having the right security measures in place is crucial. Consider these security measures to protect your business.

  • Use access control systems to limit employee access to areas required to perform their duties.
  • Consider using access codes so you know who is accessing different areas at different times of the day or night.
  • Install a video surveillance and cctv system. A well-placed and visible video surveillance system is enough to deter most instances of theft and able to catch acts of theft in the process.
  • If you use a traditional lock and key system, make sure you limit the number and keep record of people who have the key and that you change the locks each time an employee leaves or is dismissed.

Valuable Internal Security Practices

  • Screen each employee prior to hiring them.
  • Conduct regular audits of inventory.
  • Split duties such as issuing checks, making deposits, managing inventory, and reconciling accounts.
  • Rotate tasks among the employees.
  • Have more than one employee closing each night.

S-Tron has over 20 years of uncompromising quality of service in retail and hospitality security coast to coast. We provide custom scalable access systems, redundant video surveillance systems, intrusion detection, analytics and more. Whether you need the highest levels of security for multiple sites or just one, S-Tron is ready to serve you with excellence.