In the first article we discussed how removing opportunity can stop shoplifting and employee theft. The article came about because of a story I read from Loss Prevention Magazine in which the author discussed this very topic. He made valid arguments about the expense of analytical data to try to determine methods for addressing theft and tracking potential opportunities for theft to occur. He then focused on one strategy for internal theft reduction which I did not take any issue with. I encourage you to read Part 1 of this series so you can find the story I am referencing, it could prove useful to business owners. I then discussed my perspective on data and analytics and how it can become a time consuming task to review all of the information and then make it actionable. Opportunity for employee theft starts in the hiring process and then in the building design and finally how operations of the store work. The author of the article I read would probably be in agreement with me about the employment part but he feels that the labor pool is becoming smaller to choose from with the economy improving.
The first solution to stop shoplifting and employee theft I proposed in Part 1 was the installation of new Sensormatic systems in stores. Not only do new electronic article surveillance towers at the entrance and exits of a store let potential thieves know you are serious about crime, they also let store workers know when an attempted theft is taking place. They don’t discriminate between employees and customers. Anyone trying to take merchandise out that is tagged will activate an alarm. These systems remove opportunity one of the key elements necessary for criminals who want to steal. In Part 1 I also told readers that the best source to go to for Sensormatic systems is Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI). LPSI is a company that has been helping retailers with shrink management and theft reduction for over 30 years. They are well equipped to give advice on anti-theft equipment and other methods to curb theft. This leads me to another issue mentioned in the Loss Prevention Magazine article the writer’s argument about hiring being a factor that employers have little control over in terms of opportunity.
I don’t agree that as a “labor market continues to tighten there is little opportunity for retailers to take serious aim at losses from employee theft through more selective hiring” as posed by that author. I believe that the use of pre-employment screening and drug screening of applicants is still a viable option for retail owners and managers. Both of these tools are offered by LPSI as part of a larger strategy to reduce theft and shortage. A pre-employment screening is an opportunity to dig into verifying what an applicant has put on an application or in some cases finding out what was left off an application. There are a number of benefits in conducting background checks but the most important thing to know is it can reduce your chances of hiring criminals. An applicant drug screening helps minimize the chance of hiring a person who uses illegal substances who may take an opportunity to steal from your store to satisfy an addiction. Failing to screen for both of these opens an unnecessary opportunity for a crook to gain employment with your business. Combine the three, Sensormatic Systems, pre-employment background checks and drug screening and you have the makings of a truly impactful anti-theft strategy.
Give a thief an opportunity and he or she will take it and run. Whether you are trying to stop shoplifting or internal theft the tools are available to you to keep it out of your shop. LPSI has those tools and can also assess your business for you to see if there are any other opportunities that have been overlooked. Hire the right people, get the right equipment and hear the right advice and you will create new opportunities to grow your business.
Get more information on Sensormatic systems, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.