For most warehouses, inventory loss due to theft is an unfortunate reality. These losses can be substantial, potentially jeopardizing otherwise sound businesses through unexpected inventory shrinkage. The good news is that a concentrated effort to limit or eliminate warehouse theft could be a viable option for your facility.
There is no single-step solution warehouse managers can take to eliminate theft completely. Instead, the best option is to take a broad approach and deal with the issue using multiple ways to minimize warehouse theft.
Warehouses are larger than ever nowadays, taking up a bigger physical footprint than any previous time in American history. With so much space to secure, it should come as no surprise that weaknesses in physical security are often to blame for warehouse theft.
One way to limit theft is by auditing the physical security of a warehouse. This process should be done regularly in order to identify any vulnerabilities and unguarded points of entry as they develop. A thorough audit could provide the information you need to improve security through alarm systems, surveillance, or other means.
A disorganized, cluttered warehouse floor is an invitation for theft. If inventory is hard to keep track of or easily lost, thieves are more likely to take advantage of the situation. Maintaining an organized workspace makes it easier to account for inventory and serves as a deterrent for potential thieves who might otherwise take advantage of a poorly organized warehouse floor.
The more people in a warehouse, the more likely theft is to occur. By limiting who can enter the warehouse floor to necessary personnel, it may be possible to significantly reduce opportunities for theft. Regulating who can be near inventory goes beyond cordoning off the warehouse from employees assigned to other areas of the facility and should also account for third-party drivers or other individuals not employed by the warehouse. If possible, providing a lounge or dedicated area for these drivers to wait during loading or unloading could help mitigate the risk of theft in a warehouse.
One of the best ways for warehouse managers to prevent theft is to invest in adequate surveillance equipment. While high-tech surveillance camera systems are ideal, there are plenty of low-cost, low-tech options that could provide additional oversight for warehouse managers. For example, security mirrors could ensure there are no dark corners to obscure theft or other illegal activities.
Security cameras should form the bulk of your surveillance efforts. These cameras should be on 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Recordings should be maintained for at least a month to facilitate any investigations into missing inventory that was not noticed right away.
Seasonal volume variation and other phenomena may require you to bring on temporary help. Unfortunately, seasonal employees are especially prone to theft compared to trusted, long-term workers.
HapiGig carefully vets all the workers featured on its platform and connects you with only the most experienced and highly rated gig workers, thereby minimizing the risk of warehouse theft or other forms of loss.