HELPING SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS CUT EMPLOYEE THEFT

The theft reduction training video we produced in-house – How To Steal From A Retail Business – is being used by business groups to train their members on measures to take in retail shops to reduce the opportunity for employee theft.

In addition to the YouTube views, this video has been packaged and provided outside that platform for people to embed in conference presentations, one-on-one training and elsewhere.

Using your POS software small business retailers have excellent tools with which to reduce the opportunity for theft. These have existed for years. In addition to our software work, we act as expert witnesses in investigations and proceedings that successfully prosecute employee theft cases.

What matters is that theft can be reduced and even eliminated with good management oversight in any retail business using our POS software.

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FREE POS SOFTWARE TRAINING: HOW TO CUT THEFT IN YOUR RETAIL BUSINESS

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.53.10 pmNext week, we run another of our popular Howe to cut theft in your retail business workshops. Run many times over many years, these free live workshops help engaged retailers to protect against theft, especially employee theft. Retailers using our POS software who encounter employee theft, especially expensive employee theft, have not undertaken this free and easily accessed training.

Our commitment to our small business retail customers is that we provide regular access to free live training workshops. This session is another of these free weekly opportunities.

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SUNDAY SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE: HOW TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS MORE SECURE

Security is important in any business but especially in a small independent retail business. Here is a list of actions we recommend you consider to ensure your business is secure.

  1. Know how many keys there are to your premises and who has them.
  2. Keep a spare key in a safe place away from the business.
  3. Keep a current data backup off site. Regularly check that you can restore the data from your backup and that the data is current.
  4. Regularly check the use of your business software for the deletion or alternation of sales as this could indicate employee fraud.
  5. Have current reputable virus protection on all your computers.
  6. Have current reputable firewall installed on your network.
  7. Never open a zip file sent by email.
  8. Never open an email from a bank, the ATO or the police.
  9. Change the most powerful / valuable password for your computer software monthly and share it sparingly. Passwords should be complex. Check the strength of your password here: https://howsecureismypassword.net
  10. Be discrete when talking about the business and its performance.
  11. Do not do the banking at the same time every day or every few days. Do not follow the same route. Do not carry the same bag.
  12. Have a camera system installed to get a good shot of the faces of everyone entering and leaving the business.
  13. Consider registering your CCTV with the local police – this is an option in some jurisdictions.
  14. Ensure customers can see they are being filmed.
  15. Train employees to make eye contact with customers.
  16. Train employees on emergency procedures for handling: theft, aggressive people, shoplifters.
  17. Use the full stock control facilities of your software to understand the financial cost of shoplifting.
  18. When doing magazine returns, check discrepancies weekly to understand magazine theft.
  19. Ensure your windows are not cluttered. The police advise cluttered windows are a security risk because of what they can hide.
  20. Ensure there is good lighting outside if the store is locked up when it is dark.
  21. Ensure you have the best possible sight lines of the shop from the counter.
  22. Have a no personal items at the counter policy.
  23. If you catch someone in the act of shoplifting ask them to wait in the store, and call the Police. Also (advice from NSW govt. Crime prevention):
    1. Tell them who you are.
    2. Tell them why they have been asked to stay in the store. o Advise them that Police have been called
    3. Ask the person to surrender any property that doesn’t belong to them. Remember, retailers and other citizens have no legal right to search a person.
    4. Most importantly, do not put yourself at risk.
  24. Have a clear refund processing policy and ensure all employees are trained on this.
  25. Track all sales by employee code.
  26. When hiring: ask if applicants agree to a police check, check their references, do not hire friends of employees, explain your commitment to zero tolerance re employee theft.
  27. Have an employee theft policy in full view.
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SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE: HOW TO CUT EMPLOYEE THEFT

Okay so we have shared advice on cutting employee theft before, many times in fact. The things is – employee theft continues in small business retail, too often. It can be reduced in any retail business if you follow this simple advice:

  1. Use stock control. Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what you software says. Every month do a stock take. Popular item stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand.
  3. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises.
  5. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  6. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale.
  7. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  8. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  9. Keep the counter clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft as it makes detection easier.
  10. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  11. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  12. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter.
  13. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  14. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  15. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check.
  16. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.
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Sunday retail management advice: how to cut employee theft in retail

Employees can steal from retail businesses in a variety of ways. Often, such theft goes undetected because of poor or unmonitored business processes.

The best way to cut employee theft or fraud is to commit to a consistent approach to theft management:

  • Ask prospective employees if they object to a police check. Those with something to hide will let you know they have found a job elsewhere.
  • Implement zero tolerance for abuse of systems. For example, ensure that every item sold is scanned.
  • Implement zero tolerance for an end of shift discrepancy of, say, $5.00 or more. Once employees know you will be fierce about this sales will be more accurate.
  • Reduce manual eftpos transactions – connect your eftpos terminal to your point of sale.
  • Change responsibilities – sometimes changing who handles money can uncover fraudulent behavior.
  • Change your timing. Habits are what allow people to think they can get away with theft.
  • Modify your counter policies:
    • No refunds.
    • No credits without management approval.
    • No employee bags at the counter.
    • No jackets or cardigans with pockets.
    • No calculators with memories – I have seen these used to record how much cash in the register is theirs.
    • Track every sale by employees – using a card with an employee barcode and making it harder for an employee to use the system as someone else.
  • Track all cash movements from the sale through to your bank account. Many retailers do not do this and open themselves to blatant and regular theft. Employees do it because they know they can get away with it.

Cutting employee theft can be achieved with vigilance. A small time investment in developing and following processes will find you with more money in your bank account.

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Small business retail employee theft advice helps cut theft

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 8.13.31 amThe employee theft advice Tower Systems provides its users goes beyond our smart POS software and well into the area of small business management. Offered as part of our comprehensive Knowledge Base, our advice is based on years of work with business owners, police in various jurisdictions and prosecutors to bring people to account for theft in retail businesses in which they work.

This type of advice covering business management goes beyond what is typical for a POS software company. It demonstrates a level of commitment from Tower Systems that is unique, a commitment of which we are proud.

The best feedback we have received is from those following this advice who have successfully detected earlier than otherwise might have been the case theft by an employee, detection that enabled them to gather the necessary evidence to act.

Every day here at Tower Systems we are involved with our customers beyond what is traditional for a POS software company. While we are happy to help with POS software queries, we are equally happy to help with business management advice beyond the software. As our motto say, We’re here to help.

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Tower Systems helps retailer recoup $80,000

Tower Systems senior management played a pivotal role in helping a small business retailer recoup $80,000 from an employee who stole from their business.

Our evidence gathering was key in proving irrefutably who stole from the business and demonstrating to them through POS software aggregated data the strength of a criminal case.

The result is full repayment to the business.

This is another in a long line of employee theft success stories. We are experts in this area. The sooner we are called in to help retailers the lower the cost of theft to their businesses.

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Helping small business retailers confront a theft situation

If you believe you are being stolen in your retail business from and not sure what to do next you can turn to us for help. Sure, we are a software company – but we are also experts at helping small business retailers deal with and confront theft.

We provide a service to retailers using our POS software as part of our Tower AdvantageTM service where we will go through your data and look for patterns consistent with theft.

Our senior management team has been helping clients uncover theft for over 20 years and we know all the signs to look for. We will give you a report on all of our findings, make some recommendations and have in the past appeared in court to give evidence on theft matters.

Contact our support team and let them know you would like a theft check performed and we will guide you from there.

We will treat your contact serious and immediately escalate it to a senior member of our team who will discuss with you your situation and suggest the next appropriate steps. We handle theft reports outside the usual help desk area of the business for your security and to bring to the report our most experienced people.

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Sunday retail management advice: how to cut employee theft in retail

Theft is something to be managed in your business. You will be stolen from. Good management is about reducing the opportunity for and instances of theft.

Follow this advice and the opportunity for theft will be lower and the certainty of detecting it higher.

Unfortunately, many retailers read up to here and think this will to happen to them.  Too many of these business owners are the ones who do experience the hurt of employee theft.

If you are still reading, well done. Here are simple steps you can take to catch and manage employee theft:

  1. Use stock control for a high volume high interest category (if not all stock). Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what you software says. Every month do a stock take. Stock discrepancies of the right item are an indicator of theft. Had one retailer we know of been doing this they would have caught their $250 a day employee theft months earlier.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One retail business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  5. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  6. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  7. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  8. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  9. Keep the counter clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft as it makes detection easier.
  10. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  11. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  12. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  13. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  14. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  15. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  16. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping newsagents to reduce and manage employee theft.

Theft, employee and customer, costs a typical retail between 3% and 5% of sales revenue. Management attention can cut this dramatically. It does not take much time. No, it is more about having professional processes in place which everyone in the business follows.

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POS software company provides more help to small business retailers reducing theft

Tower Systems has been helping more retailers using its POS software POS software to deal with employee theft situations. We have a structured process for independently checking evidence without being influenced by stories. The process has been praised by police and prosecutors. It has been on show in court rooms where we have provided expert witness evidence.

Employees in retail businesses using our software are on notice. We have tools you will never find which can uncover behavior which indicates without a doubt that theft is occurring. This evidence has stood up scrutiny and resulted in successful action.

Our advice to retailers is to use the facilities in our software for theft reduction. If you have a concern, ask us for a free Theft Check service.

We’re here to help. That’s our motto. When it comes to employee theft, we’re in your corner and there to help you deal with it and get through the emotional and operational challenges of discovering a theft situation.

Our theft related work is undertaken at senior levels within the business. It is highly confidential. Our most cases are never discussed until completely closed and even then only ever without identifying details.

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POS software company offers help to retailers impacted by theft

POS software company by Tower Systems helps retailers who have been hit by theft with investigative services that meet the needs of police and prosecutors.

Developed over years of work with law enforcement, our evidence gathering work can help provide certainty about theft perpetrator(s) and the possibility of conviction.

Better still, our work helps retailers prevent theft by employees and customers. This is where real savings can be made by retailers – in reducing theft.

People can be clever in their approach to stealing from retailers. Techniques used change. This is where our specialist services can and do help.

Tower Systems helps retailers in many ways. Our theft reduction work is particularly valuable.

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Sunday retail management advice: cut employee theft in your shop

Through its Point of Sale software and retail business support services, Tower Systems helps small and independent retailers cut employee theft. In the last week, the company has helped with another free training workshop offered to retail business owners. We showed how employees steal, when and explored why. This information will help cut theft in businesses.

Our advice today is for retailers: use your POS software to cut employee theft. If you are not sure what tools are available to you – ask. Such advice should be free and confidential.

Employee theft can cost between 3% and 5% of sales. Tower Systems has a track record of helping retailers to cut theft using extensive and valuable tools in its POS software.

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Free POS software training: How employees steal from retail businesses

stealHow employees steal from retail businesses is a free training workshop from the POS software experts Tower Systems. Delivered by our COO, this training is vital for retail business owners. It will draw on expert advice from one who helps police, prosecutors and insurance companies deal with employee theft in retail businesses.

With just a few places left, this training will fill up for sure.

Tower Systems leads its marketplaces with live online training opportunities – helping retailers to learn more about their software and how to save their businesses time and money.

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Sunday retail business management advice: 16 ways retailers can reduce employee theft

  1. For everyday items, items most people will use or could convert to cash, use stock control. Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what you software says. Every month do a stock take. Take cigarettes – Tobacco stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft. Had one newsagent been doing this they would have caught their $250 a day employee theft months earlier.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One newsagency where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One newsagent needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  5. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One newsagent found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  6. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  7. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  8. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  9. Keep the counter clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft as it makes detection easier.
  10. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  11. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  12. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One newsagency employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  13. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  14. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  15. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  16. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.
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Sunday retail management advice: cut employee theft with better control

Cutting retail employee theft is easy in our experience. We have worked with retailers, police, investigators and insurance companies for decades and still the most common reason theft occurs is because of poor controls.

Retailers who implement recommended controls will experience less theft. That is our experience.

The controls we recommend are:

  1. Balance your cash at the end of each shift. Make employees responsible for balancing.
  2. Do not take cash out without it being recorded.
  3. Owners / managers spend time at the country unexpectedly.
  4. Balance your banking to your cash takings daily.
  5. Balance your actual GP to expected GP for key departments monthly.
  6. Implement a theft policy that all employees are required to sign.

We work with individual businesses on their situation and will happily help any Tower Systems customer in this area.

Employee theft can be cut and we can help achieve this.

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Helping small business retailers cut employee theft

Employee theft can hit a retail business hard, especially if the business does not have a retail business theft policy in place. For many years we have advocated to our retail business customers about theft and how to manage the risk for the benefit of the business and those who depend on it. yet, unfortunately, too often retailers ignore what they must do until they have discovered theft.

We are on a mission this week to encourage and guide our almost 3,000 small business customers to manage their businesses for theft, especially employee theft.

Our POS software has excellent tools and facilities through which the retail business owners can reduce the cost of theft and more easily discover possible theft situations. We back this with advice on best practice theft management in retail. Our advice draws on our own experiences in retail as well as our considerable experience helping others through work with the police and prosecution in court cases.

We understand the role evidence plays and have tuned our software over the years to provide evidence necessary to discovering and prosecuting instances of theft.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: manage theft!

Employee theft and customer theft, like any activity in a retail business, require management. Not encouragement! … management. It starts with tracking, understanding what is being stolen, how often and when. Whether it is cash or products or services, tracking theft is the first step to reducing the cost of theft.

Retailers using the Tower Systems Point of Sale software have excellent tools for tracking and managing theft. Some of these tools are obvious and others are hidden for security reasons.

Through advice sheets, training videos, live training and other access points we help retailers understand their theft management options – all with the goal of reducing the cost of theft to the retail business.

This is another commercial benefit for retailers using our POS software. Retailers who do not use our theft management tools are more open to theft costing more in their business.

 

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Sunday small business retailer management advice: create a THEFT POLICY for your shop

A theft policy is vital for every retail business. here is advice from Tower Systems on what should be in a theft policy. We first provided this to our customers years ago and have recently finessed it based on experiences helping retailers to address theft challenges.

We suggest putting this on a notice board in a common area for employees to read and sign:

THEFT POLICY OF THIS BUSINESS

1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.

2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.

3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.

4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.

5. New employees are to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment.

6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.

7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.

8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.

9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory from the store without permission.

10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.

11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves.

12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THIS POLICY:

Beyond excellent Point of Sale software, Tower Systems helps retailers with practical advice on how to improve their business as well as how to mitigate against expensive business challenges such as employee theft.

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Helping retailers reduce the risk of fraud

Tower Systems has shared fresh advice with retailers this week on how to reduce the impact of shopper and customer fraud in their businesses. With Christmas being fraud season in some retail channels the advice is timely and has been well received.

This latest advice is based on recent experiences in several retail businesses.

Our Point of Sale software has excellent fraud mitigation facilities that retailers can use themselves to reduce fraud and detect fraud. These continue to evolve based on field experience and feedback from fraud prevention experts.

Our work as expert witnesses in theft cases and work with police on investigations continues to inform our moves in this space.

Retailers properly using our software and following our advice can reduce the impact of fraud in their businesses. 

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Helping retailers reduce the opportunity of theft this Christmas

Tower Systems is sharing practical advice with retailers using its Point of Sale software on how to cut the opportunity of employee theft this Christmas.

Sharing practical advice at the best possible time is an important service we provide our retail partners.

In our software we have excellent theft reduction and theft tracking tools that work well in any retail situation. Our own experience running retail businesses helps us provide retailers with advice beyond what is usual for a POS software company.

The advice we provide is based on our own experience owning and operating retail businesses in several retail channels.

Retailers following our advice can cut theft.

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Retail employee theft on the rise as Christmas approaches?

We are seeing evidence of a rise in employee theft in retail, continuing a trend of recent years when employee theft has risen as Christmas approaches.  our advice to retailers for better managing to reduce employee theft is:

  1. Be vigilant, adopt a zero tolerance approach.
  2. Balance cash more often and without warning.
  3. Use the theft tracking tools in your software.
  4. Use an external resource to gather evidence. tower Systems helps with this on a pro-bono basis.
  5. Stock check popular items near the counter.

More a more extensive list speak with one of our help desk team and ask for our theft reduction advice.

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How to use POS software to cut employee & customer theft

One of the most valuable benefits of Point of Sale (POS) software used by any retail business is a reduction in employee and customer theft.

Used properly, good POS software can significantly cut the cost of theft.

Theft reduction is achieved through consistent use of the software throughout the business. The less consistent a business the less likely they are to uncover theft. Those most likely to steal will notice how the software is used and through this reach a conclusion as to the likelihood they will be caught.

Tracking stock from when it enters a business to when it leaves is the key to detecting and reducing theft by employees and customers. Too often, small and independent retailers do not fully track and manage stock – making them appealing businesses for people likely to steal.

Here are the steps involved in tracking stock and reducing the cost of theft:

  1. Enter all incoming stock into your POS software. Include the quantity received to ensure that the current quantity on hand is accurate.
  2. Write off stock that is thrown away.
  3. Scan-out all stock that is returned to the supplier for any reason. Good software will have
  4. Sell items by scanning the barcode. Too often items are sold using department keys and therefore not tracking each specific item sold.
  5. Reorder stock by producing a reorder report using your software. This can usually be done by using a desired quantity on hand as the guide for the software to reorder to. Note: this process alone will highlight stock on-hand discrepancies.
  6. Undertake a spot stock-take: count the quantity on hand of an item and enter that into your POS software and compare this against what the software thinks should be on-hand. A discrepancy can indicate theft.

Once all stock is setup in your software, the time taken for spot stock-takes is minimal. This time is funded from the reduced theft that will certainly result.

Employees who see you track stock movement through spot stock-takes and other activities listed here will be deterred from stealing from the business as they will see the risk of being caught is higher.

Manage your business professionally and consistently and theft will cost less.

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