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:
- Enter all incoming stock into your POS software. Include the quantity received to ensure that the current quantity on hand is accurate.
- Write off stock that is thrown away.
- Scan-out all stock that is returned to the supplier for any reason. Good software will have
- Sell items by scanning the barcode. Too often items are sold using department keys and therefore not tracking each specific item sold.
- 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.
- 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.