IT’S A FACT: THEFT IS GREATER IN RETAIL BUSINESSES WHERE STOCK CONTROL IS POOR

In years working with small and independent retail businesses, the team at Tower Systems has learnt plenty including the indicators of in which retail businesses theft is more likely to occur.

We have leveraged our experience with small business retailers who use our smart POS software to help these and other b businesses reduce the impact of theft – shopper theft and employee theft.

Our experience is that theft is more likely to occur in businesses where stock is not managed properly.

By not managed properly we mean where:

  1. All items sold are not tracked at the point of sale.
  2. Where new stock arriving in the business is not properly arrived through the software.
  3. Where spot stock-takes are not undertaken regularly to maintain an accurate stock on hand account.
  4. Where stock given away or thrown away is not written off.
  5. Where stock returned to a supplier is not scanned out.

Our advice on reducing the cost of employee theft and customer theft is simple – follow our advice, manage your stock and without a doubt the cost of theft in your retail business will be lower than it would have been.

If you think the cost of managing stock is too great, think about the cost of $25,000, $50,000 or even $250,000 in theft. Yes, we see this all too often in retail businesses – where stock is not managed.

Managing your stock = less theft and less theft = increases product and increased profit = you get more when you sell your business.

Tower Systems offers comprehensive theft mitigation services to small business retailers. We use our knowledge and experience to help retailers, to make it easier for them to understand any given situation and take steps to protect against theft. This is a free project from us, pro-bono help for small business retailers as part of the Tower Systems community care service.

Inventory is the best indicator of a problem. We leverage this data. We help retailers see and understand the challenges and we provide knowledge and tools that benefit retailers no matter what type of business they operate. This is another Tower Advantage, something we are proud to offer.

Data security advice for small business retailers using POS software

2018 is not even half over and already it has seen considerable attacks on computers and on websites. Each attack reinforces the need for all businesses, including small businesses, to have appropriate security and backup measured in place to protect business data.

Appropriate backup means:

  1. Backup every day, without fail, without having too spend time for we know that time backups can take can make backups be ignored or forgotten.
  2. On-site backup.
  3. Plus, off-site backup.
  4. Easy access for recovery.
  5. Protection in a facility away from the business not only of all data but all software to facilitate swift recovery.
  6. Managed costs.
  7. Secure access to backed up data.
  8. maintaining backup services at the cutting edge.
  9. Appropriate security for backed up data.

Our advice is that you use a cloud backup service, like the Tower Backup service we offer. It works in the background, backing up without you having to do a backup. If your business is attacked, getting back to a clean and safe place is easy. Any reputable backup service should be able to offer similar to you.

Please do not put this off. Get protection for your business and your business data. You don’t want to be the person who does this after you have been attacked.

At the very least, backup every day, onto a USB stick for that day. While this is an old-school approach, it is better than nothing at all.

But let’s be clear, cloud backup is our recommendation. Our service provides you with a local backup and an offsite backup, in the cloud. This gives you two backups, excellent protection. We monitor the backups to ensure they are working. If we find an issue, we proactively call you. This is rare from a cloud backup service provider.

Here at Tower Systems we take data security seriously. We provide best-pracie advice. Our customers are welcome to use our service or another, our recommendation, however, is that they do something – to be protected.

Too often small business retailers think about data security after they have been affected. Hence this advice here and in our weekly emails and elsewhere in our touch points with customers.

Small business POS software customers appreciate THEFT POLICY

A week ago we shared with our customers an updated THEFT POLICY, and suggested they print this and seek employee engagement.

The reaction has been terrific with plenty downloading and pricing the policy. We have had calls, too, from retailers seeking our suggestions on other actions they can take. Some have called with their stories of theft in their businesses.

Our work in the area of retail employee theft is comprehensive and on-going.

We welcome opportunities to work with our thousands of small business retailer customers to help them mitigate the theft situation in their businesses.

Here is the latest version of our THEFT POLICY that we shared a week ago:

THEFT POLICY

  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 may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  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, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock 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, family members or friends.
  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:

A theft policy is vital to helping any retail business cut the cost of employee theft

Here at Tower Systems we often help small business retailers detect and stop employee theft. One piece of advice that we see as vital to this mission is for a business to have a THEFT POLICY.

Here is a policy we share with our customers. Feel free to use it, modify it and share it.

THEFT POLICY

  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 may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  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, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock 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, family members or friends.
  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:

Yes, you can cut the cost of theft in any retail business. It starts with the right policies and processes.

Advice for small business retailers on managing shopper theft

The importance of accurate stock on hand data is  critical, especially for retailers with online sales.

We recommend regular custom stock takes for the categories where you transact online.

A consequence of more regular stock takes is greater understanding of theft from the business. Rather than getting angry about discovering the extent of theft, which a lot of retailers do, act to manage theft. This is the best reaction you can have to theft of stock.

  1. Know the problem. Regular custom stock takes will help you achieve this.
  2. Own the problem. Based on evidence, take the problem on board as yours to fix.

Too often, retailers sit in the office or the back room. Problems like this are not fixed from the back room – they are fixed from the shop floor.

Too often work is done in the back room or away from customer sight that could be done on the shop floor and thereby reduce shopper theft. The more work you do on the shop floor the greater deterrent to those who would steal.

  1. Ensure all staff know about the problem. The more they understand the problem the better the opportunity for them to become engaged. Understanding must include knowing the cost to the business and the impact this has on the business and on them.
  2. Encourage staff to greet shoppers, explain this is a starting point to reducing theft.
  3. Spot (custom) stock take weekly or at least fortnightly. Record the number stolen from a category somewhere for staff to see. This sets a target for all.
  4. Move the product you are concerned about, try different locations.
  5. Place a portable work table near the often stolen products and move most there such as product pricing, invoice checking or other tasks that could be easily done on the shop floor.
  6. Ensure you have camera coverage of the location.
  7. Place the stock so there are no blind spots that make theft easy.
  8. Watch the location or stand from outside your business to see how shoppers interact with it.
  9. Bring in a retail security expert for their advice on your specific situation.
  10. Keep your staff informed about progress on resolving the problem.

The only way to reduce theft is to change things. If what you change does not work, change more. Keep changing until you find the answer.

Note: those often stealing the most are not those you suspect.

Helping small business retailers reduce customer theft

Customers of retail businesses steal. Not all of them, not even 10% of them. But those who steal can cost the business a lot of money and time.

Customer theft in retail is something to be managed, for the protection and benefit of the business.

Managing customer theft is important for any retail business. Not only does it save cash for the business but it also helps you improve your management of stock.

Knowing what is being stolen and how often is the important first step.

The best way to know the cost of theft is through regular spot stock takes. Good point of sale software can help you do this in a fraction of time that a manual stock take would take.

Other ways smart Point of Sale software can help you cut the cost of customer theft are:

  1. Scanning what you sell. It can be surprising what you discover when you handle items being purchased by customers – some items fall out or you find that barcodes have been moved. Touching stock at the sales counter can provide a valuable check for the business.
  2. Blocking fraudulent refund requests. It is each to check when an item was sold and thereby catch out anyone wanting a refund or a credit for something they did not buy and for which they do not have a receipt.
  3. Stopping unwarranted discounts. Good POS software will block discounts which are outside the rules you establish for the business.
  4. Seeing theft live. If you have items which are regularly returned to suppliers, POS software can let you know what you should have in stock and this allows you to quickly check against your real situation.
  5. Tracking everything that moves. Scanning everything you sell lets you know what you should have in stock at any point in time. This makes checking movements easy and helps your staff become more vigilant against theft.
  6. Spot stock takes. In a few minutes you can could a section of the shop, upload this to your system and get a report of real stock counts versus what should be there. Knowing the areas which are being hit can help a business better focus resources.

The keys to cutting customer theft are to understand what is happening and to have strong processes in place to reduce this. Once you, your employees and your customers understand zero tolerance, theft will fall.

Tower Systems offers small business retailers a range of advice, support and POS software facilities to reduce the cost of theft in retail.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

Helping retailers cut employee and customer theft

Tower Systems is delivering practical advice and help to retailers keen to cut employee theft and customer theft in their retail businesses with a free online training workshop this Thursday.  Using our best-practice Point of Sale software we provide access to valuable tools, controls and monitors that actively reduce the cost of theft to a retail business.

This online training is part of a broader live training program we have for retailers using our software. Through this program we deliver not only training but also opportunities for retailers to network. This is invaluable when it comes to theft as retailers get to talk with each other about their situations and from this learn and, hopefully, exert better control over their own businesses.

Too often, retailers act to reduce theft after theft has been discovered. This has proven too late for some businesses. Our theft management tools are comprehensive, secure and ready for use right away without the need to spend any money. This is why it’s vital for retailers to seize the opportunity, to chase a reduction in the cost off theft in their businesses.

Free small business retail Theft Check service uncovers … theft in retail

Our Tower Systems theft check service has uncovered more employee theft. This time in a couple of retail businesses using our Point of Sale software. In each case, the theft detected is considerable. The evidence we have provided is police ready. This is important. We have police assistance and court expert witness experience and this helps us to better help our retail customers to deal with the scourge of retail employee theft.

Checking out new security solutions for retailers

One of the areas members of our leadership team investigated when in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show two weeks ago was retail security.

For many years we have offered security camera system integration through our POS software.  We have also provided expert witnesses in police investigations and for court cases pursuing employee theft.

At CES we got to see and interact with a range of new technology, some POS software integrated and others free standing. The CES event has enabled us to be more aware of the latest developments in the retail security and theft prevention in the US, the country most advanced in this field.

The most valuable measure retailers can take against employee theft remains the facilities in their software. Tower Systems is renowned for providing access to comprehensive and professional theft management / reduction facilities in its Point of Sale software. From deep level password protection of key business data to secret tracking of user activity, our software enables retailers to better protect their businesses and thereby reduce the cost of employee theft.

Working with police to cut theft in retail using smart POS software

We have been working with police and other authorities on theft matters in two states this week. Each case has taken up considerable time as we have sourced evidence to be used in cases being pursued against the accused, evidence that will stand the test of cross examination in court.

Each time we do this work we learn more about the processes of the police and, through this, ways we can guide and help our retail business customers to better manage their businesses for theft minimisation.

Next week, a senior member of our team will be in court on behalf of the prosecution as an expert witness.

Why is this relevant to small businesses considering our Point of Sale software … we’ve got your back when it comes to cutting the cost of theft to your retail business.

Advice on how to cut customer and employee theft in retail

Retailers too often struggle with cutting the cost of employee and customer theft. They ignore opportunities to block theft and turn their backs on understanding the cost in their business.

Here is best practice advice which, if followed, will reduce the cost of theft in any retail business.

  1. Only sell what you arrive, bring into the store, through Point of Sale software. If you track it you can know if it has been stolen or not. If you do not track it who knows if it is stolen.
  2. Track ALL sales – by scanning, touch screen button or PLU (product look up code), a hot key on your computer screen.
  3. Stop all department sales, sales where the employee gets to enter the amount of the item.
  4. Scan out ALL returns, products which are returned to suppliers.
  5. Undertake regular spot stock take throughout the business. The discrepancy between what you have and what the system has reflects theft.
  6. Reorder stock using your retail management software. This stops poor buying decisions. It also identified stock theft and employee fraud around stock.
  7. Use employee initials, codes or bar codes against each sale. Yes, this adds time to each sale. The benefits far outweigh the time cost.
  8. Set an end of shift balance target of $5.00. Many retailers achieve this – it takes discipline.
  9. Change your system passwords regularly. Make it a condition of employment that these passwords are never shared.
  10. Do random, during the day, register balance checks. Check that the cash your computer system thinks should be in the cash drawer is what is actually in the cash drawer.
  11. Use your software to check and report on behavior which could indicate employee theft.
  12. Follow your suspicions regardless. Put your business ahead of friendships..

The cost to any retail business of customer and employee theft can be significantly reduced. The keys are retail owner and management engagement, full use of the software and relentless application of a zero tolerance approach.

How we helped a retailer detect and stop employee theft using smart POS software

We have just helped another retailer uncover and resolve a situation of employee theft.  What started as a query about data in our software soon morphed into a professional investigation into systematic fraud.

Thanks to the excellent audit tools in our Point of Sale software we were able to pinpoint the employee stealing from the business.  This was achieved thanks to a hidden and secure log of data managed by our POS software.

Without knowledge of the situation, our analysis of the data from the retail business enabled us to provide information in a form which, if tested in court, would stand up to cross-examination for accuracy in pointing to the employee responsible.

We don’t like catching people stealing from a retail business using our software.  However, we do gain satisfaction when we do discover this and the person responsible admits the theft.

We know from studies that retailers can lose between 3% and 5% of turnover in theft each year.  This can be reduced by retailers using our Point of Sale software if they use the tools available to them in the software to protect the business against theft.

Retailers who do not use the theft prevention tools in our POS software can at least rely on the investigative tools to gather evidence of theft and act after the event.

Helping jewellers reduce employee theft and customer theft

Jewellers using our jeweller software have access to excellent tools for tracking, managing and reducing employee theft and customer theft.  The value of our tools was on show recently when we helped a jeweller discover that they did not have a data problem but indeed had a theft problem.

So, what started as a support call soon became a business assistance call.

Telling a business owner that they have a theft problem and showing them the evidence is challenging.  First there is usually denial.  This is followed by anger.  Then there is often retribution.  Finally, sometime after the shock of the realisation of theft, acceptance sets in and we can start to make some progress.

In addition to helping to solve the crime of employee theft or customer theft, we find ourselves helping theft affected customers to focus their attention on what is best for the business.  We see this as part of our job.  we train our team to do this work professionally and with care.

As we head into the Christmas trading season we are refreshing our training on theft so that our team and our customers are prepared to make the most of the excellent theft management tools in our software.

We have excellent theft tracking, theft reduction and theft management tools in our software – not only for jewellers but other retailers using our Point of Sale software.  These tool have evolved over time and in response to a broad variety of theft situations we have seen in our own retail businesses as well as in customer businesses.

By using the tools we provide and following the advice we offer, a retail business can expect to easily add valuable dollars to their bottom line for quite a small amount of time and money investment.

In the meantime, another jeweller is better equipped to deal with theft having learnt the hard way.

Why Cutting Theft is Mission Critical for Retailers

Any retailer complaining about tough times ought to look at what they are doing to mitigate the cost of theft in their business.

Turning attention to theft has an immediate impact on the business. It almost certainly cuts the bleeding of cash and the cost of lost or damaged inventory.

We have seen retailers save as much as $25,000 in the first year of a co-ordinated theft management program. The cost of such a program is negligible if they are running our Point of Sale software.

So, just by following our advice and properly using our software, retailers can expect to save at least the equivalent of 1% of sales. This as good as if they increased sales by 1% without doing anything.

This financial benefit goes straight to the bottom line.

While everyone is talking retail down, we are showing our retail customers how to improve their circumstances through a more complete embrace of the facilities in our Point of Sale software.

On Site Training For Help Desk Team Members

We have been engaging more of our Help desk team members with on-site installation and training visits, with a member of our specialist on-store installation team, to broaden their practical experiences with our software and our customers.

Each such visit runs from two to five days and exposes the help desk team member to real life situations around the use of our software. It better informs their view of how the software is used and retail business practices which link with services provided within our software.

This additional on-site training is being provided in a number of retail business types across several states – to ensure a broad range of experience for our team members.

Steps For Cutting Retail Theft by Employees and Customers

The risk of capture is a big deterrent to any type of theft. This is especially true in retail where customer and employee theft can hurt a business financially and emotionally in a short space of time.

Anyone who thinks they may get caught is far less likely to attempt theft. This is what police and retail theft experts around the world say. It reinforces the value of a professional, properly setup and fully utilised theft management solution in a any retail business.

Thanks to smart theft management tools and our integrated security camera system, Tower Systems is able to help retailers cut the cost of theft by enabling a reliable in-store deterrent.

Shoppers and employees are regularly reminded in a number of ways that the business is monitored, cash and inventory are watched and processes are followed to reduce the opportunity for theft without arrest. From the obvious in-store monitors to more subtle ways, the presence of monitoring and possible theft tracking helps retailers to cut the cost of theft.

We have been working in the theft management space for many years with retailers. Our latest retail theft management tools continue the evolution and deliver best practice to our retail customers regardless of size or business niche.

Using our theft management tools, retailers using our Point of Sale software are able to better manage their businesses and cut theft at the same time. The two goals go hand in hand.

From the sales counter to the back office and on the shop floor we track activity and connect this with actions in our Point of Sale software. At the sales counter, for example, we lay transaction details over vision from the security cameras. This can be vital in helping prosecutors build a case against an employee as is provides a court with another item of evidence which is not open to speculation.

Theft can kill a retail business. Here at Tower Systems our goal is to help our retailers to cut theft to the barest minimum. In addition to excellent software can an integrated camera system for achieving this, we provide regular training and assistance in this area.

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Using a Security System to Cut Retail Theft

With the prevalence and cost of theft in retail by employees and customers remaining high, more retailers are looking for smarter solutions to address the scourge.

A camera system integrated with your Point of Sale software is ideal in that it directly marries Point of Sale software register activity with visual evidence of what was happening at the same time.

By connection vision of what happens at the sales counter and other key activvity points in a retail business with transactions put through the Point of sale software, the business owner has access to valuable data which could show:

  1. Sales being canceled and cash being pocketed by the employee.
  2. Fraudulent activity around receiving goods into the business.
  3. Theft during the end of shift process.
  4. Fraud by a customer in handling change during a sale transaction.
  5. Inappropriate discounts being given to customers.
  6. Sales being deleted to build a pool of ‘unrecorded’ cash available for theft.
  7. Items being deleted from a sale during the sale process and thereby freeing ‘unrecorded’ cash for theft.

Connecting your Point of Sale software with a camera based security system could provide the evidence which is essential to capture and prosecution of people responsible for stealing from your retail business.

Tower Systems offers an integrated smart security solution for retail businesses.  It has been used successfully in the detection or retail employees engaged in criminal activity against their employers.  We have experts on our team who can and do help retailers cut the cost of theft.

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Retail Theft on the Increase

We are seeing an increase in theft in retail businesses, especially theft by employees.  Employee theft is more easily detected and controlled than customer theft, especially in retail bsinesses using our Point of sale and Theft Management solutions.

Earlier this week we provided retailers using our Point of Sale software with refreshed advice on managing the theft challenge.  This advice coupled with our free theft check service help equip tower Systems retailers with tools with which to minimise the cost of theft.

Our assistance around theft goes beyond the traditional training and support assistance.  In a few weeks, for example, one of our senior management team is being flown interstate as an expert witness for the prosecution in a complex employee theft case.  While the cost and disruption to our business from providing this resource is considerable, our involvement demonstrates a level of expertise and commitment which is unique among Point of Sale companies.

Retailers using our software have access to excellent tools with which to manage and cut theft.  If is far better that these tools are used than relying on us to act an as expert witness after a theft event.

Here is a summary of tools and support assistance we offer to retailers for managing and reducing theft:

  1. Theft management advice for using tools within our software.  Check out Advice Sheet BA05.
  2. Robust theft tracking reporting within our software including our Audit Log which has been instrumental in facilitating convictions.
  3. Free Theft Check service. Our experts check business data and can identify potential theft situations.
  4. Business operations audit.  This fee based on site service can assess a business from a theft perspective and provide operational recommendations.
  5. Online training workshops.  We provide live training in the theft management and security facilities in our software – for business owners only.

These are other services combine to provide a whole of business service in the area of theft management and reduction.  The results speak for themselves.  Discovery. Theft reduction.  Convictions.  Business owners recovering stolen cash.

Expert Witness Role in Another Retail Theft Case

One of our team members has been called as an expert witness in a criminal case involving alleged employee theft.  Thanks to years of work in this area we are able to speak to the integrity of the data captured by our Point of Sale software and provide evidence around patterns of behaviour shown through analysis of the data.

Almost every day we find ourselves helping another customer on a case of suspected employee theft.  We have seen more instanced reported so far this year than for the same period in any year past.  This is most concerning.

We will be sharing insights and advice on dealing with employee theft at our face to face user meetings planned to start next month.  We are also preparing a new training video on the issue of employee theft, to help our customers take steps to better protect their businesses.

While we are happy to help our with police investigations and to have our experts called for court appearances, we would prefer to focus on helping our retail customers avoid theft altogether.  This is where our advice can help retailers avoid the problem altogether.

Retailers using our software can have their risk assessed through our free Theft Check service.  This is another Tower Advantage TM service.

12 steps to cutting theft in any retail business

We published the following retail theft reduction advice to our 2,500 Point of Sale software customers earlier this week.

Retailers who follow this advice are better positioned to cut employee theft, customer theft and general shrinkage in their retail stores.  While we wrote the advice for our customers, it can be applied to most good Point of Sale systems.

  1. Only sell what you arrive through our software.
  2. Track ALL sales – by scanning, touch screen button or PLU.
  3. Stop all department sales.
  4. Scan our ALL returns.
  5. Undertake regular spot stocktake throughout the business. The discrepancy between what you have and what the system has reflects theft.
  6. Reorder stock using the software. This stops poor buying decisions. It also identified stock theft and employee fraud around stock.
  7. Use employee initials, codes or barcodes for each sale. Yes this adds time to each sale. The benefits far outweigh the time cost.
  8. Set an end of shift balance target of $5.00. Many Tower customers achieve this – it takes discipline.
  9. Change your system password regularly.
  10. Do random, during the day, register balance checks.
  11. Use your software to check and report on behaviour which could indicate employee theft.
  12. Follow your suspicions regardless. Put your business ahead of friendships.

We have been on a mission in 2010 to get our retail partners to engage more actively in using the facilities within our software to cut theft.

Based on the feedback we have received and the police investigations in which we have been involved in providing evidence, our focus has been beneficial to many of our customers.

The cost to any retail business of customer and employee theft can be significantly reduced. The keys are retail owner and management engagement, full use of the software and relentless application of a zero tolerance approach.