Stock is the lifeblood of many businesses. Without it, your business may not be able to function. Whether it’s because your stock has been stolen, spoiled, been lost or even ruined by natural disaster, the results could be disastrous for you, your business and your customers. In fact, many businesses wouldn’t recover from it. The worst part is, studies indicate that at least £184 million worth of stock has been stolen from businesses around the country over the last 3 years. With 202,187 reported stock thefts last year alone, theft is one of the biggest causes of stock loss in the UK. Some business owners are looking back on how they could have prevented it, but the smart ones are looking ahead and working out how they can secure their stock to prevent it from future theft. At Blue Box Storage, we have a few tips for you.
The reason thefts go unnoticed for so long is largely because stock checks aren’t being done when they should. Granted, doing regular stock checks is part and parcel of running any stock-based business, and should be done frequently. However, actually doing them is time-consuming and tedious, so they often get pushed down the priority list in favour of more profit-generating activities. Particularly, if the business owner is delegating stock taking to another member of staff. But however much of a pain they can be, they are the best way to make sure everything is accounted for, and nothing has gone missing. The general guidance is to do a full stock-take once a month. However, if you have a lot of fast moving stock you may want to do this once a week. Make sure your computer systems are updated with the new numbers, and keep a log of each stock check so that you can spot irregularities early.
Stock that’s left lying around in a back room is stock that’s at risk of being stolen. Opportunistic thefts are by far the most common form of stock theft, so your best bet is to make your stock difficult and inconvenient to steal. At the very least, your stockroom should be locked when it’s not in use. If possible, the valuable stock should be kept in separate, locked units. Beyond that, installing CCTV cameras is a given, since this allows you to catch people who do steal from you. Security systems for when you aren’t on the premises is also a good option, as this gives you the chance to respond quickly and improve your chances of recovery.
Nobody likes the idea that their trusted employees could steal from them. But the sad fact is that most retail thefts come from inside the business. If you don’t believe us, consider the fact that according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 43% of inventory loss is attributed to employee theft, compared to 15% administration errors. So while you do need to trust your employees – make sure that trust isn’t blind. A good precaution is to perform background checks and references on all new employees – after all, this is what they’re for. And we would also recommend not giving new employees the keys or codes to your stock room until they have been with you a little while.
If you have more stock than you have space for in your shop, or you deal with high-value goods that need an extra layer of protection, you could consider using a secure self-storage facility to store them in. At Blue Box Self-Storage, we provide on-site security, 24-hour CCTV and high strength locks on our secure storage units, which only you have the key or code to. Everything within is fully insured and we can even arrange to accept your deliveries into the centre, saving you time and increasing your security.
At Blue Box, there is nothing more important to us than our customer’s security. Our units are like having your own high-security warehouse, only without the upfront costs and maintenance issues. Our spaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are entirely flexible with your needs. So even if you only need the security for a little while, we can help. To find out more, just get in touch with us today.