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Rina Redelinghuys, CQuential WMS Customer Services Executive unpacks warehouse theft prevention tips.

Warehouse Theft Prevention Tips

There are many drivers that create cost and inefficiencies within the warehouse but theft can cause a lot of operational disruptions and it’s one of the most difficult to solve. It takes a combination of strong processes, security systems, warehouse management software and excellent hiring criteria to reduce the negative impact of theft within the business.

What is the impact of theft within the warehouse?

Theft is directly responsible for all the following:

It’s crucial that warehouse theft is dealt with in a timely manner to avoid any long-term damage and to retain ethics and values within the organisation.

There are several initiatives that can be implemented to address the warehouse theft issue including:

Stock-take vs. cycle counting
Cycle counting ensures that your inventory is frequently checked for accuracy and without interrupting your operations. Not only is this a more productive and efficient method of inventory control, but it also makes it easier to spot theft because you can identify discrepancies sooner rather than later.

Missing stock vs theft
Inventory shrinkage in your warehouse is normal, within certain limits. The best way to identify theft in your warehouse is to conduct regular stock takes. If you notice discrepancies, investigate them immediately.

Red Flags – watch for the following indicators of theft:

What further measures can be put in place to remove the negative impact of theft within the business?

Maximise managerial visibility in the warehouse
Having a strong managerial presence on your warehouse floor will deter theft. It can, however, be difficult for warehouse managers to spend a lot of time on the floor, as many of their duties require a computer.

Consider investing in a warehouse management solution that offers a mobile component, this would facilitate a desk free working solution for your managers. It will also lead to the following positive outcomes for managers as they walk the floor:

Limit access to stock in the warehouse
Use the physical layout of your warehouse to create barriers that help to prevent theft.

Ensure you install robust security systems in the warehouse
Installing security systems like access control and CCTV cameras not only deters criminals but also provides visual evidence of theft. Security personnel should be stationed at every entrance/exit of the building. Staff and visitors’ parking should be located away from warehouse operations. No private vehicles should be permitted anywhere near the warehouse.

Understanding the motivation behind theft
Knowing why employees steal can help you to effectively curb theft. In other words, break down why employees steal. This can be due to a myriad of reasons including:

Implement a Warehouse Management System – the less accurate your inventory records are, the faster your warehouse becomes an easy target.


Catch my next piece where we will examine the challenges around warehouse optimisation.

In case you missed it – also read: Effective Slotting – your next step in warehouse management cost reduction.

For more information contact us on 011 712 1300; email info@cquential.com or visit our website www.cquential.com

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