Love it or hate it, loss prevention is a critical component of any convenience store manager’s responsibility. It goes well beyond installing and monitoring the latest security gadgets provided by upper management – or keeping cigarettes or lottery tickets in locked cabinets. To curb shrink from all avenues, you need to take a more a holistic approach to loss prevention.
Some time ago “Where’s My Shrink” published Ten Rules for Smart Loss Prevention. What follows is a short synopsis of the best of their rules, coupled with a few of our own.
Leadership Counts – when it comes to shrink prevention, the entire organization, from corporate management to store management on down needs to be committed to identifying and then addressing where and how losses are occurring.
Cleanliness Matters – when a store is disorganized – either in the front room, the back room, or both – it makes it much easier for theft to go unnoticed, or product to spoil or become damaged. Demonstrate to your employees through your actions that neatness counts. Keep all areas of the store, including the back room, well organized.
Awareness is Critical – some statistics show that up to 80% of shrink is a result of employee theft. In many cases that is just because they think they can get away with it. Make it clearly known that they can’t.
Discipline Makes a Difference – other sources of shrink include vendor theft and errors in shipping and receiving. Have you ever had an employee carelessly sign for something that was never received? Perform proper vendor check-in every time and on all deliveries. Establish and enforce discipline to avoid putting merchandise on the books that was never there in the first place. Along the same lines, it is also crucial to pay attention to detail and keep all paperwork up to date.
Knowledge is Power – It is tough to argue good data. As the “Where’s My Shrink” post states, “Managers at all levels need to have an objective benchmark and measurement system for their stores. Professional audits are the catalyst for action that will immediately produce positive results.” When you get actionable insight from your audits you can more easily determine where and how shrink is occurring so you can get to the root of the problem.
Technology Reduces Errors – With sale prices being set at the corporate level and registering when the SKU is scanned (often on a daily or weekly basis), it can be tough to keep up with the way things are marked on the shelves. Auditors that scan the price book prior to counting can ensure that the price each item is counted at is the same price that is in the system – eliminating the chance of skewing your inventory numbers.
Improvement Requires Change – Change doesn’t come about just by wishing it. if you want to reduce your shrink, you need to make definitive changes to the way you are doing things.
Catching shrink starts by identifying it. That’s where the work Quantum Services does really comes into play. When you are looking for audit counts you can believe there is no better resource than Quantum Services. Give us a call at 800-777-9414 to find out how we can help you identify and tackle your stores’ shrink problems.