Ask any business owner that has commercial premises with a warehouse and they will all tell you that one of the most annoying and costly problems with running a warehouse is the problem of theft.
A lot of theft that occurs from warehouses tends to be from opportunist thieves, especially during the loading and unloading of good from vans and lorries. Even building sites are not immune to theft, and as such many sites of all sizes often employ construction site security staff to patrol and secure the contents within.
Let’s face it, you would not be sending or receiving goods from or to your warehouse if they did not have some kind of a value attached to it, and if people think they can get away with stealing from you, then the more rogue elements of society will try and do so.
For example, the British Security Industry Association estimates that over £15 billion losses are made by companies worldwide each year due to cargo theft each year, so you can see that this is not a rare or series of isolated cases, it is unfortunately a regular occurrence.
If you have been affected by theft in your warehouse, then take a look at this handy guide for steps you can take to make life more difficult for warehouse thieves.
Identify areas of concern
The first thing you should do is identify the areas of your warehouse where opportunist thieves are able to successfully steal your goods so that you can eradicate the problem. Here are some examples of where you may wish to review security in your warehouse:
Theft by staff members is unfortunately an increasingly common issue to tackle. In order to lessen the chance of such problems occurring in your warehouse, it is important to do thorough background checks on potential new employees (employment history checks, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, and even credit checks if your business is involved in certain industries related to finance for example.
Warehouse layouts can also pose problems too. If certain high value goods are on display to any visitors such as delivery drivers, and conversely if they are hidden away in the far corners of your warehouse where there is no-one available to keep a watchful eye on them, then these present opportunities for thieves to strike at a convenient time.
Invest in extra security measures
Consider rearranging the layout of your warehouse so that it is not immediately obvious to visitors where your high value stock is, and also get a decent closed-circuit television (CCTV) system installed that makes it easy to monitor and record activities in your warehouse, at any time of the day or not and whether there are staff working in them or not.
Many start of the art CCTV systems are linked to the Internet and can be monitored remotely in real-time, often with perfect audio and video quality (CCTV has moved on from the grainy, 2-second delays of the 90s)!
Even more state of the art security methods are available, for example radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging technology can be used so that you can be alerted if your goods move from their designated zones in your warehouse without your authorisation.
Some warehouses like the ones owned by Amazon also make their staff walk through metal detectors (the types you see at airports) to virtually eliminate staff theft.
Finally, you can also invest in more low-tech solutions such as security guard patrols to provide an obvious security presence in and around your warehouse, deterring would-be thieves.
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