Employee Awareness: The Key to Protecting Inventory

When it comes to stores preventing theft, having a robust inventory protection strategy in place is absolutely vital. But there’s one central element of a great retail theft prevention strategy that is sometimes overlooked: making sure employees across the board are prepared.

“Having a staff committed to protecting inventory is the most vital ingredient to loss prevention.”

As a loss prevention leader, you could have some of the strongest security tools dispersed around your store – and yet if your staff hasn’t been trained on how to protect inventory from being stolen or damaged, then you won’t be getting the maximum value out of the security resources you have in place.

For stores, inventory security needs to be a group effort
There are some stores out there that have an entire fleet of staff solely devoted to loss prevention. In fact, if you’re running a mega retail store, chances are you have a full department designated for the cause. But as Retail Minded pointed out, not every store out there is a major retailer with its own loss prevention division. The vast majority of enterprises are operating at a much smaller scale.

Yet whether you’re part of a huge chain or a small family business, the need to protect inventory remains the same. And for organizations of a smaller size, this task calls for a staff who’s cognizant of the value of inventory, as well as how to protect it. While it can be tempting for small companies to approach loss prevention in a siloed manner – with a couple of people assuming full responsibility for inventory protection – this is not the way to protect merchandise in practice. Here are some of the key reasons why all store employees need to be trained in the protection of inventory:

  • They provide a crucial set of eyes for suspicious activity: It’s bad news that shoplifting happens as often as it does. But the frequency with which retail theft occurs does offer one upside: There are well-documented behaviors of shopliftersthat can be identified by perceptive employees. Someone who repeatedly leaves and re-enters a store, for instance, should be cause for concern. The same goes for a person who remains in an area of the store that is difficult for employees to monitor. Without employees who are trained to identify these behaviors, however, potential thieves can fly under the radar and cause inventory losses.
  • Inventory security knowledge will improve their work quality: Staffers who’ve been trained in the fundamentals of loss prevention and asset protection know that the last thing a thief wants is employees who are always walking the aisles. Conversely, this is exactly the kind of employee who legitimate customers appreciate. When staffers know the value of inventory protection and management, they’ll patrol the aisles with more frequency, which won’t only deter thieves, but also, as Retail Minded pointed out, have the added benefit of providing better service for valued customers.
  • They’ll know how Inventory Security Solutions (ISS) technology works: Having ISS technologylike that offered by CONTROLTEK is a massive benefit for stores – but it’s optimally effective when all employees know how it operates. If, for instance, a customer is attempting to remove an ink tag from a garment and the tag releases its permanent ink, this is the kind of technological component a well-trained employee can be on the lookout for and act upon.

Loss Prevention
When it comes to loss prevention, proactive employees are a key part of the equation.

How CONTROLTEK solutions can help employees protect inventory
CONTROLTEK provides stores with a future-focused arsenal of inventory security solutions that make the job of monitoring and protecting inventory a lot easier. But it’s not just that our product offerings are innovative and highly effective – it’s also that they’re made to be easily useable by all staff members in a retail environment. Accompanying our well-regarded EAS Hard Tag product line, for instance, is a collection of EAS Tag Detachers that are built to be both strong and easy for employees to use in order to disengage tags to facilitate a sale.

For all stores, equipping employees with the best tools and training to protect inventory is the most vital step toward mounting the most impactful system of defense possible. Having a well-prepared staff can turn out to be the difference between maintaining low inventory shrink numbers and increasing sales.