How safe is your stock?


Stock is the lifeblood of many a business – if it’s spoiled, lost or stolen, it can be a disaster for you and your customers. After our research revealed that at least £184 million worth of stock was stolen from businesses around the UK in the last three years [1] – with a total of 202,187 thefts in 2016 alone [2] – it makes sense to take another look at how you secure your business’s stock.

 
Here are a few tips on keeping your valuable stock safe from thieves:
 
Do a regular stock check
Carrying out regular stock checks is part and parcel of operating a business, but it’s an admittedly tedious one that can easily get bumped off the priority list. However, it’s your best way of knowing for sure that everything’s accounted for.
 
It’s recommended to do a full stock take at least once a month – if you have fast-moving stock, you may want to do it even more often. Spotting any irregularities early gives you a much better chance of identifying the cause.
 
Secure your stockroom
This may sound obvious, but at the very least your stockroom should be locked when it’s not in use. Installing CCTV cameras is also a good idea – even if you do suffer a break-in, video evidence gives the police a lot more to work with when it comes to catching the culprits.
 
You may also consider installing motion detectors that send an alert to your phone when they’re triggered outside of business hours – again, the quicker you can respond to a theft, the better the odds of recovering your valuables.
 
Background check your employees
Nobody likes to suspect their employees of stealing, but unfortunately it’s a frequent source of missing stock. According to a recent study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, some 43% of inventory loss is attributed to employee theft, compared to just 15% to administrative error.
 
In short: trust your employees, but don’t trust them blindly. References and background checks exist for this very reason, and you should always think twice before handing the stockroom keys or passcodes to a new employee.
 
Consider secure storage
If you have more stock than you have room for, or if you just want an extra layer of protection, consider using a self storage unit with Space Station. Not only are our units protected by CCTV, PIN-code entrance gates and high-strength locks to which only you have the key - they’re covered by insurance and exempt from council tax and business rates. We can even arrange to accept business deliveries for you.
 
Self storage units are like having your own high-security warehouse, without the up-front costs. They’re also extremely flexible: if you won’t need the space for long, just arrange a short-term rental.
 
[1] Freedom of Information data was requested from all regional police forces in the UK in July 2017, requesting the total number theft and value of business thefts in their area for the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 calendar years. Of the 43 police forces contacted, 20 were unable to provide the data. Eight forces supplied data on the value of the crimes.
 
[2] Of the 23 forces that responded.

 


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