As you may already know, inventory shrinkage is a problem across virtually every industry. Retailers often have to deal with the after-effects of stolen or misplaced inventory, but warehouses and government organizations will suffer the consequences when products or assets are lost or damaged as well. In our last post, we discussed some of the main contributing factors that lead to inventory shrinkage. In today’s post, we’ll be talking about some of the best practices you can employ to prevent inventory shrinkage, including the use of inventory tracking software.
Tips To Prevent Warehouse Or Government Inventory Shrinkage
- Improve hiring and training
One of the best ways to protect your organization from inventory shrinkage actually doesn’t have much to do with safeguarding the actual inventory itself. Because a substantial portion of inventory theft can be attributed to employee theft and human error, it’s vital to screen your employees and train them properly. You’ll need to contact a candidate’s references and conduct a thorough background check on them, regardless of your industry. And although those who deal with government inventory are already subject to stricter guidelines, it’s important to not make assumptions about a candidate’s employment history or values. Comprehensive on-boarding is a must as well, since this training period can educate an employee on your organization’s policies pertaining to theft and inventory shrinkage prevention procedures.
- Install surveillance and security systems
The reality is that no one has eyes in the back of their head. Even with careful hiring and training practices, there may be some employees who try to take advantage or who are simply careless about accident prevention and inventory loss. Whether you’re dealing with government inventory and assets or you run a warehouse or retail location, surveillance systems can keep you informed about everything that goes on. You can install security cameras in main areas (particularly in spots that aren’t readily visible) and other precautionary measures (like doors with security codes) to make sure only certain persons can access specific areas. You may even want to consider hiring security guards if you suspect inventory shrink is due to employee theft.
- Use inventory tracking software
Security systems and an emphasis on hiring and training can certainly help to reduce the risk of inventory shrinkage, but you’ll still need a comprehensive system for government inventory management or warehouse inventory tracking. Because you ultimately don’t have complete control over what others in your organization will do, you’ll benefit from a system that keeps track of everything in real time and that isn’t prone to human error. In fact, inventory accuracy increases by approximately 20% with a warehouse management system. Not only do these systems make it simple for you to know exactly where an item is at any given moment, but when employees are more informed (and know you have access to that information), they’ll pay more attention to the behaviors that can lead to shrinkage and take steps to avoid them.
How Does Inventory Tracking Software Work?
For government organizations (such as police departments), following strict regulations about inventory tracking is a must. In other words, using a standard spreadsheet for government inventory tracking won’t do. When you use a system to keep track of your warehouse or government inventory, you’ll have automated software that provides you with an easily searchable database and real-time updates. This means you’ll know exactly where a given piece of equipment or product is at any given moment, whether it’s being transported to another facility or is being used by an employee. These systems track an item’s location as well as the person who last used it and how many of these items there are. You can even give unique barcodes to each piece of inventory.
It’s likely that you now understand just how important it is to prevent inventory shrink within your organization. To find out more about our software and how it can help protect you, contact us today.