As a store owner who do you think is most likely to steal from your business? Do you ever find yourself analyzing suspicious customers, trying to find out where they might be hiding stolen items? Many shop owners are perpetually paranoid thinking that customers are the most likely ones to steal from a store, but according to the statistics from Zahran and Buyers, employees are much more likely to be stealing. According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, 75% of employees will steal from their company, and most of them will steal repeatedly (Zahran). National Retail Federation reported that around 44% of all inventory that is lost can be attributed to employee theft (Buyers). While most companies know that to prevent employee theft, they can pre-screen employees and get security cameras, few realize that a Point of Sale solution can be a great tool in preventing employee theft.
Knowing what products are being ordered and how they are selling, is key to the success of any store, therefore many stores will do inventory counts to see what is on their shelves. Having a POS Solution that accounts for inventory is key because it allows the store owner or managers to see what the store should have on their shelves based on the number of products received and the amount that they sold, the store can then verify that the physical product count matches what the POS says. If there is a large discrepancy between the physical count and the system count it will raise red flags. IT Retail had a customer who realized that a certain baby formula brand was not making them very much money, so the store owner told the manager to stop ordering it. The manager stopped ordering it but a few months later he realized that there was more of that particular brand of baby formula on his shelves! The store manager then began to look his POS reports. After some digging he was able to deduce that a customer was buying baby formula with their WIC benefits at another store and returning it to their store for cash, the store also found that the customer was returning it to the same cashier every time! Needless to say the employee and the cashier had worked out a way to game the system. Thus doing inventory counts ensuring what is in your POS matches your shelves is a great way to manage a store without making any employee feel like they are being targeted.
Store Sales Reports are a key feature, that helps the store know how much they are making on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. This helps the store find trends, and will raise red flags when the store deviates from its previous trends. For example, if the store sales peak every Friday afternoon, and one Friday the owner or manager notices either a drop or no peak, the manager or owner know they need to do some research into why the sales are not following the trend. The store can see if one cashier has significantly less sales, or they can view other reports and see if one cashier has a significant number of returns or voids. The great thing about store sales, is that some POS solutions have an app that allows the store to view the store sales at all times, so even if the owner is on vacation they can still have a watchful eye over what is happening at their store.
Some POS solutions allow the owner or manager to view what is going on real time at each till. This way the manager or owner can check on the register that they are suspicious of without making the employee feel like they are being watched or judged or they can do spot checks throughout the day. If they have any questions about a transaction they can look further into it using Electronic Journal, here they can see if their was any voids, refunds, the receipt, and see how the customer paid. This is also a great tool to answer any questions a customer might have regarding their transaction, after it has already been completed.
We hope that none of you are ever victims of employee theft, but it is always a good idea to guard your company in every possible way and use every tool that is available to you.
Kristin H. Henry, 8th August 2016
Zahran, J. (2014, January 29). Who Took That? Preventing Employee Theft in Retail. Retrieved August 10, 2016, from https://www.pinkerton.com/blog/who-took-that-preventing-employee-theft-in-retail/
Byers, T. (2015, February 4). The Surprising Ways Inventory Software Prevents Employee Theft. Retrieved August 8, 2016, from https://www.ecomdash.com/surprising-ways-inventory-software-prevents-employee-theft/
Author: Kristin Tao
I have been working in the grocery industry for the last 10 years. For four years, I worked in a grocery store, where I learned the ins and out of running a grocery store, and the important role the POS plays. I joined the IT Retail team 6 years ago where I have worked in support, quality assurance, and marketing. I am currently working as the account manager. I am passionate about helping companies succeed in the grocery space!