Author: Bea Bonte Jun 12, 2020 3 Min READ

Inside Job: Safeguarding Against Warehouse Theft

3 Min READ
Inside Job: Safeguarding Against Warehouse Theft


Do you know for certain that your employees aren’t stealing from you? Maybe you’ve already found that your employees are stealing, and you’re trying to find a way to fix that.

The harsh reality is that employee theft cuts into the profits of warehouses all over the world. Sometimes it’s just too easy to steal from a warehouse, and there’s not a system in place to keep it from happening.

Protecting your warehouse from theft can be one of the most important tasks you accomplish this quarter.

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Let’s dive into some of the different things you can do to make sure that your warehouse is free of theft and that your employees maintain integrity and honesty with you.

1. The Importance of Education and Background Checks

Education and background checks are a great starting point for mitigating theft within your business. Both background checks and education are often overlooked, making it easy for employees not to take their job or theft seriously.

It’s important that education is given to each and every new hire on both the consequences of stealing and the repercussions it has on the company as a whole. If they’re stealing from a place they work, they aren’t just stealing from the owner; the employee is stealing from themselves as well.

Background checks are time-consuming on the front end, especially if you have a lot of them to do. Thankfully they are relatively inexpensive, and the results are quick. Check out this article for more information on how to handle employee background checks.

2. Create a Theft Policy and Follow it

Implementing a zero-tolerance theft policy can educate employees and hold them accountable when it comes to warehouse theft. There are a few different elements that you’ll want your theft policy to contain. Here is a sample document that you could use as a starting point.

Additionally, you might be wondering how to write your own theft policy. It’s not too difficult, but it is something that needs to be taken very seriously. Be sure to do your research and make sure everything checks out.

Here are the essential things to include in the policy:

  • Define the purpose of the policy. Why are you writing it, why are you giving it to employees and what things can be stolen?
  • Explain the consequences of theft. This one is simple, but you’re looking to make it crystal clear as to what happens if someone is caught stealing.
  • Outline Roles and Responsibilities. This might include distributing the policy, creating a hotline for reporting thefts, enforcing the policy, and following through on disciplinary actions.

Beyond those points, it’s important to keep the language simple, concise, and be transparent with your employees. Value honesty and integrity in your employees and champion them when they display good virtues.

3. Limit Who Has Access To Stock

In all types of different warehouses, it can be far too easy for all departments to have access to stock. It’s critical that you find ways to separate the stock from different people so that those who need to access it are the only ones that do.

  • Separate your receiving dock from your shipping dock. If possible, this will help you guarantee that outside shipping companies aren’t able to have access to your stock.
  • Create sections within the warehouse that some employees don’t need to go into. This will help managers monitor who has access to which stocks.
  • Provide visiting truck drivers with a lounge. Some drivers will be happy to stay in their trucks, but if they need to get out, it’s good to have somewhere for them to go. This allows you to show them good customer service and also to keep them away from any inventory.

warehouse theft

4. Perform Regular Inventory Counting

Whether you choose to use cycle counting or another method of inventory counting, make sure that it’s regular and consistent. Without frequent inventory counts, it will be almost impossible to know when items were taken or went missing. That means it will be even harder to find the source of their disappearance.

Check out our recent post on cycle counting for some helpful tips.

5. Install a Security System with Cameras

Installing a warehouse security system will give you the ability to not only protect your warehouse from external theft but also from employee theft. A good set of cameras with proper placement can help you keep an eye on your most valuable inventory and see when it goes missing if it does.

Security measuress, and especially CCTV, can be very expensive. One way to save some money is to place dummy cameras in high traffic areas. While you won’t be able to see any footage from these cameras, they will deter and fool some individuals from stealing.

6. Use a Cloud-Based Inventory Management System

There are quite a few advantages to cloud-based inventory management systems and these days it goes far beyond their ability to help you keep up on orders. A cloud-based system such as Extensiv Warehouse Manager will help you keep track of inventory from the moment it arrives to the moment it is delivered. You will no longer need to perform intense cycle countings or other inventory counting strategies. You’ll know exactly how many items you should have for each barcode you create.

Stop Warehouse Theft with Extensiv

Reach out to us today to request a free demo of Extensiv Warehouse Manager. We’ll show you exactly how it works and if you decide to purchase, we’ll help you get everything flowing smoothly in your warehouse.

FREE REPORT Proven Ways to Improve Warehouse Profitability Get the guide for a five-point warehouse tune-up  


Warehouse theft FAQs

How can businesses recover from the effects of warehouse theft incidents?

Recovering from the effects of warehouse theft incidents can be challenging, but several steps can help businesses mitigate the impact and regain stability:

- Audit the losses of stolen goods
- Notify authorities
- Review security measures and detection systems
- Insurance claims
- Communicate with stakeholders
- Review Inventory controls
- Training and awareness for staff members
- Collaboration with law enforcement
- Continuous improvement to high-risk areas

Recovering from warehouse theft incidents involves a multifaceted approach that combines immediate action, collaboration with authorities, strengthening security solutions, and ongoing improvements to prevent future occurrences.

What are some of the warning signs to look out for for inventory theft in warehouses?

Recognizing potential internal theft in warehouses involves monitoring various warning signs:

- Discrepancies between recorded and physical stock levels.
- Sudden, unaccounted-for shrinkage in inventory quantities.
- Inconsistent or modified inventory records.
- Sudden lifestyle or financial changes among staff.
- Employees avoiding or resisting scheduled counts.
- Consistent finding of tampered or damaged packaging.
- Higher than normal disruptions or spoilage levels.
- Signs of interference with warehouse management systems.

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