In April 2023 "Griffith Criminology Institute Professor Michael Townsley said retailers lose thousands of dollars per year because of retail crime, .... On average, an individual external theft incident costs a retailer around $415 compared to an internal theft incident costing an average value of $1200."
In some industries like newsagencies, I can see figures quoted between 3% and 5% of total sales.
That is a considerable amount as many retailers today are operating on slim margins. These losses can be devastating. The most troubling part? Most retail theft is internal, committed by trusted employees. We have heard tearful stories from retailers who discovered longtime employees and even family members stealing from them.
There are some protective steps you can take. We believe the best approach is implementing proper procedures and monitoring everything with the right tools, like a POS system with advanced reporting. Ignorance is not bliss here.
Use Your POS System to Uncover Internal Theft
Our POS software includes a unique security system that monitors key indicators for suspicious activity from each operator using your system.
Here is a start in your system: our unique security system monitors what people operating your point of sale are using. We call it the Retail Protective Key Performance Indicators.
These indicators give you a detailed breakdown for each operator, statistics on such things as their usage of no sale, voids, count, totals, refunds, negative items and discounts they are doing. Pay particular attention to any huge numbers in specific voids.
To run it, go to cash register reports. (see orange arrow)
Then select Staff and click on "Sales security indicators" (see blue arrow)
Please select the required period you wish; I recommend doing it monthly.
What you are looking for is that most thieves have a method that works for them; they become a creature of habit, and as such, with these people, one indicator is generally up.
So you are looking for someone with one very high item. So, run this report monthly to analyze trends over time. Focus on operators with unusually high numbers for:
- No sales
- Negative items
For example, no sales and voids often go hand-in-hand for legitimate reasons. But if one is sky-high and the other normal, that warrants a closer look.
Complement POS Monitoring with Other Fraud Prevention
POS indicator reports are precious for identifying potential theft. However, they should not be your only defence.
Some additional fraud prevention tips:
- Conduct regular inventory audits
- Install video surveillance
- Perform surprise cash drawer counts
- One cash draw one person
- Enforce strict POS access controls
Protect your livelihood by leveraging tools like security indicators. Failure to actively prevent retail theft leaves the door open for disaster. We are here to help - let us know if you have any other questions!