Stopping Warehouse Theft

Because of the burgeoning e-commerce industry, warehouses are growing in size, receiving and shipping more and more products. Warehouses can be easy, soft targets for theft if preventative measures aren’t put in place.

Inside Jobs. Alarm systems can be installed to keep thieves from entering a warehouse, but much of warehouse theft is the result of employee misconduct. If thieves do break in, they usually have help from an inside source making an alarm system inadequate—and alarm systems are usually turned off during working hours when employees brazenly steal.

Some employees are sneaky. They may throw items away, only to come back and retrieve them for the dumpster later on. They may add extra merchandise to an order and their cohort on the receiving end simply drives away with the additional goods. Others may falsely claim that received items were damaged and returned, when, in reality, the employee keeps the merchandise and sells it on the black market.

Warehouse Security Tips

Checks & Balances. Require that two people sign off on all orders coming and going from the warehouse.

24/7 Live Monitoring. Mount security cameras so the entire warehouse can be viewed at all times. Add extra cameras at the loading dock—where crooked employees often collude with their outside partners in crime.

Control Access to the Warehouse During Off Hours. Only a limited number of employees should be able to enter a warehouse when it’s closed. The fewer employees who have keys to enter, the fewer after-hour thefts will occur.

Routinely Check Inventory. Compare shipping and receiving records with actual inventory. Create a system so discrepancies can be easily spotted.

Train Security Personnel. Train warehouse security guards to recognize suspicious employee behavior—such as employees leaving their work area for long periods, coming in early and staying late and having private, hidden conversations with pickup and delivery personnel. Guards should make regular stops around the warehouse looking for out-of-place or hidden merchandise.

Anonymous Security Hotline. Provide a hotline number that honest employees can call to report illegal activity.