Industrial Security Success - Simple Steps that You Could Be Missing That Could Cost You Thousands

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Like many security companies, Champion provides protection within many types of industries. From an administration perspective, the industrial vertical is among the most complex security programs to manage. This is because all vendors (including security) working within these environments are expected to undergo specific and sometimes specialized training. Plants and manufacturing facilities are deeply focused on safety. OSHA regulations and training are standard requirements, however depending on the product being produced, these companies can also be accountable to federal, state, and environmental regulations, not to mention OSHA training compliance. Oftentimes the amount of training and regulation just for a vendor (like security) can seem like “over-egging the pudding”. However, as a longtime vendor to this industry Champion understands the critical nature of these standards, which need to be upheld. The well-being of everyone dependent on an unwavering commitment to safety.

Industrial facilities hire security not only keep their facility safe, but to also to mitigate risk and property loss. An example of loss within an industrial facility came to light recently when Champion was hired to perform security for a large manufacturing facility, (name withheld). This company utilized highly valuable raw metal material including steel and copper which they used to craft the products they manufactured. The material is a valuable commodity, often traded for cash in the recycle black market! According to MarketsandMarkets.com research the metal recycling market size is estimated to grow from USD 277.12 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 406.16 Billion by 2020. So needless to say like every growing industry it has the potential to be exploited by crime and unscrupulous people.

Following a highly involved security transition, which integrated specialized training, OSHA 30 classes, and personnel qualifications, Champion conducted an on-site risk assessment. This assessment included documentation of all valuables and recording processes —including inventory of products and materials. One particular process documented during this assessment included examining the standards for disposing of scrap and recycling. Although documenting this topic may seem inconsequential, it ended up being the one step that would prevent the company an ongoing inventory-loss problem.

After starting service for (company name withheld) Champion settled in and began normal service. The security program focused on employee safety and protection within the facility. This entailed regulatory equipment checks, processing vendors, and access/gate control. Champion’s recently hired site manager was a seasoned security veteran, and not at all new to security in manufacturing facilities. Along with Champion’s local manager Malec Jebr, they used the risk assessment as a tool to establish added security measures to protect assets. Since the scrap and recycling brought in revenue, this somewhat insignificant element was included on that list – and proved to be an important step! Here is why:

Using industry standard best practices and working hand in hand to identify risks and security gaps; a plan instituted 24/7 officer patrol, and CCTV surveillance coverage. During a busy shift at the facility, Officer Diaz was approached by the newly hired lead manager of the material department. She had begun to notice small amounts of material and even some recycling had gone missing. She admitted to spending some time attempting to pinpoint the cause on her own, but concluded she was far too occupied. She confided that she was unable to account for the loss in any honest manner. Officer Diaz was trained to identify important details and investigate situations exactly like this one. The entire site security team was advised and began to meticulously (and discreetly) monitor the material and inventory within all departments. Photo documentation was utilized and compared in daily logs.

After a week and a half of documentation and analyzing their reports, the team met to review CCTV footage. This confirmed their suspicions. With tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of material and inventory missing they gathered all the information together and presented it to the company’s human resources department.

During shift change they observed a pattern in which one employee was consistently the last person out of the department. He would unfailingly take the trash outside. Throughput his shift he had inconspicuously placed inventory and precious recyclable material at the bottom of a trash container which was covered in regular trash items. After his shift, he was observed on CCTV coming around to an area not normally monitored. He would retrieve the bag he had previously placed near the disposal containers and take it off the premises.

The new manager and the newly installed Champion security team were credited with preventing an ongoing internal theft event, which may have been going on for years! Simply having a security partner that took time to assess and then mitigate risk not only removed the pressure on staff of trying to ascertain the source of the theft, but it also relieved the management to know their company is continuing to operate efficiently and profitably.

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What is industrial security?

Industrial facilities are a huge backbone of construction, natural resources, and economic development. Like the client in our example, inventory items worth thousands are stored, created, and shipped out for work around the globe.

Do you own or manage a large building (or multiple buildings) that are designed to construct, serve, or grow a particular industry function? Do you operate a production plant? Does your facility stock many large machinery pieces, materials or process large volumes of goods? If so, Champion recommends a security program that encompass CCTV as well as physical security officers.

According to BOMA, the average occupancy rate for an industrial complex is 96%, which approximately 65,609 sq ft per tenant. That is approximately 527 sq ft per employee. These complexes are large and while often have many employees and staff – they also have many areas that are simply not monitored all the time.

In our example, the staff were able to identify something was missing by chance – but had no idea how or why. The property was simply too large for them to know where everything was being placed. In addition, they were too busy with their regular job duties to attend to the full time observation needed to identify the problem to absolute certainty.

“One of the best ways security officers can assist industrial facilities, “says Bobby Davis, Director of Business Development, “is by having extra eyes on the property at all times. These officers are trained on what to look for, and how to handle incidents.”

In the next article, our second part in this two part series, we're going to dive in to what exactly security specialists do and the specific security issues you will face running a large industrial complex. Stay tuned!

Why Outsource Security Guard Services

Let’s start with a disclaimer to why I think you should outsource security guard services: I am a biased source. I work for a security company so I think my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. What I will try to do is give a balanced picture on the pros and cons of using a security company versus hiring and managing your own security guards. Hopefully by the end of the article you will feel informed enough to make the best decision for your company.

But I already have employees?

Let me say security is a little bit different from the rest of your workforce. Depending on the requirements of a post an officer could be working alone, or on a team, during the day, or nights and weekends. The responsibilities can range from watching a parking lot overnight, to manning a guard shack and tracking every trailer that comes in and out of a distribution facility.

It is a common misconception that running a security force isn’t a big deal. Hire officers, train, and put on post. How hard can it be? It isn’t that hard to verify badges, report suspicious activity, or sign in tractor trailer trucks. How hard can it be to watch a factory overnight when all the shift workers have gone home?

Let me argue security is different from the rest of your workforce and there are some unique challenges that stem from those gaps.

Outsourcing Security for Your Building

Scheduling Nightmares

Let’s take the hours for example. Often a company needs security when no other employees are present. Nighttime, weekends, holidays, etc. If you have a factory and the afternoon shift ends at 11 PM. You need an officer there from 11PM to 6AM when the morning shift starts. The factory is closed over the weekend so you need coverage from Friday at 11 PM until Monday morning at 6 AM.

Now you have an employee who decides he doesn’t want to show up Friday at 11 PM. What happens now? Do you have a deep pool of guards that are willing to take that shift? Will you personally have to take the shift? Do you really want to pull an 11PM-6AM shift after you have worked an entire week? If you pull another officer how long will it take for him, or her, to get there? Will you have to pay that officer Over Time? How will that affect your payroll budget?

Worse yet if you have a guard who just quits do you have the deep pool of trained backups to cover the officer’s shifts? How long will it take you to find a new officer? What about training? Who is going to cover shifts while this process happens?

Turnover is a hidden problem with a company’s security force. It takes a lot of time to find, interview, hire, and train new officers. Once you have your team hired you have to have back up guards for when someone is sick, has car trouble, or quits. Will you be able to keep the requisite number of officers on staff? Will you be able to handle an officer suddenly quitting?

All these scenarios require time and attention that can take you away from your primary focus - which is growing a successful business. You have to decide whether you want to take on those responsibilities or if it is worth your time to have an expert handle it for you.

Performance Issues

Another big issue is “Performance,” or, “Management.” This is the biggest reason why security firms are hired, and fired.

Let’s say you own a distribution facility and you (again) need someone to work overnight. Your operation isn’t usually 24/7, but you want to have someone there who will deter thefts and sign in the occasional after hours delivery.

Now what can go wrong? How do you verify the officer is making the rounds, not sleeping, checking all the doors and windows to make sure they are closed?

If the past two months have been quiet at the facility will the officer be tempted to slack off. Sleep on the job, or worse---abandon post.

How are you going to verify everything is getting done? Check camera footage? Drive past the front gate at 3 AM? 8 AM on a Saturday? How many times are you going to be able to drive past the front gate in order to make sure everyone is doing their job?

What happens if the officer falls asleep and someone is able to break into the facility? How long does it take to steal product, damage machinery, or worse?

Again, more work and responsibility on your plate. More people to manage, make sure they are as invested in your business as you are, and dedicated to protecting your assets. You could take on those responsibilities, yes - but do you have the time to randomly check in every night? Or the patience to scroll through hours of camera footage?

If you think your time is better spent on other business activities, it might be worth outsourcing these.

So what’s the alternative?

Let’s look at the above scenarios if you hire an outside security company.

If an officer doesn’t show up the security company has a deep pool of replacement officers cross trained and ready. The shift is covered immediately and no post is left unmanned.

A professional security company takes care of running help wanted ads, interviewing, background/drug tests, and training. If an officer doesn’t meet your requirements he or she can be rotated out with another. Often times it is hard to tell who will be a “fit” until you get an officer out on post. If you feel like someone isn’t working out one phone call is all that’s needed to move that person to another post.

A trained field supervisors is deployed to the field and constantly checking on your account through the night. This means security guards are invested and alert, providing quality service with the help of active management.

Incidents are reported, daily activities tracked, and all combined with notes into reports that are available to you immediately. So you get the transparency and accountability of security without the added hours, paperwork, and management that you would need to provide yourself.

Outsourcing Security for your Company

Outsourcing security guard services isn’t a dirty little secret. It’s announcing that your company is worth expert security; and knowing who is the best option to provide that. Your business is important, and these decisions aren’t taken lightly. Do your research and choose what’s best for your business.

Security Guard Stories: Sawmill Saved From Fire

Welcome to this edition of Security Guard Stories! Today we tell you about our guard who saved an entire sawmill from burning down.

On Saturday night Security Guard *Smith was making his rounds of the saw mill. It was cold and wet this evening. Snowflakes were falling, and the air was cold. The surrounding forests added to the cold and quiet night.

Officer Smith usually had quiet shift. One of his main duties was to make rounds of the lumber mill to keep an eye out for safety risks.

Lumber mills can be dangerous locations to work. Logging remains one of the most dangerous industries in the United States with the injury rate 40 times more than other industries. Over 70 deaths were reported in year 2010.

Tweet: Logging remains one of the most dangerous industries in the United States with the injury rate 40 times more than other industries.

The hazards have no isolated area either. They happen in both the forest, on the road, and in the lumber mill. Employees routinely operate hazardous machinery. Those machines account for the most common hazards in the logging industry.

Forklifts and industrial trucks cause about 96,000 injuries a year. More than one third of those are classified as serious injuries.

The massive weight of the logs falling and sliding around also pose constant risks to people as well.
Fires are a huge concern at sawmills due to the sawdust, wood shavings, and chips. A small spark can ignite a flame. Second to a spark, friction heat, hot objects, and direct flame also cause fires.

Sources of ignition often include electric panels, welding equipment, cutting torches, and machinery.

To lessen the risk mills often clean out of the plant and add proper ventilation routinely. While most inspections are only required once a year, it’s recommended to keep areas safe and clean much more often than that.

Security Guard Stories: Burned Books

To keep this sawmill safe the company hired security services to keep watch nightly. Guards look for both security and safety risks due to the expensive materials and machinery.

During the regular round, Officer Smith smelled smoke coming from one of the buildings. While it was late at night, the complex was not empty and he knew there were people in the building.

The security guard did not see fire anywhere - so he knew he had a decision to make fast.

He immediately called emergency services.

If there’s a fire, you always need to act quickly. The situation can escalate in seconds and you only have one chance. Alert everyone and have everyone get out of the building together. There should be a emergency exit plan available. Familiarize yourself with it before hand and help others know what to do. As you escape, don’t delay to save valuables. Don’t try to stop and investigate the fire. The most important goal is to get out and get safe.

Once you’re out and safe, call emergency services. When you're talking to the operator to give them the complete address and as many details as you can. Tell them what is on fire (a two story house, the garage, etc.), where it is, etc. Also make sure to tell them if there is anyone trapped in the building that will need to be rescued.

Security Guard Stories: Firemen

It was quickly classified as a 3-alarm fire. Overnight crews battled cold and snowy conditions and remained on the scene to ensure the safety of the building. 37 fire trucks were needed to put out the fire.

It was a dangerous environment. Many buildings housed heavy duty equipment, combustible materials, and plenty of wood that would burn quickly and strongly. The entire sawmill was at stake, and the surrounding forest could easy spread the fire to unmanageable proportions.

The buildings are already tricky to navigate, and adding smoke makes them like a maze.

Emergency services worked hard and stayed late to ensure everything was taken care of and no risk was there for the fire to restart.

10-15 employees were in the building at the time of the fire and several suffered from smoke inhalation. No other injuries occurred.

Security Guard Stories: Fire in the Woods

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The sawmill managers and owners thanked the security guard for his quick response.

We thank him too. His keen smell and knowledge of proper protocols might have been the key to saving this sawmill. We know it’s a risky job making rounds at night at a manufacturing facility. Lots of grounds to cover and dangerous equipment to manage. We're glad he was there to keep everyone safe and secure.

We manage many different industries and understand the unique environments of each. We’re proud that our security guards understand each situation and adapt quickly. They take proper note of their site’s responsibility. It’s one of the many reasons they, and we, love what we do!

Do you have a security guard story you think would be great to share? Reach out to us on social media and let us know! We’d love to talk to you about it, and it may be the next story we feature! Find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin and connect with us.

*Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent.

Security Guard Stories: Man Saves Life with CPR

When you employ over 2,000 security guards around the united states - you’re bound to get stories. We love our guards and are proud of the work they do. Every now and then we hear of a story that really makes us appreciate the great security guards we employ. We like to share these stories with our employees, our clients, and our readers. It’s important to see the great work our guards accomplish!

Today’s story is how one of our security guards helped save a life with CPR. Read on to hear his amazing story in this edition of Security Guard Stories.

Setting up the story

It was late at night and security officer Smith* was making his rounds at the condominium complex he worked at. Things were quiet. He was chatting with Emily*, the front end manager of the complex. They had just received an unusual request by a gentlemen whose friend lived in the building. Apparently the gentlemen was a bit concerned saying he hadn’t heard from his friend in quite awhile and asked the employee and security guard to check on him.

Requests like this often come in when you work security at a community building, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise. Some people appreciate the added level of communication when choosing a place to live and it’s always nice to know there’s a level of security present for yourself and loved ones! Officer Smith had always been taught to take concerns seriously. He knew not to brush off the request so he and Emily went to the man’s apartment. They were followed by the man’s friend who anxiously awaited more information.

The situation

At the apartment door both Officer Smith and Emily tried knocking several times. There was no answer. The three called through the door with no result. Everyone was starting to get concerned. It was a tense moment not knowing what was going on behind the door. Finally Emily unlocked the door with a master key - and none of them expected what came next.

[Warning: Graphic Information Ahead]

They went in the apartment and immediately found the man hanging from a support bar with a belt around his neck!

Officer Smith acted fast knowing this mans life was at stake. He quickly took the noose off the man and lowered his body to the floor. The apartment was in shambles with a mess of items all over the room. The man's engagement ring and a closed note laid near the body. Officer Smith check the man's vitals and found a faint pulse - a relief to everyone. He started CPR on the man while a distraught Emily called 911.

Law enforcement officials always recommend that when you’ve witnessed a crime, remember to get help. Surprisingly, many people don’t follow their instincts of calling 911 out of fear or panic. They’re afraid of getting involved or afraid of getting in trouble. However if someone’s health is in danger the professionals need to get involved. Call 911 immediately and let them know what’s going on. Give them all the information you can so they can help as soon as they can.

Officer Smith continued to apply CPR to the man until the Police and Emergency Response Team arrived. They quickly took the man to the local hospital and put him under critical condition.

Officer Smith was thanked many times for his support, quick actions, and response. “I’m so grateful for his service”, said a condominium employee.

Security Guard Stories: CPR Saves Life

Our thoughts

We give all our thanks to this security guard and his speedy reaction to such a shocking discovery. He stayed calm, followed the correct procedure, and assisted in keeping everyone safe and alive. We train our guards to excel in situations they might face on the job and are proud of what they accomplish onsite. We want Champion security guards to be synonymous with excellence and professionalism. Our goal is to have our security services change lives. Stories like these remind us that our guards do just that.

One thing to note is that while we are proud of our security guard and want this post to show that, it is important to note that suicide is a serious issue. It’s a major public health concern being the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages.

We aren’t here to downplay the seriousness of the problem or speak poorly about those who suffer from depression and deal with suicidal thoughts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the man in the hospital recovering from the attempt.

Security Guard Stories: CPR Saves Life

Final thoughts

We speak highly of our security guard and his role in Champion. We also know the severity of such a difficult job. It can be stressful, dangerous, and underappreciated. We support his safety and mental well being during such a difficult time.

Discovering someone has attempted to end their life can be a devastating experience. There is typically an emotional response of shock or denial. It’s important to recognize that the experience can be very emotionally draining and stressful. Remember to look after yourself and get the support you need. Unfortunately there is still a stigma surrounding suicide. It may be difficult to talk about. This is not something you have to deal with alone. Remember your support system whether it’s friends, family, work, or a professional. They are there to help.

If you or someone you know needs help with suicidal thoughts, there are resources to help. The National Institute of Mental Health provides a toll free lifeline available 24/7 and all calls are confidential.

*Names have been changed to protect people's identities.

Austin Security Services for SXSW

Austin Security Services, both public and private, have a huge spike every year in March due to SXSW. Why the added measures? High crowds and late night parties make for high security risks downtown during the festival. In addition to federal agents and local law enforcement, private security will also be present to address the concerns. Read on to learn more.

What is SXSW and why are Austin security services involved?

SXSW (stands for South By Southwest. Often referred to as ‘Southby’ by locals) is a 10 day interactive film and music festival in Austin, TX. It has grown to over 28,000 acts and brings more than 51,000 visitors to Austin. Which such a huge crowd inhabiting downtown every March, security risks are high and both public and private security plan in advance.

Austin Police Department, the Austin Fire Department, and Travis County EMS have met many times to plan a security strategy for the event to keep people safe during the event. Businesses all over downtown have added security services to protect their business and customers during the crowded times.

Celebrities often join the event with means more crowds and excitement. Actors such as Seth Rogan, Christian Slater, Burt Reynolds, and more are attending this year. Musicians such as Willie Nelson, Kevin Jonas, and The Deftones are going to be present. Not to mention the President and First Lady Obama!

The austin security services budget for 2016 is the largest it’s been in years due to the festival's continuing growth in size. It’s gone from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5 million in the last 15 years.

An unfortunate past at SXSW

In 2014, there was a deadly police chase that ended with a crash and killed 4 people. The tragedy has led security to take additional measure to keep people safe.

A man was charged with capital murder and 24 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after driving his car through a crowd of people. He drove drunk through barricades and plowed into a public crowd killing 4 people and injuring more than 20 others. Officers on DUI patrol that night originally tried to stop him because the car he was driving did not have its headlights on. The man later told officers he saw the police lights in his mirror and got scared because he had warrants out for his arrest and did not want to go to jail.

This terrible tragedy has caused everyone to reevaluate current security plans and identify gaps that need to be addressed. People's safety and security are the most important thought on people’s minds.

For the first time in SXSW history, Austin Police Department is running a No Refusal initiative. Officers who stop cars and suspect them of being intoxicated will get a search warrant to obtain a blood sample. Hopefully this helps deter folks who are thinking of driving while intoxicated during the event.

Austin SXSW Conference

The President in town and what it means for security

Both President Obama and the First Lady will be in Austin during SXSW. President Obama will be in Austin for a rally and a fundraiser on Friday, March 11th, in addition to being apart of a Keynote Conversation. Safety measures in place include the Mayor deciding that non-essential employees will leave work at noon on that day and all other workers are encouraged to work from home. This plan reduces traffic downtown during the busy time. First lady Michelle will be opening the Keynote on wednesday, March 16th.

Secret Service was in charge of the security services for the president and first lady, and not releasing information right away on manpower or tactics in an effort to keep everyone safe. Local news station KEYE reporting some details though. Some information was gathered as the secret service asked some residents downtown to help by not going out onto the balcony between 3pm and 6pm. This is due to the balconies having a view of the venue where the President will be speaking.

Streets will be also closed to help keep unauthorized people from getting access to the president.

Another protective measure secret services took was to ask certain local business to close down early. This helps minimize traffic and unauthorized access fromt the President during the busy event.

6th Street Security during SXSW

One of the biggest locations during SXSW is the famous 6th street. 6 blocks of bars and restaurants with bands playing means extreme crowds. The Austin police department closes the street to cars to help with safety for the pedestrians. Each entrance around the perimeter has barricades and an officer to prevent vehicles from entering the festival zone.

During the popular nights, 6th street can become crazy busy! With the 6 blocks closed off to traffic and people filling the streets it can still become totally standstill at times. Some visitors report it taking over an hour to walk the 6 blocks.

In fact, most action happens on the streets instead of inside the businesses. People want to have a good time, drink, enjoy the music, and often want to be seen or get a chance to see a celebrity. It’s a risky mix that can turn volatile under the wrong circumstances.

While Police keep the crowd calm on the streets, private security services keep the bars and businesses safe too. Bouncers have an important and often dangerous job keeping people safe in a bar during an event. They provide access control and screen those that enter. They check ID’s to assure that everyone is legally allowed to enter the establishment. They also check for weapons. They make sure that everyone behaves and no one becomes violent with staff or other guests. They keep the establishment from getting too crowded and breaking occupancy laws.

Austin Security Services on 6th Street

Large concerts need extra security

Some of the venues at SXSW have a large capacity and the added risk of incidents arising due to that. The largest stage is SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake - which features free to the public concerts for 3 of the days during the festival. More than 50,000 attendees will join the free shows.

Everyone has the right to a good time at the show and security experts are there to help make that happen.

Concert security responsibilities includes breaking up fights, offering assistance with venue information, crowd control, and immediate response to crowd incidents. The large crowds could be a target to security risks, so monitoring the crowd for suspicious behavior is crucial as well.

In addition to the private security, the Austin Police department has assigned 175 officers to be present during the event to assist with traffic, crowds, and any situations that arise.

When there is an issue with a venue, APD is quick to step in and resolve the situation. Citations are issued as warnings, and at the last resort venues can be shut down for safety issues. Several venues have been cited or shut down during the festival. Mostly due to occupancy issues or unpermitted outdoor music. Local news station KXAN has a full list.

Conclusion

High crowds downtown with lots of venues, alcohol, street closures, and celebrities all mean that SXSW is a fun but risky event. Austin security services are implemented by private, local, and federal organizations to keep people safe while they have a good time. Enjoy the event and remember to stay safe!

Want to be Amazing at Preventing Shoplifting?

Retail theft happens every 5 seconds in this country. How is your store handling the shrink? Do you feel like you could do better? Or does it feel like too much of a challenge to get under control?

Shrink from retail theft happens to all stores, no matter the size. For example, recently a woman was arrested in a Nordstrom's where she stole over $1,000 worth of clothes and watches by hiding it in her bag.

The good news is that there are shoplifting prevention options at any price level. Retail security services are great - but not everyone can afford them. Larger stores can invest in state of the art cameras and multiple loss prevention guards onsite at all times. Smaller stores with less cost can still prevent shoplifting with efficient and low tech goods. It just takes a little knowledge and execution. So let’s get started!

What is shrink?

Shrink, or shrinkage, is the loss of inventory that can be attributed to factors including employee theft, shoplifting, administrative error, vendor fraud, damage in transit or in store and cashier errors that benefit the customer. Shrinkage is the difference between recorded and actual inventory. One of the most common and preventable is shoplifting.

There are two basic types of shoplifters.

First, let's get to know our shoplifters. There are two basic types:

Organized thieves:

these thieves typically attack larger stores with lots of inventory with the goal of getting valuables and reselling them for a profit. They are very detailed and often have quite complex plans when it comes to stealing goods.

Opportunistic thieves:

these thieves usually attack smaller stores. They are impulse thieves, meaning they don’t plan to steal but walk in and see an opportunity and decide to grab. Doesn’t matter the goods or the environment - it’s an impulse. They see something they want and don’t want to pay for it. A quick (bad) decision tells them they can get away with stealing it.

Since most small stores deal with the second type of shoplifting far more often, that’s what we’re going to focus on today.

What does a shoplifter look like, anyways?

It can be hard to spot them, because any race, gender, or age can be a shoplifter. However there are some traits to help you identify suspicious characters in your store. Crime Prevention Service for Business at Rutgers University says “look at how people dress, act, and move, and what they carry”. Basically they enforce not to judge someone on their skin color or age. Instead look if they act suspiciously or carry concealable items like large purses or shopping bags.

Another thing to look for is that shoplifters don't like crowds. They will purposely avoid busy isles and staff members. They will also try to shop during odd times of day when there is less staff on the floor. This reason is because they don’t like being watched and want to limit the possibility of being caught red handed. Good customer service is a natural defense against this. Having staff always nearby, friendly, and helpful will be a benefit to your actual customers and naturally deter against shoplifters.

Here are the ways for small retail businesses to protect their assets and keep loss low by helping deter shoplifting.

Prevent Shoplifting in a Retail Store 

Know what items are at risk.

Some products are easy to conceal and sneak out, which make them easy targets for opportunistic thieves. For example, small items like accessories, cosmetics, CD’s, etc. are all small and easy to hide in clothes or bags. By knowing this you know which items to pay more attention to when displaying in a store.

For example, some stores like to keep their jewelry behind cases to keep tabs on where they are and prevent customers from accessing without help. Other stores often put extra staff near the CD’s and DVD’s to have extra eyes on them at all times.

Keep your store well organized.

Empty spaces in shelves are a quick sign that something’s missing. However if your store is messy and unkempt it can be hard to spot those out of the ordinary blank spaces. If you have aisles with lots of boxed or bagged products, keep them neat and clean and pulled to the front of the shelf. That way a quick scan will tell you if something is out of place.

This tactic is commonly used in grocery stores. Large isles with hundreds of boxes can be overwhelming for keeping track of inventory on the floor, but a quick scan for spaces makes it a little easier. Plus keeping everything flush makes a better experience for the shoppers, who feel more at ease in the isles.

Identify common methods.

Not only is knowing the high risk items helpful - it’s also helpful to know the high risk customers. Thieves will often work in pairs or groups. This makes it easier as a strategy because one or few can keep staff preoccupied so the others can go unnoticed. They commonly like to hide items in bags, under heavy clothes, strollers, or already purchased merchandise. Pay attention to groups that stay close together with the ability to hide items out of site. However be warned that not all customers are out to get you - don’t sacrifice customer service!

Leverage customer service.

Make sure to have plenty of staff on the floor to assist and watch patrons. Have staff near the door to both greet customers and pay attention to people entering and leaving the premises. If impulsive thieves don’t feel like they have an opportunity to sneak something away, they won’t try anything.

Keep communication between staff clear and constant.

If your staff works together to identify and watch suspicious activity, it will be easier to deter criminals and scare of potential threats. Staff is a team and will appear stronger as a unit to potential criminals.

Pay attention to your layout.

When you know the high risk items and methods of impulsive shoplifters, you can adapt to prevent them. For example you can put your registers by your exit, forcing people to pass by the staff and cameras when they leave. You can eliminate blind spots in the store, which are places people can hide and not be seen by staff.

Use visual cues like signs to deter theft.

They let customers know that they’re being watched and taped. Research shows that signage like that doubles compliance in a retail store. Other visual cues would be a doorman. Lots of stores like Whole Foods implemented a security officer or employee to greet customers as they enter and leave and not only does it provide additional customer service but it deters would be criminals for fear of being captured.

Why do people steal, anyways?

Tips to Prevent Shoplifting

It can be a hard question to answer and honestly I can’t tell you why people steals. Often times kids will try it maybe for a toy or a piece of candy. Some adults even feel forced to steal due to extreme hardships in order to eat. Everyone seems to have a different experience and most thieves will tell you a different excuse.

Unfortunately most impulsive thieves steal simply because they want something. A thief can convince himself that whatever he’s stealing is rightly his and can take it with no remorse or guilt. And it can be even easier for someone to steal from larger, more anonymous stores because they don’t have to visualize anyone suffering due to their actions.

However store owners do recognize that there is damage from shoplifting. It affects the store owners, the distributors, even the floor staff. To protect your assets and your staff and continue to provide a great experience for your customers for years to come - preventing shoplifting becomes a necessary piece of the business model.

If you’re a small retail store owner now is the time to start preventing. Fortunately some knowledge and work on the floor with staff can make the difference. Good luck and be safe out there!

You Want A Secure Job? With Security Companies It is In Their Name

Security jobs are always available. It can even be a career, if you want it.

Security guard jobs will no longer exist when a gopher wins an Academy Award for Best Director. Security companies have positions constantly available because lawbreaking, and fear of it on all levels, is constant. If you're looking for job security, a security job is a safe bet.

Security jobs are everywhere!

Security companies install their staff in more varied locations than ever before. Banks and retail stores are the usual suspects. A few more positions that a security company must fill are:

Security jobs are more than desk jobs.

While a fair amount of stationary duty occurs, it's not just killing time. Requirements could include one or all of the following:

Bad economy or good, security companies are hiring.

Jumping from job to job ends when becoming a security guard. It's an occupation that's here for the duration, with the only jumping occurring when being reassigned to a new location. If you're looking for a stable career investigate security companies!

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