A warehouse employee managed to steal $3 million dollars worth of art due to horrible organization and lax inventory control. If you own or manage a warehouse, don't let this happen to you. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to update your warehouse with technological advancements. That way, you can improve the organization and inventory control in your warehouse and reduce your risks of employee theft at the same time. Here are the steps to take.
Conduct an inventory audit with a 3rd party
Most warehouses conduct annual inventory audits with a third party. If you already suspect employee theft, schedule an audit as soon as possible instead of waiting until your next annual audit. The third party, usually an accountant, will make sure the inventory on the balance sheet is right based on your previous inventory audit and all the orders that have been processed since. These numbers will be compared with your financial records and with the physical inventory.
Take physical inventory of each item
Each item in your warehouse will need to be counted and compared to the balance sheet. This can be done by emptying each storage bin and counting each piece by hand. If there are large quantities in each bin, this can take quite a bit of time and may need to be scheduled on a day your warehouse is normally closed for operation.
Another way to count inventory is by weight. To do this, you will need to know the weight of an empty bin and the weight of each individual item. You can then weigh a storage bin and determine how many items there are by subtracting the empty bin weight from the total weight and divide that number by the per-piece weight.
Use warehouse management software with capacity checking
After it's determined that you have the appropriate amount of items in your warehouse inventory, enter that information into a new warehouse management software system. These systems can fully encompass your entire warehousing and picking system by monitoring the weight of each storage bin as orders are received and picked by your employees.
This type of system, called a capacity check, will notify you when an employee takes two items out of a bin when he or she should only take one item. That way, an employee won't be able to sneak the extra item into their pocket.
Install surveillance cameras or access control panels
If you have small, high-value items that are difficult to keep track of with a capacity checking system, install surveillance cameras over the bins that contain those items. The warehouse management software can be programmed to automatically record videos of the high-value bins when employees are detected by motion sensors or when a picking order is generated for that bin. Or you can opt to continually record the high-value bins.
Another option is to use access control panels. Your employees will need to enter a pin number or use a key card to gain access to high-value storage bins. The access control panel will record which employees accessed the items and at what times. Access control panels can be placed on each individual storage bin or at the entrance to a room with bins of high-value items. Find out about more about these extra secure bins by visiting resources like http://www.garlandsinc.com/.
Screen employees when they leave your facility
Check your employees by screening them when they leave your facility. You can do this with a traditional airport screening set-up with a baggage check and walk-through machine. As a more affordable alternative, hire a security guard to use a hand-held screening device to check for metals and valuables as your employees leave.