Businesses Increasingly Suffer Losses from Within

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Office Zone offers tips on loss prevention and security deterrents.

Protecting inventory, merchandise and equipment from theft is a principal concern for all small businesses and large corporations from small retail stores to large financial institutions. Owners not only need to guard against shoplifters and corporate thieves, they also need to focus on guarding from the inside.

Consider these statistics:

·    The Department of Commerce estimates that one-third of all employees have stolen merchandise or equipment from their employers.

·    75% of internal theft goes undetected.

·    Employee theft costs business between .5 – 3% of their gross sales, or $60 billion per year nationally. That is $1 billion per week. On a micro-business level, how long will a small business with yearly revenue at $6,000,000 per year experiencing 1% inventory shrinkage last when it's losing $60,000 annually?

Employee theft accounts for 46% of a company's shrinkage losses, while shoplifting accounts for 30.6%. For a company to remain profitable they need to be on guard from without and within.

So how can a business owner protect their hard-earned profits? Office Zone, a supplier of office and security products, offers the following suggestions.

1.    Conduct background checks on job candidates before hiring them. According to HR Logic, approximately five-percent of all white-collar employees have criminal records. Take the time to call the applicant's references and previous employers. Be understanding that people do make mistakes, but know about those mistakes upfront.

2.    Install a video surveillance system around the business and in parking lots. It will show you care about employee safety, and it acts as a deterrent for shrinkage. People are less likely to steal when they know they're being watched. Office Zone has a wide selection of wireless security cameras, multiplexers, and digital video recorders that can easily be installed in sensitive areas such as sales floors, stock rooms, offices or break rooms at

3.    Empower employees to prevent theft. Don't create an adversarial relationship between management and employees. Establish positive and motivational loss prevention programs that highlight how theft affects them personally. Offer incentives or rewards for departments that reduce losses. This will increase morale and give the employee a sense of ownership in the company. A 1993 University of Florida showed that 38.9% of employee theft and 57.7% of shoplifting incidents were discovered and thwarted by employees.

Office Zone is committed to helping businesses reduce their shrinkage figures. Office Zone has published a Security System Guide for business owners who have questions about surveillance and security equipment. The Security System Guide can be read at

For further information, please contact Morgan Cloward, Marketing Supervisor of Office Zone, 1-800-543-5454.


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Morgan Cloward
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