No business is immune from crime, which is why every firm, large or small, can profit from a business security monitoring system. However, this is definitely a situation in which one size does not fit all. Every business is subject to different risks that require monitoring.
When managers think of security, they usually think of theft protection. Yet, all companies are at risk for fire and water damage. And even though they have insurance, the insurance payoff rarely covers the total damage. There have been incidents where a fire or flood has driven a business into bankruptcy.
But retail and some service operations are especially vulnerable to loss through theft. This is obvious from the signs you see posted in almost every store that “We prosecute shoplifters.” However, the sign alone is not enough to discourage thief. Thieves don’t expect to be caught. They always think they can get by with stealing. And many thieves are drug addicts in withdrawal and desperate for their next ‘fix.’ So they will do anything to get it and are not mentally capable of evaluating the risk. These people are especially dangerous since they may go as far as using a weapon.
Firms that are especially vulnerable to robbery and even armed robbery are service operations that are open twenty-four hours such as gas stations, restaurants and convenience stores. Most of these have signs posted that read something like “Employees do not have access to the safe” or “We keep no cash on hand after 9PM.” But these really aren’t effective as even service stations have a store full of merchandise such as beverages, candy, chips, etc. all of which are tempting to a thief. And because of the possibility of the thief being armed, this type of business definitely needs a business security monitoring system.
However, loss is not only from the outside but also from within. A National Retail Security Survey revealed that employee theft represents close to 50% of all business losses. Employees may steal merchandise for themselves but there is also the practice of “sweet hearting” in which cashiers help customers who are friends by ringing lower prices on the items the friend buys. Many employees have a “What’s yours is mine” attitude. In other words, because they work for the company they are entitled to whatever merchandise they want. And some employees have been known to operate an undercover resale business, selling the merchandise for a lesser price.
Although this is usually not intentional, a retail business can also lose money through vendor delivery shortages. Most delivery drivers work under pressure from various problems such as delays in traffic. They are almost always in a hurry and sometimes don’t offload the complete order. Over a period of time, these shortages add up to significant inventory loss.
So every manager needs to evaluate all of the risks for his particular business and consider the business security monitoring system that will best satisfy the need. And in many small businesses that security system might just save the owner’s life.