Welcome to part two of our Theft Series. We will be looking at a diagram of a warehouse layout and discuss common security flaws and how to remedy them.
Stolen inventory is a problem. But before you start looking at customer theft, take a look at your internal operations; employees steal 5 times more than shoplifters. Due to poor warehouse layout, you can see an increase in theft. Lost merchandise prevents companies from fulfilling orders and causes loss of materials and capital.
The diagram below illustrates a warehouse with security flaws that can be found in many warehouses. Zenventory offers some advice on how to create and maintain a safe and secure warehouse.
1. Trash Dumpsters & Other Containers
Employees often steal inventory by hiding it in outgoing trash containers. Rethink placing a dumpster or other large bins and containers near an accessible door. These become ideal hiding places for thieves to stow stolen inventory for later pickup and removal to their cars.
2. Total Number of Doors
The warehouse in the illustration has too many doors. There should only be one that is open and there should be a guard or other employee in charge of watching it. If fire regulations require more than one door, use bars that set off an alarm if the door is opened. Companies can also prevent outside theft by securing their warehouse with alarms and locks.
3. Staging Area
The staging area is too close to the loading docks. If no one is around to keep an eye out, it would be easy to take something and stash it in a truck. Try to maintain a “clear-zone” of at least ten feet from the shipping and receiving doors.
4. Shipping and Receiving Doors
The receiving dock and shipping dock are too close together here. It would be easy to take things from one truck and stash them in another. Place a barrier between the doors to discourage easy cross-access between them.
5. Employee Parking Lot
The parking lot is too accessible to potential thieves. The door is very close to the parking lot, making it easy to take things from the warehouse out to their cars. It’s best to have parking separated by a comfortable distance from the warehouse doors. Best case scenario is to have a fence separating the warehouse from the parking lot.
6. Driver Lounge, Break Room, Etc.
The blue arrows show possible routes someone can take to get through the warehouse. To get to the break area, drivers have to walk all the way through the warehouse. Everything along the routes of the blue lines are at risk. It is important to restrict movement throughout the warehouse. If possible, lay out your warehouse to move visitors and guests to the break room without access to the inventory.
7. Restroom Location
This warehouse only shows the restrooms as being accessible by walking through the warehouse. By having drivers walking through the warehouse you put your inventory at risk of theft. It’s best to keep unauthorized people out of the warehouse or within a strict path of access. There is usually no reason for someone other than your employees to be in your shelving or storage racks with access to stored items.
Check your landscaping near doorways; brushes, shrubbery, and foliage are good hiding spots for things stolen out of the warehouse, especially near a door. Remove the bushes or lock the doors to curtail this avenue for thieves.
Remember to take regular inventory of your warehouse and follow company procedures to ensure freight is regularly counted.
Overall security is important to maintain. Whether you’re managing the external grounds, the internal layout, or even data security, making sure that your inventory and information is safe is critical for a successful business. If you are using an inventory management software like Zenventory, it’s important to restrict access to it by assigning passwords to users. Zenventory allows admins to customize user roles. By requiring employees to log in using their provided usernames and passwords, they are limited to the actions that have been assigned to them based on their role in the warehouse.