Theft and loss prevention using team communication technology

Article by Martyn Jones | 16th July 2020

Despite improvements made to security technology and theft barriers in most high street stores, UK retailers lost £5.5bn of stock last year. That is almost 1.5% of total stock. Over a third of this was external theft (shoplifting) and 18% was due to losses in supply chains or warehouses. Theft and loss prevention strategies are understandably high in retail leaders minds at the moment.

Read our previous article on inspiring your team to reduce losses

In the wake of a pandemic, the UK economy is set to suffer. We’ve already seen top UK employers such as Harrods and Arcadia shedding over 1200 jobs, bringing the overall total retail job losses to 24,000 since January 2020. With hard times ahead, theft will likely increase. The challenge comes when staff are expected to remain physically distant from shoppers, yet deal with rising daily security threats. 

Poor team communication has a knock-on effect across an entire organisation. It damages morale, and increases losses and inefficiency in store. We believe a simple solution to these challenges is better communication for everyone.

Empowering isolated or inexperienced staff

Loss prevention can be tackled by empowering teams to act safely and quickly. If colleagues are connected via headsets across a single channel of communication, they’re able to alert their team members and security without compromising their safety.  In convenience or late-night stores, colleagues have less support. In these environments, better communication makes a huge difference to team safety. Younger or more inexperienced staff can alert those with training, without fearing for themselves. 

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Deterring theft

Not only does better communication empower your staff, it acts as a deterrent to thieves. Headsets deter thefts by up to 25%, preventing crimes from taking place. Shoplifters are discouraged by staff being able to raise concerns with security or the police. This could prevent larger, more violent criminal gangs from targeting stores.

Quicker response times

Staff that can act quickly, because they aren’t burdened with unnecessary tasks, are able to act and react more rapidly in the event of a theft occurring. Our own data reveals an average improvement in task efficiency of £111 per week, per store. This efficiency saving adds up to over £1.7 million across an estate of 300 stores. 

Our technology suite creates a unique ecosystem for every one of our customers. We use a range of CallPoints, KeyPads and individual headsets for every staff member. Our open API means communicating with smart devices becomes possible. In a rapidly changing, post-COVID world, the best gift you can give your team is the gift of better communication.

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