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Inventory loss is an unfortunate fact of life for many warehouses, factories, and storage facilities all throughout America – but it isn’t one you have to suffer through quietly. Whether it’s from theft, improper inventory handling and tracking, or an error in shipment from your distribution centers, warehouse theft is a real threat that can still be prevented by careful monitoring and taking proactive steps to reduce loss and shrink.


One of the most common causes of warehouse loss is improper inventory tracking. Errors in inventory tracking can lead to items being shrunk out, which can lead to a reduction in profits and operating revenue, which can lead to greater problems if left unchecked. Make sure your employees are trained on both the proper procedures to track and review current on-hand inventory, and how to properly report and correct it if their counts don’t match up with reported inventory levels.


Inventory levels don’t just start at the warehouse, though. Incorrect shipping manifests are another major cause of inventory issues and item loss due to inventory counts not being correctly reported on shipping manifests – and by the time your shipments are processed, it may be too late. Try to arrange your industrial storage by your receiving dock in such a way that shipments can be quickly inspected before the trucks can leave, and report all inventory shortages immediately to your distributor to get replacement items in time before the shortages can affect your revenue stream.


Of course, it isn’t just inbound shipments you have to watch out for. Errors in outbound shipping can cause a number of issues as well, such as incorrect inventory counts after the shipments go out and a potential loss of revenue and profit  A good way to help prevent this is to keep some clearly-labeled wire shelving near your outbound shipping docks to double-check any shipments before it’s too late to correct errors. It may add an extra step to your process, but the long-term benefits will make up the difference in time.


Sadly, the last (and perhaps most unfortunate) cause of inventory loss is theft. Whether from unscrupulous employees or outside intruders, inventory theft is especially common among retail distribution centers and any factory that deals in more valuable materials like copper or brass. Aside from the previously-mentioned tips like keeping your inventory levels accurate, the best way to prevent this is to take steps and install anti-theft measures in your facility. Secure wire carts are a good way to keep smaller valuable items safe (and accessible to only a few with the keys or combination), wire security partitions are a great way to keep larger items tucked away safely where they can be kept in view and away from prying hands, and if all else fails a good security camera setup can prove invaluable – just remember to actually review the footage.


With these tips in mind, and a little practice, your inventory loss should go down and your business will be all the better for it.

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