Asset Tagging for Theft Prevention & Accountability

Are you at a loss for how to deal with employee theft in your workplace? You’re not alone. Employee fraud can happen in any industry. However, according to a 2001 study, up to 27% of workplace fraud happens in the following 4 realms: service industries, healthcare, government, and construction. Even if they have yet to experience fraud in the workplace, employers working in these sectors should take additional precautions as a means of prevention.

With the cost of employee thefts rising by 15% each year, protecting your assets internally has never been more important. Asset tagging, one of the most essential pieces of asset tracking software, is a great way to increase employee accountability and discourage future theft incidents. Not to mention, it even has the added benefit of cutting some extra costs along the way.

Costs of Inventory Theft

On average, employee theft is responsible for up to $50 billion dollar annual costs in U.S. businesses. Here are a few ways that those costs might show up in your expense report, both directly and indirectly.

Lost Inventory

Inventory loss is obvious in this case but also connects with revenue. You immediately begin wasting time when you lose part or all of your assets. If the equipment was stolen, no one would be able to use it on-site, leading to serious delays in even the most important processes. Your company might have to eat the cost of stolen inventory outright, taking a massive chunk out of your emergency savings or even dipping into the year’s revenue for compensation.

Additional Hiring Processes

Depending on your company’s unique policies, you may go so far as to fire employees who steal from the organization. Others may choose to be less harsh, but termination can be an effective solution for indicating the company won’t tolerate that kind of behavior.

However, the hiring process is an expensive and time-consuming one. Every hour that a particular position remains unfilled at your organization is time wasted. Time may be especially important for those companies with clients depending on them or anyone looking to better their revenue cycle.

Accountability Initiatives

Now, let’s take a look at some ways to begin prioritizing accountability in your organization, especially with the assistance of asset tags. The 3 example initiatives we’ll be reviewing are: setting expectations, making responsibility easy, and motivating employees.

Set Clear Rules & Expectations

There should be a clear set of rules about handling company property available to all employees. If you work in an office or on-site, it may be helpful to post the list in an area frequented by your employees.

Tagging assets with asset tracking software allows you to ensure that employees are always using company equipment or other forms of company property in accordance with the established policies and expectations. By simply scanning a tag, you may be able to see when, where, and why an item was used, thanks to RFID technology. If that usage falls outside company policy, you can quickly track down and hold accountable whichever employee is responsible.

When clear expectations are in place and posted as frequent reminders, employees may be more deterred from attempting theft in the first place. If the threat of termination or other disciplinary actions is established in conspicuous terms, many petty thieves may think twice about dropping a piece of inventory in their pockets. This is especially true when considering the ability of asset tracking tags to quickly and easily reveal any missing items from the inventory.

Make It Easy to Be Responsible

No matter how often you post company procedures, you’ll be unlikely to see people following them if they’re too complicated. This may result in laziness on the part of employees or simply in attendance to detail out of frustration for what they may perceive to be a convoluted policy. In attendance and laziness, in turn, may lead to lost inventory items slipping through the cracks unnoticed until it’s too late.

Asset tagging makes company policies easier to follow. In fact, performing an inventory check has never been simpler. By merely scanning a barcode, you can quickly ascertain information about any and all missing items and which employees may have been present during the crime.

With this newfound ease of responsibility, some employees may notice any thefts being carried out by other employees more quickly. And they might also be more likely to report such thefts when doing so is extremely simple, thanks to asset tagging.

Motivate Employees

And lastly, take the time to understand your employees' wants, needs, and feedback. Employees who don’t feel motivated or even understood by their higher-ups are unlikely to be responsible with company property. In fact, poor or inappropriate treatment from decision-makers toward employees may, in some cases, be a driving force for an employee to steal company assets.

Asset tracking software is an investment, much like any other tool or piece of equipment your company uses. The ROI of asset tagging depends at least partially on the skills and abilities of employees. If employees feel unmotivated about the new technology or unenthused by the person imposing it upon them, they may be less likely to make full or partial use of the software. Not only is this a waste of an investment, but it could also lead to increased thefts as discouraged employees fail to use the software to track items properly.

Not to mention, if employees feel comfortable with their superiors, they’ll be more likely to come forward when they notice inconsistencies. This increased sense of peer-to-peer responsibility also does its part in discouraging thefts from occurring in the first place.

How RedBeam Can Help You

Regardless of your organization's industry, we guarantee RedBeam’s technology will never let you down. Some of the essential features of our asset-tracking software include asset tagging, barcode labels, and RFID. With barcode labels, you can quickly and easily pull up the records of your entire inventory or even just one specific item. RFID makes locating and tracking all your assets a breeze by keeping detailed notes on both the location and condition of any given item or piece of equipment.

To find out more about what RedBeam can do for you, check out our software or contact us today to schedule a demo.