Au Energy Loss Prevention & Employee Development Manager, Matthew Makarem, says, “Envysion is our not-so-secret weapon in the fight against loss of all kinds, especially from within. We use it more than 90% of the time to scour for internal losses that can hurt our customers and our business and have relied on it to catch and root out significantly more loss incidents than at any time in the past.”
Running a convenience store or gas station is a dynamic business that goes beyond providing fuel and a variety of products. It involves wearing many hats to ensure a positive brand experience, including things like safety, cleanliness, great service, competitive prices, reward programs, and even a good cup of coffee.
The impact of theft, loss, or lingering operational issues can cost you. We know the pressure is high to deliver quick convenience to customers, making it important to use the right technology to solve these challenges. To navigate these issues successfully, convenience stores and gas stations should consider using an all-in-one incident management tool.
What is an Incident Reporting Tool for C-Stores/Gas stations?
An incident reporting tool for convenience stores and gas stations is your ultimate tool for capturing and managing critical incidents within your business – all in one place. It’s your primary resource for capturing and documenting issues like theft, fraud, or any other events that can harm your store.
This all-in-one tool helps flag theft, loss, or operational issues. By documenting essential information, like video footage and a detailed description of the event, you’re able to manage a case better and come to resolutions faster and more confidently. With a convenience store incident management tool, creating a case, recording evidence, communicating with store leadership, and coordinating with local authorities becomes a smooth and streamlined process.
How Does Effective Incident Reporting Prevent Loss?
How your convenience store addresses instances of theft and loss can influence the amount of losses experienced and how effectively similar issues can be prevented in the future.
According to the 2022 NACS State of the Industry Report, the average cost of store shrink (including theft and breakage) is about $12,700 per store each year. Additionally, 29% of that is due to employee theft, as recorded by the 2023 National Retail Security Survey published by the National Retail Federation.
Let’s look at how managing cases in a closed-loop system can stop loss in your gas station:
Streamlined Incident Documentation for Convenience Stores
As a convenience store owner or operator, using an incident reporting tool gives you a dedicated platform to easily document any unusual or suspicious events. These tools allow you to capture real-time data and select relevant video evidence for thorough documentation. This applies whether it’s an employee mishandling cash, customers engaging in fraudulent activities, or operational errors like cell phone use, dress code requirements, backdoor policies, and more. Quick identification and documentation is crucial because it lets you proactively address issues in their early stages before they become bigger issues.
All-In-One Place for Data
Case management for convenience stores acts as a central place to store all incident-related data, including video footage, a description of what happened, the amount of loss incurred, and the employees involved. By having all relevant information in one place, your store can identify patterns and trends that might not be apparent when data is scattered across various sources. This comprehensive view of incidents empowers you to take proactive steps to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Stop Convenience Store Theft with Employee Accountability
When employees know that their actions are being monitored and documented, it encourages greater accountability. Knowing that there’s a structured system for handling incidents, employees are less likely to engage in theft, fraud, or other inappropriate behaviors. This not only prevents losses but also creates a culture of accountability within your organization.
Convenience Store Employee Training
Incident management tools provide a lot of data that can be used for employee training and coaching. If incidents arise due to employee errors or misconduct, you can use the documented incidents as case studies to train your staff on the correct procedures and expected behaviors. This results in more skilled and responsible employees who are less likely to contribute to theft or loss in the future, and likewise, much of this same data can be used as a reward for positive behavior.
Prevent Loss in Convenience Stores and Gas Stations
By systematically documenting incidents and analyzing the data, you can identify the root causes of various issues. This allows your convenience store to implement targeted preventive measures. For example, if cash handling issues are consistently leading to losses, you can improve cash handling procedures or invest in additional security measures. Tools that manage cases for convenience stores not only help mitigate existing losses but also prevent future ones by addressing the underlying issues.
Makarem also states, “It’s hard to think of an aspect of our business we don’t use Envysion to support. The system is so robust and effective that we’ve dedicated a small team who uses it around the clock to monitor exceptions or suspicious activities across all our stores. It provides our field leaders with the intelligence they need to make sure we’re doing everything possible to eliminate loss and waste.”
Legal Support with Incident Documentation
In cases where theft, fraud, or other criminal activities are involved, incident management tools provide compelling evidence for legal action. The documented video footage and event details can be shared with law enforcement or used in court to prosecute wrongdoers. This not only ensures that justice is served but also sends a strong message that such behavior will not be tolerated, serving as a deterrent to potential offenders.
See how to manage cases in this 30-second video:
Use Case: Resolving a Gas Station Employee-Customer Altercation with Incident Management
In a busy convenience store, a tense verbal dispute unfolded between an employee and a customer. The store manager, determined to address the situation promptly, used their incident management app right from their mobile.
Using the tool, the manager documented details of the conversation, the employee involved, and attached video footage of the event. The manager then assigned the case to the HR manager for further investigation.
The closed-loop case documentation facilitated a streamlined review process for the HR manager, resulting in a quick resolution. The outcome involved coaching the employee on how to better handle challenging customers to ensure a positive and respectful environment within the store.
Streamlined Incident Tracking for Smoother Convenience Store Operations
Using incident tracking tools in convenience stores makes reviewing and resolving incidents much easier. Instead of spending hours going through video footage to find flagged incidents, store managers can now do the same task much quicker.
For instance, let’s say a cashier is suspected of mishandling cash. With an incident management tool, the store manager can rapidly search for the specific employee involved, identify any past scenarios they may have been involved in, and review the recorded documentation. This quick process ensures that all prior instances are taken into consideration and any necessary actions can be taken promptly, preventing more problems.
How Does an Incident Management Tool Enhance Convenience Store Operations?
Dealing with incidents is a challenge, but incident management tools make it easier. They provide accessible documentation, including video evidence and detailed information about what happened and who is handling the case. This helps store management make informed decisions and take effective actions.
To illustrate, let’s say there’s an issue in a convenience store with improper product handling, resulting in customer complaints. The incident management tool allows store management to document the events that occur, store the video evidence of the situation, build a conversation between management and HR, and save it in a file for reference. As more events happen around improper product handling, the saved documentation can be reviewed and a clear understanding of the causes is available to be able to make necessary changes to prevent similar problems in the future.
Using Incident Management Tools for Convenience Stores for Ongoing Improvement
“Envysion has become such an integral part of our business that we now include it in all new-hire training and make it a central component to our refresher training throughout the year,” says Makarem.
Learning from previous event data is essential for making convenience stores better in the future. Incident management tools help identify and handle trends, whether they are unusual things in data or observations from video footage. Let’s take a closer look with specific examples:
Cash Handling Policy Violations in Convenience Stores:
Ensuring proper money handling isn’t just about honesty; it also eliminates chances for employee theft. Data from incidents related to cash handling is crucial for enhancing these procedures.
Workplace Safety and Security Violations in Convenience Stores:
To minimize incidents, convenience stores need to recognize and resolve safety issues in the workplace. Utilizing incident data helps create a safer environment for both employees and customers.
Customer-Staff Interaction Reporting in Gas Stations
Addressing situations where customers and employees have conflicts is important for a positive store environment. Using data from incidents related to these altercations helps convenience stores understand and manage such situations better, creating a safer and more pleasant experience for both customers and employees.
Stock Control Issues in Convenience Stores:
Keeping track of inventory is important for a well-run gas station. By recognizing and dealing with incidents related to inventory mix-ups using data, convenience stores can make sure products are available for customers while avoiding mistakes and losses.
In the fast-paced world of convenience stores, where it’s essential to have streamlined operations and keep customers returning to your site often, an incident management tool is a must. An all-in-one closed-loop tool like Envysion’s Incident Management makes it easier to capture and document incidents like theft and loss, gives clear information for better business decisions, and provides insights for opportunities. By using technology to manage cases, stores can run more smoothly, be more secure, and offer a great experience for customers.