Employee errors can be one of the most demanding challenges in creating a loss prevention strategy for a retail operation. Many loss prevention experts believe that the success or failure of a retail business comes down to the quality of their employees. What makes the difference between a successful wireless sales location and a failed one is often the quality of the staff and the integrity of your transactions.

Employee errors in sales transactions, pricing, accounting, and shipping and receiving account for an estimated 18% of all retail loss. That’s a significant profit drain.

The principal causes of employee errors are complex. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common strategies that can be used to minimize employee errors.

Loss Prevention Training

A poorly trained cashier who cannot tell the difference between an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy can be hugely damaging to a wireless operation. The truth is that most employees do not see the larger consequences of their actions and how they impact a retail operation. All new and existing retail employees need to attend loss prevention training in order to understand what loss prevention is and their role in protecting the integrity of your retail operations.

Policies and Procedures

Creating standardized policies and procedures is an essential element in preventing employee error and defending against retail loss. This is even more important because staff turnover is higher in retail operations than other industry sectors. Only by training employees on important issues like loss awareness, transaction control and monitoring, shipping and receiving and internal audits will ensure that all employees are operating according to the standards set by your management.

Test Purchases

Test purchases are a useful mechanism by which to challenge cashiers with tricky orders they may face. Some of the areas to test in general retail operations may include:

  • Price look-up
  • Product identification
  • Items with pricing errors or scanning guarantee
  • Coupon use, such as expired coupons, or coupons that do not correspond to products in your retail operation
  • Scanning and use of the multiple key

Cashier Training

All cashiers must be able to demonstrate both their product and point-of-sale transaction knowledge. Only after new cashiers can demonstrate this technical knowledge should they be allowed to work independently. Any retail operation should also conduct periodic re-certification of cashiers as well as testing of their ability to use new technologies and identify new products.

When a retailer experiences a loss, they are losing profitability. Lost inventory costs the retailer the price of replenishment and profits lost to error cannot be replaced. This is a direct loss of earnings that could have been used for new inventory, new store openings, employee benefits or increased earnings. By strategizing for loss prevention by dismissing employee errors, your retail store will be able to operate more efficiently and minimize loss.