Images of shoplifting or the candy bar kid come to mind when you think of product theft. However, there are other ways that products are stolen. Boat owners often take their vessels directly to the local market or grocery store instead of driving them back and forth every day. This lets them sell their produce directly to their customers and keep more profit than if they sold wholesale to a distributor or grocer. This also means that boat owners must deal with product theft regularly.
#1. Secure Storage
One of the best ways to reduce thefts and keep your products safe is by securing them in a secure storage unit. Some boats have a locker or refrigerated storage unit in the galley to hold items safely. You can also buy a commercial-grade storage unit to keep your products safe. Some units are refrigerated and can preserve perishable items safely if you don’t have storage space in your galley. You can also store products in a locked room or secure area away from customers. This keeps your products safe from theft and out of the way. You can have customers scan items when picked up, which can help reduce theft in your store.
#2. Electronic Tracking
Another way to track product movement and reduce theft is through an electronic tracking system. You can use a system such as RFID tags to track when products are being moved, where they are being moved, and when they are returned. This lets you track product movement and know when something has been mishandled. It also lets you know when products have not been returned, indicating that they have been stolen. You can use these tags on perishable items to help ensure that the product is returned to its proper place. For example, you can use these tags on produce boxes to ensure they are returned and put back in the appropriate place. If a product has not been returned, the system will inform you that it has been stolen.
#3. Zero Tolerance for Theft
Another way to reduce theft is to have a zero-tolerance policy for theft. If products are stolen from your boat, you should fire the person responsible. You may even wish to call the police if you feel the theft was significant enough or if the person had stolen it. A stolen product can create a liability for your business, especially if someone consumes the product and gets sick. You could be liable for any damages or medical expenses that result. A zero-tolerance policy for theft will inform your employees that this is not tolerated and hopefully reduce product theft.
#4. Proactive Theft Prevention Strategies
In addition to taking action when a theft has occurred, you can also take steps to reduce theft in the first place. First, make sure that your employees are adequately supervised. Many product thefts happen when an employee is alone on the boat. If you have more than one person on the boat, it will be much more difficult for someone to steal items from you. It would help if you also had clear procedures for receiving and returning products. This will help prevent employees from stealing things from you and make identifying products that have not been returned easier. If the theft has already occurred, commercial boat insurance will help you recover from it. Make sure you have the right coverage level and understand your policy to protect your business.
#5. Strict Employee Screening
Another way to reduce theft is to screen your employees carefully. It would help if you did thorough background checks on all employees. You may also wish to have references checked on potential employees. You should also have employees sign an employment contract that outlines their responsibilities and what will happen if they don’t perform their duties properly. A strict hiring process that includes thorough background checks and an employment contract will help you avoid hiring someone likely to steal from your business.
Product theft is an unfortunate reality for many businesses. In addition to shoplifters, many products are stolen from boats during transport. There are several ways that companies can reduce theft and keep their products safe. These include securing storage units, electronic tracking, a zero-tolerance policy for theft, and implementing proactive theft prevention strategies.