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24 February 2024

Put processes in place and then add technology

By Alan McMillan

Business owners have much more to worry about than ever before. The black market demand for computer equipment, software, telephone systems, tools, etc has never been greater. As a business owner, manager or security director you must deal with threats on many levels. You know that the need to protect your facilities, employees, inventory and assets is more critical than ever. Business loss due to burglary, robbery, shoplifting and theft totals in the Billions of dirhams every year – yes that was billions with a ‘B’.


Fortunately, there are many security measures you can adopt to prevent losses. One of best deterrents is the stiff penalties that lie in wait for offenders, a large fine, or a short sentence in jail, then deportation is a sure-fire way to ensure that the offender does not repeat the offence in Dubai.


Employee theft or ‘shrinkage’ as it is commonly referred to is an age-old problem in the retail sector. While the majority of employees are honest, some will intentionally defraud their employer. In some cases ‘shrinkage’ translates to as much as 20 per cent lost profit.


Technologies abound for combating loss, mainly in the stores, but increasingly in the supply chain, comprising of usual physical deterrents in the form of CCTV, security staff and software that can spot anomalies in business or sales transactions. However, these solutions can be little more than paper to cover the cracks if the retailer’s processes and procedures are the route and cause of loss in the first place.

For example, while a retailer may be looking for instances of theft in the warehouse, it may be a bad procedure that is resulting in the loss or an error made by a badly trained employee. In some cases the company is not even aware of their loss as their supply chain procedures are overlooked and therefore many instances of loss simply go unnoticed. There is of course a much broader issue, encompassing perished or damaged goods, process errors and missed opportunities.


Businesses need to identify the areas where loss is greatest and determine the idea solution; it could be something as simple as re-designing existing process or introducing additional training for staff.


It is important to remember that processes come first and technology plays a supporting role as technology alone will not solve ‘shrinkage’ in your business.


-- Alan McMillan is the Operations Directors for Secure Plus Security Ltd UAE