While investing your hard-earned profits to protect your company from loss is never a bad idea, it’s just as important to remember that there’s plenty that can be done to prevent theft that doesn’t pack the same punch to your pocketbook. Discovering ways to save money and still protect your profits can be an exercise in evolution and produce a payoff that’s powerful.

Strategic Training – Regularly investing in employee training is a vital and affordable way to ensure your employees are knowledgeable with the ins and out of inventory, prevention, and reporting protocols. Staying current with fraud and theft trends can be a huge money saver and costs nothing more than time. Regular training and encouraging open communication among employees and management helps put everyone on the same page and lessens the likelihood of an employee being out of the loop with any recent attempts of theft or fraud that might make you vulnerable to loss. Training is critical when your company does suffer a loss so it’s very clear who is responsible to file a report, where to report it, and the specific information to include for an effective filing. Making sure your crew remains proficient with your inventory procedures, reporting protocols, and opportunities for prevention translates to far fewer headaches down the road and can play a huge role in decreasing your losses and increasing the odds of recovering assets that are stolen.

Inventory Matters – There are a number of products on the market that can be of huge value when managing your fleet. Taking advantage of available technology is a no-brainer…if you have room in the budget. Even if you DO invest in the latest and greatest technology, it’s still imperative to know what information should be included in the details of your inventory – regardless of your established method of managing it. Heavy equipment can be elusive to those who don’t work in construction and generally has a staggering array of identification numbers making it more challenging to report. Doing a bit of research (or if you’re a CPP member, requesting a training session) can fortify your ability to dial in the most useful information to have available if something is stolen to encourage an effective report and increase your potential for a recovery.

Connections Count – Expanding and maintaining a network of contacts can help resolve a myriad of issues. We’ve all heard the saying “It’s not what you know but who you know” and establishing a vast array of people you can reach out to is a sure-fire way to have support when you need it. When we make the choice to invest in worthwhile connections, we’re able to share knowledge gained from others’ experiences and have a go-to network for collaboration and creative problem solving. Fostering relationships in our professional lives through organizations and / or associations can offer opportunities to make connections that hold the potential to provide a veritable unending fountain of information, support, and discovery. Devoting resources to maintaining these priceless relationships offers opportunities for us to see things from a new perspective and can help recognize issues within our prevention protocols that tend to fall off our radar when dealing with the white noise of a busy day at the office. For instance, something as simple as walking your yard with someone who doesn’t see it every day can provide a needed shift in perception to discover potential compromises that might otherwise go undetected. (CPP members can request a free site security assessment by contacting: [email protected])

Free yourself to think outside the box. There are a multitude of low-cost, low-tech ways to tighten your security / prevention protocols. Make the most of ALL of the tools that are available to protect your profits, making sure that employee training, improving your inventory procedures, and cultivating valuable connections are counted as part of the process. Implementing a comprehensive arsenal of prevention ideas doesn’t automatically translate to parting with more of your profits and is an investment that won’t break the bank.

By Melissa Somers, Executive Director – Crime Prevention Program of SoCal