Don’t Let Thieves Destroy Your Business

It never ceases to amaze those of us in the investigative business the extent to which people will go to steal or otherwise commit fraudulent acts against their employer. When caught some people feel they did nothing wrong, they feel they were perfectly entitled to possess the 25 leather jackets they did not pay for. Some look at their ill-gotten gains as a form of ancillary compensation, they don’t make what they feel they are worth so the difference is made up in stolen merchandise. Most of these crimes are nothing more than crimes of opportunity, they had a chance to steal, and so they did. Unfortunately drugs are often involved which presents another area of liability to employers.

Many companies are only recently discovering the value of conducting pre-employment background checks on job candidates. A little digging into someone’s background can reveal an enormous amount of information that could make a huge difference between hiring and not hiring a particular individual. The job position itself will determine the level of background check necessary. Is this person going to have access to cash all day? Go deep. Many dishonest job applicants assume the hiring company will not check their background references. We have had cases where not one single iota of information given by the applicant had any tie to reality, not even the date of birth! Watch out Stephen King, there are more fiction writers out there than we can imagine. Only a diligent check involving more than simple data base look ups, which is all most cut rate firms offer, will reveal anomalies that may be important.

The beverage industry is particularly susceptible to employee malfeasance due to the nature of the product, the customers, and the logistics associated with the business. Often we discover theft in beverage distribution facilities is the result of poor controls and procedures that lead those so inclined to steal to a path of opportunity they cannot resist. Collusion among drivers, helpers, warehouse personnel and sometimes management create fertile ground for theft rings to operate. Clients have, at times, told us they know they have a shrinkage problem, and they know, or suspect who is in involved in the problem, but they don’t know how to address it. Is mere suspicion enough to justify termination? What if this is just the tip of the iceberg? What if I am wrong, will this end up in court? Only when you have all the facts can you make a correct judgment.

Investigative companies such as ISA can be of great service to those in the beverage distribution industry when it comes to protecting the bottom line. We have a long history, over thirty years, of conducting covert operations in warehouses, distribution facilities, and other areas where there exist a potential for theft. Our approach is simple but effective. ISA will find out who is involved, how the theft is perpetrated, and how controls can be developed to ensure it does not happen again.

A common element among dishonest employees participating in these types of activities is the pride they have for getting away with the theft. Once their confidence is gained they talk, they talk a lot. Our undercover operatives are trained to listen, listen a lot. By placing demographically matched operatives as employees in these facilities we are able to generate intelligence that when pieced together can give a full, better, and realistic picture to management as to what is actually happening. Our case building techniques often lead to criminal prosecution where appropriate.

It is wrongful to assume shrinkage due to theft is simply the cost of doing business, it is not. Theft can be addressed and controlled, procedures and policies can be developed to curtail criminal opportunity without onerous cost. In fact, the return on investment associated with eradicating theft goes directly to the bottom line, this is money very well spent. The first step in solving these problems is to understand what is happening, this is where investigative firms such as ISA can be of great value to your business.

About International Security Agency
International Security Agency, Inc. (ISA) is a recognized leader in the field of corporate security consulting. We specialize in investigations, background checks and due diligence on a multinational level.

ISA also offers polygraph examinations, employee misconduct reporting systems and fraud prevention and detection consulting

For more information, or to learn about how these services can be applied to your business, contact:

Jay Goodwin
Director of Business Development
International Security Agency