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Shoplifters Beware: New Tools Protect Small Businesses

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By Minara El-Rahman on November 13, 2009 5:50 AM

With the recession cutting into the pockets of many small businesses, it hurts even more when you realize that you lose even more because of inventory loss. According to CNN, this loss is 25% more than the losses that small businesses face from shoplifting. Stealing from employers is not that uncommon.

Employees actually stole an estimated $15 billion dollars from retailers last year according to Univ. of FL criminologist Richard Hollinger. The scary part? The closed circuit TV monitoring system never pinpointed the crime occurring.

It seems that many small business owners just don't have the time, patience and resources to sift through all of those hours of footage in order to catch the perpetrators.

Now they have a solution to their problem.

In order to address this inventory loss problem, the firm Agilence has developed a sophisticated software suveillance system that syncs that footage with point of sale data. Once that software identifies typical theft moments, a team of "loss prevention" experts analyze these results.

The good thing about this is that each small business owner can get a customized report which notes likely cases of fraud. The firm also recommends ways to prevent losses from occurring at all. Their recommendations range from employee intervention to improved training.

Some of the trends that Agilence has seen is the pairing of employees with customers in order to commit theft. The employee can simply void a transaction but still allow the customer to leave with unpaid goods. Looking at these trends have helped Agilence pinpoint how small business can make sure that they are not getting ripped off.

With the holiday season coming up, small business retailers tend to add seasonal workers. These seasonal workers may not have had the training or background check that permanent workers get. Investing in something like Agilence's services may be able to give you some peace of mind.

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