In warehousing and logistics, inventory shrinkage has always been a significant challenge, leading to potentially substantial financial losses and operational inefficiencies. Can implementing Industore’s leading Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) reduce – or even remove that risk?

The Cost of Inventory Shrinkage

Recent news headlines have highlighted the severe consequences of theft within warehouses. One such case involved *a warehouse worker who stole 123,000 bottles of whiskey (with a retail value of over £3.5m) to fund a lavish lifestyle. Such incidents serve as a stark reminder of the importance of efficient inventory management and security measures in modern warehousing.

AS/RS: The Solution to Inventory Accuracy

One of the primary advantages of AS/RS technology, like Industore’s Lean-Lifts and Rotomats (vertical lift module and carousel), is the substantial increase in inventory accuracy. These systems eliminate manual handling of inventory, reducing errors in stock counts, misplaced items, and inaccurate data entry.  The precision of AS/RS ensures that items are stored and retrieved accurately, leading to improved inventory control and, crucially, a reduced opportunity for theft.

Better Security with Industore

Theft and unauthorised access to inventory are significant contributors to inventory pilferage. Lean-Lifts and Rotomats (AS/RS) provide a secure storage environment by limiting access to inventory to only those employees with the appropriate level of authority. Various access management methods can be employed, such as login PINs or access fobs, ensuring that only trusted employees can access the system.

Streamlined Tracking and Audits

AS/RS technology, particularly when equipped or integrated with warehouse management systems (WMS), provides real-time inventory tracking and visibility. This means there’s a comprehensive record of who took what, when, and how many, making it incredibly challenging for any theft to go undetected. Frequent, and if desired, automatic audits can be generated, enabling businesses to proactively address discrepancies and potential theft issues.

Employee Accountability

Automating inventory management processes with AS/RS enhances employee accountability. With real time inventory tracking and limited access to stock, employees are less likely to engage in theft. Lean- Lifts and Rotomats also enable warehouse managers (etc.) to monitor employee performance and identify potential areas of concern, allowing them to address issues promptly and minimise the temptation associated with inventory theft.

A Preventative Approach

The recent news story (*reference below) about the whiskey thefts in Norwich is not an isolated incident – these stories only underline the how critical total inventory security is in business today. With Industore solutions in place, such incidents – such opportunities – are significantly reduced. The implementation of Lean-Lifts and Rotomats aids in creating a secure, efficient, and reliable inventory management system, and it is incumbent on all responsible business owners and warehouse managers to investigate these most valuable assets.

Implementing AS/RS technology for inventory management in a warehouse is a proactive approach to significantly reduce inventory theft, improve accuracy, enhance security, and boost overall operational efficiency. By minimising human error, enhancing security, streamlining inventory tracking and audits, and improving employee accountability, Industore solutions help businesses to optimise inventory levels, reduce financial losses, and enhance overall warehouse performance. In fact, AS/ RS technology such as Lean-Lifts and Rotomats may be the ultimate solution to prevent such incidents and secure your inventory.

If you’re looking to optimise your warehouse space, enhance security, and prevent theft, AS/RS technology like Lean-Lifts and Rotomats are an essential avenue for exploration.

References:
*https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2023-11-01/warehouse-worker-stole-123000-bottles-of-whisky-tofund-lavish-lifestyle

Watch the Edrington video and read the case-study

Industore’s whiskey client, Edrington has five Lean- Lifts, which are accessed via automatic sliding doors, and benefit from total access control – requiring a user code to access the products.

See Case Study here:
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