Inside Job

Many food distributors find themselves victimized by internal theft. Most are guilty of committing at least one of the Seven Sins of Distribution Center Security.


One way to control the accuracy and integrity of your checkers is by having loss prevention audits regularly performed. These can be done numerous ways.

One method would be to have a security representative arrive (without any advance notification) during the time your trucks are being loaded, select one (or several) and audit the product found on the vehicles vs. the shipping manifest(s).

Another technique would be having surprise audits performed on your trucks as drivers begin their route deliveries. (These are referred to as non-covert surveillances.) By having an investigator meet a driver at his first stop and perform a verification of each piece delivered throughout the course of the day, you will uncover product that undoubtedly has been over-loaded.

Both of these security techniques are not only excellent ways to expose collusion or negligence on the shipping dock but also to prevent it from ever taking place. When workers know there is a high risk of being exposed, they will be far less likely to steal, which is exactly what you want.

6. Does your company effectively weed out on-the-job substance abusers and distributors?

Nearly 90 percent of all employee drug users either deal drugs or steal to support their addictions. As many distribution executives have learned, if you have a drug problem inside your company, you can expect to have a theft problem as well.

Two of the best ways to identify drug users and distributors on your payroll is through a tipline program and by inserting an undercover investigator into your operation.

7. Does your company provide meaningful training for key personnel?

All too often, losses occur because managers and supervisors are not educated on how to recognize the devious, subtle ways that theft takes place in a distribution center. Simply put, if your key people don’t know what they’re looking for, they won’t see it––even when it’s taking place right in front of them.

If you’re not sending your managers and supervisors to conferences, or arranging to have in-house security seminars that teach your staff how to do a better job of detecting and preventing various types of vulnerabilities, you’re not giving them the tools they need to protect your assets.

Brandman is president of Danbee Investigations, Midland Park, NJ

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