It might seem inconsequential, but office supplies inexplicable going missing is a pretty big deal. In Canada, the economic impact of this issue runs into the billions based on an article in the global news. And results in a 35% shrinkage in an organizations inventory, and a further 1.4% impact on an organization’s total revenue. Small businesses are likely impacted more as they have a lower threshold to absorb such losses.
The pervasiveness of this issue seems bound to the permissive social culture. Some may think it is okay to take minor items such as an office pen home. Use the office computer to print personal documents, or use the office sharpies for the kid’s school homework. While most might not classify the above examples as theft, the taking of more expensive items like printer cartridges. And other costly items is considered petty theft. And organizations need to put in a place steps to guard against this.
Some Solution May Work
The right place to start in combating the menace of missing office supplies is to create a culture of responsibility and accountability among the staff. Inform staff beforehand where they are to get items. And the process that will be used for the requisition of new orders and accounting for the items used.
Other steps to take include reviewing the batch of items made available at any given time to staff. Sticky fingers are more likely to grab a few pieces for personal use when they see there is a lot of the stuff seemingly lying about. Another variation of this step is to keep office supplies in centrally located areas that are can be seen from different areas of the office.
For large value items, it is wise to keep them under lock and key. And create a process that requires people to sign for before they release the office supplies. You can also keep the distribution of office supplies under the supervision of trusted office managers. Setting a personal budget of office supplies for each office staff is another good way of tracking how people use office supplies. In other to avoid causing unintentional aggravation of honest staff who truly want to just use office supplies for office businesses. Within reason and limits, they must do all measures. So It does not affect the general office morale and staff do not think they are constantly under unwarranted suspicion.