Theft is a serious problem for all businesses, but it is a particularly serious problem for construction businesses. Unfinished construction sites are typically left with a fair amount of equipment and materials. Often these resources left at jobsites range from expensive machinery and vehicles to materials that may have been ordered and would be too costly to ship back and forth. In comparison to other industries, construction provides far more risks and opportunities for theft both internally, from staff and externally as well.
The greatest impact theft has on a construction company is on profitability. Stolen equipment, parts and materials must be replaced and re-ordered, which takes more time and effort than initially planned. Having to wait for the new construction equipment and materials to arrive, usually results in even further financial consequences if they are unable to meet set deadlines. Finally, theft can cause the employees’ morale to plunge, causing their productivity to plummet as well.
How Can Construction Businesses Prevent Theft?
Theoretically, a construction business can prevent the theft of its construction equipment and construction materials by moving them into safer and more secure premises at the end of each day. However, the cost in time, labor, and other resources of moving all materials, especially large pieces, is simply not an option. Instead, construction companies must be prepared to protect their construction equipment and materials while they are on site, and provide the proper measures when staff is off premise.
Having security on construction sites at all times will minimize the chances of theft occurring during either work hours or off-work hours. With the presence of security, personnel can monitor the premises for potential signs of theft, and will provide a deterrence for both workers and others to steal. Having security on site at all times may not be the most optimal solution for smaller scale projects, but are a worthwhile investment for large scale operations.
Even if security personnel is hired to monitor a jobsite, additional measures must still be put in place. A simple example would be the use of lighting, during work and off-work hours. A well-lit construction site even without security personnel may deter people from theft, while also allowing in-house security cameras or nearby security cameras to capture footage more clearly. Similarly, something as simple as setting up barriers to entry can serve to keep unauthorized people off of the construction site.
Construction businesses should keep a close eye on their inventory on jobsites versus their inventory as recorded in their financial ledger. Managers should be doing a comparison of their inventory in storage and on-site, compared with their inventory that has been recorded on regular basis. Keeping track of equipment will provide a better idea of what items are missing, as well as the timeframe for replacing those items. Project managers can record each piece of equipment’s serial code to better keep track of any duplicate pieces they may have. This will help narrow down what specific piece is missing, if something has been stolen. By knowing how theft affects their revenue-earning operations, construction businesses can target their theft-prevention methods in a more effective manner.
Lastly, construction companies should not hesitate to use the latest techniques and technologies available to ensure theft prevention within their jobsites. Installing tracking devices on their construction equipment can help them recover their construction equipment once something has been stolen. Similarly, using keyless entry can provide them with increased control over who can access their construction equipment which is useful for larger construction projects.
Theft and other crimes should always be reported to local authorities as soon as possible in order to maximize the chances of recovering stolen items, as well as preventing future incidents of this nature.
Although it may be difficult to ensure that items are not stolen at construction sites, measures must be put in place to show that your company will take any threat or instance of theft seriously. Make sure you are training your workers to minimize the possibility of theft, and leave the jobsite each day with the most important equipment stored safely. Also, make clear to employees the specific policies and codes of conduct your company has when dealing with theft both internally and externally. Click the link for more articles on construction operations.