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FALL 2013

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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall Issue 2013 / VOL 36 / NO.4

10 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

10 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Robert B. Footlik Robert B. Footlik is a licensed professional engineer. A graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology, he has worked extensively in the fields of material handling, plant layout, packaging and management systems. The firm of Footlik and Associates serves as staff warehousing and materials consultants to six trade associations. Footlik writes for 12 trade and professional journals. Footlik and Associates is located at 2521 Gross Point Road, Evanston, Illinois 60601; phone 847-328-5644. SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS - PART 2 As any experienced Police Officer or Customs Agent knows people are the best indicators for detecting dishonesty. Even TSA has finally realized that training in human behavior is more important than full body scanners. An observant individual might not know exactly what is going on, but they do know that something is amiss. You can too. Many of the characteristics and mannerisms are so overt that they scream out if you know how to listen. Spot these individuals before they sink your business or make the evening news. Becoming More Observant Unless you have a very unusual customer base there is no reason why your employees should come to work armed with knives, guns, brass knuckles, chains, etc. Yes this seems obvious, but how many Fastener Distributors have rules prohibiting weapons at work. A more important question is why the individual feels the need for being armed in the workplace Are they being intimidated, or doing the bullying Is your environment so unsafe that they cannot leave the armament in their car While a duly appointed Officer of the Law is required to carry a gun, even in states where concealed carry is legal it is not mandatory. If this is also an employee who is antagonistic, disgruntled, complains about being underpaid or overworked taking away their arsenal is obviously a great idea. Encouraging them to seek employment elsewhere is even better. The individual to especially watch is the one who never takes time off or a vacation and even comes in on their day off to “help out.” All too often the “help” is to cover up what has already being done to sabotage or rob your firm. Every person needs a vacation and while they are away an act of dishonesty may come to light. This is not to sell short the true workaholic, but remember that no individual should be indispensible unless they make themselves that way to cover up illicit activities. Collusion between employees can be more difficult to detect but if the crew has created a “theme song” or whistle to announce your presence you can be certain that something is going on. Hand signals, whistles or flashing lights are often a tip off. Security personnel who are overly friendly can also be working with inside or outside thieves. They too are not above suspicion. Secretive conversations, cryptic messages with customers, truck drivers, common carriers and others are other indications of a problem. Certainty comes with further investigation and surety is guaranteed when one or more or the participants comes in early and/or leaves late on a regular basis. Watch for visitors and employees who are in areas where they have no legitimate business. This includes common carriers, service technicians and customers. Badge systems, hard hat requirements and carefully designed paths should limit access strictly as needed. Similarly tracking truck drivers using GPS, odometer readings and bar coded paperwork will help keep them both efficient and honest. Another ancient ploy is distraction. Holding or delaying a supervisor for no apparent reason can mask many activities by a confederate. This is extremely difficult to control if you are unaware it is being done. In many respects it is similar to shoplifting and the secret is to focus on the buddy rather than the one who is distracting you. Similarly bulging clothing, loose fitting garments, are a good indication that this is how your inventory is disappearing. In a shoe distribution operation the manager was amazed by how many employees came to work wearing size 8 and left wearing size 12. Fasteners are less prone to theft, but tools, equipment and trade secrets are just as vulnerable. please turn to page 156

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    MAFDA ANNUAL GOLF & SCHOLARSHIP CLA

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