Is that a Salesperson in my lobby?

By Chris Contreras, Portland Sales Manager
Posted January 18, 2008

You may have asked yourself that very question a number of times just this week alone. Consider this: daytime theft in commercial businesses has ballooned into a multi-billion dollar problem according to FBI statistics.

Yes, that’s right, theft in the middle of the workday!

Something as innocent as a salesperson asking to use the restroom can lead to missing laptops, purses, or other valuable items. Many times these thefts aren’t even noticed for a day or two, making it even more difficult to track actual losses. Most experts believe the true dollar amounts are much higher, because many of the crimes just aren’t reported.

How often have you walked into a business during normal hours, only to find the reception area deserted? Waiting for some assistance might seem like an annoyance to us, but to the thief, this is a golden opportunity. Simply walk to the nearest unoccupied area or reach behind the counter and help yourself to an IPOD, purse, wallet, whatever’s in reach.

You can make this type of activity difficult in several ways.
1.If possible, always have someone at the reception area during business hours. Rotate backup for this personas lunches and breaks. Something as simple as asking for someone to fill in for a quick trip to the restroom can greatly reduce your risk. Many of these thieves won’t even enter a business if they see someone staffing the reception desk.
2.Another tool is a logbook at the reception area for salespeople, vendors, or other visitors. Make sure the people coming into your business have a specific purpose and/or individual they are meeting.
3.You can take it a step further and issue visitor badges for them as well. This allows employees to easily identify unfamiliar visitors in their workplace and take appropriate action.

Although effective at minimizing your exposure to daytime theft, these steps all have one thing in common: they only start after the potential thief has gained entry into your facility. Why even let them in the door? The best chance to minimize your exposure to daytime theft is to control who actually enters your business. Sonitrol Pacific’s Electronic Access Control System, or keyless entry as it is sometimes called, allows you to control designated entry doors electronically. Entry is only gained via a valid credential, which can be a card, or key fob that is presented to a reader by the controlled door. Imagine never having to re-key your facility again! Simply provide your employees with a card, and the rest is controlled via the system that we help you design. The whole system is controlled and managed by our operators at the central station. Someone loses a key? No problem! Simply call or email the central station operators, and that credential will be removed from the system immediately, 24 hours a day.