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12 Daily Tasks To Control Your Truckstop's Shrink

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Operations

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Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

Twelve Daily Tasks To Control Shrink At Your Truckstop

Shrink is a part of doing business, so business owners have to take steps daily to control it. Here are twelve daily actions you can take to help minimize losses:

  1. Have managers walk the store daily, before and after the shift.

  2. Ensure employees are spending time on the sales floor with customers when the cash register isn’t busy. Greeting customers and making eye contact is one of the best ways to minimize shrink.

  3. Keep inventory storage areas locked at all times and check throughout the day to ensure they are locked. Also place locks on cigarette, electronics and entertainment back stock. Note any exceptions, including shared stock areas.

  4. Spend at least 25 seconds watching security camera recordings and watch for employees doing something right, then share it with them. This will reinforce positive behavior and also let employees know you watch the recordings.

  5. Conduct random cash audits in which you pull the till, count it and make sure it balances. Also watch for voids, returns, no-sale rings on the cash register and cash registers open too long, which are signs that cash may be coming out instead of going in. If cash audits do not take place daily, make sure you have a minimum of two surprise register inspections per cashier per month.

  6. Enter the previous day’s ending inventory for the following categories: cigarettes, lottery, entertainment and electronics. Also enter the information for the current week and the previous week. In addition, regularly conduct inventory audits. If an inventory audit shows a high-level of shrink, take time to interview employees about the situation.

  7. Managers should be present when vendors check in and, as a best practice, only allow one vendor at a time on the sales floor. Be sure to review invoices carefully, especially those that have high returns. Managers should also look at the inventory as it comes in and should not allow vendors to count the products themselves during the check-in process. In addition, vendors should flatten their boxes before they leave. Unfortunately, the second largest percentage of shrink loss comes from vendors.

  8. Spot check invoices for retail or price-change errors. If there are mistakes on an invoice, ask for an updated invoice rather than allowing vendors to make handwritten changes. Store employees should hold onto the invoice once they review it rather than handing it back to the vendor.

  9. Ensure employees are using clear trash bags.

  10. Spot check to ensure cashiers are providing receipts to customers without asking.

  11. Don’t allow cashiers to keep coins on or near the cash register and regularly check to ensure there are no stray coins tucked somewhere in the register. Employees who steal from the register a little at a time routinely use coins to track their theft.

  12. Maintain and check a drive-off log. 

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here.

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.