According to the NICB report, heavy equipment is two times more likely to be damaged and five times more likely to be stolen. This makes equipment theft protection crucial because rental businesses that incur these losses can be burdened with large and unaccounted expenses. The high cost of replacement and the revenue lost from current orders because of the unavailability of equipment can easily result in lower profits for the business.
Theft of equipment is on the rise, and over time the chances of recovery are limited. The following actions can help protect against equipment theft:
1. Label your equipment distinctively
With thousands of pieces of equipment to manage, the need for recognizable identifiers becomes necessary. When each piece of equipment is marked with unique identification numbers, it will be easier to check in and check out the equipment.
Putting a system in place to record equipment information can save both time and money down the road. Many software solutions provide built-in data design features to quickly generate labels using pre-existing item data.
Choosing a combination of distinctive numbers, logos, color codes, and barcodes can be very effective. Identification numbers can be useful to quickly differentiate equipment, company logos clearly mark equipment as the company’s property, and barcodes store a large amount of information that can be scanned easily.
Similarly, choosing the right material for the labels is important as well. Using tamper-evident tags and anti-theft tags that provide security to your gear is important, as any attempt at removing the label will display a special pattern, indicating a security breach. For example, if you are the owner of a construction rental business that deals with expensive equipment, you can use tamper-evident tags or aluminum tags that will hold up under extremely harsh external conditions, as well as help prevent theft.
2. Secure your worksites/warehouses from intrusion
Equipment left at worksites or warehouses can be open prey for thieves. The lack of proper security measures at these sites can lead to an increase in equipment misplacements or theft. To lower the risk of theft, it is important to secure these sites.
Using surveillance cameras and motion detectors is one way to secure critical property. Cameras can be placed in each of the corners of the equipment storage areas during off-hours to record moment-by-moment movement and deter theft.
Motion detectors can help detect when the equipment is moved during off-hours. Such movements will trigger alarms and allow you to take necessary actions. These security measures can also be beneficial in case of equipment theft as the owners can use recorded footage to prove theft for related insurance claims.
3. End-of-day inventory counts
A crucial part of inventory management is accurate inventory counts. Duplication of inventory counts and unnecessary handling of inventory can lead to task redundancy and loss of productive working hours.
Stock managers ensure all equipment is counted at the end of the day to maintain accurate inventory counts. These counts are essential to be sure that there are no discrepancies between the physical count and the record of inventory information in the software.
If any discrepancy occurs, it could be an indication of equipment theft. With the help of this information, stock managers can simply check which equipment went missing and when. For example, if the physical count has fewer inventories than in the software, the manager can simply check the software for missing equipment and when they were last checked out or checked in.
Cloud-based software can help manage inventory and provide real-time data indicating which inventory is placed on which site. Such systems can also enable staff to scan the barcode labels on the equipment for a quicker inventory count process and real-time updates.
4. Invest in security insurance
A rental business dealing with thousands of pieces of equipment and tools requires additional protection against theft. Investing in security insurance is vital to keep equipment safe during unforeseen circumstances. This type of insurance includes a special risk policy that includes loss or damage to equipment from theft, breakage, etc. Once the rental business is covered against equipment theft, the losses can be mitigated through insurance claims.
5. Train your workers on security practices
As part of critical security protocols, workers should be trained to practice sound security measures. Weekly meetings emphasizing safety rules and reporting any suspicious activity regarding equipment theft are important to remind workers to keep equipment safety first. Relevant security measures can include checking out equipment at the start of the day and checking in all equipment at the end of the day after use.
6. Reports on equipment movement trends
It is important for rental business owners to stay informed about equipment theft trends. Equipment checkouts to particular customers, for how long, and whether or not all equipment has been timely returned can all be analyzed using reports generated by the software. Daily reports can be generated to track trends and highlight any concerning tendencies. Armed with trend data, owners can more easily come up with improvement plans to ensure equipment safety.
If certain equipment is not returned on time, as indicated in equipment return reports, the customer may be asked about the delay and the equipment may be rented out until a later date if needed. In this way, rental software reports help facilitate a streamlined equipment transfer process, and in turn, reduce the likelihood of theft.
Make equipment theft protection a top priority
Investing a modest amount of time, attention, and money in theft prevention can prevent downtime, time-intensive problems, and lost revenue in the future. Theft-proofing your rental business is critical to your success and can be achieved with the help of robust rental software.
EZRentOut, a cloud-based equipment rental software can help. EZRentOut offers companies in numerous industries seamless rental management along with a host of other features. You can integrate your website with our EZR plug to keep track of all your rental Assets and operations.