How Do Field Force Management Solutions Prevent Thefts?

How can Field Force Management Solutions prevent theft

Prevention is better than cure, which is why investing in field force management solutions becomes even more necessary to prevent various thefts from occurring in the company.

Oh, the horrors!

Discovering that your employees, your most valued asset, have been pilfering time and forging fictitious expenses can be quite a shock. 

But how do you discover this problem as soon as possible and solve it most efficiently?

No, you don’t have to wrinkle your forehead. Leave that to us. 

What you need is field employee management software. The software will help you foresee such thefts and present you with real-time solutions allowing you to take timely preventive action (after all, prevention is better than cure!)

And as a part of prevention, let’s look at all the ways thefts by field executives can occur commonly.

Different Types Of Thefts That Occur

Money is not the only thing that employees can steal from the company. 

Employee theft is described as stealing or misusing the resources of the company. 

There are many different types of employee theft. They range from taking products from the inventory or office supplies to leaking out data and documents. According to reports, 75% of employees have stolen at least once from their employer.

Time Theft

Someone has truly said that time is money because your employees are stealing it. Every year, businesses lose $50 billion due to employee theft.

Time theft is one of the most prevalent forms of theft in employees. Time theft occurs when employees get paid even for hours they are not working. You will be shocked to know that 1 in 4 people admit to reporting more hours than they actually work. 

It might be difficult to help for you to identify time theft unless you invest in employee monitoring software because it offers solutions that offer better visibility of the activities of the field agents. Time theft can occur in various forms: 

  • Time Clock Theft: This occurs when employees alter their time sheets to report more worked hours. This is possible only in a manual attendance system. 
  • Buddy Punching:  Employees, when running late, might request their friend to punch their attendance. Similarly, employees coming in early can ask their friends who are working late to swipe them out late. This will lead to the company paying out a lot of overtime that was never worked. 75% of companies lose money from buddy punching.
  • Taking Long Lunches and Breaks: Taking long and unscheduled breaks is another way employees steal time from the company. Even frequent smoke breaks can interrupt the concentration level of the employees, thus affecting their productivity.
  • Hiding From Managers: Sharing fabricated information about their location and tasks is a common way to hide the truth from managers. Going next step, they might even make excuses like a dead phone and no network to misguide.

Time Theft

Expense Theft

Businesses lose up to 5% of their annual revenue to theft. Field agents have to submit proof for reimbursement, which gives them the perfect opportunity to try to commit fraud. It can happen in multiple ways:

  • Fictitious Expenses: When field employees try to get reimbursed for expenses or purchase tools for work that they never really bought. They will try to back it up with fake receipts and bills. They do this by collaborating with vendors to obtain receipts for fake purchases.
  • Mischaracterized or Mislabeled Expenses: Employees might try to pass off their personal expenses as work-related for reimbursement. This is a common practice for field agents who often incur personal expenses on business trips or on the road. 
  • Duplicate Reimbursements/Double billing: Often, employees might submit the same reimbursement claim twice, intentionally, or by mistake. For example, the employee submits a credit card receipt and the original bill as proof.
  • Refunded Expenses: Instances where the agent purchases a tool for work purposes and even claims reimbursement for it.  But later on, he returns the tools and gets a refund. This is a sneaky tactic.

Document and Data Theft

Any company’s data, such as information about its deals, contracts, clientage, quoted prices, etc., is its most important asset. Leaking data is a legally punishable offense. But it is only over time that this type of theft is detected. So to make you aware of this type of info that companies should keep under lock and key are

  • Customer Information: Field agents have the info of the clients they are serving and the price quoted to them. It is very convenient for them to leak data to rival companies to gain monetary benefits.
  • Documents: The field employees have to get feedback forms and other bunch of documents filled out from the customers. Either the documents can get stolen, or agents might manipulate them and give themselves five stars on feedback forms. This vastly affects the data collection and reports of the company.
  • Client Theft: Since the employees already have the details of the company’s existing clients, chances are there that they might poach them for lower prices.

Product Theft

Joke: Why are farmers who take a good inventory of their cows so efficient at chemical reactions?

 Ans: Because they have a cattle list. 

Product theft is very much prevalent with field agents and retail stores. Yes, there are chances that the agents might gift some products to the customers to form better relations. But what about the scenario where they are skimming or using coupon codes while still charging the customers full price and pocketing the difference? 

This theft can adversely affect manager and employee, and company and client relationships.

  • Sweethearting: This kind of theft occurs when field executives give friends and family unofficial discounts. It could be in many forms, like employee discounts, refunds without retrieving products or manually overriding the price.
  • Product Theft: A more direct form of theft. The problem arises when the agents are asked to explain the missing items from the inventory when caught stealing.
  • Under Ringing: When the field agent or retail employee charges customers and clients for all five purchases but only inputs four of them in the cash register, that is called under-ringing. Managers only notice this theft when checking the inventory, realizing a product is sold out, but the data says otherwise.

How Can Field Force Management Software Help Prevent the outcomes of Theft?

(we feel sorry for your loss)

As the saying goes, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Similarly, when all the thefts of the agents come to light, there is automatically a loss of trust, and the possibility employees might get laid off.

But we are forgetting the billions of dollars being lost by the businesses due to various kinds of thefts by field employees. The best thing to do is stop pilferage before it causes severe damage; if not, damage control is necessary. 

And that’s why we offer you field service management software. It has technically advanced tools and solutions to help managers keep tabs on the field employees and their operations and activities.

Outcome: Loss Of Trust

One of the things that get most impacted due to employee theft is trust. Without trust, managers will probably not assign tasks to the employees, and even if they do, they will have to resort to micromanagement. This will severely affect the employees’ productivity, satisfaction, and motivation level.

Prevention: Attendance Management 

We offer employee monitoring software’s attendance management solution to prevent the situation from getting dirty. It offers geocoded attendance through which the presence gets automatically marked only when the agents reach their first task location. If still unsure, managers can even ask for visual verification in which the photo will be geotagged.

This method is completely foolproof and leaves no scope for buddy punching.

Outcome: Loss Of Information

Loss of information can be a big setback for companies if confidential details, secrets, price quotations, and strategies have been leaked. Other companies might want to take advantage of it. This is huge damage and is punishable by law.

Prevention: Digital Documentation

Using our digital documentation solution would be best to prevent your company from facing this sort of catastrophe. This solution allows companies to upload their documents on the cloud storage provided. There is no need to carry or deal with physical documents susceptible to loss or damage. In addition, we offer password protection and restricted access to confidential documents.

Furthermore, we offer a custom field form to prevent your employees from manipulating customer feedback or other data. It can digitally record the clients’ feedback or any other data. The form gets automatically submitted, and managers can view it remotely.

Outcome: Financial Losses

Nothing frustrates more than not knowing where and how your profits and revenue are draining. Employee theft, be it time, product, or data, affects the company financially. Trying to recover the lost money can be hard. So it’s best to adopt preventive measures in advance.

Prevention: Expense Management

Manage your company’s and field agents’ reimbursement claims efficiently through expense management software. Using the solution, managers get real-time expense reports of the operation. Furthermore, they can cap the limit of reimbursement amount. This limit is customizable according to the team and designation.

Expense management

Outcome: Loss Of Productivity and Accountability

Time theft results in loss of productivity and accountability of the employees. Managers can no longer completely rely on agents to do the work with dedication. Since they are not being productive, it will soon show in their work when deadlines are missed, sales are not made, and clients are not served.

Prevention: Task Management

Field employee tracking software will help you avoid this quicksand before it’s too late. Task management solution allows managers to assign a month’s worth of tasks in advance. The tasks will be visible to the agents without delay. They no longer need to memorize their jobs. Neither can they excuse not being assigned, or they forget about the task.

Furthermore, managers can even track the task status, progress made, and the checklist in real time through the software’s app. This helps with the problem of accountability. Knowing that they are being monitored makes the employee more productive.

Outcome: Loss of Inventory

All this sweethearting and under-ringing seriously impact the inventory and the company. This might pressure the company to cut its other expenses to recover the damage.

Prevention: Sales Order Management

The best way to prevent your company’s ship from sinking is to monitor the employees, sales, and orders received. And since all our software aims to provide real-time and accurate information, we suggest you opt for sales order management software. Executives can make orders from the application itself. Managers can track the number of sales made by each employee. 

Outcome: Loss of Visibility

A physical gap exists between the field agents and managers, leading to ignorance and half pieces of information. There is no way managers can crosscheck the information provided by field executives. This loss of visibility is harmful as it presents the perfect opportunity for pilferage.

Prevention: Live Location Tracking

Using GPS tracking software, managers have full access to the real-time location of the field agents. They can track the location of agents with high accuracy. No more can agents provide fabricated information to managers. The travel history of the executives is recorded and can be viewed for future reference.

Prevent Thefts with TrackoField

We know you are Ali baba trying to protect his cave, aka your company, from the forty thieves. 

And to do so efficiently, you will need to arm yourself with solutions to help you identify the thieves and catch them in action. 

Field force management software can be the magical word ‘open sesame.’ The software will offer visibility of the agents’ activities that will help managers detect their time and product pilferage.

TrackoField is an efficient and leading employee monitoring software. It offers real-time solutions that will successfully help reduce time theft and assist employees in being productive.

Try out a demo and see the wonders of this system for yourself!

How Do Field Force Management Solutions Prevent Thefts?

Tithi Agarwal

Tithi Agarwal is a content writer at TrackoBit. She enjoys writing blogs which are knowledgeable yet fun to read. And when she is not typing away to glory she has her nose buried in books.

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