Chances are you have heard this phrase before. There are certain industries that live by that motto. Fire departments regularly inspect fire extinguishers, hydrants, etc to make sure they are in working order in case required. Your business may not have the life-or-death scenarios of a fire department, but what behaviours do you expect of your team?
In our industry of Equipment Tracking, inspections are done through physical counts or audits. This ensures that every piece of equipment is accounted for and is in working condition. Counts are a very effective form of inspection. It sends the message clearly that management is watching and expects everything to be in order and accounted for.
True Story, I had a friend years ago that owned and operated a gas bar. The number one item sold aside from gas was cigarettes. Since he could not be there 24 hours a day he instituted a count procedure to minimize the loss of cigarettes. It went as follows;
- Within 30 minutes of your shift starting you filled in a count sheet for all cigarettes
- No more than 30 minutes before your shift ended you filled in another count on the same sheet
- You placed the sheet into an envelope and sealed the envelope, signing the flap
Each day my friend would pickup the envelopes with the count sheets, take them home and throw them in the trash! It was not about the count being used to double check sales against inventory. It was about sending a message to his staff that they were being watched, and therefore encouraging the correct behaviour. In this case honesty.
Physical counts of equipment and asset inventories have the same impact on employees. They know that the company is watching and they take better care of your equipment.