Help guard against the unthinkable by making safety and security a habit in 2014
The “what if’s” in life are endless. Each year, jewelers fall victim to crime and face unpredictable losses from fire, natural disasters and even internal theft. So how can you possibly protect your business from the unknown? Make safety and security a priority for your business and your staff.
Compare Apples to Apples
A great place to start evaluating your company’s safety and security is to examine your insurance needs. Typical businessowners’ policies were never intended to be a comprehensive insurance coverage solution for jewelers. Jewelers face unique threats and have specific needs that other businesses may not.
However, a Jewelers Block policy is a comprehensive policy designed to meet the needs of a very broad spectrum of jewelry operations including losses from burglary, robbery, sneak theft, fire damage and water damage, to name a few.
Work with a knowledgeable Jewelers Block specialist agent who can assist you in customizing and structuring the policy to cost-effectively meet the needs of your specific jewelry operation.
Preparing for the Unpredictable
In order to select the appropriate limit of insurance coverage you need to know what your exposure to loss can be. An effective and consistent inventory control methodology is central to protecting the assets of your company, and conducting an annual physical inventory is one of the best things you can do to protect your business.
To maintain accurate and current records, jewelers should update inventories daily. Your inventory records should chart the following information:
• Item number
• Detailed description of the item
• Date it was received
• Price paid for the item
• Value of the item
• Date it was sold
• Price received for the item
Remember, finished goods are not the only type of inventory your business may need to consider. Loose diamonds and colored stones, settings, replacement materials and customer repairs should also be included.
The next area of your focus in creating a more secure business should include the development a business continuity plan. Preparing ahead of time for a disaster is crucial for a quick resumption of your operationsallowing you to make informed decisions during a high-pressure crisis.
Jewelers Mutual recommends having backup files for everything from your tax returns and insurance policies to your lease agreement and your most current inventory stored safely in an accessible, off-site location.
Do you have access to your customer database if your store’s computers are somehow compromised? A thorough business continuity plan also considers your customers. You’ll want to let them know if you’re temporarily closed or operating in a different location.
Drill for When It Counts
Does your staff know what to do when disaster strikes? You can help your staff prepare to do the right thing by outlining clear expectations. Precautions such as running an armed robbery drill could mean the difference between life and death.
Reinforce to your employees that the safety of your customers and staff is your top priority. Establish a code word or phrase that employees can use to alert the rest of the staff of suspicious behavior and cue an associate to visibly leave the store with a cell phone to observe from a safe distance, ready to call 9-1-1. Associates who remain in the store should be instructed to remain calm, not to resist, and to follow the perpetrator’s orders. Inventory and property can be replaced. A life cannot.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Don’t wait until disaster strikes. The time to consider your company’s vulnerabilities and to develop more secure habits in your business is now. Invest the time and energy to protect your employees, your business and your way of life before it’s too late.
To learn more about operating a jewelry business safely and securely, visit http://www.JewelersMutual.comor find a Jewelers Mutual agent in your area by calling 1-800-558-6411.