Are your inventory controls invisible?
photo credit wouterverhelst
Late 2012, a Best Buy customer ordered an iPad online. Imagine her surprised when she received not one but five iPads. The honest customer attempted to contact Best Buy to determine the best course of action. She was unable to receive help from the retailer. She enlisted the help of the Consumerist website. Imagine her surprise when a representative said that there was nothing he could do about it because the system indicated that one item was shipped. The customer actually snapped photos and forwarded them to Best Buy as proof. Interesting right!?!
The retailer eventually told the consumer to keep the iPads and give them to friends, family and/or the needy. This was generous gesture right? Maybe not. Technically US postal laws do not require citizens to return items shipped unsolicited. The law was put in place to protect consumers from companies sending goods and demanding payment items received but not ordered.
Before you say this is an isolated incident, another customer reported getting the five for one discount. The fact that this happened twice is a bit concerning. I find it hard to believe that none at Best Buy detected this error and that at least one honest customer had to go to great lengths to expose the error. Was this truly an “accident” or does this signal the accidental unraveling of a fraud scheme? Either way, auditors take note.
Have you looked at your organization’s ordering and fulfillment processes lately?
Consider the following:
- How goods are ordered from suppliers
- How goods are received in the warehouse
- The process for “pulling” orders from inventory to fill orders
- Controls surrounding inventory accountability
- Processes to reconcile