Retailers will recruit thousands of temporary workers in the run-up to Christmas. Sainsbury's is set to take on 20,000 additional staff its largest number yet while Asda and Tesco are employing an extra 10,000 and 6,000 staff respectively.

These additional numbers are invaluable during the busy festive shopping period. However, it is imperative that store operators are able to carefully manage the additional risks that accompany taking on seasonal workers: internal loss.

Temporary staff generally lack an in-depth understanding of store policies. In the run-up to Christmas retailers are operating at maximum capacity and there is often simply not enough time to train temporary staff sufficiently.

With the recruitment of so many temporary staff, loss through error and staff dishonesty is likely to rise at this busy time of year and without a clear understanding of where these risks are, retailers can be in the dark as to where profit potential is being lost. Whether it's at supply chain level, on the shop floor, at point of sale or in the back office, hard-earned margins are being worn away every day.

Studies have found internal loss can equal up to 25% of gross profit. Paying attention to the risks will go a long way towards a successful and profitable festive season.
Khuram Kirmani, CEO, IDM Software