A Pizza The Truth!
Over the past few weeks I have been working with a client from Birmingham, who owns a chain of Pizza take-away shops in Solihull, Chelmsley Wood, Stechford, Acocks Green, Moseley, Bourneville, Harbourne and Northfield and two fish and chips shops in Quinton and the City centre.
The client had immigrated to this country twenty years ago, setting up his first take-away in Chelmsley Wood. This apparently coincided with the Pizza take away meal becoming extremely popular and business was so good that in the second year he opened three further shops in Stechford, Moseley and Harbourne suburbs’ of Birmingham.
By year three, he opened two more take-away shops in the Birmingham suburbs’ of Acocks Green and Northfield followed the following year by pizza take-away shops in Bournville and two fish and chip shops, one in the city centre of Birmingham and one in the Birmingham suburb of Quinton.
The businesses were all running profitably and he now had a number of managers and staff working for his company. The client had contacted us because the cash flow of his business seemed to have reduced steadily over the months, whilst the stock used in sales hadstayed relatively the same. Most if not all of the shop sales were cash transactions, which obviously left the opportunity for staff to steal from the till or simply pocket the money without recording the sale on the tills.
His issue was that with over 100 full and part time staff, he could not afford to have all members polygraphed. Over the following weeks I visited the shops in Solihull, Chelmseley Wood, Stechford, Acocks Green and Moseley, so I could meet the staff and understand how the sales and stock processes worked.
The clients brother ran the remaining businesses in Bourneville, Moseley, Harbourne and the city centre of Birmingham, so in company with him, I visited the remaining premises in Birmingham. It was clear that the business was essentially run on trust. The client had originally employed family members to staff up his businesses but over the years they had been replaced by managers and part time workers not related to the owner.
It was agreed that the starting point for the polygraph investigation would be examining the managers first. Six managers attended the polygraph offices over three days. One manager failed to attend and gave his notice by phone to the owner and during that telephone call he made the comment “there were more than me involved and you don’t want to know the answer”.
The managers of the shops in Moseley, Solihull, Bournville and Harbourne all passed the polygraph examinations. The two remaining who between them managed the shops in Chelmsley Wood, Stechford, Acocks Green and Birmingham city centre both failed the polygraph examination.
The client was present throughout the time the tests were conducted and was immediately informed of the results for each examinee. He obviously had his own suspicions, that he had not shared with us prior to the examinations and when he was told that two of the managers had failed, he went to speak to them in person.
I understand from the feedback that the client gave us following those meetings, that both managers have kept their jobs and we will be invited back annually to conduct monitoring tests on their honesty.
This again proves the importance of both pre-employment testing and regular monitoring to maintain the security and profitability of businesses.
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