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Using Yard Management Reports to Reduce Risk for Scrapyards

Running a scrap metal business requires a lot of your attention.

Whether you own the recycling center or manage it, you have to know what is happening anywhere at any time.

You have customers to service, sales to make, employees to supervise and laws to follow—just to name a few of your responsibilities. With so much to do, you inevitably must count on others to help.

Review the following scrap yard management reports at the end of each day to spot any problems.

1)      Cash Register Activity. If you are the only person who runs the cash register, then you should know what cash has been added or withdrawn during the day, and why.

Demand the same accountability from your cashiers. Require that they record each transaction they make in a ledger, along with their initials or name. Or, use software to collect and store this information.

From cash taken out to pay for lunch for employees to mid-day deposits when the till is running low, you should be able to account for every transaction, whether it involves a direct purchase of materials or not.

Recording all transactions during the day and reviewing them at the end will show you who has spent money and how. Check your opening balance, calculate your transaction totals and then confirm your closing balance to ensure that you have accounted for all of your money.

Investigate any discrepancies for possible mistakes or misappropriations of funds. 

2)      Purchases. You should pay what you owe—but not a penny more than the ticket price. Tickets show how much you should have spent—but not how much you actually have spent.

Record each transaction in a ledger, including the weight of the material(s) and the amount paid. Require your cashier(s) to do the same. Then cross check those transactions against ticket totals.

Ensure that neither you nor your cashier paid “$8” for a “$6” ticket that was hard to read, for example. Or, that a cashier didn’t pay “$50” when the ticket should have been “$5” because they read the price for a material to be “.50” instead of “.05” when buying 100 pounds. You can also use software to automatically calculate ticket totals and amounts paid.

3)      Canceled Purchases. Record each voided transaction and the reason for canceling. This will help you spot recurring errors. You could also use software to track voided transaction so that you can see if an employee may need training.

If you spot canceled purchases or overpayments that you were not aware of, investigate the reasons and respond accordingly. If it was an honest payment mistake by a long-time, dependable employee, then perhaps you point it out so that they are not likely to repeat it in the future. But if it was theft or incompetence then you may be able to recoup and/or prevent future losses by terminating an employee, and possibly seeking reimbursement.

Running a scrapyard requires you to shift your attention from one stressful situation or pressing problem to another, rapidly and frequently. Don’t miss honest errors or dishonest theft, either of which could be costly.

Review the three reports above each day to minimize risk.

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Our Story

We started 20 years ago as Web4Minds, a software development firm that provides custom solutions to meet our clients’ needs. One such client came to us four years ago to develop software to manage their scrapyards.

Upon receiving feedback from the client and working with dozens of others, we realized that we had created a product that stood out among the competition, so we brought our solution to the marketplace as Scrapyard Pro. It is now used at recycling centers across the country, by clients ranging from single-location owners to regional operators.