Businesses and consumers around the world depend on warehousing and logistics for the safe and timely delivery of goods. This sector has become increasingly important as the global demand for online retail continues to grow.
Theft, break-ins and liability issues can have a devastating impact on their business continuity and reputation. Mounting costs and insurance pay-outs can stunt a successful company’s ability to operate successfully. The best way to mitigate against these threats is with an effective security system.
In this article we outline risks and solutions common to the warehousing and logistics industry. We provide seven security and operational tips to help you overcome these challenges. These recommendations will help you audit your current security system, and give you helpful information about the latest technologies being implemented by the warehousing and logistics industries.
Warehousing and Logistics Challenges
According to Loss Prevention Media, warehouses incur losses between 15 – 30 billion each year due to unforeseen risks such as cargo theft from freight yards and warehouse theft.
Awareness of common risks is critical to lessen the severity of incidents and the likelihood of them ever occurring. Otherwise, your business may be vulnerable to significant loss and reduced organisational performance.
7 Security Risks and Solutions
Here are some actionable solutions to consider when assessing your warehouse for risks:
Tip #1 – Health & Safety
Busy machinery traffic and rows of product stacked to ceiling height can put warehouse employees in danger. This environment presents considerable liability risks to employers.
CCTV cameras and remote viewing software can help management verify correct health and safety procedures are being adhered to. Incidents can be quickly and easily investigated via recorded video on designated mobile and desktop devices.
You can reduce liability risks by ensuring your health and safety procedures are up to date. The use of machinery in place of manual labour processes has been proven to reduce the risk of injury for employees. Employees should also be well-trained before operating heavy machinery or tools.
Regular inspections should be carried out to identify areas that could cause a slip or fall. Hazardous materials should be handled with caution, and organisations must adhere to proper laws and regulations in regard to the storage and transportation of hazardous materials.
Tip #2 – Lighting
Poorly lit or shadowy areas provide criminals with the perfect cover to move around without raising suspicion. Criminals prefer to target premises with this kind of cover.
Strong consideration should be given to the layout and design of lighting fixtures in the immediate area of the warehouse. The use of effective lighting acts as a strong deterrent to opportunistic criminals because they are forced out into full view.
The use of effective lighting around the warehouse also helps a remote monitored video surveillance system. The effectiveness of this system is increased with the use of powerful lighting. A well-lit perimeter improves the ability of a remote Intervention Specialist to visually verify a threat and take the appropriate measures to intervene.
Tip #3 – Fire Prevention
Warehouses are often packed tightly with valuable product. Even a small fire can have devastating results, not to mention the danger to employee safety.
The installation of modern fire suppression systems such as sprinklers, fire doors, and extinguishers throughout the building can prevent the escalation of a fire. If fire detection systems are installed, they should be regularly tested, and the test results documented.
Employees should be well-trained in recognising fire hazards and the evacuation procedures to follow in real-life scenarios.
The combination of these elements can greatly impact the ability of the facility to respond and effectively minimize the damage caused by a fire, potentially saving hundreds of thousands in costs.
Tip #4 – Proactive Perimeter Protection
Your perimeter must be breached before a crime can take place. Stopping intruders at this critical point is a proactive measure that prevents crime before it occurs. Traditional means of CCTV recording are not capable of intervening in criminal activity. They can only facilitate an after-the-fact review of footage. Unfortunately, by this stage the damage is already done.
Proactive video monitoring technologies can be applied to the perimeter and external areas around a building. This type of perimeter protection ensures any unauthorised movement within the protected area will trigger an immediate alert. This alert is sent to a highly trained Intervention Specialist who will review the situation through live feed video footage.
Based on this review of the situation an appropriate response is taken. Most times the intruder will be addressed personally with an audio warning instructing them to leave the property. This can be immediately followed by a phone call to the Gardaí.
Proactive video monitoring means all cameras effectively turn into 24/7 security guards. They are omnipresent and scan all areas in search of threats. Security guards can only cover one small area of the property at a time, potentially allowing an intruder to go undetected.
Proactive video monitoring is also an attractive option for warehousing companies seeking to cut down on their operational costs. It is generally more cost-effective when compared to a manned guard solution.
Tip #5 – Landscaping
With increasing numbers of warehouses locating on the peripheries of urban areas, some are choosing to improve the aesthetic of their property with trees, shrubs and greenery. The downside is that this provides opportunistic criminals with areas of cover.
It is recommended that trees and shrubbery are not placed near the warehouse building. Employee parking areas should also be free from shrubbery and trees to reduce the risk of a suspect hiding out and confronting warehouse staff. Any greenery on the warehouse property should be away from the building and well-maintained.
Tip #6 – Theft
Management trust their employees to do their job to the best of their ability. However, it is an unavoidable fact that the theft of stock can happen. Limited managerial visibility is one of the most common contributing factors.
The risk of theft can be greatly reduced with the following measures:
- Background checks on employees during the hiring process.
- Conduct presentations to educate staff on your company’s theft policy.
- Limit access to stock in your warehouse.
- Maximise visibility for your management.
Installation of high-quality CCTV cameras throughout the warehouse interior enables management to quickly and easily verify an incident. This can save companies considerable amounts of money in legal fees and pay-outs.
Tip #7 – Maintenance of Surveillance Cameras
Like any piece of hardware, cameras need ongoing maintenance with defunct units being replaced from to time-to-time. Knowing when a unit is malfunctioning can be difficult and it is quite common for systems to go unchecked for years. A broken camera means entire sections of your premises are open to threats.
Choose a system that includes maintenance and self-health checks as part of the service. Netwatch is uses intelligent software to scan your surveillance hardware for faults and malicious attacks. The software, unique to Netwatch, scans the hardware on a consistent basis. This means any faults or malicious attacks to your camera surveillance equipment are quickly identified and the appropriate response can be taken.
At Netwatch, we know the challenges faced by the Warehousing and Logistics industry. Our duty is to improve the efficiency of your business, while giving you confidence that your staff and warehouse are protected to the highest possible standard.
Managing a warehouse or distribution centre has its challenges. Whether you have historical issues with theft or liability concerns, Netwatch is here to provide you with peace of mind.
Netwatch has been providing proactive video monitoring services to the Warehousing and Logistics industry for almost 20 years. Our experienced team can build you a tailor-made solution to meet and exceed your security needs.
Setting trends in Warehouse Security
For almost 20 years, Netwatch has continually reinvested in research and development. This has resulted in the creation and development of a world-class alarm handling software, Cratos. This proprietary software allows Netwatch to distinguish itself as the industry leader in warehousing and logistics security.
The technology employed behind each high definition camera enables Netwatch Intervention Specialists to immediately intervene in the event of unauthorised movement. Our exceptional development team is constantly innovating this intelligent software powering the system.
Netwatch has remained the chosen partner for warehousing and logistic companies due to its consistent delivery of our core vision “to lead the world, in safeguarding what our customers value most through our culture of care, innovation and passion for people”.