Supply chain companies and warehouse operations have to deal with and manage a range of security threats. With assets, stock, and their reputations to protect, these businesses require a sophisticated approach to security.
When a warehouse operation is successfully targeted by criminals, client relationships, revenue and operational continuity are at risk. Whilst short term financial loss can be managed, if an important client loses faith in a supply chain partner, it can be disastrous to the business.
Today we are sharing a recent interview with one of Safeguard System’s clients – a respected global supply chain management company.
Tell me about the business, what do you do?
Primarily we are a logistics business that manages the flow and storage of goods for some high-profile consumer brands. At any one time, we can have a significant quantity of products on site, so security is paramount. As a large corporation, we have very high-security standards, as do our customers. Therefore, our warehouse security systems must meet multiple criteria to be approved for use.
What are the main security threats you face?
Planned theft is the primary consideration. This is different from the opportunistic type of theft that a retail or wholesale company might be exposed to. It tends to be organised and carefully planned, and that puts more pressure on the security systems. A CCTV system, for example, must be capable of recording razor-sharp image quality. I have a screen on my desk with images from 16 cameras displayed, and the ability to zoom in and out. The clarity helps me keep an eye on things during the day and gives me confidence that whatever is recorded will be useful.
Do you have issues with internal theft?
That’s not really a factor for us. Most of our staff have been here a long time and we have very low staff turnover. However, business volumes can expand and contract, and occasionally, on the run-up to Christmas for example, we may need to hire temporary workers to help with the workload. That increases risk for us, but it’s something we anticipate, and our security team plan for.
What external threats do you face?
From a security point of view, organised theft is the biggest threat. By analysing the risks and likelihood of them happening we can make the appropriate level of investment in mitigation measures.
For example, we worked with Safeguard Systems to assess our exposure and subsequently implemented a high-end sensor-activated CCTV monitorivg system. Safeguard designed and installed a system that was appropriate for our needs.
Related reading: What is CCTV monitoring and how does it work?
We’ve heard sometimes criminals look to infiltrate sites with a ‘man on the inside’. Have you ever seen such a thing at Flex?
That sounds very James Bond, but I believe those sorts of things can happen. With the right security measures and checks in place, I think it’s a highly unlikely scenario. But, to quote a James Bond film, we can ‘never say never’, and must always be one step ahead of criminals.
What would be the impact on Flex if the business was the victim of burglary or theft?
There would be a considerable financial and logistical impact of course, but I think what’s even worst is the loss of trust that our customers have in our ability to manage the movement and storage of their goods. It takes decades to build a reputation, and only one incident to ruin it. We don’t take chances with our reputation.
Before working with Safeguard, how did you approach security?
We partnered with a security company to provide on-site security 24/7 using a combination of guards and CCTV.
What was the main reason for switching to CCTV monitoring?
Continuous improvement is part of our DNA, so we are always looking for better ways to do things. When it comes to security, I think you need to find a partner you can trust and one that really understands the risk, so that you get the very best advice.
Safeguard Systems understood our needs and the standards to which we operate and offered a cost-effective solution that improves the level of security at our warehouses and supply chain centres.
What have the main advantages been?
I think we have a better security solution, at less cost, and an active security partner who we trust to keep us up to date with the latest solutions. Perhaps the main advantage for me is that I can relax a little more!
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