High Flying Solutions Top to Bottom: Five Top Executives Speak on Missions and Solutions

March 1, 2008
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What a change a decade or two can make.

In ancient times, many a security executive sat in the company basement directing guards, checking door locks and thinking only security.

Nowadays, chief security officers and security directors often have an executive office, a budget for technology and services and working and trusting relationships with information technology, human resources and a systems integrator.

But, above all, today’s CSOs identify with their businesses and the enterprise’s business goals. For many reasons, things have flipped – the security director at Widget Manufacturing now sees himself or herself as a manufacturing executive who provides security solutions to the enterprise’s problems.

To prove the point, profiled in this unique cover story are five security executives working in five different industries. They talk about what works for them, what their challenges are and how they measure the return on investment to the enterprise from the security operation. Also included are profiles of solutions based on use of traditional and nontraditional technology. The solutions mirror the business and security focus of these professionals.

All have business goals and missions. All have security goals and missions. All use technology to one degree or another. Facilities vary, of course. Some sprawl across the globe; another boasts thousands of stores nationwide; others have more localized campuses but with numerous buildings. What follows next is a top/down view through the eyes of our remarkable five. Then some invite us into their facilities to show retrofit solutions that meet both business and security goals. In between, management guru Roger Hall talks about trust and loyalty, top to bottom.



From the Top

MIKE GILPIN – DHL

Meet Mike Gilpin, director of security at DHL, the global market leader in international express shipping, overland transport, airfreight, ocean freight and contract logistics with over 120,000 destinations, 6,500 offices and 450 hubs worldwide. That’s a big tent. But Gilpin, the business executive, realizes delivering customers’ packages on time and intact is DHL’s and his primary business.

It’s also a matter of best practices for Gilpin, the businessman. DHL maintains strict controls and business practices to manage the company’s infrastructure and help assure that every customer’s package gets delivered to its destination when expected. It’s DHL’s commitment to customer confidence that has propelled the company’s success – and its ability to deliver 1.5 million packages a day.

Still Gilpin knows that one of management’s primary objectives is to eliminate package loss, which unfortunately results predominantly from pilferage. Then there is the return on investment. It can be measured in myriad ways. Take a recent IP video security purchase. “A system like this is a strong deterrent for criminals and helps prevent problems from occurring, and ROI cannot be calculated for events that don’t occur,” commented Gilpin. “One area where it will provide tangible ROI is in detecting damaged packages, as we can clearly see if a package was damaged when it came to us and have the ability to prove it using recorded video.”

Like the five profiled here as well as most security directors, Gilpin’s challenges are similar and also different than those faced by others. See the Solutions section elsewhere in this cover story.



Ken Amos, director of loss prevention, Walgreens, has responsibility for both physical security and profitability.

 

KEN AMOS – WALGREENS

Say hello to Ken Amos, director of loss prevention. Walgreens is the largest provider of retail prescriptions in the United States, filling 17 percent of all retail prescriptions last year. Currently there are 6,179 stores in 49 states; the retailer grows at an average of one new location every 16 hours.

Loss Prevention (LP) at Walgreens is responsible for protecting employees, profit and assets across all facilities including stores, home healthcare facilities, pharmacy mail order centers, distribution centers and offices.

According to Amos, business and security missions and goals should blend together. “We are charged with both the physical security and profitability of these units but also the investigations into charges of unfair treatment, working closely with our employee relations and human resource departments, to quickly address any complaints or issues brought forward by external or internal sources.” Some uses of security technology mirror that physical security/profitability equation. See the Solutions section elsewhere in this cover story.

Added Amos, “Walgreens LP truly began the transition from ‘Security’ to ‘Business Partner’ over 15 years ago. So when I came into the department, I was able to leverage a lot of trust that had been built up between LP and operations.” He added, “We still have to make our arguments -- but we do it with the same cost/benefit spreadsheets that every department uses when they are asking for resources.  When I first arrived in LP, one of the first areas I increased emphasis was analytical tools and people to give us the ability to better quantify losses and measure success. Had we not done that first I don’t believe we could have gotten the buy-in from senior management on subsequent projects.”

What also works for Amos is an understanding of what top management wants and expects.

“I read an article recently by author Jackie Bassett (A Seat at the Table for CEOs and CSOs: Driving Profits, Corporate Performance & Business Agility) that said no CEO wakes up in the morning thinking, ‘How can I increase my cost center?’  Scaring senior management into spending money simply does not work. You must align with the company’s goals.  The first step is to truly understand what motivates the decision makers on a day to day basis.

“Sales? Net profit? Coming from an operations background originally, I can say definitively that management does not want to see more people investigated and terminated -- they hate turnover! They want LP to help them train, deter and educate so fewer employees steal. They don’t want us to catch more thieves. They expect us to make the stores less inviting to the criminals.”

That blending of security and business is also apparent when it comes to customer service and “people issues.”

“We are strongly committed to working with every department in our company to understand and help with every customer experience, be it internal or external. Since we have five million customers per day that come into our stores, whatever we do from a security or LP standpoint must take into consideration how it will affect the customer experience. This goes beyond whether or not we have security cameras and guards and deals with procedures about how we control everyday problems like refund fraud without making the process cumbersome for the vast majority of legitimate customers.”

When it comes to staff, “The key to retaining and attracting talent is a diverse work force that can take the skills from many backgrounds and add to the strong Walgreens’ culture. By diversity, I don’t mean only racial and gender diversity, but also a wide range of LP and security backgrounds.

“We still have a strong core of LP professionals with law enforcement and military backgrounds, but as we have worked with our corporate recruiting department we have begun to hire those with backgrounds in finance, audit, store operations, pharmacy, regulatory agencies, education and some from right out of college through our LP internship program.”



Ed Merkle, security director, Virginia Port Authority, says it’s his business in ensure safety and help keep the Port working securely.

 

ED MERKLE – PORT OF VIRGINIA

Say hello to Ed Merkle, security director, Virginia Port Authority, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the state’s leading agency for international transportation and maritime commerce, charged with operating and marketing the marine terminal facilities through which the shipping trade takes place.

The agency owns four general cargo terminals – Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal, all operated by its affiliate, Virginia International Terminals, Inc. It boasts access to two-thirds of the U.S. population with more than 75 international shipping lines and one of the most frequent direct sailing schedules of any port.

Merkle, the businessman, truly believes that “my customers are everything. It’s my business to ensure the safety of the people at the Port of Virginia and secure the smooth flow in the port.”

At the same time, Merkle, the security executive whose career included the U.S. Coast Guard, knows the maritime world. “There’s the need to protect from cargo theft and insuring our customers’ service to the highest standards. There are low to high end dangers including dangerous cargo. And put on top of that the threat from terrorism.”

Return on investment is a practical though complicated matter for Merkle. He focuses on the business, of course. But he sees that ROI also is measured by the amount of incidents, or lack of them. “Every incident is a high priority but I don’t want to get distracted, don’t want to get caught in the trenches.” So he uses technology that collects, correlates and analyzes data from sensors and video cameras. This information can trigger situation responses, including recommendations and automated task assignments, based on pre-defined rules and protocols.

“Don’t underestimate the power of security technology.” See the Solutions section elsewhere in this cover story.

And also don’t underestimate the power of regulation in a post 9/11 environment. There are Homeland Security regulations, U.S. Customs needs, cargo inspections, international rules and regulations, hazardous materials concerns, U.S. Department of Agriculture rules. More recently, Merkle and his colleagues are implementing the Transportation Workers Identification Credential or TWIC. Anywhere from 750,000 to 1.5 million workers requiring unescorted access to the nation’s ports have been issued or will need the new ID, which includes a photo, fingerprint, computer chip and barcode.



Scott McInturf, project manager, AllCampus Network, NCSU, serves a whole campus but also each sector differently.

 

SCOTT MCINTURF – NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

Meet Scott McInturf, project manager of the AllCampus Network. “NC State is the size of a small town,” said McInturf, “with 35,000 students, 8,000 faculty and staff, more than 2,000 acres and 500 buildings, including critical infrastructure installations such as a nuclear reactor and many other sensitive material sites.”

With a businessman’s eye, he sees the need to serve the whole community. As any person working for a college or university knows, the mission is to educate students and pursue research to the benefit of society. His overall tech-enabling strategy is to serve each sector of the total community by, in one way, partitioning the network so that each has secure access to the information they own.

On the security side, McInturf uses technology to enable security applications that protect people and the University’s assets. Video is used for live monitoring and extensive incident review.  All video is maintained in a central secure location, so departments don’t have this responsibility and the university knows that data is safely stored. Following through on partitioning, each department has access to only their camera data, and they can maintain their systems with autonomy while still being part of a larger campus-wide system that offers uniformity and economies of scale – a ROI slam-dunk.

Another ROI aspect: Security video plays a role in campus life systems. See the Solutions section elsewhere in this cover story. McInturf also is eyeing license plate recognition. Parking is a concern shared by many universities and using video to confirm authorized or catch unauthorized vehicles using campus facilities is important.

HAMILTON MIXON – VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS

Meet Hamilton Mixon, senior director risk & corporate security. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is a global biotechnology company committed to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs for serious diseases. The company’s strategy is to commercialize its products both independently and in collaboration with major pharmaceutical companies. Vertex’s product pipeline is focused on viral diseases, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, cancer, pain and bacterial infection. Vertex co-discovered the HIV protease inhibitor, Lexiva, with GlaxoSmithKline.

Mixon’s background reflects his view of the strength of diversity: law enforcement, corporate security, proprietary operations, contract operations, for example.

On the business side, “Being new in my current position, I had to change the current perception of the security organization while managing within budget. As the perception changes so does the buy in from both staff and senior management. As the perceived value of the organization increases so too do the opportunities.”

Even when talking security, Mixon has a businessperson’s eye. When asked about people issues, he commented that “it’s clear that succession planning is a critical tool in the development of any organization. It is also clear that given the competitiveness of the security industry, there must also be redundancy in your succession planning.”



Building Up Leadership

ROGER HALL – ON TRUST & LOYALTY

Security executives in these five industries, as well as others throughout the profession, articulate intangibles – trust and loyalty.

Security Magazine asked Roger Hall to provide some expert guidance. Hall helps companies improve their bottom line with effective leadership. His forthcoming book, “How Do You Pet a Porcupine? Solutions to Prickly Communications Problems,” incorporates his experience working with companies such as Bellcore, Siemens, Rubbermaid and Ericsson.

If chief security officers want to retain key talent, increase customer satisfaction, and boost the company's bottom line, then focus on trust and loyalty. Why? Because studies have shown that there is a direct and positive correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. That is, when your employees are satisfied with what their doing, they in turn direct those positive feelings to the customer.      

  1. Schedule “Face Time” with Each Employee

    Today it seems that technology has gotten in the way of communications. Many managers and business owners would rather send an e-mail or leave a voice mail than actually talk to their staff face-to-face. But realize that your employees need real-time communication from you, and they need to actually talk to you in person. Even if your company has thousands of employees, schedule face time. During these face-to-face meetings you need to uncover your employees’ passions and contributions. This is important, because many employees today feel they aren’t contributing and using their real talents. When that occurs, disloyalty and mistrust are bound to happen. People feel as though they’re just punching a clock and that they don’t have any real input. The bottom line is that if you or your management team doesn’t help your employees understand where the organization is going, then your employees will never feel that they’re working in an environment of trust and loyalty.
     
  2. Choose Appropriate Communication Channels

    In all companies you have different levels and various types of employees. For example, you may have assembly line workers in the plant, accountants in the back office, salespeople out in the field, and VPs in the corporate office. Each of these groups of people views the world very differently and has a unique perspective on company information. In order to ensure that all employees not only get your security message but also understand it, you have to first determine which channel to use to communicate with each group. Therefore, you will likely need to communicate to various departments in different ways to make sure everyone is on the same page and aware of the company’s commitment to building trust and loyalty.
     
  3. Offer Acknowledgment and Praise Often

    Realize that what people really want is to be acknowledged for a job well done. People want their opinions to matter. They want to feel valued. Acknowledgement and praise are the best ways to help people realize how important they are to the organization, and this approach goes much further than any dollar amount ever could.
     
  4. Be Honest

    Every company and industry faces bad news and challenging times. Employees know this and expect it. So when something negative is happening that affects the business, be upfront about it. People would rather you tell them the truth than lie to them or sugar-coat the facts. 
     
  5. Walk the Talk

    If you want your employees to display trust and loyalty, then you and your managers need to do the same. Unfortunately, many managers and executives don’t always do what they say they’ll do. True security leaders who inspire trust and loyalty keep their word. And since employees see their direct supervisor more often than the executive team, if the manager doesn’t trust the company or display loyalty, then that person’s staff won’t be trusting or loyal either. So make sure all your managers and executives display the behavior they want the staff to emulate. Your people are watching you, and they do notice!


To better protect DHL’s vast Wilmington facility, Mike Gilpin, director of security, aimed for an integrated IP video surveillance solution. His integrator worked with the DHL IT staff to implement the system on their existing backbone. Gilpin’s staff can monitor over 200 cameras from a centralized control center using an NVR display client.

Bottom Up Solutions

There are three keys to effective use of technology: It meets and security needs of the operation; it meets the business needs of the operation; and it just works. More recently, executives seek out technologies that go beyond security. That mirrors a number of things  – the push and/or pull to spread security’s impact throughout an enterprise and the need of security to share such things as expenses, infrastructure and projects. Here are some successful facility retrofits with both a security and a business twist.

DHL – IP Video, Network Cameras, NVRs

Delivering customers’ packages on time and intact is DHL’s primary business. To best assure that packages make their final destination, one of management’s primary objectives is to eliminate package loss. With so much traffic and activity at its Wilmington, Ohio, facility, security is a significant issue and concern.

“Securing the perimeter of the facility and the ability to monitor vehicles and people entering and leaving the facility were our primary focal points when designing our new video surveillance system,” said Mike Gilpin, director of security at DHL. “In addition, we needed cameras to monitor and secure human touch points and package transfer points throughout the facility. Our plan is to have all package movement tracked by our video system when fully implemented.”

So the total approach highlights the business and security benefits of the technology.

Federal Communications Group (FCG), a systems integrator specializing in security and IT infrastructure, was called upon by DHL to help design and implement a comprehensive video surveillance solution that could be used for both physical security and business operations applications. “We consulted with the client and they identified the capabilities and performance parameters they desired for their new video surveillance system,” said Eric Johnson at FCG Group. “One determination that was made at the very earliest stages of this process was that the system was to be completely IP-based – fully networked – and we agreed. Mike Gilpin was not comfortable with DVRs and the failure issues commonly encountered with DVRs that could possibly render the cameras useless. Another issue was back-up redundancy. All this could be addressed with the right IP solution.”



 

The design wrapped around a suite of IP video applications from On-Net Surveillance Systems (OnSSI). The proposed system called for high performance network cameras, network switches and servers. As the system would also be used to capture images at night and in low-light conditions, the cameras chosen (Panasonic Security Systems iPro) were also required to be capable of reproducing high resolution MPEG and JPEG images and capturing human faces in the most demanding lighting conditions.

It also included provisions for future scalable expansion, distributed camera management, recording and a video delivery system. Video motion detection was also necessary in order to conserve resources on the recording server.

The final site plan and system layout for the facility called for almost 600 IP cameras installed in phases and controlled using NetSwitcher, an IP-based virtual video matrix solution.

“It is the critical component in this system because it provides a totally scalable solution with open architecture that’s hardware agnostic. As a result, it accepts any IP device, so we are not locked into any manufacturers’ devices across any aspect of the system,” said Gilpin.

The video surveillance control and recording solution runs on a shared network at the facility that is carefully fire-walled from all other applications. A separate second network is also employed at the facility just for operations surrounding package handling and routing.



 

“We worked in conjunction with DHL’s IT department to implement the system on their existing network backbone,” said Johnson. “When working with IP systems employing this many cameras, it is important to define viewing and recording parameters for each camera so that bandwidth can be properly managed. The IP video surveillance solution also has capabilities and provisions that help minimize bandwidth requirements by providing a great deal of control over camera functions such as resolution and frame size and their impact on network bandwidth.”

Business, IT and security requirements should all aim to limit the bandwidth to what’s really needed as opposed to just broadcasting cameras over the network. In addition, the motion detection capability provided pushes video through the network when it’s necessary to actually record something, which effectively reduces network allocation and bandwidth use.

Over 200 cameras have been installed to date at the facility with approximately 95 cameras allocated for perimeter security. Contract security officers monitor the system 24/7 from a centralized control center. NetGuard manages multiple video streams from programmed camera groupings providing time synchronized playback control, navigation maps for quick access to cameras and database management with events preview. Gilpin’s state-of-art control room video wall consists of eight monitors with two monitors split into quad screens, all controlled from a single workstation PC using the OnSSI's touch-screen, dynamic map-based interface. This configuration provides a total of 14 simultaneous streams, displaying cameras deployed at five pedestrian and seven vehicle entry and exit points, inside terminal gates and turnstiles where card reader access is enforced, at X-ray machines and metal detector locations, as well as in the parking lot and exterior grounds.



Scott McInturf, project manager, AllCampus Network at NCSU, provides a network platform at the University but must also serve individual departments, labs, dorms and cafeterias, to name a few, in a customized way. He uses the concept of partitions. For the security video systems, he also worked with integrator Joe Walker, Signet Technologies, here explaining the layout of cameras for a next installation phase. Also involved is Geoff Kohl.

 

Gilpin has the added capability of accessing and viewing the system from his desktop PC in his office over the facility’s network. Additional remote clients are deployed at the United States Customs division, which also has a number of cameras installed at DHL’s facility. “The IP video surveillance solution implemented at DHL’s facility has made a significant impact on the shipping and sorting operations at the facility, above and beyond the added security it provides,” said Gilpin.  

One immediate result of DHL’s new IP video surveillance system was the break-up of an organized crime ring in January 2007, consisting of six employees and one of DHL’s contractors. While still in litigation, two members of the crime ring were fired, while four more were arrested. DHL’s IP video surveillance solution helped initially uncover this criminal activity as well as 11 related incidents that would have otherwise gone undiscovered. Aside from its ability to help document crimes, DHL has successfully used its IP video surveillance system to intervene in real-time situations. Since January 2007, approximately six occurrences have been detected and intercepted as they were unfolding with one netting approximately $60,000 in stolen goods. 



 

“A system like this is a strong deterrent for criminals and helps prevent problems from occurring, and ROI cannot be calculated for events that don’t occur,” continued Gilpin. “One area where it will provide tangible ROI is in detecting damaged packages, as we can clearly see if a package was damaged when it came to us and have the ability to prove it using recorded video.”

“The integrated IP video surveillance solution has surpassed our objectives,” continued Gilpin. “It has reduced package loss significantly, and has helped improve our operational efficiency as well.  We are looking forward to completing the planned system expansion and incorporation of more advanced video analytics.”

NCSU – IN-HOUSE CONSULTANT; CAMPUS-WIDE NETWORK

The NC State security video installation has over 350 cameras located in multiple departments on campus, and the university network has ample capacity for the project to scale substantially as demand dictates.

The project is unique and innovative in that one department, the AllCampus Network, manages the servers, storage and technology while offering each campus department the opportunity to purchase and integrate the cameras they need into the campus standard. As new buildings are built or when a department expresses security concerns, the AllCampus Network serves as security consultant, with University Police, providing the standards and criteria new users need to address.

The parties agree on a security template for the building and the AllCampus Network provides the “customer” with budgets, project management and technical support.  

Scott McInturf, project manager, AllCampus Network, spent a year evaluating network video management systems. Key selection criteria included scalability, capability to fully use and sit atop the existing campus network, and integration with future security management systems. Picked was the DVTel NVMS system. The technology partitions so that each individual “customer” department accesses only their video data while University Police and other university staff have access to all video.



 

Video is used for live monitoring and extensive incident review.  All video is maintained in a central secure location, so departments don’t have this responsibility and the university knows that data is safely stored.  Each department has access to only their camera data, and they can maintain their systems with autonomy while still being part of a larger campus-wide system that offers uniformity and economies of scale.  McInturf commented that the campus access control system currently has over 40 separate administrative groups and he sees video growing to that level and beyond.  “With the expansion of the campus and other State agencies using our system, this system could grow to thousands of cameras,” he asserted.

For special needs such as a cash counting room and in the rare books section of the library, individual cameras are programmed at higher frame rates and to store video for longer periods of time. The system has also proven highly effective with video data used not only to solve crimes but also as a training tool and to improve operations in university convenience stores and dining halls. 



Ken Amos, director of loss prevention for Walgreens, kicked off the biggest overhaul of store security video ever. At the heart of the design: 16-channel digital video recorders in each store that all are completely networked. On the business side, the design also includes a minimum of four public view monitors in each store. Using the retail system are (left) Katie Dykstra and Wandy Feliciano.

 

WALGREENS – BRINGING TECHNOLOGY TO THE STORES

According to Ken Amos, director of loss prevention at Walgreens, a large part of his job, of course, is physical security-- keeping employees and customers safe. “This spring we will be finishing up the largest overhaul of store CCTV in our company’s history.  We have spent over $30 million in the past 12 months to install a state-of-art networked DVR solution to every single store with a minimum of four public view monitors around the store, not just at the entrance.  “We want anyone who comes into our stores to know they are being watched.

This new DVR has the capacity to add more cameras, as needed, in high risk locations and is giving us from three to five months of reliable recording time.  In addition, since all of the DVRs are networked over our LAN system, our LP supervisors and central monitoring station can pull live or recorded video at any time.  And if the police want a picture of a criminal we can even download it to our photo lab and give them printed copies on the spot or upload it to the Walgreens photo Web site and other stores in the surrounding area can download pictures in minutes. We used this functionality in a string of robberies this past spring — store employees recognized the criminal prior to the robbery and were able to contact the police who were on the alert and responded quickly. Real time solutions using our store’s interconnectivity,” he said.



 

The new design uses 16-channel Ionit Technologies' DVRs that are completely networked, use off-shelf CODEC that can compress data up to 200 times and in which both analog and digital cameras can interface.

The pipeline, designed by Ionit Technologies, elegantly created enterprise security over Walgreen’s existing infrastructure.

What the Walgreens’ loss prevention executive aimed at he got: a multipurpose system than enables appropriate store personnel to be proactive before problems happen. There’re data collection and business intelligence purposes thanks to interfacing with other Walgreen systems. Public view monitors and such emerging technology as facial recognition all aim to enhance the customer’s experience.

PORT OF VIRGINA – SITUATION MANAGEMENT

With a background in the U.S. Coast Guard, Ed Merkle has a basket full of technology, armed guards and a budget that includes Homeland Security Grants. Confident and prepared, Merkle seemingly does not fear much but he has concerns about one element – information overload.

One way to manage all the information coming in from sensors and security video and other data is use of a situation management system (Orsus Situator) made for integrated security and safety control rooms. Situator creates an environment where technologies, people and actionable procedures are fused into a customizable unified control and management platform.



 

Situator reduces potentially costly human error, makes it easy to establish and maintain compliance with industry and government regulations and dramatically improves the speed and effectiveness of incident response and recovery while actually reducing operating costs.

With advanced yet easy-to-use planning tools, it helps Merkle transform routine and emergency plans into actionable, adaptive tasks and procedures and integrate them with virtually any security and safety devices, device controllers, systems and dynamic data sources. It can connect with sensors, location tracking devices, security video cameras, access control systems, communication systems and many others. Add to that integrated incident reporting, event simulation and analysis tools to help continuously improve preparedness, and Ed Merkle has a tool that helps him take the right action at the right time.

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