The Good and Bad of Protecting the Goods
Maybe it’s because the area can often cover thousands of square feet. But securing a warehouse or distribution facility can be challenging and complex. In March, thieves scaled a wall at an Eli Lilly warehouse, where they cut a hole in the roof and rappelled inside to steal about $70 million in antidepressants and other prescription drugs. The thieves disabled the security alarm and then loaded pallets of drugs into a waiting vehicle at the warehouse’s loading dock.
In a separate case, burglars broke into a Dania Beach, Fla. business last month so they could cut through a wall and steal $25,000 in electronics from the warehouse next door. The burglars broke into Hydyne Motorsports, a new business whose warehouse was empty, and once inside, the men broke through the sheetrock in a bathroom door so they could get into Worldwide Car Accessories next door and steal car electronics.
Jos Giele, senior manager of global security for Con-way, Inc., says that each day his organization faces challenges related to delivering and maintaining a holistic security program that meets U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other domestic and international regulatory commitments. “Our business can be a target of identified threats such as theft and burglary,” he says. “So our concerns are related to risk mitigation in general, including mitigating risks for our staff, company and customers, ensuring business continuity of all our operations and safeguarding the customer’s and company’s assets.”
Unique Threats to Specific LocationsTom Halzelton, security director for Coca-Cola Bottling in Charlotte, N.C., says that one of his biggest concerns is extortion and fraud in his warehouse. “Protecting the integrity of the consumer franchise and our brand from external threats has been a huge challenge during tough economic times,” he says. “Extortion and tampering have risen over the last several years, which have driven change within our bottling processes and manufacturing deliverables.”
Changing the Culture“Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but what I find frustrating is the lack of information or communication when something is missing from a warehouse,” says Brian Miller, security manager for Beckman Coulter in Chaska, Minn. “If you wait too long, chances are you won’t find the product or who is responsible.” The company makes biomedical laboratory instruments and immunoassay reagents that are used in hospitals and other critical care settings around the world and produce information used by physicians to diagnose disease, make treatment decisions and monitor patients.
Miller, who has seven security personnel working with him, says that a good portion of his job is educating employees to speak up. “When we get reports of parts missing two hours ago, versus two days ago, it narrows down who we need to speak with. It’s all about developing a culture of communication. Getting people to feel like they can talk to you is a challenge. We try to change that culture from day one, to open the communication lines for people to relay the information, at a minimum to their supervisor or manager and help them to feel more empowered.”
Railway Security TrendsSecuring the supply chain, in particular the railway, which moves commodities from point A to point B to point C, is multi-faceted and involves all levels of risk. Continuity of the business processes, as well as the safety and security of the people involved in those processes, is what’s at stake.
The security equipment deployed at railways needs to not only provide an effective deterrent but must also allow customers to get where they are going in an efficient, reasonable manner. Any security system also needs to be flexible and capable of being adapted to work efficiently and effectively in more than one environment.
• Funding is so important to the future roll-out of technology that every effort needs to be made to match the requirements laid down by the TSA.
• Vendors need to be able to gain as much credibility in the rail environment as possible; and they need to be looking for opportunities to do beta testing, and to verify the operation of their technology. Manufacturers should also look to partner with a transit organization, or even the federal government, as a means to gain credibility, Everett says.
• U.S. rail operators are requesting the option of having cameras on the exterior of trains to help with accident claim information.
• In some instances rail operators are requesting the option of monitoring the train driver, so there is also now a management aspect to the mobile video surveillance solution.
• Some rail operators have taken a different angle to the use of mobile DVRs, using them for advertising media only. This is only a specific example, Everett notes, but it highlights an opportunity to maximize the investment in technology, by using the same equipment for both advertising and security, if possible.
• Many of the leading rail operators interviewed for the report that were not yet using onboard video surveillance equipment were very positive about the technology, and had more confidence in this than in other areas, such as video analytics.
• For train operators, the prime concern is, and will remain, getting a reliable service to the public. However, security is now becoming more important, Everett says.
• Train operators do not want to see banks of cameras and monitors that people have to watch. They want to be able to scan through and use the video surveillance to prevent an event occurring rather than act after the event. Being proactive rather than reactive is where rail security managers want to be.