Tightening Warehouse and Loading Dock Security
The Andlauer Transportation Services (ATS) commit-ment to supply chain integrity was tested when thefts of trailer contents docked at its warehouses began. Its analog surveillance system was proving to be an insufficient deter-rent to burglars, and lacked the flexibility to add and redeploy cameras as needed.
The Canadian transporta-tion company had already coupled advanced trailer tracking technology with dynamic transport resources to provide integrated trucking, courier, airfreight and transportation and distribution services to major retailers, entertainment and pharmaceutical companies across the provinces. Upgrading its surveil-lance system to provide a more secure environment for customers’ goods was a logical step for a company known for delivering innovative customer service.
Relentless About Loss PreventionJohn Burdett, corporate loss prevention manager at ATS, collaborated with UCIT Online Security, an Ontario-based video systems integrator, to design and install a completely IP-based video system. Burdett and ATS needed the system to permit security guards to more closely monitor the firm’s 24 facilities that stretch across the provinces.
The systems integrator recommended an array of indoor/outdoor network cameras and video encoders from Axis Communications coupled with Dextexi Network Video Management Sys-tem software to create a digital, real-time event recording system. The network cameras provide high-quality images that de-liver the high resolution required for identifying possible security leaks. And because the solution is IP-based, cameras can be added and redeployed with no disruption to the surveillance network.
“Because of our focus on complete customer care, we are relentless about protecting the value of goods in our possession,” said Burdett. To that end, the integrator installed 175 network cameras both inside and around the perimeter of ATS’ state of the art facilities in Toronto, Halifax Vancouver and Quebec City.
Fixed-dome network cameras housed in tamper-resis-tant casings cover surveillance at the main doors. Pan/tilt/zoom capabilities were needed both indoors and outdoors. For instance, inside the load-ing docks, the integrator mounted cameras to monitor the loading bay doors. To ensure clear video surveillance footage at night, day/night cameras were installed on the building’s exteriors. A single megapixel camera gives detailed overviews of ATS’ warehouse exteriors and parking lots.
With the addition of video encoders, ATS was able to tie in existing analog cameras into the network. This enabled the Toronto facilities to extend the return on investment in their perfectly ser-viceable analog cameras.
Expanding Surveillance CoverageBecause the software has an intuitive interface, Burdett said, “The system is easy enough for our secu-rity personnel to use with very minimal training.” Not only does the management software automatically send an alert when someone enters a restricted area, it also cre-ates a protected video record of events, allowing fast search and retrieval of video footage and detailed anal-ysis of the high-resolution images captured by the net-work cameras. Centralized authentication, virtual private network tunnels and firewalls ensure the security of the video transmissions.
“We wanted to future-proof the company and so we sought out an advanced network surveillance system that would meet our needs today and continue to grow with us,” explained Burdett. “Now we can easily add cameras to any area that is networked, move cameras around as needed and monitor the entire system from a single location in Toronto.”
The ability to remotely monitor activity has allowed ATS to reduce the number of onsite guards it employs for each of its facilities without compromising security. “This has resulted in a huge savings for us,” stated Burdett.
Before the new video surveillance system was in place, the security team at ATS had located specific areas of interest. After installing a network camera designed for both day and night lighting conditions, ATS was able to secure these areas. “Potential thieves are now aware of our high level of security and are heavily discouraged from commit-ting crimes,” said Bur-dett.
With the success of IP-based surveillance at the initial five sites – two in Toronto and one each in Vancouver, Halifax and Quebec City – ATS has begun rolling out the solution to its Calgary and Edmonton fa-cilities and will quickly deploy the solution to its re-maining 17 locations on an asap basis.