La Aurora Tobacco Company, the oldest tobacco firm in the Dominican Republic, needed to boost operational efficiency in order to expand. The family-run business was founded in the early 20th century in Santiago, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic.

What began as a small, family-run business on a few parcels of land later grew into a large cigar brand. Since then, the firm has become one of the top employers in the Caribbean region and a tourist attraction for travelers visiting the Dominican Republic.

From 300 employees in 2011, the company grew to 2,200 employees a decade later. With the expansion of the company, La Aurora aimed to use security monitoring strategies to resolve issues on plant floors and ultimately increase the speed of operations.

La Aurora was looking for a centralized video management system (VMS) that allowed for its sites, 10 warehouses and an office building, to be interconnected; helped staff with operational efficiencies; allowed for integration with access control; and provided solid back-end protection of data.

Milestone Systems XProtect Corporate open platform VMS was selected to replace the previous proprietary, closed video surveillance system. Cameras from Axis Communications, Hanwha Techwin, VIVOTEK, MOBOTIX and Dahua were deployed, along with access control from CDVI and servers from Seneca Data.

With the consolidated video surveillance system, the security team can better monitor multiple sites and employees from one location, resulting in faster operation and resolution of labor conflicts. Constant video surveillance enabled higher manufacturing standards, including preventing environmental accidents. 

"As we have many personnel who work directly in the manufacturing of our product, sometimes there are discrepancies in the things that happened, as well as in who carried them out. Our supervisors use the VMS to review and identify what transpired and then take action," said Iturbides Zaldivar, La Aurora Director of Sales and Marketing.

With the VMS it is now possible for security managers to see whether employees are following proper safety protocols in the warehouse or are stealing product, for example. This allows management to follow-up in a timely manner. Security managers receive alerts from any movement within the buildings and warehouse, including those that are occurring outside normal business hours. This has enabled management to ensure that people are not on-premises when they shouldn’t be.