Warehouses across the globe face wide ranging risks such as theft, pilferage, burglary, accidental fire, arson, natural calamities, and damage caused by improper handling of goods. If these risks are left unchecked, it can prove costly for the entity operating the facility. Warehousing is an important part of logistics and supply chain management and such issues need to be addressed with a proper plan. Here are some key tips that manufacturers, distributors and retailers can use to improve warehouse security.
Perimeter security: Usually, warehouses have an outer perimeter, which can be a brick wall or a metal chain link/wire mesh fencing. This is the first line of defense against things like theft, burglary and vandalism. It is necessary to secure the outer perimeter, as it minimizes the risk of direct confrontation with the intruder. Perimeter alarms can be installed at the right places, so that attempts to breach the perimeter can be effectively dealt with.
Building strength: Warehouses can be constructed with traditional brick & mortar or utilize modern techniques using metal beams and sheets. Irrespective of the material used, the structure of the warehouse should be strong enough to prevent break-ins. Or at least, it should be strong enough to provide adequate time to security/police personnel to reach the spot. Specialized alarms can be installed along the structure, which will automatically detect any breach and notify the security.
Fail safe fire alarm and suppression system: Fire can either occur accidently or it could arise as an act of arson or vandalism. To prevent damage to warehouse and loss of goods, the facility should be equipped with failsafe fire alarm and fire suppression system. These should be programmed to work automatically, so that damages can be minimized. It is also recommended that fire resistant materials be used inside the warehouse, wherever possible.
Automated data entry: Warehouses should be fully automated, so that goods can move in and out in a seamless manner. Manual data entry should be avoided, as it is slow and prone to errors and manipulation. Things like barcode scanners and RFID tags will make it easier for warehouse managers to keep track of each and every shipment. It will also reduce the risk of unauthorized items entering the premises.
Emergency response training: All warehouse staff members should be properly trained to deal with emergency situations. Whether its fire or robbery attempt, warehouse staff should know exactly what to do. If proper training is not provided, things could turn into complete chaos during emergency situations. Mock emergency drills can be conducted at regular intervals to make warehouse staff aware about their respective roles and responsibilities.
Access control: With advanced security systems such as biometric entry, warehouse managers can ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the facility. For large warehouses, the facility can be divided into separate zones with varying security levels. Warehouses often employ temporary workers and there is movement of delivery personnel, which is why multi-zonal security is necessary. All entry and exits of personnel should be recorded on scanners and on CCTV as well for optimal security of the warehouse.
Motion detection sensors: These are crucial to warehouse protection, as it provides security against both external and internal threats. Motion sensors can be placed all throughout the facility and activated at specific time periods. For example, motion sensors can be activated at the perimeter wall at night when normal warehouse operations may have stopped.
Mobile solutions: Warehouse security systems should be integrated with an app, so that stakeholders can track the security and status of the facility in real-time. Warehouse owners should get automatic alerts and notifications ontheir mobile in case of any extraordinary event at the facility. They should also be able to make changes to the security system from a remote location.
Effective communication: It is the responsibility of warehouse managers to effectively communicate warehouse security related matters to staff members. Employees should be encouraged to identify and report any discrepancies that may affect the security of the warehouse. With proper cooperation of warehouse staff, the security of the facility can be improved significantly.
Security audit: It is important to conduct security audit of the warehouse at regular intervals. Both physical and virtual security apparatus should be reviewed to make sure that no new threats have developed. Everything from surveying the perimeter wall and fencing, checking fire alarm and motion sensors to reviewing security software systems and hardware should be part of the security audit.
Unsecured warehouses can be like a hole in the hull of a boat. Security issues affecting a warehouse need to be fixed at the earliest and in the most effective manner possible. It is advisable to hire professional warehouse security services to ensure the best possible outcomes. It would be a small price to pay to ensure 24/7 protection for your ware house and complete peace of mind.