REVAMPING SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT WITH WAREHOUSE VIDEO SURVEILLANCE
Posted On: June 3, 2021
A supply chain encompasses everything from the sourcing and procuring of raw materials from the supplier to the manufacturer through to its delivery to the end-user. The goal for a supply chain is to match the supply with the demand. The warehousing service is the most important component of the supply chain and the logistics system. It allows a firm to maintain the inventory and minimize the risks of delay for the shipments. A warehouse video surveillance system helps a warehouse improve efficiency by providing a host of services that help in optimizing its operations.
Challenges in supply chain management
With globalization, outsourcing, reduced product life cycle, technology, and many other factors supply chains have become extremely complex and dynamic. And as such, they face a lot of challenges in balancing the supply and demand. Some challenges are explained briefly below.
- Complexity due to multiple channels to market: Over the last decade we have seen companies pushing towards omnichannel marketing, with a major focus on sales through e-commerce. This also means that the demand for last-mile delivery and local logistics has increased. This, in turn, requires wholesalers to have large storage centres near metropolitan areas which are the places with the highest demand for such products. This has caused a major shift in supply chain methods from delivering to traditional retail stores.
- Increased consumer demand for speed & quality: With an increase in competition, pricing, offerings, etc. the consumers have enough options to change their preferences & demand better services. Moreover, there has been a major shift in consumer behaviour because of the pandemic. Out-of-store sales have seen a major dip and consumers are relying on e-commerce for quick on-door deliveries. This puts pressure on companies to provide hassle-free delivery to their customers and also become a place where companies fight for competitive advantage.
- Risk to products in transit or stored in the warehouse: Goods face many threats, whether they be in transit or stored in warehouses. The theft of goods is a major problem globally, with India accounting for 64% of Asia’s cargo theft. This causes a major setback to businesses with a heavy loss of inventory. Inventory shrinkage causes damage worth billions of dollars every year with 69% of inventory loss happening in transit and warehouse thefts. These include both employee theft and external theft.
- Siloed data and lack of visibility: As mentioned earlier a major function of the supply chain is to match the supply with the demand. To do this a company needs to have a good idea of the amount of inventory it has in transit and warehouses. The problem with traditional warehouses is that this data on inventory is monitored and stored individually at each facility. Using a warehouse video surveillance system, a warehouse can automatically calculate the amount of inventory they are holding while storing data from each warehouse at a centralized cloud platform. Without these systems, it is also not possible for them to measure key metrics like energy consumption which amounts to a significant expense for a warehouse.
- Inventory management: Warehouses are responsible for storing, protecting, and managing a variety of inventory. Each detail about all this inventory at each step is to be done manually and physical logs need to be maintained for each piece of inventory without a video surveillance system.
- Integrated inventory data: Keeping integrated data of multiple channels and multiple warehouses on a single platform helps a company get an accurate measure of how much inventory is being moved through which channel. This helps the company choose which channels are to be focussed on and then develop their marketing plans according to that.
- Environment Control: To ensure the quality of products, warehouses require multiple sensors to ensure the right environment is sustained. Temperature sensors can be used to make sure refrigerated products are stored at optimal temperatures. They can warn escalations if there is a sudden loss of cooling and protect items from spoilage. Goods that are to be stored away from sunlight can similarly be monitored using light sensors. Smart cameras can also be used to make sure that poisonous and harmful goods are stored away from food products.
- Unified Platform: Integration over a single platform will keep managers in the loop of stock availability across sites. Keeping data warehouses on a single platform helps a company get an accurate measure of its inventory. Accordingly, the company can make important business decisions like how much more goods to produce, which region needs more goods, which facilities are seeing more inventory losses, etc.
- Video camera and locks: Surveillance cameras can be used to monitor inventory flow in real-time and using analytics they can prevent pilferage and damage to inventory. From the moment a good enters a facility at the docking station to when it arrives at the GRN table, then moved to storage & finally shipped, can be continuously monitored by CCTV cameras which autonomously monitor for any damage to these goods. OTP-based Smart Padlocks can also be used for goods in transit. Before a truck leaves you can lock the goods and only when you confirm it has reached its destination, can you use an OTP generated by authorized personnel to open the truck’s cargo. This removes your dependence on the truck driver to possess the keys.
- RFID tags: Using RFID tags, employees can more easily identify where to pick, put away or move products within the distribution center. RFID can help reduce poor utilization of warehouse space, wrong identification of the product during receipt & dispatch, as locating items in the warehouse will impact the productivity & profitability which results in organisation’s reputation & losses.
- SOP Adherence: Using a smart video surveillance system, basic operational procedures along with employee movement can be monitored automatically. For example, the system can ensure no employee is standing in a dangerous place where they can get hurt like the loading zone. This reduces the chances of various accidents. On the other hand, these solutions can be used to monitor an employee’s productivity during work hours, their adherence to warehouse opening & closing timings and the GNR table occupancy.
- Access control & perimeter control: Access control systems with door and gate sensors can be used to restrict and control access to different parts of the warehouses. The system can automatically detect the number or times a door is opened during the work hours. The camera connected to this sensor can send snapshots or video clips of the event, proving helpful when access to the area is limited. The sensors can be scheduled to send alerts in case the door is opened after a certain hour. A similar protocol is followed with shutter sensors that alert escalations when the shutter is opened untimely.
There are a variety of ways in which your supply chain can be tweaked and revamped to improve efficiency. Video surveillance tries to automate and simplify complex business processes in logistics. This gives you time to focus on the more important aspects of your business. This is a technology that must be implemented in a warehouse to operate at optimality.
IGZY’s warehouse video surveillance system can help revamp your supply chain management, establishing a security path for efficient performance and delivery.
To know how we can help smooth out your supply chain management, contact our product specialist for a virtual demo today.