Improving warehouse security management with CCTV installations
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Protecting a warehouse or distribution center from various threats is not an easy task. A warehouse facility can range anywhere from a few thousand square feet to over 2 lakh square feet. Their infrastructure is spread over a large area and can house hundreds of types of inventories. This makes securing a warehouse an extremely complicated task, usually requiring a large number of manual guards. Despite this, security often falls short.
Here, the importance of a CCTV surveillance system comes into play. Throughout this blog, we will try to see some common threats a warehouse faces and what role a CCTV system plays in helping mitigate these risks.
Some Common challenges in a warehouse security
With a boom in online sales and the need for distribution centers, robberies are also on the rise. Warehouses are becoming a target for external thefts and robberies primarily because of the high-valued assets they hold in the form of inventory. It is necessary to prevent thefts as they cause economic losses and hamper the trust placed by the warehouse’s clients.
Similar to robberies and thefts, pilferage or employee theft is also a very common phenomenon in the warehouse industry. The primary cause for this is a lack of control over employee movement and a complex inventory shipping schedule. Pilferage might not cause noticeable losses each time, but adding up all cases of pilferage usually leads to a high cost.
Damage/Spoilage of inventory
Inventory spoilage is undesirable for any warehouse and leads to inventory shrinkage. Mistakes like exposure to sunlight, hot temperatures, humidity, etc., can cause a lot of damage to different types of goods.
Warehouses have hundreds of shipments moving in and out of the facility on a daily basis. It is not uncommon to misplace a few items every once in a while. However, the slightest discrepancy in inventory flow can cause significant delays and losses.
Warehouses use a lot of equipment and machinery like air conditioners, refrigerators, conveyor belts, etc., to manage different types of combustible, flammable, and explosive inventories like chemicals and gases. A small error in storage or equipment failure can lead to raging fires that can burn down entire buildings.
How a CCTV surveillance system can help improve security
CCTV cameras can be used to monitor employee movement and activities within the warehouse and to make sure whether basic operating procedures are being adhered to or not. This helps in more ways than one. It makes sure that employees utilize their time efficiently, follow safety protocols, and are dissuaded from stealing. This also reduces the time and effort spent by floor managers in monitoring their employees, and they can focus more on the core part of their jobs.
CCTV cameras along with RFID systems can be used at GRN tables to automatically identify and tag each piece of inventory and track its movement throughout the warehouse. This makes it easy to pinpoint the exact location of any missing item instantly and helps resolve discrepancies in the inflow and outflow of goods. For example, if a particular piece of inventory goes missing, you can use the camera system to backtrack to its last known location instantly.
A smart surveillance system can work with Light, Temperature, and humidity sensors and energy control systems to maintain the optimum temperature and humidity levels for different inventories. For an explosive material, the camera can make sure it isn’t stored in direct sunlight. Similarly, it can also ensure food and beverage products are not stored alongside poisonous products like acids and chemicals.
Warehouses are most vulnerable during nighttime. Security staff is minimal, and due to their remote locations, response time for authorities is relatively slow. Here, a CCTV surveillance system proves useful. These systems have night vision and are equally capable of monitoring during the night as they are in the day. They can be used to aid the security guards as they can cover each and every part of the warehouse at once.
A smart CCTV surveillance system can continuously monitor your facility and can send instant alerts the moment they detect unusual activities. The threats can be easily verified by a command center using the live stream from the cameras. With the right ticket escalation methods in place, these cameras can help authorities initiate a quicker and more effective response based upon the threat. For example, in case of a fire, the command center can use the cameras to identify the exact location and intensity of the fire and take action based on that.
Warehouses have a big perimeter with multiple points of entry and exit. It is very tough for a limited number of guards to simultaneously cover the entire area. Therefore, IP cameras can be installed on the perimeters, gates, and doors to virtually guard the entry into the facility. Using smart analytics, they can detect any intrusion and warn the local manual guards immediately. This means they can stop an assailant before they get a chance to cause further damage through theft or robbery.
These surveillance systems must be incorporated on the same platform with the rest of the sensors, access control systems, and energy control systems. This would enable easy navigation between devices for the users. Such a platform is also available as a cloud-based service. Any person can access the platform with proper credentials from any remote location using nothing but a mobile device and a working internet connection.
Through the article, we have seen multiple ways in which a surveillance system can help improve warehouse security. We can see very clearly that the use of cameras is not just for recording purposes anymore. These cameras work actively, trying to prevent and deter threats. The application for these cameras is, however, not limited to just safety or security. These systems can also be used to improve business efficiency and drive down operational costs.
A warehouse manager must leverage these technologies in their favor to give their business an edge over the competition and improve their offering to their clients.
To know more about improving your warehouse security, reach out to us now!