Keeping problems out with an integrated approach to logistics

Vincent Paumier

In a multichannel world, where the consumer is increasingly moving online and increasing their expectations for customer service and speed of delivery, online retailers are faced with several logistical issues.

Logistics provide a key role in the supply chain, handling the product stocking and shipping. This fragmented market proves a challenge in itself:

  • Multiple parties are involved in the transportation of goods.
  • Goods must be delivered quickly without being damaged during transportation.
  • Tracking is essential for issue resolution if a customer claims their package has been lost or damaged.
  • Logistics centers and transport data are accessed by multiple stakeholders with differing permissions of what they can access.

All of this combined can be quite a burden on logistics managers.

Dealing with premises protection, warehouse security and access control are the first areas to address.

“How do we cost-efficiently minimize theft of valuable goods?”

This is a question I am often asked by customers. According to a recent Europol theft study, 15% of offences are thefts from warehouses. Limiting losses by securing warehouses is essential.

To effectively protect goods, it’s fundamental to proactively control where they are stored. I recommend Video Perimeter Protection, a combination of thermal network cameras and analytics solutions, which adds a further layer of security to the traditional perimeter fencing.  Open network cameras and intelligent video solutions allow for proactive surveillance to prevent thefts, keeping the problem outside the premises. Return on investment is achieved by reducing on-site guard controls as intruders are halted before they enter the site.

Thermal network cameras (also called infrared cameras) are unrivaled when it comes to detecting and visualizing people or vehicles, in daylight as well as  in total darkness and any  weather conditions. Combined with built-in intelligent video analytics, they can provide automatic alerts for several incidents, such as cross-line detection to flag a perimeter breach, motion detection to detect unauthorized persons in an area, sound intelligence/detection to alert staff to pre-defined sounds like a smashed window. To prevent sending “false alarms” to the Security Operations Center, dedicated algorithms filter detected movements generated by animals or other small objects.

PTZ cameras (also called mobile cameras) can be added to the solution to identify and track intruders: once a suspicious event is detected, they manually or automatically focus on the right place to allow security operators to check the alarm and identify any intruders.

Once malicious people have been detected, Network Speakers can be used to repel them and avoid any damage to fences or buildings, by broadcasting an automatic alarm message or enabling a two-way communication from any authorized device.

Working in together, thermal network cameras, analytics solutions and PTZ cameras form an unbeatable combination for perimeter protection, the first line of defense again theft.

Increasing controls while increasing and securing vehicle flow

Access Control is a big challenge in logistics. It concerns both security and operational departments to control and manage the entrance and exit of many different people, vehicles and partners.

All these comings and goings represent risks and vulnerabilities, which can cause a loss of efficiency. In addition, the multiple levels of access management can also be complex to manage.

As a solution, I usually suggest covering vehicle entrances and exits with IP access control systems. Integrated in a security strategy, IP controllers and readers are first used to access  a site with traditional badges readers or keypads. IP video cameras and IP access control solutions can be integrated together to offer many new possibilities. Combined with Video Analytics Solutions they now provide new types of services, such as:

  • automatic verification of visitors based on face recognition
  • automatic opening of gates by vehicle identification using Automatic License Plate Recognition
  • automatic door opening by Barcode or QR code scanning.

Video surveillance by IP HD fixed cameras can capture the details of people, vehicles and objects. They have special low-light technology  that reduces noise and maintains color even in very dark conditions, greatly increasing recognition and identification. Using data from  access control, security operators can then quickly find high-quality videos by relating the search to a specific time, visitor ID, vehicle or truck license plate.

At entry sites, an IP audio-visual communication system, which combines communication, video surveillance and remote entry control in one single device can be a technical substitute to traditional security controls made at a gatehouse. These Network video door stations provide a way to centrally manage all entry points, which is particularly useful for remote receptions where fewer staff are available to manage multiple access points. Additionally it can be  integrated with  forklift access control, enabling authorized drivers to remotely open gate while companies keep track of drivers movements.

IP solutions such as Perimeter Protection, Access Control and Network video door stations are open solutions which can simply be integrated in PSIM software (Physical Security Information Management). Combined with bar code, RFID scanners and other detectors they can easily be interfaced with WMS and ERP systems to provide advanced security and logistic services.

Using these solutions, costs are reduced while traffic flow is increased visibly showing a return on investment.

In conclusion, to protect goods from theft and fulfill all new logistical challenges, one of the first steps is  to efficiently protect warehouses and premises from intrusion and increase the quality of controls on people and vehicles before they enter yards and warehouse.

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