Measures to Enhance The Security of Your Warehouse

Published by Ariel Arcebido on

warehouse security

As a pharmaceutical company, there are millions of dollars worth of medicines and vaccines stored in warehouses. These are vital medical products that can save millions of lives. However, there are unscrupulous people out there who prefer to make money than to save lives. The black market for pharmaceuticals and counterfeits is a growing industry problem.

In addition, there are those who will go to great lengths to pilfer vaccines. A large amount of this occurs during the transportation of the pharmaceutical products. An overwhelming majority of which happens at warehouses. Therefore, an adequate system to secure your pharmaceutical warehouses is essential.

Source: BSI Group

To find the right security system for you, it’s important to evaluate these three main areas:

  1. Your storage area and all the equipment in it.
  • The use of alarms and surveillance systems is an advantage. Those without any security system are 4.5x more likely to be victims of theft. In addition to CCTV, motion detectors are advisable. To be more effective, deploy them at entry and exits, as well as areas with high-value products.
  • Keep the doors locked at all times. Use RFID access control systems to limit employee access to certain areas. Place monitoring devices on doors to alarm if they’re left open or breached.
  • Reinforce your windows. Install grates on windows to deter possible entry point for would-be criminals.
  • Keep tabs on delivery points. Placing the manager’s office directly within the line of sight to track the comings and goings of the products.
  • Protect your medical products. Security vaults are an added layer of security and keep the temperature inside more constant.

2. Employees and Visitors.

  • Background check when hiring people. Do a complete background check and if possible, ask the previous employers about the people you are going hire.   
  • Limiting access to employees. Give access to people who really need to be there to do their jobs. Also, someone should always be there to safeguard the valuable property.
  • Giving orientation and training seminars. Teach employees about work regulations and etiquettes, what not to do within secure areas, and guarding against suspicious activities.
  • Tracking outsiders. Visitors and delivery drivers should not wander off the secure areas without an escort. They have no business wandering off sensitive areas. Also, put a log book for them to sign in incase we need their contact information.
  •  Hire a security force. Getting a security force to guard the premises even at night or weekends can give the management a peace of mind.

3. Cyber Security

It is not only physical security systems that need implementation. But also cyber-security. Everything is connected on the web now. Hackers can infiltrate your network and steal the data. Improving warehouse security is also about securing your network.

  • Network systems and devices connected to the warehouse mainframe
  • How many users are there on the network?
  • Network admin duties and responsibilities
  • Response scenarios and procedures
  • Once these are addressed, it can protect your warehouse both physically and digitally.

Getting a remote notification system. Technology has made it possible to alert you to any anomalies via your smartphone or email.

Three factors why implementing warehouse security is complex:

  • Warehouses have big areas, so there is so much space to secure.
  • Warehouses are often designated for specific work areas, so only qualified personnel can access different areas.
  • Warehouses store a variety of products, so keeping track of people entering and exiting them is challenging.

Because of these, keeping warehouses safe is often a daunting task.  But having the right security systems can make the warehouse  secured more easy.

What encourages warehouse thefts?

There are two threats; external and internal. External warehouse theft are the black market, lack of video surveillance and counter-theft measures in the warehouse and use of insiders to allow access to the thieves. For the internal kind; there is the absence of supervision over the employees, employees feeling cheated by their employers and lack of organizational structure in the workplace. 

So how do you know if a theft occurred in the warehouse?

There are numerous signs that there is theft occurring in the warehouse:

  • The inventory doesn’t match up to the sales record. Sometimes when you check the inventory the items sold don’t seem to appear in the sales records. This is a sign that someone is stealing your products.
  • There’s low production whenever certain employees are working. You’ll notice that when a specific employee comes in his shift, production dips. This means that ever the employee is slacking off or that the products are being transferred elsewhere without your knowledge.
  • Invoices and other documents went missing. To cover up their tracks, they’ll give excuses like the invoices were misplaced or that the goods haven’t arrived yet. This is a sure sign something fishy is going on.

That is why the need for warehouse security is as important to the manufacturing of the drugs itself. Not only that, it gives the employees a sense of safety and provides appropriate responses to an emergency.  Warehouse theft can mean financial loss to the company and lowers the morale of the employees. 

Therefore, the need for warehouse security must always be alongside temperature and humidity monitoring systems.

While at first having a security system can be daunting at first. It can be done easily by outside firms specializing in these fields. After all, medical companies are optimizing the supply-chain process, their warehouse monitoring systems are evolving with the latest state of the art technology.

To find the right security system to compliment your cold chain warehouse facilities, here are some practical advice:

1. Get rid the old manual data log entries. With technology readily available, it’s best to take advantage of it. What good is a multi-million dollar storage facility if the procedures are still in the dark ages? Mobile data, the internet age and wireless technology have made data entry so much faster. RFID readers can scan the identity of the products right at the entrance of the warehouse. This will speed things up and prevent any entry errors.

2. Have contingency plans for emergency scenarios. It is necessary for the company to have an evacuation plan in case of an emergency.   This includes the locations of emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and first-aid stations. Also, the warehouses should be equipped with a fail-safe measure to prevent equipment from being turned on accidentally that would which injure the personnel. Finally, fire drills must be conducted regularly to familiarize the employees the emergency procedure and on-site inspections to determine which emergency gears fit in the concerned area.

3. Effective communications. Communicating your company’s goals clearly and the proper procedures to accomplish them is the answer to successful warehouse operations. Lack of effective communication could lead to low productivity, wasted resources and high turnover.

4. The utilization of motion detectors. Using these devices can enhance your security system especially when it comes to unauthorized persons. The mechanism is pretty simple, the sensors detect movements which trigger an alert signal to the security control center. The control center must be manned 24/7, thus guaranteeing its protection round the clock.

5. Guarding the perimeter. With any large warehouses, there is always a big perimeter area. The bigger the perimeter, the harder to detect unwanted visitors. However, to compensate for the lack of protecting the open spaces. The use of IP cameras, facial recognition software, and alarm systems are augmented.

6. Implementing Glassbreak Detection. Sensors are placed in glass windows all throughout the warehouse complex to detect if a window is broken into. An alarm is sent to the security panel and the appropriate personnel are deployed to investigate. A microphone is installed in the sensor to detect any vibration from the glass at a certain setting. This system is ideal for big warehouse with several windows. Once the alarm is sounded, the panel will show which window has been compromised.   

7. Integrating Remote Notification Programs. Wherever you are, whether at home or off-site. The alarm system will send a notification signal to your smartphone via the internet and will give you the access points that have been breached.

8. Acquisition of full building access included in the security plan. Having full access control to the electronic security system can restrict or allow people to certain areas with the warehouse. Only you can issue different security cards or passwords for employees to enter specified areas. With the aid of CCTV, you can view which personnel is entering or leaving the area and permit them to enter.

9. Combining the Monitoring Environmental Control System with the Security System. Environmental control is essential for the integrity of vaccines and other medicines. It can save money of having one system doing the job instead of two alarm systems but also increase the efficiency of the operations.  

Having this monitoring system integrated into the security system not only keep the products secured but it can also keep track of the temperature, humidity and other factors to preserve its condition. If the parameters are off, you will be alerted and take the necessary steps to protect the vaccines.

10. Schedule regular test run on the security system. Scheduling tests run on the system not only ensure if it is working but also find where the gaps are to correct it. You invested considerable resources in the system, it’s time to see if it really works.

Conclusion

Not only can the security system alert you to theft, it can also alert you to unexpected scenarios like fire, natural calamities or terrorist threats. The security personnel can also be trained to prevent the workforce from panicking and lead them to the exit points in an orderly fashion.

Deploying security systems for the warehouse and logistics category can seem challenging to anyone outside of the security industry.

In the end, the security systems need professional experts to implement it. They know what needs to be done to get the warehouse secured. So it’s best to follow their recommendations.

Everything risk-related needs a good security system. This is to prevent theft, access control, surveillance, fire and safety, to disaster recovery, data security and environmental monitoring.

It is no longer advisable for the warehouse management to hire a single security service supplier.  The term “one throat to choke” is an expression in the security sector used to describe the advantages of working with a single integrator to handle everything security-related. Whenever something needs to be addressed or fixed, there is only “one throat to choke.”


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