Bradbury Group: three tips for spotting security flaws in your warehouse
Paul Sweeting is Technical Director of Bradbury Group, an industry leader in the manufacturing and installation of steel security doors and other physical security solutions. Here, he offers his advice for spotting flaws in warehouse security systems and how to tackle them.
Warehouses are a vital point in the supply chain, allowing retailers and businesses to store their goods in what should be a safe and secure environment. With e-commerce now accounting for 19% of total business turnover in the UK (Statista), the demand for warehousing space has never been higher. In fact, according to Stowga, there is 2.1 billion square feet of warehouse space in the UK.
However, with greater demand comes greater opportunity for crime, and warehouses are often targeted for theft. So, below are my tips for spotting the security flaws in your warehouse to prevent break-ins.
Test and secure all points of entry
Warehouses have varying degrees of daily activity; some are constantly busy with staff coming and going, while others are relatively quiet and used mainly for storage. However, every warehouse has entrances, exits, windows, vehicular access points, and delivery bays, all of which will need proper security solutions.
Make a note of all these vulnerable areas and make sure they are fitted with the right doors and locks. Look for certified security doors, such as doors with LPS 1175 certification which is awarded by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB), to ensure they have undergone proper testing and are attack resistant. Regularly test all automated alarms, locking devices, and key controls to make sure they are fully operational, and repair any flaws immediately to keep trespassers from being able to enter the building.
Have the right monitoring systems in place
If you haven't already installed CCTV cameras around your warehouse, seriously consider doing so. Not only is 24-hour CCTV surveillance great for spotting illegal activity, so you can deal with it quickly and effectively, but having video evidence of the crime can also be very handy for making insurance claims. Being able to review a video of the break-in after the fact can also allow you to see how the perpetrators gained entry, what route through the warehouse they took, and other failings of your security so you can take steps to improve it.
Some CCTV systems even include night-vision, facial recognition, motion sensing, and glass-break detection, so consider what your warehouse security requirements are and take the time to find the right CCTV system for you.
Review your processes
There are so many potential flaws when it comes to warehouse security that it can be difficult to address them all without outside help. For example, many warehouses have high rates of staff turnover, and it's unfortunate that internal theft is common in these sorts of environments. It's important to communicate with employees to encourage them to be vigilant and report incidents of theft to their managers, as well as educate them about the procedures you have in place when it comes to internal theft to deter them. However, you may need to hire a professional security team to do this effectively.
A professional security team can also help you look for opportunities to automate processes, such as using scanners for inventory data entry, clocking in, and gaining access to restricted areas. Using technology rather than relying on manual input for these sorts of systems reduces the risk of theft, as they are less easy to manipulate. So, check whether you have room in your budget for a specialist security team who can help you review your current security systems and spot areas for improvement.
Regularly test your security doors, monitor your CCTV footage, and consider getting third party advice on how to improve your warehouse security to reduce the risk of break-ins and theft.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.