IS YOUR WAREHOUSE SAFE?
For a retail, wholesale or distribution company, inventory is your most important asset. Safeguarding it against damage and theft is paramount to ensure continued profitability.
However, the type (and price) of product you store and the locations where you store them will determine your security requirements. Nevertheless, there are minimum standards all companies should observe to keep their products and employees safe.
Theft and damage prevention requires a strategic approach. We have enlisted the main actions you can adopt to ensure the security of your warehouse. Use it as a checklist to review your current safety measures, identify and address possible vulnerabilities.
Restricting access to the storage facility protects not only the items contained within but also keeps your employees and partners safe.
Fencing is the most basic, but nevertheless important, security measure. The exterior of your warehouse should be enclosed in its entirety, including any surrounding areas you own or lease, to protect it from unlawful intruders.
A guarded checkpoint is advisable for large facilities, high-cost goods, or if you’re operating in a dangerous area. You may also want to consider a visitor register to identify anyone who enters the warehouse.
Ensure all areas are sufficiently and appropriately lit, inside and out. Not only will that keep trespassers away, but also make the working environment safer.
Installing a burglar alarm will enable faster response in the event of a breaking-in or vandalism.
Video surveillance can ensure that all activities in your warehouse are recorded from multiple vantage points. Cameras should be placed where they can monitor entrance points as well as key interior areas. They act as deterrents to potential threats, inside as well as outside your facility.
If a break-in or internal theft does occur, footage from your video surveillance system will allow you to audit the incident and possibly identify the culprit.
Controlling entry and exit is important. Consider employing an electronic access control system to control access to certain areas. If and when necessary, the access control system can also provide an audit trail of who entered the area, when, and for how long.
The inside job
Internal theft and damage can account for significant losses and shouldn’t be underestimated. You need to ensure the people handling your products are trustworthy. Thus, in addition to verifying previous employment history, conduct thorough police vetting for all applicants before hiring.
Make sure that your staff understand how critical security is to your organisation. Train employees to maintain their working areas safe and encourage them to report suspicious activities.
Finally, only grant workers access to the areas that are necessary to do their jobs. That will prevent unauthorised individuals from accessing restricted areas.
Protection against unforeseen risks
Finally, protection systems like fire alarms, fire suppression and hazardous gas detection should be in place to safeguard the facility against unforeseen risks. These should be periodically tested to ensure that they are working properly and monitored for unauthorised tampering by an approved professional company.
Warehouse management system
For warehouse managers looking to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced economy, installing an effective WMS isn’t just a good idea – it’s a necessity.
A warehouse management system (WMS) can offer the ability to visualise, manage and report on inventory in real-time across all channels. You can see the precise pattern of goods moving in and out of your warehouse, whether you manage your own product line or are carrying goods for others.
By automating the cycle counting process, you can reduce significant time and costs to your business. Regularly scheduled audits will help you mitigate errors and uncover discrepancies incurred by stolen, misplaced, miscounted or damaged goods.
Through real-time work direction, confirmation and verification, the WMS provides your employees and their managers with immediate feedback on work accuracy. High levels of worker accountability increase efficiency and productivity.
Finally, the WMS can enforce FIFO rotation to reduce spoilage.
While it might be hard to imagine cyber safety as a warehouse management issue, if your WMS was hacked, it could result in significant downtime and invaluable data loss.
When selecting your WMS, partner with a reputable company that keeps up with the latest security concerns to ensure unwanted intruders stay out. Additionally, every electronic data point in the WMS needs to be protected with unique user and passwords requirements.
iWMS is an independent software developer, innovator and team augmentation partner with years of global experience in consulting, building, and supporting WMS solutions. We offer proven industry-leading software from HighJump Software Network Solutions for warehouse and supply chain management.
iWMS is based in South Africa, the Americas, Australasia and India.This gives iWMS access to the best resources and IT talent globally enabling us to ensure that the right level of experience is available for all projects at any given time.
Please contact us if you are looking for a warehouse and supply chain management system service provider for enterprises.