Like many security companies, Champion provides protection within many types of industries. From an administration perspective, the industrial vertical is among the most complex security programs to manage. This is because all vendors (including security) working within these environments are expected to undergo specific and sometimes specialized training. Plants and manufacturing facilities are deeply focused on safety. OSHA regulations and training are standard requirements, however depending on the product being produced, these companies can also be accountable to federal, state, and environmental regulations, not to mention OSHA training compliance. Oftentimes the amount of training and regulation just for a vendor (like security) can seem like “over-egging the pudding”. However, as a longtime vendor to this industry Champion understands the critical nature of these standards, which need to be upheld. The well-being of everyone dependent on an unwavering commitment to safety.
Industrial facilities hire security not only keep their facility safe, but to also to mitigate risk and property loss. An example of loss within an industrial facility came to light recently when Champion was hired to perform security for a large manufacturing facility, (name withheld). This company utilized highly valuable raw metal material including steel and copper which they used to craft the products they manufactured. The material is a valuable commodity, often traded for cash in the recycle black market! According to MarketsandMarkets.com research the metal recycling market size is estimated to grow from USD 277.12 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 406.16 Billion by 2020. So needless to say like every growing industry it has the potential to be exploited by crime and unscrupulous people.
Following a highly involved security transition, which integrated specialized training, OSHA 30 classes, and personnel qualifications, Champion conducted an on-site risk assessment. This assessment included documentation of all valuables and recording processes —including inventory of products and materials. One particular process documented during this assessment included examining the standards for disposing of scrap and recycling. Although documenting this topic may seem inconsequential, it ended up being the one step that would prevent the company an ongoing inventory-loss problem.
After starting service for (company name withheld) Champion settled in and began normal service. The security program focused on employee safety and protection within the facility. This entailed regulatory equipment checks, processing vendors, and access/gate control. Champion’s recently hired site manager was a seasoned security veteran, and not at all new to security in manufacturing facilities. Along with Champion’s local manager Malec Jebr, they used the risk assessment as a tool to establish added security measures to protect assets. Since the scrap and recycling brought in revenue, this somewhat insignificant element was included on that list – and proved to be an important step! Here is why:
Using industry standard best practices and working hand in hand to identify risks and security gaps; a plan instituted 24/7 officer patrol, and CCTV surveillance coverage. During a busy shift at the facility, Officer Diaz was approached by the newly hired lead manager of the material department. She had begun to notice small amounts of material and even some recycling had gone missing. She admitted to spending some time attempting to pinpoint the cause on her own, but concluded she was far too occupied. She confided that she was unable to account for the loss in any honest manner. Officer Diaz was trained to identify important details and investigate situations exactly like this one. The entire site security team was advised and began to meticulously (and discreetly) monitor the material and inventory within all departments. Photo documentation was utilized and compared in daily logs.
After a week and a half of documentation and analyzing their reports, the team met to review CCTV footage. This confirmed their suspicions. With tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of material and inventory missing they gathered all the information together and presented it to the company’s human resources department.
During shift change they observed a pattern in which one employee was consistently the last person out of the department. He would unfailingly take the trash outside. Throughput his shift he had inconspicuously placed inventory and precious recyclable material at the bottom of a trash container which was covered in regular trash items. After his shift, he was observed on CCTV coming around to an area not normally monitored. He would retrieve the bag he had previously placed near the disposal containers and take it off the premises.
The new manager and the newly installed Champion security team were credited with preventing an ongoing internal theft event, which may have been going on for years! Simply having a security partner that took time to assess and then mitigate risk not only removed the pressure on staff of trying to ascertain the source of the theft, but it also relieved the management to know their company is continuing to operate efficiently and profitably.
What is industrial security?
Industrial facilities are a huge backbone of construction, natural resources, and economic development. Like the client in our example, inventory items worth thousands are stored, created, and shipped out for work around the globe.
Do you own or manage a large building (or multiple buildings) that are designed to construct, serve, or grow a particular industry function? Do you operate a production plant? Does your facility stock many large machinery pieces, materials or process large volumes of goods? If so, Champion recommends a security program that encompass CCTV as well as physical security officers.
According to BOMA, the average occupancy rate for an industrial complex is 96%, which approximately 65,609 sq ft per tenant. That is approximately 527 sq ft per employee. These complexes are large and while often have many employees and staff – they also have many areas that are simply not monitored all the time.
In our example, the staff were able to identify something was missing by chance – but had no idea how or why. The property was simply too large for them to know where everything was being placed. In addition, they were too busy with their regular job duties to attend to the full time observation needed to identify the problem to absolute certainty.
“One of the best ways security officers can assist industrial facilities, “says Bobby Davis, Director of Business Development, “is by having extra eyes on the property at all times. These officers are trained on what to look for, and how to handle incidents.”
In the next article, our second part in this two part series, we're going to dive in to what exactly security specialists do and the specific security issues you will face running a large industrial complex. Stay tuned!