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Champion News & Blog

The Importance of Warehouse Security

As a business owner, you might need to store goods, equipment, and other items in a warehouse. If you have a warehouse, you can’t afford to overlook the importance of warehouse security.

This article shares the importance of warehouse security. Here are some tips on how you can improve your warehouse security.

Warehouse security is important for commercial businesses because:

1. It helps protect your employees and keeps them safe

2. It deters theft and/or damage to your products 

3. It provides a timely and appropriate response during emergencies

4. It creates a sense of safety for the company

Poor warehouse security can result in financial losses and lower employee morale. Data from CargoNet shows that in 2016, businesses in the U.S. lost $114 million worth of products. That was 13.3% higher than losses due to theft in 2015, which was only about $100 million. 

Why is warehouse security important? 

  1. It helps protect your employees and keeps them safe

Professional security services are there to keep your employees safe. Stolen goods can be costly but they are replaceable. The life of an employee, however, is a different story. Hiring security guards reduces your risk in unexpected situations.

Uniformed security guards make your employees feel safe in their workplace. This can increase staff morale and improve productivity.

  1. It deters theft and/or damage to your products.

Warehouse theft is costing businesses millions of dollars.  The news about a million-dollar theft at Kenosha’s Snap-on warehouse is one of many cases.

Investing in the security of your warehouse protects your products. Using automated security solutions can cover your warehouse’s weak spots.

Preventing theft is more than securing entrances and exits. It also involves protecting the movement of your goods, machinery, and equipment.

A strong alarm system, proper landscaping, and a reliable employee ID system can help.

What causes theft in the warehouse?

A study by Loss Prevention Magazine shows businesses losing $15-$30 billion each year. The reason? Cargo theft. Warehouse theft is a serious matter. Perpetrators can be outside, or worse, working inside your warehouse.

Here are some of the most common causes of warehouse theft:

·         External warehouse theft

  • The international black market
  • Absence of video surveillance and anti-theft devices in the warehouse
  •  The involvement of insiders who make the theft possible

·       Internal warehouse theft

If there is one thing that is more stressful than external theft, it’s internal theft. It’s when staff members steal for profit or personal use. Among the common reasons for internal warehouse theft: 

  • Warehouse employees steal because of financial stress
  • Lack of supervision tempts employees to steal
  • Employees with low morale may feel stealing from their employer is “right”
  • Disorganization makes it easy and more tempting for employees to steal

What are the signs of warehouse theft?

Warehouse theft usually starts small. Being aware of the signs of warehouse theft can help to stop it before it becomes a million-dollar loss.

These signs may indicate something bigger is happening:

  • Your inventory is not matching your sales records.
  • There’s a dip in productivity every time specific people are working.
  • Vital records such as invoices go missing.

Even if you notice these signs, it is still difficult to accuse an employee of committing theft.

This is where a security service like Champion National comes in. We can report and detect problems with employees. We base our findings on CCTV footage and irregular employee access.

  1. It provides a timely and appropriate response during emergencies

Emergencies such as a fire, gas leak, flood, or assault are events we don’t want to happen but need to prepare for. As the saying goes, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” 

Effective warehouse security can detect problems that may lead to these unexpected events. For example, smoke and heat detectors can prevent damage from a fire. 

Also, security personnel can give timely and appropriate instructions in case of emergencies. They will prevent panic and keep the workforce calm when the unexpected happens.

  1. It creates a sense of safety for the company

Security guards can check the ID of all people coming and going to check if they have the right credentials. They can also meet and greet visitors and lead where they need to go. This contributes to a culture of safety for your company.

Why is securing a warehouse such a complicated process?

Warehouse security is not as simple as it seems. Here are three reasons why securing a warehouse is a complicated process:

  • Warehouses are large facilities, so there is a lot of space to secure.
  • Warehouses are often zoned, so certain individuals can access different areas.
  • Warehouses have lots of products in them, as well as people entering and exiting them.

Because of these factors, keeping warehouses secure is often a challenging task. It is possible, but having the right systems is key to effective warehouse security.

What systems do you need to secure your warehouse?

The 5 most important warehouse security systems include the following:

  1. Security officers
  2. Surveillance system/security cameras
  3. Alarm systems
  4. Access controls 
  5. Inventory tracker 
  6. Network security system

Let’s look at these solutions in detail to see how warehouse security works.

  1. Security officers

You can’t underestimate the importance of hiring security officers to guard your warehouse. They do not only keep your goods safe, they also help prevent employee theft.

Here are four ways security guards can keep your warehouse safe:

  • They protect your employees

The most important reason to hire a security guard is to ensure that your warehouse employees are safe. While it is easy to replace stolen goods, the life of an individual harmed during a burglary cannot be replaced. 

When there are security guards in your warehouse, your employees will have peace of mind knowing that they are safe at all times. 

  • They prevent employee theft

If you do not have security guards to monitor your warehouse, it will be easier for employees who are set on stealing from you to find an opportunity to commit theft. 

Security guards help provide a physical deterrent to employee theft as they monitor the activity of all your employees and ensure that no illegal activity is occurring within your area. 

  • They are trained to respond to emergencies

When emergencies occur, you cannot rely on your staff to handle the situation. With security guards assigned in your warehouse, you can be sure that there are trained professionals who can give instructions in such situations. 

  1. Surveillance system/security cameras

A surveillance system is one of the most important components of warehouse security. You need to consider these when implementing a surveillance system in your warehouse:

  • Placement of the camera
  • Required recording quality
  • Lighting requirements
  • Amount of storage needed for footage
  • Monitoring requirements
  • Integration with other security systems

An effective surveillance system makes critical areas of your warehouse visible, 24/7. It also provides data to other security systems.

A new breed of Wi-Fi-enabled CCTV cameras makes protecting warehouses easier. All you need is to gain access to an outlet and internet in your warehouse. 

CCTV cameras are a great tool for securing not only your assets but also your staff. They can also help reduce insurance costs, especially if you can tie it to a reduction in injuries or losses.

Basic CCTV has long been a convenient way to secure warehouses from a central control room. However, surveillance cameras with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are now changing the game. 

These AI cameras can recognize faces and track moving targets.  They can also alert employees when there are potential threats. 

  1. Alarm system

Some solutions link alarm systems with other system components. While this is common, an alarm system has to be an independent system.

 Consider the following when implementing an alarm system:

  • The importance of remote monitoring
  • The alarm recipients to be alerted when the alarm goes off
  • The type of materials being stored at your warehouse
  • Warehouse zones and what happens when unauthorized access occurs
  • Integration with other security systems

Warehouse security is more than stopping thieves. It’s also about preventing damage and loss of goods. It’s about protecting your people as well.

An effective alarm system will help reduce the risk of unwanted events in your warehouse. Here are two kinds of alarm systems you might want to use: 

  • Environmental controls
  • Motion sensors

Environmental Controls

You can improve your warehouse security by including environmental controls into your dashboards. Using smoke detectors and temperature sensors are two examples.  These can help your employees can act quickly in case of a fire. 

You can also use flood detectors in case of hurricanes. These environmental sensors are your top defenses against emergencies and disasters. 

Motion Sensors

Motion detection is a key component of an effective alarm system. It is a core part of most security systems.  Some warehouses, though, already stop at motion-activated lighting. 

New technology makes different kinds of sensors available to help detect motion.  These systems can send alerts to managers or law enforcement in case of theft.

  1. Access control

Access control systems involve the control and monitoring of entrances and exits. It can be a simple lock and key.  But, it can be a more sophisticated system like face scanners and voice recognition.

Consider the following when implementing your access control system:

  • Your desired type of access—Is it via card? Fob? Or biometric?
  • The number of entryways and exits
  • Level and frequency of traffic
  • Administrative privileges—Who will set the controls and receive alerts?
  • Integration with other security systems

An effective access control system limits warehouse access to only authorized individuals.  It also notifies you of any unauthorized activity within your warehouse’s premises.

Here are two ways to control access in your warehouse:

  • Implementing a sign-in process
  • Locking in your location

Implementing a sign-in process

If people come and go in your warehouse all day, it will help to keep a close eye on what’s going on by using a sign-in book or log.

Requiring employees and guests to sign in before allowing them access is a good practice. This makes it easier to track the movement of your employees in case of theft in your warehouse.

Implementing a uniform and ID tag system in your warehouses will also help with security. This will make it easier to identify your employees from other people.

If your employees don’t have uniforms and tags, it will be difficult for you to determine who is not supposed to be in your warehouse at different times.

Locking in your location

If you fail to contain your warehouse, it will be hard for you to secure your warehouse. Fencing in your warehouse is one of the best ways to secure your warehouse. This creates an atmosphere of protection for your employees. It also deters potential thieves. 

  1. Inventory tracking

Inventory tracking is another way to protect your warehouse and its contents. While others consider it apart from warehouse security, the two are related. After all, tracking is necessary to prevent theft. In some industries, it is considered a regulated part of warehouse security.

Considerations in implementing an inventory tracking system include the following:

  • Amount of inventory
  • Rate of processing, transportation, and delivery
  • The necessity of tracking through stages or different locations
  • Compliance standards
  • Integration with other systems, including back-office/ERP systems

The more effectively you implement your inventory tracking system, the more you can ensure that your goods are securely moved through your warehouse spaces, maximizing efficiency, ensuring compliance, and preventing product loss or theft.

Here are two ways to improve inventory tracking in your warehouse: 

  • Using a Warehouse Management System (WMS)
  • Using ID badges with RFID.

Using a Warehouse Management System (WMS)

Before new advances in inventory management businesses manually handled all this.

The manual method leaves plenty of room for fraud and mistakes.  Using WMS and handheld devices or RFID readers can provide accurate counting.  This will secure your inventory which will, in turn, improve your warehouse security. 

Using WMS helps you reduce the chance of theft by adding goods into your system as soon as they arrive. It also prevents anyone from changing the inventory numbers and stealing your products.

Using ID badges with RFID

RFID is an electronic tracking system that makes use of small microchips to track the locations of vehicles and cargo. RFID chips work in transmitting identification and location information through radio waves.

Many warehouses use RFID-enabled sensors to track the movement of goods. Adding RFID tags to the IDs of your existing employees can also help to track activity and movement. 

Unlike barcoding, RFID is more sophisticated because it holds much more data. It can also be read even if it is out of sight. RFID readers identify large numbers of items. This helps reduce the time needed to count your inventory. 

RFID also offers a less expensive and faster way to identify and track items in warehouses. It allows better monitoring of inventory, preventing warehouse theft and avoiding out-of-stock situations. 

The data you gather from RFID sensors will help you maintain personnel and asset security. Major players like Walmart require their shipping partners to use RFID tracking to save on time and labor.

  1. Network security systems

Network security may not be physical but it is important as well. Protecting your premises in today’s world goes beyond fencing in your facility. It’s about ensuring cyber-security as well.

The theft of physical goods or data can start with a data breach. This is why improving warehouse security also involves securing your network.

Considerations when implementing a network security system include the following:

  • Systems and devices connected to the network
  • The number of users on the network
  • Network admin responsibilities
  • Response protocols

Well-implemented network security systems protect your warehouse both physically and digitally.

What more can you do to improve your warehouse security?

Improving your warehouse security may feel overwhelming. On one hand, you need to safeguard your company and products. But, you also have to maintain a culture of trust in the workplace so your employees don’t lose morale. 

Here are 3 things you can do to further improve your warehouse security:

  1. Secure all your passwords
  2. Simplify your processes
  3. Engage with your employees
  1. Secure all your passwords

Sometimes, a warehouse security breach starts with a stolen password. To keep your system secure, it is best to make your passwords complex to others but simple for you. You can also use two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA means that aside from your password, another code is needed for access. This code is usually a random number sent to an authorized device.

Training employees to use smart passwords is also a good practice. Giving clear guidelines on password security also helps. An employee should know when they should (and should not) give out their password. It should also be clear when IT should provide an employee with a new password.

  1. Simplify your processes

Simplifying processes is also crucial in warehouse security. Review your warehouse operations and determine the following: 

  • Are teams spending a lot of their time in the back corners?
  • How many “touches” are there for each order?

You may not be aware that your warehouse process has so many layers of tasks. This may be because you got used to all those steps. But, more steps mean greater chances and bigger windows for criminals. 

For better warehouse security, try streamlining your workflow. That way, you will be able to remove opportunities to commit crimes. This applies to both internal and external processes.  An example would be the time delivery drivers are allowed to stay and linger in your warehouse.

  1. Engage with your employees

If you want to better understand the threats you face, you need to understand your warehouse team. Resolving valid concerns can boost employees’ loyalty to the company. Incentive programs can also improve morale and prevent theft.

To sum it up: Warehouse security requires expertise. Automated security systems work best with security personnel monitoring and implementing them.  Figure out the gaps in your warehouse security by hiring professional security services.  

Don’t stress about securing your warehouse, we at Champion National Security can help.

Champion National uses effective systems and technology for warehouse facilities. Our high-quality security service provides excellent warehouse security.  This way, you can have peace of mind and focus on growing your business.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about the warehouse security services we offer. Call Champion National Security, at 972-754-0080 or 469-766-1041. Experience quality service that sets us apart from the rest.