Distribution, logistics and warehouse facilities house millions of dollars of valuable inventory in transit from manufacturers’ facilities enroute via retailers or direct to consumers’ homes. Trafficking inventory is a tremendous challenge in and of itself. Making sure inventory and all the personnel handling it remain safe and secure at these facilities requires a completely different strategy.
Deploying a well-conceived secured entry workflow strategy across all entry and exit points at the perimeter of your distribution, logistics and warehouse facilities, and the access points to critical assets and areas within, will help reduce shrinkage, mitigate liabilities, and maintain compliance – all while reducing costs related to supervised labor, energy conservation, and more.
Like any enterprise level solution, a secured entry strategy for distribution, logistics and warehouse facilities needs to conform to established best practices that optimize employee time, training, and labor resources, as well as the deployment of the latest technologies. Selecting and implementing the best workflow for a secured entry solution depends on the specific entry/exit point workflows for your facility.
Layering security entrances and sensor technologies provides the best way to maintain the level of throughput specific users need, while establishing high levels of physical access at critical entry/egress points. Consequently, there are secured entry solutions that work well at attended entrances to help best manage traffic flow, and effectively deter and detect unauthorized access. And there are field-proven solutions designed to help prevent unauthorized access at unattended entrances, which has become more of an imperative with hybrid work schedules. To assist in selecting the right entry solution, security entrances can be classified into three general classifications:
1. Prevent tailgating and piggybacking
2. Detect tailgating and piggybacking
3. Deter by monitoring or controlling traffic
Security entrances that Prevent tailgating and piggybacking allow for the elimination or reallocation of guard supervision, providing security and facility managers with tangible ROI. Also, by collecting metrics gathered by sensor systems in these solutions, security personnel can predict and quantify their actual risk of infiltration. Used often at employee-only entrances and to secure areas containing sensitive data or personnel, security entrances that prevent unauthorized access deliver the highest level of protection.
Security entrances that Detect tailgating and piggybacking provide a strong visual obstacle against intrusion, and when coupled with biometric and access control devices, can detect unauthorized entry attempts in real-time and issue alarms for security personnel to take immediate action. This category of solution facilitates both security and visitor management operations, and can also support regulatory and risk reduction compliance mandates.
Security entrances that Deter unauthorized access serve as a deterrent against casual attempts to gain unauthorized access, and more often are in place to help keep people honest. They accomplish this by monitoring or controlling traffic under the supervision of security personnel. Solutions that deter unauthorized access are appropriate for exit only applications at facilities that cater to large crowds like retail box stores and warehouses.
An effective layered secured entry solution strategy entails combing the right complement of security entrances in the best workflow. The following is a typical secured entrance workflow for distribution, logistics and warehouse facilities:
- Perimeter/Parking Lots can prevent unauthorized access resulting from tailgating and piggybacking by employing two-way full height turnstiles equipped with access control, intercom, video monitoring, and an adjacent ADA pedestrian gate.
- Facility Entry, Divestment and Screening is performed autonomously as employees enter and divest their personal belongings into lockers, and proceed through a metal detector attached to one-way in-bound full height turnstiles equipped with access control, ADA entry portal, and weapons detection screening.
- Tracking Breaks and Lunches is performed when employees enter/exit work areas through a waist-high, tripod turnstile. This allows management to collect data on who is on and off the floor, and for how long.
- End-of-Shift Theft Deterrence facilitates randomized screening using dual waist-high turnstiles. When exiting a facility, employees approach an array of two waist-high turnstiles: one turnstile leads to an exit, and the other to a search/pat down area with a guard. Both a deterrent and a preventive solution, this exit solution can help put an end to shrinkage due to employee theft.
- Exiting Facilities is controlled using one-way out-bound full height turnstiles and are in place for individuals leaving the randomized screening process area to access lockers and exit the facility.
This is one workflow in a series of preventive entry/exit solutions that will help reduce shrinkage, allowing focus on other potential penetration points such as loading docks or waste disposal areas. Such initiatives, policies, procedures, and infrastructure enhancements can combine to provide your staff with the best possible loss prevention compliance outcomes.
Deploying secured entry solutions at distribution, logistics and warehouse facilities is no small undertaking. Every facility is unique with distinctive security and safety protocols and corporate cultures. However, a layered security entrance strategy provides a proven blueprint for success that reduces theft and shrinkage, ensures the physical security and safety of personnel, and mitigates risks and liabilities while delivering tangible ROI over the long run.