Modern-day retail is incredible. At any given moment, you can go to a store and find shelves that are stocked full of goods for purchase. Those goods don't just appear out of nowhere. Before products hit the shelves of your local retail shop, they likely spend some amount of time sitting in a distribution center.
On any given day, a single distribution center could be housing hundreds of thousands—or even millions—of dollars worth of goods. Because of this, distribution centers are a common target for organized crime. Last year, a large retailer approached us and asked about our distribution center monitoring solutions. They told us they had lost over $1,000,000 of merchandise in a recent warehouse burglary. A group of thieves cut the fence surrounding one of their distribution centers, came in with a few dollies and wheeled away tons of electronics. The craziest part is that all of this happened in just 45 minutes.
Because of the magnitude of products constantly moving in and out of distribution centers, it can be challenging to surveil and protect them. By following some security best practices, you can reduce the risk of distribution center theft. Here are six tips to help you get started.
1. Secure entry and exit points
One of the first steps you should take to improve distribution center safety is to secure all entrance and exit points. Require ID and authorization before allowing anyone in—or out—of the warehouse. You may even consider positioning guards near all access points or investing in software that requires visitors to scan a badge or check-in before receiving authorization to enter your property.
2. Invest in security cameras
Often, the mere presence of a security camera is enough to deter criminals from committing a crime. If an incident does take place, you will have footage of everything that happened, which can make the prosecution process go more smoothly. When you invest in a LiveView Technologies (LVT) security camera, not only will you have a 24/7 view of your property, but you will also receive alerts immediately if any suspicious activity occurs. If peace of mind is what you want, a reliable security camera is what you need.
3. Improve lighting
The logic here is simple: poorly lit areas make it easier for crime to go undetected. Furthermore, if you have security cameras that don’t have night-vision capability, keeping your warehouse lit will help your cameras capture better footage. If your distribution center isn't well lit, installing better lighting is a great starting point that will improve the overall security of your property.
4. Install a fence
While fences might not prevent crimes from happening 100% of the time, they are often a very effective deterrent. Even if criminals decide to take the risk and cut through a fence, a damaged fence is much less likely to go unnoticed than a stealthy organized attack that leaves no physical evidence of trespassing.
5. Track inventory
Inventory shrinkage is an expensive problem—and it often goes undetected when recorded inventory levels don’t match actual inventory levels. By implementing inventory management processes, you'll be able to identify and report shrinkage quickly. While tracking inventory may not be the most glamorous task, it's a task that is worth the time and effort. The sooner you identify a shrinkage problem, the sooner you can figure out what is causing it and how to avoid it in the future.
6. Run background checks
While no employer wants to believe that their own employees would steal from them, it’s actually a lot more common than you might think. In fact, according to Statistic Brain, employee theft costs U.S. businesses $50 billion annually. The best thing you can do to try and avoid this issue is run background checks on all potential hires—especially if they will be handling high-value items. Doing your due diligence and hiring trustworthy employees can save your business from a lot of unnecessary headaches.
Safe and secure distribution centers are what keep businesses running and customers happy. Because these giant warehouses are so crucial—both to businesses and to our society—they bring unique challenges from a security perspective. And since each distribution center has so many moving parts, there is no one-size-fits-all security solution that will work for every warehouse across the country. Luckily, LVT makes it easy to find a customized solution for the specific needs of your distribution center. Contact our team today and let us take care of your security pain points so you can focus on keeping your business running and your customers happy.