Brendan Musgrove, Managing Director at Cordant Security, writes for Infologue.com about warehouse and depot security. He writes: “There is an estimated 5% shrinkage rate in warehouses and depots caused by staff thefts which can put a big dent in company profits, especially in the current economic climate where margins are tight. Sadly this problem shows no sign of abating, as in recent years the tactics being deployed by potential thieves have become more sophisticated.
“In response to this our security solutions have had to evolve. Whilst technology remains key and the traditional model of having static security teams on site is still very effective for some organisations, we are increasingly recommending the use of ‘high impact teams’ to complement or even replace these.
“The challenge for companies is that inevitably all their staff tend to become very familiar with the buildings they are working in and the security measures that are in place. They have first hand knowledge of how the manned patrols operate, where the technology such as CCTV is located, and where the valuable stock is located. All this makes it relatively easy for a potential thief. The drivers know that there aren’t the resources to search every vehicle and just simply wait until another vehicle has been stopped before adding ‘stolen’ items or failing to scan certain parcels. They know that you have no jurisdiction to stop them on their routes and that once they are out of the depot they have got away with it.
“Our ‘high impact’ teams have been trained to the highest standards in search techniques and understand how to profile offenders. Rather than undertaking scheduled searches these teams turn up onsite unannounced to check areas such as property and lockers, in addition to staff and contractors. They are often acting on ‘intelligence’ and tip offs and use the latest technology, such as body cameras, to record evidence that is vital for building cases.
“As well as searching vehicles as they leave the depot, they can also deliver covert monitoring of drivers on their rounds, often alerted by the GPS that shows that an employee has gone off route, possibly to offload stolen property. In short the thieves have no way of knowing when or where the teams will appear.
“This approach has proven extremely effective. In fact in the past four years our high impact teams have been responsible for discovering over 3,000 thefts across a range of clients that have resulted in employees being dismissed and in some cases the police making arrests. For one client we saved over £2 million per annum in static guarding costs which they have partially reinvested in having much greater national coverage from our teams.
“It is also a solution that will work for smaller sized businesses that often struggle with the costs of a traditional security solution. They can buy as many high impact searches as they need without any long term commitment, at a fixed price, and can easily ramp this up or down in line with any changes in their business.
“At Cordant Security we always work in partnership with our clients to try to keep one step ahead of the criminals. Our decades of experience in the warehouse sector give us the ability to offer intelligent solutions and we are determined to rise to the challenge of reducing and even eliminating shrinkage. Our high impact teams are certainly helping drive down losses for our clients and I believe that many organisations could benefit from this same approach”.
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