How to Improve Warehouse Security at Your Facility

by Michael Kotendzhi | Warehousing
How to Improve Warehouse Security at Your Facility

Warehouses represent a necessary part of the production and distribution chain. They can be used to store a multitude of valuable items for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, ensuring the safety of your warehouse and its contents needs to be your prime concern. Here are five tips on how to improve warehouse security at your facility.

1. Minimize human errors

A large majority of security breaches happen due to mistakes employees make. From important things like forgetting to log out when leaving to less dramatic mistakes like incorrectly entering shipping data – all of these errors can cause you a lot of headache and stress and compromise the security at your facility. Here is how to reduce the number of human errors:

  • Avoid manual data entry, and instead, use RFID readers to accurately track your warehouse inventory.
  • Foster communication, if something is malfunctioning or acting up, you'll want to know as soon as possible.
  • Warehouse management systems can reduce easily avoidable mistakes and offer you a fast and accurate way to communicate and track data.

2. Access control points

By permitting or restricting access to specific areas, you can improve warehouse security at your facility. Depending on the number of entrances and exits, you can even have a security protocol for entering the building. Access control points can function using key cards or even biometric data to ensure that no one without the proper clearance can enter high-risk areas.

While it might be tempting to beef up security by performing multiple types of security checks on everyone who enters your facility, this can also be slow and cumbersome. Be mindful that all of the security measures you have envisioned don’t interfere with the daily operations. Try to integrate the security system so that your warehouse can still run efficiently.

3. Have a security surveillance system

Surveillance systems are powerful deterrents that can stop threats to your facility from ever taking place. Cameras can be placed both inside and outside of your warehouse. Modern IP (Internet Protocol) cameras allow video analytics and remote notification. Being able to remotely access the video feed in your warehouse can give you peace of mind, even when you cannot be physically present. You can also install motion detection sensors that can trigger an alarm or notification when someone enters a secure area.

4. Brief employees on security protocols

Every facility needs to develop emergency response plans so that instead of panicking in the case of a security threat, you can act according to protocol. Unfortunately, just having a response plan isn’t enough. Your employees need to be trained and to know what to do in case of an emergency. Organize collective training sessions and explain the importance of security for your facility. Another good idea is to exercise security drills several times a year. This way, you'll get to refresh the memory of your long-time employees and bring new hires up to speed. Security shouldn't be a one-time concern, so do your best to maintain it and have everyone know what the protocol is.

Regardless of how detailed your emergency response plan is, your warehouse also needs to be in adequate condition for the plan to work. If you are housing more inventory than you should, that could pose a safety issue in your warehouse. Ensure a functional space and allow enough room for people to maneuver.  Out of all the dos and don'ts of warehouse management, overstuffing the premises is a huge security concern.

5. Hire security staff

 One of the best ways to improve warehouse security at your facility is to hire a security consultant. A security expert can help you determine the weak spots in your security system and your warehouse location. If your budget allows it, you can hire on-premises security staff to perform patrols and deter theft. Simply having someone present overnight will make trespassers think twice. When it comes to the day-to-day operations, you can delegate duties to employees and have someone oversee that everything is running smoothly.

To summarize

Depending on your needs and your warehouse and inventory type, you can apply several different security measures. We’ve gone through the most important approaches on how to improve warehouse security at your facility. Now it’s up to you to enforce the technology and protocols to keep your warehouse and your employees safe. Explain the importance of security to your employees to get them better accustomed to the new features you will be implementing.

Michael Kotendzhi is President of Operations & Transportation and a partner at 18 Wheels. Michael has over 15 years of experience and is equipped with a degree in Logistics from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. As well as a background in logistics from XPO Logistics (formally Kelron Logistics), North America's largest contract warehousing provider.

Michael's experience includes supply chain management, reverse logistics, & domestic transportation. He has developed 18 Wheels' trucking solutions, effectively utilizing the sister company's vehicle fleet and building a transportation supply-chain network across North America.