Risk mitigation tactics for modern distribution centers
HomeHome > Blog > Risk mitigation tactics for modern distribution centers

Risk mitigation tactics for modern distribution centers

May 10, 2023

Image courtesy of Boon Edam

Organizations of all types face an increasing number of risks ranging from worker safety to loss prevention, liability, business continuity, and more. However, distribution centers may be one of, if not the only, type of organization that faces all of these risks at a large scale. Add to these challenges the need for 24/7 operations and a high employee turnover, and the need for a multi-layered security approach becomes glaringly evident.

The very nature of distribution centers invites the obvious industry-wide risks of theft and workplace violence. Only here can you find low wages alongside vast high-value items. This environment creates temptation where the mindset of "they won't miss just one…" quickly devolves into a larger culture of acceptable loss. It is also here where outsider and insider threats have the same potential to do real damage, often working together to pull off larger crimes.

The security solution applied to address such issues must therefore do many things at once:

There are many schools of thought when it comes to risk reduction at distribution centers; however, most security professionals would agree that violence and loss prevention begins and ends at the door. Both security entrances (i.e., turnstiles, revolving doors, mantraps) and access control solutions installed at a facility's entry and exit points can immediately deter, identify, and prevent threats. Furthermore, these solutions combined can achieve more together than they could individually. The following outlines examples of how security entrances and access control systems work together to reduce risk for today's distribution centers.

As outlined above, integrating security entrances with access control is essential for distribution center risk mitigation, but these security measures can be taken one step further with the integration of facial authentication technology. When facial authentication is used in place or in conjunction with a physical credential (ID badge, key fob, etc.), there is a higher level of security offered since access is guaranteed to only the person who matches the credential(s) being presented. With facial authentication, credentials cannot be lost, stolen, or shared, adding another layer of risk reduction.

Throughout the facial authentication process, personal privacies are always kept intact. This method of biometrics uses an algorithm to filter a human face from a video or photograph. Within milliseconds, the face's characteristics are recorded and converted into a unique code. After this code-matching process, facial recognition software compares the code to a database. If it finds a match, this can be used to identify the individual in the image and determine whether to allow access. No images of faces are ever stored for the ultimate in security and privacy.

Just as access control systems cannot identify weapons and facial recognition cannot prevent piggybacking, security entrances alone cannot put a stop to theft or workplace violence. Rather, it is the smart combination of all three of these solutions that offer distribution centers an effective, layered approach to security.

Sam Nussman is Director of Technical Services at Boon Edam.

Distribution Centers Require a Different Approach Leveraging Security Entrances and Access Control At the Perimeter: At the Inbound Screening Area: At the Outbound Screening Area: Integrating Biometrics for Added Security A Winning Trifecta