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Secure Your Loading Docks for Loss Prevention and More

Apr 30

Written by:
4/30/2013 8:39 AM  RssIcon

Security Breaches Can Take a Bite Out of Your Business

In late 2012 a group of ambitious thieves struck a major retail store in Chicago and made off with an estimated $200,000 in mobile electronics devices. But if you had been standing at the front door of the store you wouldn’t have noticed them. Why? Because the burglars came in through the loading dock area, tampering with an overhead door to knock it off its tracks before gaining access to the inventory storage area. No alarms sounded and video surveillance provided no help.

Similar burglaries around the country have netted bad guys millions in merchandise. Careful planning and the element of surprise are common factors in these crimes. “A loading dock security breach isn’t just costly in terms of lost merchandise and repairs,” says Jeff Pokuta, American Door and Dock’s Service Manager. “It can also be very time consuming when you factor in police and internal investigations, insurance considerations, regulatory factors, and other related hassles. There is a strong case to be made for the ROI of dock security products, processes, and training.”

Loss Prevention Not the Only Benefit

Enhanced loading dock or material transfer zone (MTZ) security can provide diverse benefits that go beyond loss prevention. Regulatory compliance is one example. Whether mandatory or voluntary, the impact of federal agency guidelines and programs on the supply chain is growing. From anti-terrorism to food safety, forward thinking businesses are taking a proactive approach to security where compliance is concerned.
Another benefit of enhanced security is that it goes hand-in-hand with safety. The more secure dangerous materials are from theft and tampering, the safer everyone in the supply chain is from employees to end users. Well planned and organized dock security programs can foster a culture of security awareness within an organization, which helps make security everybody’s business.

Securing Dock Doors

Access control is critical to effective security. Overhead loading dock doors should be closed when a dock is idle, even during regular business hours. For employee comfort and a brighter work atmosphere, retrofit stainless steel ventilation panels can be installed. They provide better security while also letting air and light into a facility from the outside. Securing manual exterior doors isn’t as easy as it may seem. It’s not difficult to break the lock on a standard manual overhead door. Install automatic lockdown systems to keep manually operated doors secure.

If possible, integrate electronic dock door security systems with facility security for a unified view. Video surveillance that can only be monitored from the dock area is effective only if the dock is staffed. There have been numerous cases of thefts originating from dock areas that happened while security staff was on duty in another part of the facility.

Securing Trucks and Contents

The loading and unloading process is an easy target for theft and tampering. Vehicle restraints can help protect trailers from theft. When a trailer separates from the dock during loading and unloading, it not only creates a physical hazard but also an opportunity for trailer theft. Vehicle restraints should be connected to facility alarm systems if possible so that an alarm sounds in the event of unauthorized trailer separation.

Dock Security for the Whole Facility and Supply Chain

Technology is just one piece of the security puzzle. Planning and process design for the whole facility is key to an effective security program. Every facility presents unique layout challenges and opportunities. Electronic security device options abound. But a planned, trained response by qualified security personnel is critical to any security scenario. An effective security plan will define an efficient combination of people, processes, and technology that protects entry points, trucks, and the whole facility.

Take an active interest in the security programs in place with your supply chain partners. A security hole at one point in the supply chain can easily cascade to other points. A security SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) should consider the supply chain from end to end. From there it becomes easier to determine what needs to be done to achieve the right security balance for your organization.

Consult a Dock Solution Expert

Consider the benefits and advantages of an expert solution provider for your dock security requirements. A qualified solution provider will not only audit your dock operation for security considerations, but also help you design an effective, well balanced dock security strategy to fit your unique operational requirements and deliver long term ROI.

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All company names, trademarks, and trade names contained herein are properties of their respective owners.

Copyright © 2013 American Door and Dock

1 comment(s) so far...

A very satisfied customer called to let us know that the door chimes we installed on their new door had helped to solve a crime. The door chimes sounded because a robber had hid in our customer's warehouse after burglarizing the business next door. Not only are door chimes a good investment for your equipment, but they can also help your neighbors as well!

We'd like to hear your comments about building security and other door and dock equipment stories. Please share in the comments!

By Katie Jacobs on   4/30/2013 10:18 AM

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