Securing Supply Chain With Video Surveillance

By Jasjit Sethi, CEO. TCI Supply Chain Solutions

Jasjit Sethi, CEO. TCI Supply Chain SolutionsThe CCTV cameras range from traditional analog to the IP based HD to the optical zoom PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras. As the utility is also dependent on the video quality, hence high resolution fibre optics IP cameras with high pixels are preferable. It is also important that there is adequate process / protocols in place to closely monitor the footages sent from these cameras to derive optimum benefits from installation. Though security manpower are appointed to regulate the overall security, video surveillance supports in creating a robust well connected security system and contributes in higher productivity.

Implications in Warehouses

In the warehouses, thousands of SKUs (Stock keeping Units – aka unique items) spread over lakhs of square feet, continuously moving in and out of the premises, on and off the shelves, calls for close monitoring. Reducing man-effort, having CCTV cameras installed at every aisle, docks, premises circumference, etc, sending video footages allows close monitoring and helps to identify/ avert any mis-happening almost immediately. The time stamps in the footages can be utilised in verifying the documented time of all the processes on-going inside the warehouse, be it tallying staff, visitor entry/exit timings or identifying any process abnormalities. In docks, video footages can help to identify as well as prove any mismatch or gap in product quantity during loading & unloading that might have happened due to human error. Cameras in aisles, monitor and provide footages of the picking and put-away operations, which can help give insights on material handling. Surveillance in packaging, kitting, processing areas enable tracking of wrong labelling, incorrect scanning, etc to be tracked down.

“Video surveillance’s utility is much beyond ensuring security. Analysing video footages can deliver deeper insights that can contribute in process improvement, training needs identification and identify/correct SOP violation”

Now the very fact that all actions are being closely monitored, discourages act of wrong doing and emboldens everyone to display controlled desirable behaviour. Despite this, exceptions happen and accountability for theft/pilferage can be ascertained by analysing video footages in such cases. In the advent of an unauthorised intrusion also, it acts as a vital piece of evidence as well as with advanced security monitoring systems with video analytics, such intrusions sends immediate alerts and can be averted. The Cameras can also be mounted on material up MHEs (Forklifts, stackers) for enhanced safety, where the footages gives visibility to the operator while storing material at heights. The surveillance capabilities also help in monitoring and maintaining hygiene in all corners of the warehouses.

Implication in vehicle

While the use of CCTV in a warehouse was predominantly of goods security, during transportation it is more on Safety of Man and then Machine/material.

Installation of cameras with mobile DVRs on vehicle dashboard is an incoming technology for video surveillance inside vehicles. Due to its higher initial and operating costs, it has found usage in transportation of high value cargo or hazardous gasses/chemicals.

Dashboard cams along with rear and inside cabin cameras, records footages while the vehicle is on the move and allows remote supervision. While supervising real time footages from vehicles on road, on account of an accident, not only can help be sent, to the spot immediately but also, post the accident, it aids in identifying the cause of accident, helping in insurance claims and further investigation. The footages can also be used to verify incidents of over speeding, tailgating, harsh braking, night driving, etc. that are identified by various sensors integrated with vehicle telematics platforms and also monitor driver behaviour and fatigue. Now, while on road, not only the cargo being carried stands at risk but also the vehicle and its parts are at risk of theft and manipulation. Incidents of tyre, battery theft, etc are not new to those plying on the Indian roads and surveillance capabilities definitely are helpful in mitigating these troubles.

Conclusion

Video surveillance’s utility is much beyond ensuring security. Analysing video footages can deliver deeper insights that can contribute in process improvement, training needs identification and identify/correct SOP violation. Dashboard cameras can provide insightful input on road conditions, tolls, etc to aid in network designing and route planning. For logistics service providers video surveillance has helped out to ease security woes to a large extent, helping in identifying root cause in case of security breaches and ascertaining correct accountability while reducing security manpower requirements. To sum it all, the logistics industry has benefitted deeply from the video surveillance technologies available, ensuring safety of man, machine and goods.

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