Jamie Rutherford, director of sales for supply chain with Vector Security Networks, describes recent innovations in security for the supply chain, many of them suggested by customers themselves.
Rutherford sees several major trends that are driving new purchases of security systems for the supply chain. One is the need for data-driven operations — “Folks want one pane of glass to manage the network,” he says. “They don’t want to deal with multiple vendors.” That’s especially crucial for supply chains that range across borders.
An increased focus on protecting product within distribution centers is also prompting facilities to take a fresh look at security. Even relatively low-value items can cause a “P.R. nightmare” if they fall into the wrong hands. “It’s the optics around the product that drives a lot of the enhanced solutions we’re seeing,” Rutherford says.
Perhaps most of all, however, is a growing awareness of the need to ensure the safety and security of employees with DCs. The potential for accidents in a busy warehouse is high. As a result, Rutherford says, “risk mitigation is starting to bubble to the top as the leading driver.”
Yet another trend in DC security management is a move away from local control of decision-making to centralization of that process. And that’s prompting facilities to seek security technology and service providers that can function on a nationwide basis, ensuring that all analytics for network management reside within a single repository.
Many of the most interesting innovations in security technology for the supply chain are coming from customers, Rutherford says. They include non-invasive scanning systems that can capture a body’s heat register without the need for direct contact. And GPS technology is being deployed to track the location and status of safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and defibrillators.
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