Security – but not as we know it
Asset security has always been a preoccupation of the warehousing and logistics industries. Concentrations and movements of potentially valuable items across complex real-world networks with multiple linkages have always presented opportunities to criminals.
In consequence, these industries have embraced technology that lets them track and trace all their assets – both employees and products. Consequently, they are well-placed to cope with the measures that have been introduced to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. This global pandemic has made asset safety and security an even more important issue than before.
Flattening the curve
Numerous measures have been proven to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, and these can easily be implemented in most workplaces (albeit with some disruption). Social distancing and providing masks and hand sanitiser are now standard practice. Workers that are required to be in close proximity to each other can be issued with enhanced PPE, including face shields.
Knowledge is power – and protection
There is of course an overlap between security and safety measures, and existing security measures can be repurposed to help ensure the wellbeing of team members. Effective logistics depend on being able to identify, quantify and locate any asset at any time. This is best achieved through auto ID and bar coding technology. By giving each item a unique identifier, team members at every stage in the journey from manufacturer to end user can use handheld scanners to update information on any given asset.
This empowers better customer service, such as JIT delivery and updates to consumers waiting for ecommerce purchases to be delivered. Given concerns about the ability of the coronavirus to survive on surfaces, this technology can be used to record when and where an item was last sterilised, and exactly who has been in contact with it, and when.
Who goes there?
Controlled entry has long been a staple measure in warehousing security, with biometric systems being an effective way of preventing unauthorised entry. During the coronavirus pandemic, these are being supplemented with health checks at points of entry. Typically, these involve a targeted questionnaire designed to establish a person’s recent potential exposure (if any) to COVID-19, gathering contact details (a vital aspect of track and trace) and temperature checks.
In these ways, people who may (inadvertently) represent a risk to their colleagues can be screened – the fewer contacts an infected person has, the less the disease will spread.
RFID and other passive identification and tracking software allows the movements of workers and products to be monitored and recorded with pinpoint accuracy. It can even be used to warn people that they are getting to close to each other.
In the event that a team member tests positive for COVID-19, these records can be used to identify other individuals who may be at risk (so that they can self-isolate as a precaution) and those who haven’t. This prevents unnecessary quarantining and contributes to business continuity by helping to provide a pool of “safe” labour.
Remote working is safer working
During the lockdown, more people have been working from home. Advances in remote working suites and fibre internet connectivity have reduced the need for people to gather at physical locations to share information and ideas.
With distribution and data networks spanning the globe, the logistics industry has arguably found it easier than many other sectors to adapt to this sea-change.
Technology to the rescue
Kemtek delivers and services solutions from all leading auto ID, bar coding manufacturers and software providers including Argox, Brother, CipherLab, Datalogic, Honeywell, VXL and Rapid 3D.
To learn more about how you can embrace the latest technology to secure and make safe your people and assets, contact Kemtek today.