Distribution centers are often targets for thefts due to the large amounts of merchandise inside.

Most criminals believe it’s an easy score and even employees may be tempted to steal an item or two. However, if you secure your distribution center properly, you’ll drastically minimize any losses.

Security has to be a top priority at all times. You’ll need a team dedicated to securing the facility and maintaining security protocols.

Prevent Parking Near Receiving And Shipping Doors

It’s easier for thieves to get in and out with items if they’re able to park right at the shipping and receiving doors. This applies to external and internal thefts. When employee and visitor parking are next to these doors, you’ll likely have people constantly coming and going through those doors.

It’s easier to monitor who comes and goes when employees and visitors park away from these doors and enter through another set of doors. Shipping and receiving should only be for drivers dropping off or picking up.

Have A Waiting Area For Truck Drivers

Truck drivers should never be allowed to just walk around your distribution center. It’s not uncommon for drivers to have to walk through the aisles to get to an employee breakroom. However, this presents a potential security problem.

Instead, create a small waiting area specifically for truck drivers. This should be directly inside the shipping and receiving area and keep drivers out of the main distribution center.

Use Surveillance Throughout The Distribution Center

Distribution centers are more susceptible to internal thefts than other types of businesses. Employees tend to believe that one item won’t be missed among the hundreds or thousands of others. This is why surveillance is necessary throughout the building(s).

While you shouldn’t rely on security cameras alone, it’s a good idea to monitor areas to check for suspicious activity. It’ll also provide footage in the event something does go missing. For best results, have someone monitoring the cameras and someone out on the floor to monitor things too.

Perform Random Checks

As part of a good loss prevention program and to secure your distribution center, create a plan for performing random checks. It’s important to inform all employees and drivers of this policy and how it’ll be done.

For instance, bags and lockers may be checked randomly at any time. Someone may check a driver’s truck to ensure only the right items are inside.

Lock Down High-Value Merchandise

To you, all the merchandise may be high-value, but odds are, there are some items inside your distribution center that are more prone to theft. Think about retail stores and what types of items are stolen most often. The same items are likely targets for you too.

Have a locked cage to separate these items. You may consider using an electronic card system so only certain employees are allowed inside.

Limit Entrances

The fewer entrances that employees, visitors and potential thieves have, the better. You shouldn’t just block off all exits, though. Instead, limit how many entrances are used under normal circumstances. Install fire alarms on the rest and mark them as emergency only exits.

This keeps your distribution safer in the event of a fire, but also sounds an alarm if someone tries to sneak in or out using these doors.

Include Security Checkpoints

You need someone to constantly monitor who comes and goes. Include security checkpoints to ensure only the right people are entering certain areas of your facility. For instance, employees may have to show a parking pass or ID to park in the employee lot and drivers may have to show their paper work to enter the shipping and receiving areas.

Have Security Guards At All Times

Whether you’re using your own team or using a security guard company, you need security guards at all times. In most cases, it’s better to go with a third party company because of the focus they place on security guard training.

Either way, you need guards to monitor checkpoints, monitor cameras and patrol the premises inside and out. Having a noticeable security presence is vital to properly securing your distribution center.

Contact BOS Security

Want to know more about your distribution center’s security risks? Try our free Security Needs Assessment today.

Have questions for us about securing your facility? Don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team at 404-793-6965.

Image: Samuel Zeller