Securing Products on the Go

Securing Products on the Go

Wholesale distributor seeks to mitigate theft, address safety issues

Distributors worldwide are increasingly challenged with enhancing the effectiveness of their operations. In an industry characterized by high turnover, strict regulations, slim margins and tenuous customer loyalty, retail distributors need to make smarter decisions and manage their businesses more effectively. As the economy fluctuates, these businesses have become even more conscious of measuring performance and lowering operational costs.

In the past, distribution organizations relied on CCTV technology to monitor distribution centers, corporate offices and docks. Although video captured from CCTV systems provided the ability to observe locations for potential theft and safety issues, distributors could not get from it detailed information to help make operations more efficient. A more-sophisticated video surveillance application, also known as intelligent video, can provide distributors with actionable intelligence that can help them improve aspects of their operations, including receiving, storing and shipping products from warehouses to retailers.

Advances in video surveillance technology have permitted organizations in virtually all industries to streamline their security and loss-prevention operations through the use of networked and IP-enabled solutions. These solutions have replaced tape-driven analog camera feeds that could record only specific areas with companywide deployment of networked video recording, playback and analysis. Given these improvements, forward-thinking organizations now see exciting new ways to boost their competitiveness. By deploying the security ecosystem’s new video management capabilities, organizations can now gain important insights that help them make better use of real estate, inventory and staff. In turn, this gives them the means to improve their cost structures and service levels, increasing long-term loyalty among customers.

Leveraging State-of-the-Art Video

Bozzuto’s Inc. is a leading wholesale distributor of food and household products to retailers in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. With more than 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space spanning three facilities, Bozzuto’s state-of-the art distribution centers are designed to maximize operational effectiveness and ensure best-in-class customer service while offering a variety of products.

“We distribute products found in a grocery store in large pallets. From flowers to lobster tails, and cat litter to lighters—we do it all,” said Al Spriggs, the company’s vice president of security.

Bozzuto’s has successfully used IP video security technology from Verint for nearly five years. Over the years, the company has continued to invest in technology to protect its employees, inventory and premises. In 2010, Bozzuto’s upgraded its security system to include the Nextiva VMS and Verint’s multiport encoders and decoders.

Verint’s comprehensive IP video portfolio has helped streamline operations at the company’s facilities with video from strategic areas within its warehouse facilities. All video is transmitted to a central monitoring station, where the Nextiva review application allows management to view live and recorded video from all three facilities and detect suspicious or erroneous activity.

The VMS, along with the eight-port video encoder and video decoder, enables Bozzuto’s to capture high-quality video images, optimize bandwidth use, deploy the flexible video search capabilities and manage its large, geographically distributed video operations more efficiently.

“The system helps us ensure quality control, minimize loss, eliminate damage to merchandise, prevent employee injury, manage personnel and streamline our operations processes,” Spriggs said.

A searchable database of case-related video makes loss-prevention inquiries and investigations faster and more productive. The video encoder also optimizes use of Buzzuto’s data storage resources with dual streaming that enables users to view video at high resolution with excellent image clarity while storing it at a lower resolution.

“When a pallet leaves our warehouse, we have to ensure that it arrives at the customer location in perfect condition, and that the aesthetic value of the merchandise is intact,” Spriggs said.

With the cutting-edge capabilities Spriggs’ team can accurately identify products and employees as they move throughout the warehouse. Armed with this information, staff can help ensure proper product handling, prevent theft, minimize accidents and injuries, and identify operational issues.

“This system has been instrumental in reducing damaged goods and shrinkage by nearly 60 percent in our warehouse operations,” Spriggs said. “With the next-generation VMS and multiport encoders, we’re able to mitigate error and loss prevention, as well as help ensure quality control, performance and efficiency.”

Bozzuto’s is benefiting from a more complete picture of activities, lower total cost of ownership, and superior security and reliability, which help enhance operational efficiency, prevent loss and secure the premises—all in support of its commitment to superior quality, accountability, customer satisfaction and innovation.

The Intelligent Future

In recent years, organizations such as Bozzuto’s have opted to deploy video surveillance platforms more “intelligently” to meet business objectives and maximize the capabilities of current technologies. Using video surveillance, organizations can monitor geographically dispersed locations, which enhances their situational awareness. With all areas covered effectively, security personnel can detect any potentially dangerous situations and act quickly and efficiently to address those concerns—a value for organizations that require asset tracking and regulatory compliance.

Advances in video surveillance technology have made monitoring products and quality control through the use of networked and IP video possible. The use of IP cameras and intelligent edge devices integrated with a diverse video management platform provides key personnel the ability to remotely monitor large factories or multiple distribution facilities on a single centralized platform. This intelligent use of a video surveillance system helps to oversee areas with dangerous machinery and costly goods, and protect employees from wrongdoing and harm, as well as audit their employers from loss and liability.

Given the ever-increasing need to account for goods, enhance productivity and prevent loss, video surveillance technology provides the insight that manufacturing and distribution organizations require to protect their property and increase their bottom lines.

This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Security Today.

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