An Essential Business
The art of protecting people, product, facilities and process
The manufacturing sector
is extraordinarily diverse,
ranging from the manufacturing
of advanced fighter
jets to ventilators, and pharmaceutical
products to cars, paper products,
steel, clothing, high-tech components
and beyond. According to Forbes Magazine,
the fastest growing manufacturing
sectors are transportation, metal fabrication,
food products, plastics and rubber,
beverages, machinery, wood, non-metallic
mineral, primary metals and chemicals.
Manufacturing is a sector filled with
many essential businesses in the age of the
COVID-19 pandemic. The National Association
of Manufacturers and Business
Roundtable joined forces to strengthen the
business community’s response to the critical
supplies’ shortage facing the nation’s
medical community due to COVID-19.
This partnership brings together the full
strength of the U.S. business and manufacturing
communities to help those on
the front lines of the pandemic.
PROTECTING THE PEOPLE
Hence, ensuring the protection of
people, product, facilities and process for
our nation’s indispensable manufacturing
industry is critical to safeguarding our
So, what is the most pressing issue that
the manufacturing sector asks of the security
services sector? The manufacturing
sector demands fully integrated security
solutions. Manufacturing companies are
looking for reliable and experienced security
partners that help prepare for and manage
end-to-end risk that provide comprehensive
guidelines for security that focus on threat
assessments, situation analysis, and planning
to identify and mitigate potential risks.
They require physical security programs
to protect assets and respond to
threats and the electronic systems and integrated
risk management platforms that
deliver better business insights and capabilities
to force-multiply the physical security
Manufacturers, whose gross domestic
product (GDP) was $2.33T in 2018, represent
11.6 percent of total U.S. output.
However, no matter how varied or how
large the manufacturing sector is, this market
sector shares a common thread. They
all require a comprehensive and integrated
security program that prioritizes employee
safety, protects assets and leverages technology
solutions designed to optimize
security operations and support business
objectives. While the majority of manufacturing
companies are small and growing,
manufacturing is a vital, critically important
market sector in the United States.
Additional security demands, that represent
a common threat among all manufacturers.
Cost savings assessments. Manufacturers
are always looking for cost-saving
ideas that can help grow their bottom lines
so that they can grow their business. There
is not a one-size-fits-all approach to the
specialized safety and security needs of
the manufacturing and industrial sector.
Maintaining cost efficiencies while meeting
regulatory compliance can be especially
challenging. The security team should
be a partner in creating forward-thinking
safety and security best practices, while
integrating solutions that allow the manufacturer
to focus on their core business.
Additional integration and cost savings
can be achieved by enhancing the roles of
the security professional. The security provider
should be able to take on in-house
duties, such as reception, mail-room,
badging, freeing employees with industryspeci
fic expertise to focus on other areas
of operations. The security provider can
also take on tasks that might otherwise
have been subcontracted, such as monitoring
safety equipment, which helps save on
costs without sacrificing quality.
Technology. Reducing risks is not a onesize-
fits-all solution. By leveraging the right
combination of manpower, data and technology,
the manufacturer is able to deploy
smarter security. Many manufacturers tap
into the power of Monitoring and Response
Centers (MARC) that provide video monitoring
as a service with complete end-to-end
security solutions, from cameras, access control,
traditional alarms and remote audio
features. MARC’s leverage video analytics
with real-time, event-based monitoring by
security intervention specialists which deter
theft and mitigate the criminal element.
Customized solutions range from situational
awareness and threat intelligence
platforms, to remote video and alarm
monitoring, to integrated commercial
security systems, to web and GPS-based
patrol route management and robotics to ensure a full lifecycle support of cutting-edge technology to improve
While there will always be a need for staff to be involved in strategic
decision-making, situational analysis and security response,
robots excel at monotonous, computationally heavy, and sometimes
hazardous or difficult to reach work. Modern robots help
bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human response.
Strategically deployed robotic devices enable the security department
to force multiply traditional security with innovative patrolling,
deterrence, forensics, and communications. These solutions are
cost effective and improve situational awareness while augmenting
the capabilities of experienced personnel to focus on more strategic
tasks and integrating into a manufacturer’s existing security systems.
Powered with video, audio and sensor technology, cuttingedge
algorithms and machine-learning, robot solutions can help
protect people and assets while interacting with them in their
Industry quality standards. Manufacturers’ set the bar high and
demand stringent standards from their security personnel. Most
manufacturers require that their security partners proactively
initiate a quality assurance process that includes on-site visits to
ensure service delivery. Manufacturers hold security partners accountable
to the specifications detailed in their customized quality
assurance plans. Security teams should also schedule formal
quarterly business reviews so that they are ensured to stay current
on service levels and inspection ratings.
Supply chain logistics. The security personnel who service manufacturers
need to proactively mitigate incidents, improve safety
and secure the manufacturer’s supply chain and logistics process.
Some manufacturers are tapping into an integrated workforce
management platform such as HELIAUS®, which leverages an AI
engine to run a series of algorithms that develop actionable information
to generate protocol for consistent site monitoring.
It also identifies predicted risks, optimizes processes to reduce
incidents, and compares past data through clustering and benchmarking.
One major food manufacturer, for example, sought
to upgrade their antiquated paper record keeping. They turned
to HELIAUS® and worked with their security team to create a
customized compliance application that tracked more than 140
unique incident types. With accurate reporting of their logistics,
they saved over $55 million in potential losses at a single site.
Security and security training. Security professional training programs
need to be industry and site specific and establish a clear overview
of the expectations and standards for the position. Site-specific
manufacturing security training includes continual updates of all
industry-specific developments. To remain responsive and vigilant,
security professionals must experience continuous learning, and
management support should ensure that’s what is learned is applied.
The ‘one and done’ philosophy falls flat when tested in an emergency.
Training reinforcement can be a performance measure. Reinforcement,
more than any other aspect of training, builds a learning
culture that speeds significant change and action. A mix of classroom
and online training ensures that information is accessible. Retention
improves with content and delivery that are engaging, creative
and multi-faceted, yet maintains the integrity of the subject.
Insider threat/economic espionage. Without proper security
protocols, new products and technology advances can expose
companies, their employees, and their customers to loopholes
for criminals to sweep in and steal valuable information. Many
years ago, a major conglomerate was manufacturing a specific
compound used in paint. An insider stole their processing and ingredient
information which cost the company billions of dollars.
Anything that can be stolen from a manufacturer gives a competitive
edge to their rivals. How does physical security help reduce
insider theft and criminal activities at a site? Security may see an
employee working on Christmas Eve when they are not scheduled
to be on-site, for example, and raise the alarm. Surveillance
monitoring via CCTV may pick up the activities of a contractor
or employee who is duplicating proprietary customer lists or other
confidential documents. Security personnel may see an employee
leave a prototype for a new smart phone in a non-secure area.
Security professionals who serve the manufacturing sector are
trained not only to recognize safety hazards and economic espionage
threats, but to also respond by taking appropriate action.
MANUFACTURING SECURITY STAFF
ARE HIGHLY SKILLED
Manufacturers demand high standards in the hiring of security
staff. Meeting these high standards starts with the hiring
process. Prospective employees should complete industry-speci
fic training programs before they begin working. They should
be trained on customer service standards and should complete
emergency training, and be familiar with the manufacturing facility’s
evacuation routes and procedures. Throughout their employment,
on-going training and coaching so that all employees
provide the highest level of security each and every day.
The manufacturing sector taps into a diverse and varied skillset
in the security sector, including EMT’s to full operating SWAT
teams to more traditional armed and unarmed security officers.
For example, a petroleum production plant would require that all
security personnel be DHS-certified with specific HAZMAT and
chemical response training.
Security professionals provide additional value by performing
other industrial security services, such as fire extinguisher checks,
handling visitor reception, sign-ins and badging, credentialing
employees, escorting visitors, performing lighting inspections,
conducting job safety analyses relevant to their duties, managing
emergency and weather-related preparedness planning, supporting
loss-prevention, including employee or visitor searches and
distributing mail and packages.
Safeguarding manufacturers is also important to the physical
security sector’s bottom line. The revenues for private security companies
used in manufacturing facilities is projected to increase 3.5
percent annually through 2023 to $6.1 billion. Guarding services
accounted for 59 percent of security services in the industrial market
in 2018, significantly higher than any other service type according
to Freedonia’s 2019 market study. In the manufacturing sector,
whether security is providing 300 or 80,000 hours
a week of service, the stringent requirements of
that industry are in place to ensure that people,
product, facilities and process are all protected.
This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of Security Today.