The evolution of the logistics industry brings updates and exciting new trends to the entire supply chain. Keeping inventory safe and secure is a top priority for everybody from manufacturers and suppliers to 3PLs and customers. As new risks evolve for product security – quality procedures, measures and certifications improve to ensure that product reaches the right destination, every time!
A few security trends increasing in popularity can be a great way to address any issues that may arise long before they even happen.
The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program was developed to upgrade global trade security and should be considered best-practice for any company participating in business on a worldwide scale. Starting with just seven major importers in 2001, more than 10,000 partners are certified today. Companies participate in C-TPAT to protect their supply chain, identify and correct possible issues, and upgrade with the latest security trends.
While the requirements for a C-TPAT certified company are a great start, many companies exceed the security criteria by doing the following:
- Upgrading management and support teams using procedures that include checks and balances.
- Having written and practiced policies in place.
- Measuring performance and following trends.
Learn more about C-TPAT Security at:
Information Technology (IT) is an extremely valuable piece of the supply chain and must be protected through many different measures. Companies are extremely serious about information security and build multi-level initiatives to keep their information under lock and key. Offsite backup servers provide storage in external areas, keeping information safe and readily accessible at any time. Messages are encrypted to ensure delivery is secure both into storage or while being accessed by authorized users. Wireless primary and backup servers also keep information flowing smoothly and allow almost instant re-boot if it is ever needed.
Tracing and following products all the way through the supply chain is an extremely effective way to enhance logistics security. Product can be tracked by the entire truckload, specific pallet, or even single item. Depending on the value, history and seasonality of the product, companies may use one or all of product tracing tools. When product is tracked from beginning to end, transparency is created for suppliers, manufacturers, 3PLs and customers – making the journey more secure for everyone.
Having pre-written policies, procedures, and certifications are the best way to be prepared for an emergency in the supply chain. When teams are informed of the correct way to handle incidents, they can quickly act which reduces the impact on merchandise and product flow.
Sprinkler systems certified by the National Fire Protection Association are armed to stop the spread of a potential fire and protect the product around the affected area. They also should be set to alarm the correct people no matter where they are.
Building security including cameras, alarms, and security teams or police mitigate risks from outside or internal threats. Employee screenings are crucial and ensure that product makes it through the supply chain safely. Finally, scheduling can play a huge part in product security by covering all areas at the correct times.
A quality Warehouse Management System (WMS) is extremely important to maintain correct inventory levels, but added security measures can improve performance even more. Employee screening and quality control ensures that the correct people are working on accounts. Cycle counting procedures make the numbers in the WMS come to life – and act as assurance that products are where they are supposed to be.
- Natural Disasters
Having a disaster recovery plan is a must for any company that owns or handles product on any level. A quality disaster recovery plan gets the supply chain up and running as fast as possible so that there are no gaps in service for customers.
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