Cargo loss is something that can be very detrimental and costly. The impact of it along with the cost gets passed on to companies and eventually, on to consumers too. Supply chain managers must implement strategies to ensure that assets are protected at every stage of the increasingly complex and globally connected supply chain. This needs balancing of a number of tasks and understanding that assets need to be protected not only from theft, but also from damage and contamination.
There needs to be a protection plan in place for assets that are in transit, at factories and in warehouses waiting for shipment. Let’s discuss some strategies that can help put such a protection plan into motion.
Monitor Warehouse Activities with Security Cameras
Warehouses are known to be the common place for theft and for damaging products by introducing improper processes into the mix. Therefore there needs to be security cameras strategically placed throughout the facility in order to monitor everything that goes on. These cameras can help keep an eye on intruders and also monitor workers to ensure the products manufactured are packaged and handled carefully.
Measuring and Testing
Supply chain protection does not only entail protection of products from loss or theft. It is also about ensuring protection from contamination or damage. Managers need to identify risk points that make it possible for the end products’ quality to be damaged and tempered with easily. Afterwards, they need to set up measurement and testing processes to make certain that nothing fuels these points even more. Testing and measuring products along the way ensures that the final product is of higher quality and provides consumers with exactly what they expect from the company.
Understand the Risks of Different Transport Modes
Freight can be transported in many ways that include over the road, on a train, on a ship or even via the air. Granted that air, boat and train transport modes each have their own types of risks; it is however found out that the highest risk of theft takes place in over-the-road trucking transport. When using trucking to transport cargo, managers must have an understanding that the most trucking-related cargo theft occurs during transit. Make certain to build relationships with trucking companies that put an emphasis and high dedication to safety and security. An option of adding GPS tracking to trucking fleets that will carry valuable cargo can help keep products secure.
Keep Assets Traceable
As mentioned above already, have a way to trace your assets. Not only on the road, but throughout the manufacturing and delivery process too. The task of keeping assets traceable is managed through several technologies. Some, such as barcodes that are scanned at different points are fairly simple while on the other hand, others such as Radio Frequency Identification to track individual products are a bit complex. The main goal however through it all still remains knowing where the products are and where they are headed at every point.
Managers may also use real-time GPS asset tracking that provides instant information about where assets are in the supply chain. Companies through this are allowed to monitor assets remotely and can determine their locations in real time. GPS tracking can also be used for jobsite alerts so that the asset management team knows when the assets move from one location to the next or if they unexpectedly leave a facility at the wrong time. This can assist in combating theft by alerting authorities the moment an asset is unexpectedly transported while showing the last-known GPS coordinates for a missing shipment too.
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