Case Study: Securing DHL's Warehouse Operations in Sweden

When 4.2 million customers rely on you to fulfill more than 1 billion shipments every year, you had better ensure that your security is the best. The solution for DHL Solutions Orebro warehouse in Sweden was a unique system that fully integrates intruder alarms, access control and fire warning systems, not to mention personal attack alarms and environmental functions such as lighting.

Further integration of a video surveillance system using more than 120 cameras brings the Orebro facility one step closer to being internationally certified as a high security warehouse - without compromising the movement of people or consignments, 24/7.

Background

The maxim "think global, act local" could have been invented for the world's No 1 logistics company, DHL. Were it minded to, it could boast of global expertise in express, air and ocean freight, overland transport and logistics solutions, in all of which it is the market leader globally. Yet on the local level it has more than 160 000 employees working for businesses in 220 countries. Taken together, DHL combines worldwide coverage with an in-depth understanding of local markets.

Some 4.2 million customers entrust more than 1 billion shipments every year to DHL, and naturally security is paramount, locally and globally.

Take Sweden, where DHL, following its merger with Danzas ASG in 2003, now employs 4.000 people in some 70 offices, terminals and stations. At the centre of operations - and in the centre of Sweden - is the impressive warehouse facility of approximately 60.000 square meters at Orebro, about 300 km east of the capital, Stockholm. Half of Sweden's population live or work within 20 miles of Orebro, and Norway's capital Oslo is a mere 30 miles away. Road, rail and air links to DHL's facilities at Orebro are excellent.

Daily operations at Orebro include numerous deliveries in and out of the facility, supervised by 180 full-time and hundreds of part-time employees.

Of course, security is paramount, even though maintaining high standards of security when movements in and out are so frequent might, to the casual observer, seem challenging.

Securing Orebro

To secure the Orebro facility, DHL opted for a unique integrated security system from the Access Security specialist, Bewator. The Bewator 2010 system, which protects the entire facility, replaced the previous access system in October 2004, as part of DHL's goal to certify Orebro to international standards. Fully integrating intruder alarm, access control, video management and fire warning systems, Bewator 2010 technology controls access to 150 doors equipped with Bewator card readers, and monitors nearly 900 alarm points.

The full integration of different functions such as access control, alarm systems and video surveillance was key to DHL's choice of the Bewator 2010 system, as was the fact that DHL receives service and support from the installer as well as Bewator - a significant advantage.

The 2010 system allows centralised control and surveillance of one or more buildings and enables end-users to monitor, act upon and follow up all security-related issues. Other built-in security functions include personal attack alarms and environmental alarms.

Wider functions include environmental management such as heating, lighting and ventilation. Yet such is the system's focus that, if required, a single security-cleared operator can control all the functions of the 2010 from a single PC. Furthermore, its ready-integrated design means that, with minimal extra wiring, new functionality can easily be added.

Integrated video surveillance

Impressive as it is, Bewator's 2010 security system at Orebro was further enhanced with the integration of a video surveillance system. Footage from more than 120 cameras is linked to the 2010 system and managed using Bewator's advanced digital video management system, Eventys. The result of combining Eventys with 2010 is a complete control and surveillance solution.

Bewator Eventys is an advanced digital video and audio recorder / server that completely replaces the traditional analogue VCR, multiplexer, motion detector and video transmission security systems. It features some of the most powerful search functions on the market today. In the search for particular activities, or patterns of activity, operators can retrieve images with ease, using intelligent search tools that have an intuitive overview of recorded activity. The alarm or event list is another way to access recorded events.

At one and the same time, Eventys supports both analogue and IP cameras, keyboard and joystick controllers, and video matrices and audio devices. It supports unlimited offsite data storage, and sweeps away the limitations of physical distance by being accessible from virtually anywhere in the world via TCP/IP networks. It is ideally suited for demanding sites such as banks, factories, and logistics centres - among the latter, DHL's Orebro facility.

Security with freedom of movement

Bewator security solutions serve a leading logistics company such as DHL in Orebro well. High security is crucial - you only have to note the alarmed electric fence around the facility to appreciate that - but so is the need to ensure virtually unrestricted, around-the-clock movement of people and goods into and out of the warehouse facilities, which specialise in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), including alcohol. That was the challenge.

Bewator partner Botkyrka Installations AB installed the entire system, and did an excellent job, says Tommy Nielsen, Security Manager at DHL Solutions in Sweden. "We need to have full control of our business. The combination of Bewator 2010 and Eventys enables us to control access into and out of the facility, and keep track of all personnel, whether they are part-time or full time, and whenever they are working, 24/7."

Clearly, to detail how the system works could compromise security, but it is no secret that cards are individually programmed with an employee's name, PIN code, authorisation level, authorised times of use, and so on. The 2010 system's versatile report functionality allows DHL to track users' activity, as well as to log all events and readily access them. Access cards also serve as ID badges with photos, ensuring that unauthorised visitors stand out.

"Bewator 2010 is incredibly user-friendly and easy to use, and because it is, there is less risk of mistakes and unnecessary call-outs and alarms," says Mr Nielsen.

"That said, our personnel are highly trained. All procedures are thoroughly documented, and we have procedures for every eventuality. There are a number of stepped alert levels."

The investment is part of the company's goal to certify the entire facility to international standards as a high security warehouse, adds Mr Nielsen: "Bewator 2010 with Eventys is a natural step in this ambition."

Such certification means that DHL will have to meet the Freight Security Requirements of the Technology Asset Production Association (TAPA), which take into account both the level and standard of security procedures and their implementation, and the level and standard of security technology - and that is where Bewator came in. Bewator 2010 is now being installed at other DHL facilities in Sweden, enhancing the company's facilities nationwide.

Think global, act local? DHL demonstrates that it can be done, and securely, too.

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