Remotely Monitoring Valuable Assets During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, logistics, and construction projects around the world. Social distancing has made working in close quarters difficult, and local restrictions have forced many facilities to close or operate at a limited capacity. Even industries that have been able to continue or resume operations are finding new ways to mitigate risk, maintain productivity, and operate within a new normal.
Along with all this, locations are also now facing new complications surrounding video surveillance and maintaining visibility into their sites. But with the right remote monitoring security solution in place, organizations in third party logistics, manufacturing, warehousing, construction, and related industries operating onsite production machinery can utilize modern surveillance technology to overcome these pain points.
Specifically, some of the challenges and use cases for video surveillance include:
- Lack of Remote Access and Visibility: Operating with limited or no offsite visibility, including gaps in coverage and no clear view of key areas
- Inventory Management and Security: Managing stock levels given unpredictable or fluctuating demand
- Protecting Sensitive Areas: Safeguarding sites against break-ins, theft, and other crime
- Monitoring Deliveries: Maintaining visibility of shipment docks when personnel and resources may be limited
- Risk Management and Safety Compliance: Capturing objective video evidence for liability claims, maintaining compliance, and ensuring employee safety
- Operations Efficiency and Effectiveness: Maintaining productivity, auditing machinery and production lines
- Limited Network Bandwidth: Confronting network constraints and concerns over bandwidth consumption
In facing these challenges, certain security camera system features offer significant advantages and can help facilitate a more seamless deployment.
1. Lack of Remote Access and Visibility
With normal operations disrupted and limited personnel on site, many locations are suffering from reduced— or no —visibility of their physical premises. To prevent blind spots, a video security system with remote viewing capabilities can provide clarity into key areas.
Remote Management: With an app- or web-based browser, you will be able to access video feeds offsite—making it easy to identify blind spots and maintain visibility of all your sites. Features like map view and floor plans, within a centralized management system, offer even more capability, and modern solutions allow remote access to be placed into the hands of whoever needs it. You can grant access to anyone in minutes.
Live Video Sharing: While many traditional CCTV security camera systems that rely on centralized NVRs and DVRs require users to be onsite to retrieve footage, modern solutions offer remote access and live video sharing features. It can be as easy as sending an SMS text message with a live link to team members or even law enforcement if the threat warrants it. In situations where rapid response time is critical, efficiency can make all the difference.
2. Inventory Management and Security
Forecasting inventory management has become a challenge for many distributors, manufacturers, and retailers amid the COVID-19 shutdown. Many organizations have noticed a pattern where a small percentage of items are responsible for the majority of customer requests. It has therefore become more important than ever to monitor and safeguard critical inventory. When normal operations are disrupted and onsite personnel is limited, a proactive surveillance system can help track and secure assets without round-the-clock monitoring.
Multi-User Provisioning: The key to efficient and secure inventory management is providing the buyers and planners with a clear view of stock levels, but limiting video access to only those who need it. This will help streamline shipments and prevent shortages even when you may have fewer personnel onsite. A security system with role-based access control allows you to set custom user permissions based on sites or roles, ensuring that only authorized individuals have visibility. For sensitive areas or highly-regulated industries, security permissions can even be set so that users can only view camera live streams, with no option to access past footage, save snapshots, or share video to a third-party.
3. Protecting Sensitive Areas
With social distancing mandates, facilities and sites need to find ways to maintain security even when they are largely vacant. While some physical security personnel may be essential, video surveillance can help fill the gap in coverage, allowing you to know what is happening on site even after you reduce the number of people at any location.
Proactive Alerts: Surveillance systems with proactive alerts will notify you the instant that unusual activity is detected in frame. This can be an efficient way to protect vulnerable areas, like entryways or easily-accessible windows, while reducing costs to hire an around-the-clock security team. By setting up motion alerts or tamper alerts, for example, you can rest assured that you will get a message as soon as something out of the ordinary happens even if nobody is on guard.
4. Monitoring Deliveries
Much like inventory, it is critical to monitor and protect your deliveries around the clock. The key is to leverage the latest, cutting-edge technology available in your remote surveillance camera.
Smart Search Filters & People Analytics: New technology allows users to monitor deliveries to and from your facility with more intelligence than ever before. People Analytics, for example, uses advanced computer vision technology to detect and compare people and faces in frame. This means the system can quickly cross reference and verify familiar personnel while first-time arrivals—and potentially at-risk individuals—can be flagged by quickly scanning security camera footage. Search filters allow you to look for certain objects in the footage as well, including vehicles.
5. Risk Management and Safety Compliance
Failure to abide by local restrictions and federal safety laws can result in heavy fines. It is therefore critical for organizations to abide by policies and mandates outlined by their state and local government. Video surveillance can be a useful tool in maintaining protocol compliance, while also keeping employees safe.
Motion-Based Alerts: Social distancing measures now often limit the number of people allowed in facilities at any one time. Even many essential organizations have set 6 feet as the minimum distance that people must maintain between one another. A proactive surveillance system with motion-based notifications can alert staff when people are detected in frame, so they can easily assess the scene and ensure protocol compliance. Combined with live motion plotting capabilities, this automated solution will take some of the legwork out of manually enforcing and maintaining protocol.
6. Operations Efficiency and Effectiveness
While most enterprises look toward software solutions and ERPs, remote video surveillance solutions can be an intelligent way to improve efficiency in the production line. Modern systems offer robust and easy-to-use platforms that give you real-time visibility that can be used for more than just surveillance.
Heat Map: By reviewing Heat Maps through remote access security cameras, you can easily monitor high-traffic areas and identify failing equipment. As an extra benefit, this same tool can be used to identify high-traffic areas and provide a high-level view of social distancing compliance. Site managers can view real-time Heat Maps to see where workers are gathering for example, and ensure there is no movement towards sensitive or high-risk areas.
7. Limited Network Bandwidth
Bandwidth is often a concern when it comes to deploying new technology requiring network connectivity. For ease of management, organizations need a predictable and efficient video surveillance solution that doesn’t monopolize all the available resources. This may become even more of a concern now as teams come to rely more on video conferencing and other online solutions to maintain operations on other areas. Fortunately, modern security camera solutions can offer advanced capabilities even when faced with network constraints and concerns about bandwidth consumption.
Limited Connectivity: Because construction or other staging sites may be temporary, it can be challenging to deploy cloud-based security cameras with limited or no network connectivity. This is why a video security solution—whether centered around wireless security cameras, remote security cameras, or traditional options—needs to be able to operate on low bandwidth or support alternative connections such as cellular networks. Choosing a system with a hybrid cloud infrastructure, in which footage is stored both locally and in the cloud, can help ensure no gaps in coverage occur as a result of camera or network downtime.
Cradlepoint and Low-Bandwidth Support: One option favored by some organization is connecting through a Cradlepoint router. This can be easily achieved with the right system — and you can even scale cameras using cellular connectivity or limited network bandwidth. If this is the best method for you, setting it all up is as easy as following a few simple steps.
Onboard Device Storage: Onboard device storage allows you to initially capture and store large video files locally. This means you don’t need a constant connection for uploads. Instead, you can just access live, full-size live streams after it is requested by authorized users. This configuration ensures that resources are used efficiently and your network won’t be overrun, while also eliminating coverage gaps due to camera or network downtime.
To learn more about how manufacturing, warehouse, construction companies across the nation are utilizing video security, explore customer stories.
Learn how to select the right remote monitoring system for your organization with A Guide to Remote Video Monitoring.