Each shipment of consumer electronics could hold goods worth millions even billions: their loss undermining the market and badly bruising your bottom line. However, the costs of cargo theft go beyond the simple loss of product, with interruptions to the supply chain, supporting customer services, criminal investigations, and increased insurance all draining potential profit. When evaluating a 3PL partner, then, their supply chain security is crucial for the handling of high value goods whether that be the newest tablet, mobile phone or even crucial medicines and pharmaceutical products.
The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) EMEA gathered cargo theft intelligence across the region in 2016, finding an increase of incidents by 265.3% in some areas – the highest in more than six years.
So, now is the time to adapt, update and increase your supply chain security to ensure you stay one – or two – steps ahead of criminal activity.
A three-part solution for the safety of your consumer electronics, would include robust warehousing procedures, real-time visibility, and tailored security provision.
- Rigorous warehousing and distribution practices
Security at your warehouses needs to be complex and comprehensive to ensure that your goods are kept safe around the clock. Strategically located distribution centres with geographic placement streamlined for your supply chain will help your 3PL reduce risks.
Aside from frequent stock-taking practices, the facilities themselves need to be physically secured with centralised standards. On a basic level, strict uniform for employees, complete CCTV coverage, and security beams need to be established across the site. These would then be supported by frequent search points and touchpoints throughout the supply chain to ensure your 3PL partner’s workforce are working together to keep your high value goods safe.
Indeed, all employees should be vetted via the criminal records bureau before gaining access to warehousing and transit. After all, your 3PL partner is only as good as its people, so thorough and frequent training will guarantee that their workforce has the expertise to handle high value goods to the standard you expect.
- Real-time visibility with smart systems
Knowing where your high value goods are at every stage of the supply chain is crucial to their security. The mark of an excellent 3PL partner will be in the level of control and visibility they can provide throughout the process. To do this, they’ll be experienced, expert, and constantly evolving their own practices with the best technologies.
For example, a control tower management solution with GPS tracking will give you real-time visibility so you’re in the best place to react if issues do arise. Your supply chain security will connect with CCTV and centralised access control systems so you can live monitor your product throughout its distribution.
With SKU level visibility, a system like Griffin is smart and can instantly flag when a shipment may be in danger. Analytics allow you to demarcate a safe route, allocating geofences with a virtual cordon to activate alarms when products enter crime zones or are approaching touchpoints. If the driver goes off course, is stopped unexpectedly, or spends longer on part of the route than planned then you can act fast to find answers.
With real-time visibility, your consumer electronics goods are never out of sight.
- Tailored security provision for high value goods
With high value consumer electronics and cold chain pharmaceuticals, you need your 3PL partner to go above and beyond for your supply chain security. Only with flexibility and tailored solutions can your security safeguard each product in your supply chain.
If a product is particularly valuable or considered at risk, then look for warehousing with the option of highly secured cages. This can separate sensitive goods and limit access to screened employees. During distribution, these goods can then be individually tracked with security devices such as GPS or RFID. This gives you the full-scope of visibility and acts as an additional precaution if cargo theft is attempted.
Finally, trained escorts can accompany your product throughout its transit to provide additional protection and deterrent. Your 3PL partner analyses the risks, plans ahead, and supports your product throughout the supply chain to ensure high value goods have tailored security.
Securing your high value goods throughout the supply chain is vital for consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals. Where risk can be mitigated, your 3PL partner should have systems in place to always play it safe.