How to Use Video Management in Logistics
In a globalized, increasingly networked business world, logistics companies are facing new tasks and requirements that they have to cope with or react to in order to remain competitive.
A rapidly growing online trade and the associated enormous increase in dealing with private customers and their special features in terms of accessibility and punctuality require a reorientation of logistics processes. Open borders and simplified, Europe-wide working conditions also lead to an increase in competition within the logistics industry. Among other things, this creates cost pressure to which a response must be made.
Organized Crime in Logistics
In addition, the industry is increasingly affected by organized crime: the damage caused by theft within the logistics centers is enormous. In the meantime, entire trailers are being stolen from depots. Theft from moving trucks is also an increasingly popular method of criminal gangs. Apart from the damage caused by slashed loading tarpaulins, stolen vehicles, the insurance damage caused by stolen cargo and the resulting loss of customer trust can no longer be discussed away.
Why Video Management is an Intelligent Choice
Establishing a connection between the requirements described above and the targeted use of a video management solution sounds implausible in the first approach. Certainly, the entrepreneurs have reacted and, through the use of video surveillance, can now in many cases provide proof of when, where and by whom a theft was carried out on the site of a logistics center. Logistics-specific certifications also ensure that these records are standardized and meet the purpose. But even if the worst comes to the worst, the search for the right video data shows that the search is time-consuming and complex. Often revenge is taken here that the investment in the system was kept small and in retrospect causes significant personnel costs in dealing with it.
Modern video management systems can do much more: they represent nothing else than a form of data analysis and processing, as we know it from other systems. Intelligent video management solutions today are able to easily evaluate video and other data, link it to other data sources in a company, establish relationships, trigger actions and thus reduce the search for essential information alone to a fraction of a second. That alone is the simplest form of intelligent automation of the system.
In addition, cleverly thought-out video management solutions make it possible to deliver an important operational share as part of the entire logistics process and the associated subsystems and, above all, a financially easier to assess advantage in terms of added value.
This exploitation of this potential and the extended functions must therefore have significant effects in the selection of such a system. It starts with the planning: the questions that you have to ask yourself as an investor are no longer system-related alone. You are no longer limited to the question of the number and resolution of the cameras, the functions in the video management software and ultimately the price. Rather, the search for an answer to the company’s challenges to be solved in the operational area is oriented. The focus is on the process, not the system.
Furthermore, however, it also requires a rethinking of the participation of the individual departments of a logistics company: Decisions for a system and also the use of it are now based on the topic of “security” as well as on other users such as operational management, dispatching, fleet management, etc.
To illustrate what an intelligent video management solution can do, let’s look at some practical cases:
Case One: Simplified Claims Management
As already mentioned at the beginning, a logistics company is increasingly addressing private individuals as recipients of shipping goods due to the high increase in online trading. This makes the process of receipt more difficult: often the recipients are not reachable, parcels are either deposited at agreed locations or accepted by neighbors. The acknowledgment of receipt, also a guarantee for the perfect condition of the goods, is provided by the deliverer or neighbor. It is by no means an isolated case that the regular recipient reports the imperfect or damaged condition of the goods to the logistician after a few days and thus initiates an insured event. Some companies have therefore begun to provide almost complete proof of the integrity of the goods from delivery to loading into the delivery vehicle. With the help of video cameras, both a snapshot of the package and a short environment video are stored in a database during each scan process and linked to the scanner data. The environment video serves to clarify in the event of damage. If a customer now reports damage, the claim manager can use the barcode to track the entire course of the package in seconds and to initiate claim processing cost-effectively and verifiably.
Case Two: Automated Access Control
Access control and allocation to the loading ramps can also be automated using a video management system. As a result, both the security against theft of vehicles can be increased and personnel costs can be reduced. At the entrance and exit to the company premises, the license plates of the towing vehicle and trailer are recorded by video camera and transmitted to the logistics software or an ERP system. This compares the data and issues a release for entry or exit to the video management or barrier system. At the same time, it transmits information to a module of the video management system, which shows the driver via a monitor at the entrance to which loading ramp he has to drive or whether he is only in a waiting position. This automation enables a much faster process at the entrances and at the same time prevents towing vehicles from entering the loading yard that do not have access rights. Or that towing vehicles leave the yard with the wrong trailer. If this solution is now extended by using document scanners for freight documents in the entrance area, a fully automated system is obtained in which the video surveillance, which is already necessary, makes a major contribution to automation and thus justifies its investment.
Case Three: Securing Vehicles
A critical aspect in the protection against theft are still the journeys between the logistics centers or to the addressee. Here it is increasingly happening that organized gangs steal entire trucks or at least empty them. Unmonitored and overcrowded parking spaces on motorways at night contribute significantly to this. Today, intelligently designed video management software can also be installed on computers specially designed for vehicle and fleet operation and thus an overall system can be operated as a remote part. These mobile video solutions not only enable the recording of cameras permanently mounted on the vehicle, manufactured for tough mobile use, for example to actively monitor the outer skin of the vehicle. At the same time, they also offer the possibility to record and evaluate GPS data, information about the technical condition of the vehicle. In this way, such a system can pass on and alert information via the mobile networks if necessary. Deviations from the plan route, live tracking of the route of stolen vehicles, access by opening the loading doors, prolonged stay of people in the vehicle area in parking lots, alerting in case of technical problems; these are scenarios that help to better protect the vehicle and the load and thus turn the investment in an extended video management system into calculable advantages.
The challenges facing logistics entrepreneurs today are diverse and great. As part of the entire logistics process, an intelligent video management system geared to customer needs plays an important role apart from its task as a monitoring instrument. With its extensive functions and automatisms, it represents a solution that not only causes costs, but rather offers high added value and whose investment includes a return on investment. Therefore, it is worth thinking about what needs an already necessary solution can offer them.
Atomitie 5 C
+358 9 2533 3300
+358 9 2533 3330