An interview with Danny Cipollone, Vice President, Central Region, Security Services – Canada
In August 2020, GardaWorld welcomed a new Central Canada (ON) Vice President: Danny Cipollone. Danny has over 30 years’ experience in the logistics space and brings a wide range of expertise that will heighten our industry best practices and strengthen our service suite.
We (virtually) met with Danny to discuss strategic ways that transportation and logistics businesses can enhance their security program to lower the vulnerability of their clients’ supply chains which can lead to unnecessary costs or inefficient delivery schedules. His time spent leading growth at a major North American supply chain service provider, headquartered in Toronto, proves he has a deep understanding of business and security needs in this unique sector.
Danny, thank you for meeting with us to share some of your security insights in the transportation and logistics sector. Based on your experience, what are key supply chain threats that businesses in this industry face?
In my previous role, seeing this industry from an international perspective gave me oversight on a wide collection of recurring and sporadic threats to different segments of the supply chain. From a high-level, major threats fall into two categories: uncontrollable and controllable.
While organizations can implement strategies to eventually mitigate uncontrollable risks, such as changes to the economy, laws and regulations, natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, or even something we’re experiencing now during this global pandemic, these challenges are often unprecedented and unpredictable. Besides having a plan in place, and leaning on experts to strengthen your best practices, there is little to be done daily to prevent these issues.
However, organizations can have a huge impact and optimize their mitigation tactics by addressing their controllable risks. The largest controllable threat to this sector, in my opinion, would fall under loss prevention. Whether external or internal, loss of assets can deeply affect yours and your clients’ bottom line. In this type of industry, you are moving, processing, and storing inventory continuously.
The larger your operations, the more critical it becomes to keep close watch on your inventory from all angles. Another element to protect closely if you have a storage facility, warehouse, freight yard, etc. are your on-site operations. Breaches to your site or loads, system failures, even insufficient staffing levels can impact your business immensely over time if not monitored diligently.
Fascinating. We’re confident you’ll only be able to scratch the surface on this, but how can these industry organizations protect themselves against these common controllable threats?
There are various methods to protect the supply chain. In my opinion, organizations should start by implementing a strong layer of physical protection in and around warehouse facilities or lots. Strategically positioning security guards, for example, at your access points and vulnerable areas provides a deterrent effect from the moment anyone enters your premises.
This person, or these people, can be stationed at your gate house to log incoming drivers, conduct load inspections, and record entry or exit activity. Coupling a physical security presence with security systems, such as closed-circuit television devices or alarm devices, is the best way to provide you with a 360-degree view of your risks in and out of physical sight.
An element I’ve seen overlooked in the past is the importance of strong site patrols. You’d be surprised how a simple scheduled or randomly timed marked security vehicle patrol can pick up on-site incidents or inconsistencies that can drastically affect your bottom line. Let’s say on sites we protect through GardaWorld, a security guard notices an unlocked gate or a door to a sensitive area that is systematically left open. These issues can seem minor, but if not addressed, can increase on-site risk significantly. We use a system called GTrack to log and report these incidents in real time, then take it a step further by sharing data trends with our clients. Incident analytics allow us to note underlying issues and quickly address them before they become problematic.
With strong security and systems in place, you’re already on your way to combatting internal and external inventory shrinkage, but these are not enough. Ideally, I suggest that organizations have a full loss prevention audit conducted to provide a complete overview of on-site shrinkage controls.
Having someone external to your business conduct this analysis objectively can be a real game changer. They can identify gaps to your existing plan and provide insight on lacking prevention plan components that need to be addressed according to risk priority. Ensure you’re including key internal loss prevention techniques such as employee awareness drills, proper training, as well as inventory handling processes. People are only human after all and can be subject to committing common errors when processing your freight if not amply trained.
Something we’ve seen gain importance this year is protecting sensitive loads entering and exiting your site. Escorting of sensitive loads carrying personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic, for example, has become increasingly crucial. In times like these, no one can afford to have this type of freight get misplaced. One method of protection is to implement a process where a security professional escorts any sensitive load once on site and provides close surveillance. This not only helps meet insurance requirements, but also provides you with invaluable peace of mind that your drivers are kept safe. Often, this sensitive cargo is targeted first by crime operators.
A final way to keep your inventory and assets as safe as possible is to prepare for additional on-site personnel leading up to peak inventory periods. For example, if your freight movement is deeply impacted by the holiday shopping season, plan to have additional trained workers in your facilities to properly track your inventory and handle your flow of traffic. At GardaWorld, we have a staffing and recruitment division called TalentWorld. Our business leaders shared the unfortunate trend that businesses in this space often realize too late that they should increase personnel levels during these peak seasons which can lead to unnecessary chaos on site. Set yourself up for success by managing staffing levels accordingly well in advance.
To re-cap, the ways that organizations in this sector can enhance their supply chain security are to:
- Implement a combination of a strong physical security presence at access points and security systems, such as CCTV devices or alarm detectors, to gain oversight on high-traffic areas in your facilities and protect your freight and inventory from all angles.
- Conduct regular patrols to examine and report inconsistencies concerning facility systems such as breaches to the premises or entrance/exits and any maintenance inconsistencies.
- Conduct a full loss prevention audit to ensure you have proper loss prevention controls in place to combat external and internal shrinkage (employee training, inventory handling processes).
- Provide close protection by having sensitive loads (such as trucks with PPE) escorted, to keep drivers safe and protect valuable material while satisfying insurance requirements.
- Increase staffing levels during peak asset movement periods to guarantee your inventory is properly monitored and handled.
Did we capture those points clearly?
Yes, those are the broad categories. You hit the nail on the head when you stated this is merely scratching the surface. My main recommendation to anyone in this sector who believes they could strengthen their existing security program is to reach out to experts, such as GardaWorld, for a full security and risk audit.
Trained professionals can reveal existing gaps and set you on the right track to protect your bottom line. With a solid plan in place, you can keep operations running smoothly and allow your attention to shift to those uncontrollable risks I mentioned that arise unexpectedly, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you again, Danny, for sharing your expertise and insight with us.
It was my pleasure.
To consult GardaWorld’s full service offering available for the Transportation & Logistics sector.