4 ways CCTV can improve your business
We’ve all become accustomed to seeing CCTV installed in towns, parks and even our workplaces, and we generally accept they’re there for our security. But did you know that CCTV can be used in a variety of ways for business improvement? Here are four ways cameras can contribute to more than just your security.
1. Production and manufacturing
Some of our customers who operate within the manufacturing sector have been using cameras on their production lines for a while, and with great success. Cameras are installed across the whole line and/or over particular machines so if production unexpectedly grinds to a halt, or a machine stops or jams, the camera will quickly identify the source of the problem and alert the operator or engineer who can get the line rolling again as soon as possible.
One company in particular – a manufacturer – of concrete blocks and bricks – has several high-resolution cameras installed on their production line for this very reason. The cameras they use are of such high quality that when one of their customers complained about an imperfection in the concrete blocks that were being supplied, they could go back through the manufacturing process and identify that a tool was jamming and so creating a score line down the blocks.
When they went back and reviewed the CCTV footage, they could identify how long this had been happening for, what orders it had affected and identify the exact pallets that had been sent out with the defect and recall them straight away.
2. Traffic management
Car parks are a bone of contention for many companies, particularly for one that has gone through a rapid period of expansion or has decided to co-locate with another organisation. Often in these situations there can be problems with additional traffic on site and an increased number of delivery vehicles causing people to be late to work and deliveries delayed. CCTV can be used here for analysis to help plan car park management. By running algorithms to determine the busiest times of day, recurring issues such as congestion, and high-volume delivery times can be managed better.
One of the best ways of using CCTV for this purpose is by creating whitelists and blacklists of vehicles that are allowed on site. For example, to stop congestion, on the whitelist between the hours of 8.00am and 10.00am, and 4.00pm and 6.00pm, all staff vehicles will be allowed on site (whitelisted) and delivery vehicles denied access (blacklisted). The cameras work with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology and automated gates and barriers to provide a seamless experience for the user and to make sure that everyone starts work on time!
3. People management
Managing the flow of people around the workplace and preventing congestion has been key to providing a safe, post-pandemic return to work. Cameras have become a vital piece of equipment in handling pedestrian traffic, for example, many meeting rooms now have cameras installed above the door to regulate the number of people within. Working with access control the camera monitors the amount of people entering the room and then deny access to anyone over the maximum limit.
Employees have become empowered to manage their own safety using workplace apps that work in conjunction with cameras so they can log in and see the current areas of congestion. Likewise, video analytics can pick up if there are too many people standing together; this is called electronic social detection and it can raise an alarm if it detects people who are not two metres apart. These apps can feed back to a central monitoring station where a security officer or health and safety officer can use the data to review your ongoing H&S policy.
4. Health and safety
There are certain areas of a business that we always cover with CCTV for health and safety reasons. Forklift charging areas are one because there have been numerous cases of batteries igniting when they’re being charged. The other areas are pedestrian walkways. This is particularly valuable in warehouse type buildings where there have been instances of forklifts deviating into pedestrian walkways. If they’re covered by camera they can be flagged and quickly addressed, preventing downtime and workplace injuries.
Dave Salisbury, Managing Director, Zicam Integrated Security Limited.
Subscribe here to keep up to date with Zicam’s news and views.