“There’s no end to the ways you can protect your product; you just need to be creative in how you execute and implement your security practices,” Powers says.
He suggests companies develop a method to visually identify employees from guests, maintenance, contractors or customers as a way to ensure only authorized personnel are accessing sensitive areas of the facility. Uniforms, badges or armbands of different colors are examples of inexpensive solutions for companies to adopt.
The ability to demonstrate that every reasonable prevention method was in place goes a long way in protecting a company’s reputation in the face of a public safety incident. Even basic site security, such as fences and gates, makes a significant impact in site security.
“If you don’t have a simple gate to stop or minimize traffic coming on to your property, imagine how you would be judged in the press versus the company who makes reasonable, prudent efforts to secure its facility?” Powers says. “A company is judged after a negative event — whether its criminal activity or its failure to prevent an incident — and as a result that’s the lens through which a company will be judged.”
In rural areas it can be difficult to secure the grounds around an isolated facility — especially if the number of employees and resources may vary with the seasons.
Tampering isn’t the only threat to a company’s products. Theft has been an ongoing issue in regions battling the effects of methamphetamine production and addiction. Anhydrous ammonia sold by cooperative and used by farmer is also a key ingredient in cooking meth. While keeping gates closed and locks locked sounds like common sense, Powers finds that security breaches are often the result of human error or incompetence because someone failed to secure and protect the property. Again, consistent enforcement of company policies creates a culture of accountability.
“You don’t need an expensive card access or camera system — basic practices and principles go a long way to improve quality,” Powers says. “The goal is to protect the company’s assets and its bottom line, because at the end of the day, this is about protecting the shareholder’s value and the integrity of the brand.”