Beverage Company Puts Access Control, CCTV and Burglary Systems on Tap

For more than 75 years, wholesale beer distributor Kramer Beverage Co. of Hammonton, N.J., has been delivering Corona, Coors, Bass, Harp, Moosehead, Samuel Adams, Beck’s, Pilsner and Guinness beer to the local pubs and markets of southern New Jersey. Millions of bottles and cans of the valuable and often coveted brew are stored at Kramer’s warehouse and require protection from external and internal theft.

Earlier this year, Kramer moved to its brand new headquarters, which has more than 169,000 square feet of warehouse and offices. The facility’s larger size and remote location made it more vulnerable to theft and vandalism. An upgraded, state-of-the-art security system was needed to secure the distributor’s growing product inventory.

Old Facility’s System Doesn’t Include Access Control

In its former building, Kramer had an old CCTV and burglary system that was outdated and didn’t provide adequate protection for the $4 million to $5 million worth of alcohol stored at the facility. Fifty delivery trucks also needed to be secured. Kramer management was keenly aware of its susceptibility to intrusion because, nine years earlier, many of the company’s vehicles had been vandalized.

Kramer responded to that incident by adding extra camera surveillance, but still, the system was antiquated by today’s standards. The distributor also realized that it needed card access control.The perfect opportunity to upgrade and expand its security system came when the distributor decided to move to a new facility, built specifically for Kramer.

Satisfied Customer Calls on Dealer Again

Prior to breaking ground for Kramer’s new headquarters, the building contractor had specified another security system. However, because the beer distributor already had a strong working relationship with Atlantic Coast Alarm of Pleasantville, N.J., Kramer management asked the dealer to look over the plans presented by the contractor.

As the dealer began designing the system, it had to take into account the number of employees that would work on the premises, the type of work that would be done, the flow of personnel at the facility and the flow of delivery vehicle traffic.

The new building’s remote rural location was another factor that needed to be considered. An orchard/vineyard is immediately adjacent to where the delivery trucks are parked on the weekend when the facility is closed. As a result, there are no friendly neighbors keeping an eye out for illicit activity.

Client Wants Access System to Track Employees

Kramer Beverage Co. operates 24 hours a day, Sunday night through Friday night. Three shifts of union employees (75 in total) work continuously in the warehouse at different times of the day and night. Additionally, a sales and administrative staff of 12 occupy offices in the front of the building. Delivery trucks regularly enter and exit the premises and visitors and vendors (like gardeners and truck washers) also have access to the property at various times of the day.

Considering the facility has 17 doors and one automatic gate (for trucks), developing a system that keeps track of who and what comes and goes was of utmost concern for Kramer management. The company also wanted to control the times when people could enter the building. Additionally, certain entrances would be considered off limits for some employees (e.g. truck drivers cannot enter the sales offices and sales staff cannot enter the warehouse). Despite all of these requirements, the access system installed needed to be easy to learn and use.

Atlantic Coast Alarm decided to install Compass Technologies’ access control software and equipment, including the 5E standalone single workstation, reader modules and readers. Ease of use was the primary consideration when choosing Compass products.

The access system installed enables Grenfell to program employee cards so that they only work during specified hours. The software keeps track of the times assigned as well as attendance. If an employee quits or is terminated, his or her card can be easily deactivated and removed from the database.

CCTV System Monitors Doors, Parking, Loading Docks

The access system works hand-in-hand with the facility’s CCTV system, which allows Grenfell to review footage in the event of an invalid card read. “If something happens on a specific day or time, I can go back and plug in that day and time and see what happened at the one door,” Grenfell says.

A total of 21 cameras were installed at Kramer. Four were installed on the perimeter fence and are set for motion detection after-hours. They run continuously during the work day. Other fixed cameras monitor the loading docks, refrigerators, dispatch center and storage area.

Tied in with both the CCTV and access systems is the gate and parking control system, which uses a hydraulic slide fence opener and card reader on the back gate. A camera videotapes vehicles entering the lot. The video can then be reviewed at a later date by management in case of an event or invalid card read. For those vehicles that make deliveries after-hours but do not have assigned access cards, an Aiphone intercom system was installed so that drivers can communicate with Kramer’s offices.

Central Station Monitors All Security Systems

On weekends, when Kramer is closed, a monitored burglary system is activated. Eighteen Optex long-range, dual-technology motion detectors and 10 Ademco dual-technology motion detectors ensure proper coverage of the warehouse and offices. A DMP master control panel controls the entire system. Also, DMP alpha keypads are located in the main lobby and in the operations end for easy access. Only managers and operations supervisors have the code to turn off the system.

For others who don’t have a code and want to come in on the weekends, they must call Atlantic Coast Alarm to notify the central station that someone is in the building. All of these systems, including a fire system that was not installed by Toner’s company, are monitored by Atlantic Coast’s central station.

Training on the System Takes Just 3 Days

Training of employees and management took approximately three days, although many, including Grenfell, were already familiar with alarm systems in general (from their previous experience with the old system). Kramer’s employees, however, also picked up quickly the newest aspect of their security system – access control. Grenfell, the employee responsible for administering the new system, is still learning its nuances, but loves the installation.

Toner concludes that Kramer Beverage Co.‘s installation was straightforward with no complications. He says the most difficult aspect of the job, if anything, was getting the finalization on all the drawings. “When they changed the layout of the offices, we had to change the layout of the doors,” states Toner. “But overall, when we fired up the card access system, we were using it right away.”

Kramer has no plans for upgrades right now because they believe they have adequate coverage. However, the company has a five-year growth plan that, if business remains good, will call for expansion of the building as well as its security system.

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