Entrance control solution to improve logistical efficiency

The UK’s retail sector is a £366 billion market[1]. Some of the biggest businesses operating in the space deal with millions of transactions per week and have a highly complex logistics and distribution operations. This was the case for one of the UK’s leading grocery retailers, so to help manage the complexity, it wanted to install a perimeter protection system that would be secure, and that would allow efficient control of the vehicles and people flowing through its distribution centres.


The retailer turned to Heras, one of the leading perimeter security specialists in the UK, to design a proposed solution. Heras began a comprehensive assessment of the requirements, visited sites, met with supply chain teams and interviewed distribution managers to really get under the skin of the retailer’s needs both now and in the future. It developed a future-proofed concept that demonstrated how the retailer could make its delivery operations more secure and effective, while significantly streamlining operations at its distribution centres.

The sophisticated concept comprised of a range of single security solutions to form a complete, integrated system to meet, and exceed client expectations. It would employ individual market-leading solutions such as access control, vehicle tagging and tracking, consignment temperature control, yard planning, bay allocation, driver tracking, driver allocation, international language communication, Health and Safety Compliance, CCTV monitoring, audio visual communications, integration into stock receiving and order control software and supports a totally manless distribution centre operation. Together, the integrated system would reduce operator costs and improve efficiency without detriment to security levels both externally around the perimeter and internally against IT intrusion. Heras created dedicated separation lanes between the retailer’s fleet of approved vehicles and third party deliveries to ensure automated and speedy flow of its own vehicles while reducing demands upon gatehouse and traffic staff.

To help achieve this, Heras fitted each truck with a secure anti-tamper tracking tag housed in the vehicle engine  compartment of each vehicle in the fleet. This would allow the dedicated traffic lane’s long range reader to automatically read the tag only when the vehicle aligned to enter the lane to allow access and track it throughout its journey around the distribution centre. The location of the tags restricted access thereby reducing security risk by preventing theft or tampering. The tags were also integrated into the customer’s  existing supply chain and delivery systems so it could easily log arrival and departure times between depots as well as quickly match the correct vehicle with the driver alongside the planned delivery.

Roll out across the UK and Europe

Following the success of the first installation, Heras was asked to roll out the solution across all of its sites in the UK and mainland Europe. Over a period of three years, Heras completed a new roll out every six weeks working while each of the sites remained operational. For the European implementations, Heras delivered a complete turnkey solution and project managed the entire process. Some parts of the concept had to be adapted to regional distribution methods, such as allowing for farmer entry as well as larger haulier vehicles, or less predictable arrival times.


The project has resulted in some significant benefits for the retailer. Firstly, they broke even on ROI in just two months due to a reduction of operational costs and increased efficiencies. The combination of the automated gates, dedicated circuit for fleet vehicles and the integration of systems led to a much faster throughput and turnaround of vehicles into and out of the loading and unloading bays. It also reduced queuing, which meant less time with engines sat running. The solution reduced the time each vehicle needed to spend at the depot by three minutes per vehicle. When this saving is calculated over 600 transactions In a day, it really stacks up, saving 30 man hours, which in turn means the company can now process more vehicles and deliveries. For more information visit heras.co.uk/casestudies

Experts in perimeter protection

We design, manufacture, install and service perimeter protection solutions across business, community and industry sectors. We supply demarcation (fencing), entrance control (access gates) and detection products. We also provide project management, system integration and installation, service and maintenance capabilities for perimeter protection projects throughout Europe. Our aim is to become Europe’s number one premium perimeter protection brand, proven by our commitment, expertise and reliability.

[1] According to Retail Economics https://www.retaileconomics.co.uk/library-retail-stats-and-facts


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Case Study