Chemmanur Group Leverages Information Security for Beefing up Physical Security

A look at how Suresh Kumar K, AGM & Group IT – Head, Chemmanur International Group, secured his company's 160 outlets by innovative use of IT

Established in 1863 in Kerala, Chemmanur International Group today has multiple branches across the globe. The company manages about 160 outlets (30 jewelry showrooms outside India, 115 NBFC branches and 10 micro finance branches across Kerala) dealing in jewelry, gold loan and microfinance.

As all these branches deal with cash transactions and gold business transactions, having a strong security infrastructure in place is of top priority for the company. Keeping this in mind, Chemmanur has state-of-the-art technology ((camera, intrusion prevention systems, burglar alarm etc) deployed at all its locations. To backup this infrastructure, the company also employs 350 security men to guard its outlets throughout day and night.

Despite this robust security set up comprising technology and manpower, the top management in the company still spent sleepless nights.

“While the technology was in place, we were still dependent on manned security. Given the lackadaisical attitude of most guards, we were never sure if they were doing their duty properly during the night. There were times when we found the guards drunk or off to watch a movie,” says Suresh Kumar K, AGM & Group IT – Head, Chemmanur International Group.  

[image_library_tag 04a5de5f-935b-4398-9fc3-78534ceb52f3 230x230 alt=" uresh umar roup ead hemmanur nternational roup" width="230" border="0" ] Suresh Kumar K, AGM & Group IT – Head, Chemmanur International Group

Although there was a night patrol (a vehicle with one driver and two people) in each city to keep a tab on the guards, it was expensive.

IT Controls Manned Security

To overcome the bottleneck, Kumar decided to use technology innovatively. As the 160 outlets were already connected through VPN because of business reasons, he decided to make use of it.

“The connectivity across locations was already there and maximizing its potential, we deployed an RFID reader outside each branch. It cost only Rs. 2500-3000. These were connected though biometric devices. The RFID readers were in turn connected to a card reader outside and the security personnel were given cards, which they had to punch hourly from 7PM to 7AM,” said Kumar.

Through the VPN, the data from the card reader comes to the central server. Each branch is given a specific card ID. In the case of a guard not registering his attendance, the system will first check if the solution is accessible or not. In case the solution is connected and yet the guard hasn’t punched, the system will send a voice call to the security guard’s mobile number.

The call will be repeated three times and then it will be re-directed to the control room. The person at the control room will manually call the branch while the system will, at the same time, generate a penalty. 

[image_library_tag 7b426e07-fa61-4ac2-9249-2e1797fa2757 676x451 alt="1 n all the branches iometric devices have been installed he security staff has been instructed to punch every one hour during holidays and night hours his is done for ensuring the presence of security forces within the premises ecurity punching data is transmitted to the central server through 2 he central application checks on an hourly basis those branches from where the data has not been received and transmitted to the central database rom whichever branch the data has not been transmitted the system first checks the connectivity f it is working fine the system automatically sends a oice alert to the particular branchs securitys mobile number he alert mentions lease execute your punching process 3 he system automatically sends a voice alert three times in a short period of time n alert is also sent incase the person is asleep 4 5 security persons failure to punch is automatically intimated and reported to the 247 control room and security agency through a web based application 6 imilarly an alert will be sent to the security supervisor so that he can directly coordinate with the control room and take necessary action 7 he system automatically generates a finepenalty for each hour of absence t the end of each month penalty is imposed on the security agency in a consolidated manner" width="676" border="0" ] 1. ONE HOUR PUNCHING: In all the branches, RFID / Bio-metric devices have been installed. The security staff has been instructed to punch, every one hour during holidays and night hours. This is done for ensuring the presence of security forces within the premises. Security punching data is transmitted to the central server through MPLS VPN.

2. CENTRAL APPLICATION: The central application checks, on an hourly basis, those branches from where the data has not been received and transmitted to the central database. From whichever branch the data has not been transmitted, the system first checks the connectivity. If it is working fine, the system automatically sends a Voice /SMS alert to the particular branch’s security’s mobile number. The alert mentions “Please execute your punching process”.

3. VOICE/SMS ALERT TO SECURITY: The system automatically sends a voice alert three times in a short period of time. An SMS alert is also sent incase the person is asleep.

4 & 5. ALERT TO CONTROL ROOM & SECURITY AGENCY: A security persons’ failure to punch is automatically intimated and reported to the (24/7) control room and security agency through a web based application.

6. SMS ALERT TO SECURITY SUPERVISOR: Similarly, an SMS alert will be sent to the security supervisor, so that he can directly co-ordinate with the control room and take necessary action.

7. AUTO FINE: The system automatically generates a fine/penalty for each hour of absence. At the end of each month, penalty is imposed on the security agency in a consolidated manner.

“We have fixed the penalty at Rs 100 per hour, which would be deducted from the security agency’s pay out. A detailed report regarding which guard was missing for which duration is sent automatically to the security head and to the security agency each morning. At the end of the month, the total penalty is calculated and accordingly deducted,” Kumar said.

In the case of the solution being down, the guard can give a missed call on a virtual number every one hour, and the system will capture the virtual data into the report.

Better Manageability, Healthier Bottom line

Kumar’s security punching system has delivered tangible benefits for the company.

“While earlier we were under pressure, the security agency is now under pressure to ensure the presence of guards. This has improved our physical security by several notches,” he said.

There has also been savings in fuel and salary by doing away with the patrol. This has directly impacted the bottom line for the company.

“Another advantage is the clarity of information. Earlier, the manager at each location used to send us the register with the attendance signatures to release the salaries. Now this is streamlined. The salaries are now being generated through the system, thereby bringing transparency into the system,” Kumar added.

 

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