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Vendor Spotlight 6-26-13
The D&D Daily e-Newsletter for the LP & Safety Industry

Skechers Takes First Steps in Securing Flagship Distribution Facility with American Dynamics IP Surveillance Solution

Skechers USA Inc.’s latest distribution facility in Rancho Belago, Calif. moves a mountain of shoes each day. This high-volume center is designated as a U.S. foreign trade zone, which requires specific and measurable security standards as set down by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

Skechers, an award-winning global lifestyle footwear company, develops and markets more than 3,000 styles for men, women and children through its fitness and lifestyle divisions. With over $2 billion in sales, Skechers sells its products in more than 120 countries with over 300 retail stores in key metropolitan areas worldwide, and has partnered with distributors to open an additional 250 locations.

A significant portion of this worldwide product volume goes through Skechers newest distribution facility in California — a 1.8 million-square-foot, $250 million complex that serves as a U.S. foreign trade zone. A foreign trade zone is a designated location in the United States where companies can use special procedures that help encourage U.S. activity — in competition with foreign alternatives — by allowing delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise, as well as logistical and tax benefits.


While being a foreign trade zone reaps benefits for Skechers, it also comes with some specific security requirements. Greg Drivas, Director of Loss Prevention for Skechers USA, says there is a higher expectation for perimeter security, as product is monitored entering and exiting the warehouse. Surveillance, especially in the form of high-quality video recording and playback, was a required feature for Skechers as it laid out its security plan to Select Systems Technology, Inc. of Torrance, Calif., the systems integrator chosen for the installation. That meant that the video needed to be quickly accessible, clear and smooth, and provide the ability to zoom in as needed, according to Vijay Patel, senior manager at SST.

Skechers also needed the video management system to have an open platform to accommodate cameras from multiple manufacturers and have a degree of scalability to grow along with the changing needs of Skechers operations. The integrator found this to be its largest distribution center and the one deploying the largest number of cameras. Patel says the challenges for SST included the length of the project—it took several years from concept to completion—and making changes along the way as the building took shape and needs changed, all while still staying within the structures of the budget.

Skechers and SST selected the victor video management system from American Dynamics. With the powerful victor unified client, Skechers’ security staff is able to view, manage, and control recorded video from five VideoEdge network video recorders. Some key features of victor, including its ability to instantly play back high-resolution video, and tie into the access control system to bring up video related to alarms, made it an easy selection for the project, according to Patel. For operators, victor is fairly intuitive so that officers could use it even before receiving formal training. “Even the least technical officer can get into the system, and set up views and do archiving,” said Drivas. “The user-friendly nature of the victor interface allowed our staff to be up and running on the system very quickly.”

One of the additional benefits, added Drivas, was the ability to capitalize on the clarity and accessibility of the video for non-security uses, such as the operations group at the distribution center using the video to monitor product movement on the conveyor system.

For cameras, SST installed a variety of cameras, including American Dynamics Illustra 400 Series Mini-Domes and IP SpeedDome programmable cameras. In addition, the project used Flir thermal imaging cameras to view the backside of the building, and four 180-degree megapixel cameras which increased the capacity of the 150 or so cameras to that of 300 individual camera views.

Skechers designed this new distribution center to give the company flexibility in its operations and a centralized distribution point for the next 20 years. By choosing victor and an IP surveillance solution from American Dynamics, Skechers is giving its security staff the same flexibility, allowing the camera network to grow along with the facility.

Karen Olsen
Retail Sales

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