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Bamburi Cement, based in Kenya, is the largest manufacturer of cement in Eastern Africa, producing around 5,000 tonnes of it every day. Its operations are vast, with two mega plants located in Mombasa and Athi river that run 24/7. Each plant fills 300 trucks with cement on an average day, creating a formidable logistical operation.

Anyone who has used cement to mix concrete knows the importance of having the correct ratio of water, cement and sand - too much water and one is left with an unmanageable mess… too much sand and it grinds to a halt.

Highly skilled workforce

Providing security at these vast sites presents a similar challenge - too much interference and operations seize up... too little oversight and the risks from theft and organised crime increase. Nicholas Mbithi, Contract Manager, in Kenya tells them how G4S has got its ratios just right.

Here in Kenya G4s is one of the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a dynamic private sector, highly skilled workforce and youthful population. New infrastructure and construction is in high demand, but none of it would be possible without access to a material everyone takes for granted - cement.

Manned guarding services

Prior to the partnership, truck inspection reports were filled in manually with pen and paper

Bamburi Cement had a challenge for G4S - to improve the level of security at its sites without impacting on the high intensity of its operations. How could they ensure 300 trucks a day were being loaded correctly without causing a backlog? And how could they eliminate the risks posed by criminal elements that were targeting the sector?

The answer was technology and its seamless integration with the manned guarding services and customer operations. Prior to the partnership, truck inspection reports were filled in manually with pen and paper, which meant any discrepancies were not easy to resolve, and the data was open to manipulation. The order forms filled in by truck drivers were also pen and paper, which meant they were often misplaced, or the release time was deliberately altered so they could jump the queue.

Technology-led solutions

Introducing technology-led solutions not only made the customer’s operations smoother, but it also made them more transparent and traceable,” said Nicholas Mbithi, G4S contract manager working with Bamburi Cement. All the security officers on site carry an electronic device to track their observations, and inspection reports are completed on the devices, creating a fully automated reporting system for the customer.

All the security officers on site carry an electronic device to track their observations

The installation of surveillance cameras in the cement loading areas has allowed the CCTV operators to monitor the loading and sealing process, from a safe distance on site. They can ensure that each truck is loaded as assigned, with the right volume of material. Having this oversight of a key part of the customers operation has significantly reduced their exposure to disputes and theft through collusion.

Detecting suspicious movements

Another area G4S has had a tangible impact is with the protection of site perimeters. Due to the abundance of raw materials on site, it was a frequent target for thefts. Through improved reinforcement of electric fences and the installation of motion sensors, they are able to detect any suspicious movements and assign a patroller to immediately investigate.

As well as physical security measures, they have assisted Bamburi with securing their data too. They are closely monitoring their firewall performance, and access to their server room is remotely controlled by us to prevent unauthorised intrusions. An access control biometric system was introduced to identify all staff on site, and assist with monitoring working hours and overtime. Their role at Bamburi has moved beyond being a security provider to being a trusted advisor.

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