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Don't view security as just a cost burden

Increased security may be necessary today, but chemical shippers should not succumb to the idea that this is just another cost burden, according to Michael Wheeler, a vice-president at A T Kearney, a consulting firm.

Wheeler was a speaker at Chemicalweek’s 7th annual Transportation & Distribution Conference January 14 and 15 in New Orleans LA. “Will this be the next Y2K issue?” he asked. “Don’t let this become just another cost of doing business. Find operational cost savings to offset security costs. Work with suppliers to mitigate these costs.”

He added that there is no blueprint for times like these. Companies must follow their own principles, and adapt to the circumstances. The key is to implement minimum standards. Companies must be able to detect potential events, and take action. It’s important to know more about customers and suppliers.

Companies must level the playing field as much as possible, and new technology can help with that. Wheeler pointed out that security technology has made as much as five years progress in the months since September 11, 2001. Biometrics and other technologies are being discussed throughout industry. The cost of these technologies will be an issue, but Wheeler suggested that companies seek government assistance. Billions in federal money has been budgeted to protect against terrorism.

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