- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security Awards
Natural Baby Shower (NBS) was set up by Vics Hampson and Clifton Vaughan in 2007. They wanted to provide parents with natural and sustainable baby products. The business has grown from two to over 70. They’ve moved from a kitchen table to a small store in Surrey, to a much bigger HQ in Bracknell.
In 2021, with business booming, NBS decided the time was right to move operations just down the road to a 43,000 square foot warehouse and office space.
Clifton says: “We distribute everything ourselves. Everything is sourced from top brands, and we bring them in, stock them, store them, and ship them when orders are placed. That shipping is also done as sustainably as possible, minimising the number of trips that need to be made. It’s all part of what we see as being a modern retailer.”
The new building includes office space, a canteen area, packing rooms, warehousing with racking, and outside loading areas. Clifton Vaughan says: “We worked with a company called 3-Space, who took over the project build in the new facility. One of their suppliers was Maybin Electrical, and Maybin were responsible for the install of our Hikvision video security system.”
Jay Maybin is MD of Maybin Electrical. He says: “They have the crime prevention side of the system, both internal and external, with cameras detecting intrusion and theft, but they’re also very focused on the health and safety side of things. With warehouse shelves 13m in the air, they need to see if someone has an accident, or if a piece of equipment has been misused and is creating a hazard.”
Clifton Vaughan adds on this point: “There’s two elements for health and safety. One is to cover the business, to ensure that equipment and facilities are free from harm and misuse. And then from an employee point of view, we’ve made sure that emergencies and incidents will be detected and addressed promptly so that the employees are properly protected.”
Vaughan adds that the system can also be used to track an item’s journey off a lorry and into the warehouse, as sometimes products can be misplaced.
“We’ve had a couple of occasions when we’ve argued with suppliers over whether something has been delivered or not. And in the past I’ve used my Hikvision control software to track down where an item has gone on its journey from truck to warehouse on a pallet, and the cameras have shown that there were, say, umbrellas on top of the pallet up high where no one had seen them.
“Now, with the new Hikvision system, I’d be able to watch that pallet come off, watch it go in, see when it’s picked up next, where it’s distributed to, and then I could pull it back down and find it easier. With our warehouse software, we have total visibility on every scan that’s made. If something is put on the wrong shelf, we can now potentially trace back to the moment the scan was made and use the cameras to follow the product and see which shelf it has ended up on. It solves a problem that does crop up occasionally.”
Cameras used at NBS include 12MP fisheye models, which are ceiling-mounted and use a ‘fisheye’ lens to provide a 360-degree view of the area in their viewing radius (pictured). The warped image they generate is then ‘de-warped’ using software, and the resulting conventional image provides all-round coverage.
Jay Maybin says: “We installed fisheyes in the general areas, the offices and product areas. That’s incredibly useful because with the Fisheye you have one camera doing the job of four. There are cameras high on poles in the warehouse to enable them to see all the way down the aisles. The Fisheyes provide a general view, and then they can zoom in for more detail.
“So if there’s a forklift and a picking machine at each end of the aisle, and something happens in the middle, they’re able to see that without having their view obscured in any way.”
Three PanoVu panoramic cameras cover the loading bay area, so no detail is missed. These are used for coverage of large areas, with a 180-degree view effectively doing the job of multiple cameras at once – but with only one camera cable required. The whole system is run using HikCentral management software, and records to a central network video recorder.
Jay Maybin says: “For perimeter detection, we are using fixed bullet cameras, turret cameras at a low level at the front, and high range PTZ cameras with detection, classification and tracking functionality. If someone approaches the building out of hours, the system will detect them and NBS will get a notification to say someone’s there, and intrusion is prevented.
Those external cameras include 8MP PTZ cameras with 42x zoom, their high-resolution capabilities allowing them to pick up detail from hundreds of metres away. DeepinView 7 series cameras offer automatic classification and tracking of vehicles entering, or trying to access, the premises. The HikCentral software lets users review live and recorded video from the cameras, and manage the alarms and alerts it generates. HikCentral also monitors the system and provides notifications if any device develops an issue or stops working for any reason.
The Hikvision video security solution works with a Texecom intruder alarm.
Clifton Vaughan hails the Maybin guys as great: “really efficient and thorough. And the system is fantastic. It’s made a big difference to the efficiency of our operations. Moving into the new facility with this new technology has allowed us to ship out complete orders with a turnaround of approximately 16 hours, where before it might have taken us a day and a half. It’s a major reduction, 30 or 40 percent, and it’s because we’re picking and packing quicker here. We couldn’t be happier, and we’re looking forward to growing the business from this new base of operations.”
Jay Maybin says: “The success of this project is evidence of the importance of knowing your customer and understanding their business demographic. That relationship gives us an insight into the best solution to suit their unique needs, not just throwing a bunch of products at the problem and hoping they’ll do the job. Our goal is to deliver a solution that does the job now and is flexible enough to allow further customisation if required – and in this case I think we’ve delivered.”