If, like many UK businesses, you have been stockpiling imported goods in anticipation of a hard or uncertain Brexit, or you are thinking about it, then there is a great deal to consider. The logistics; the practicalities and the financial impact are a starting point, but have you also thought about the security and insurance aspects?

Stockpiling is a significant task for any business. The financial risks are significant, with the increased capital outlay likely to put a great deal of pressure on cashflow, which can make it difficult to retain competitive edge. There is the risk of a fall in demand and, if the additional outlay cannot be recovered, the consequences could be devastating for the business.

Are you insured for stockpiling?

Brexit stockpilingAnother major risk with stockpiling is that it could invalidate part or all of the company’s insurance cover. Some policies do include a degree of seasonal flexibility to allow for times of year when stock levels are higher, such as holiday periods. However, it is dangerous to assume that such flexibility will automatically apply to stockpiling for any other purpose, so it is important to discuss increasing the sum insured with your insurance broker or provider.

Insurance providers will also be concerned with the issue of increased physical risk, and are likely to stipulate that additional security measures must be put in place to protect the increased stock levels. A fresh set of risk assessments will be required to cover security, as well as fire and health and safety. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to consider.

Is your additional stock protected by high security locks?

You may have invested in high security locks to protect your main stock, but if you have stashed additional goods in makeshift storage locations, are these afforded the same level of protection? You may need to upgrade the locks that are responsible for safeguarding your stockpiled inventory if not.

Do your CCTV cameras and alarm sensors extend to cover your added stock?

Your additional stock may be stashed outside of your normal storage areas. Is it protected by CCTV and an alarm system like the main stock? If not, it is a good idea to extend your coverage by adding more cameras and motion sensors to your network. If you use a wireless system then this will be a relatively straightforward task. For wired systems, the investment may be a little higher, but will be worth it in the name of protecting the additional stock. Bear in mind that your insurance cover may be invalid without full CCTV and alarm protection.

Is your additional stock protected by access control?

If you use access control measures to restrict access to stock then you will need to think about extending those measures to any new areas you have designated for storage, particularly if your stock is of a sensitive or hazardous nature. If your main stock is protected in this way, then there is no reason why your additional stock shouldn’t be too.

Has your additional stock created new fire hazards?

Stockpiling often raises the challenge of finding suitable places for storage. It is not uncommon to see fire escapes blocked by stock and boxes piled so high that sprinklers become blocked. Conduct a fresh fire risk assessment and be sure to take measures to ensure fire safety throughout your premises.

Expert Advice on Protecting Your Stock, Whatever Brexit May Bring

At Barry Bros Security we have been helping businesses with expert, tailored security advice for more than six decades. Our specialists have extensive knowledge in all aspects of stock protection across a variety of industries and property types. For the advice you need, you are welcome to get in touch, or call into our London showroom.