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Brussels

Antwerpselaan 40
1000 Brussels

Rolling up the sleeves for a secure internal webshop

As the leading global security services provider, Securitas promises its customers better security through the latest technology. And it also wants to deliver on this mission internally. How? By ensuring that not a single piece of uniform clothing worn by its security officers can simply drop off the radar. So, to replace tedious order processes made over the phone or via email, we teamed up with Securitas’ logistics partner Bleckmann in creating an end-to-end Supply Chain platform. An intuitive and highly efficient internal e-commerce platform for security officers.

A complex woven net of uniforms

Securitas is a worldwide pioneer in the knowledge of surveillance and security. In Belgium alone, some 6,000 officers are responsible for the security of office buildings and events. They are all decked out in the same neat uniform, which has the important task of projecting confidence and security. Moreover, the type of uniform varies according to the location or nature of the assignment. A real logistic puzzle.

Is the uniform damaged? Is the officer switching assignments? In such cases, uniforms must often be replaced overnight.

Until recently delivering uniforms to all officers was a complicated and long-winded process involving phone calls and emails. The solution? An internal webshop. After all, employees are also consumers who expect user-friendly and efficient digital tools to work with. In this regard, shouldn’t the ordering of new work clothes be just as simple as shopping on Zalando, bol.com, or any other e-commerce platform?

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Social and environmental challenges at hand

The convenience of ordering is one thing but the situation is more complex than that. Damaged or superfluous items mustn’t simply disappear because that would open the door to abuse. Besides, as a world leader, Securitas is acutely aware of its responsibility towards the environment. In short, everything not only has to be ordered and delivered overnight but after using all items must also return to the source. Both for security reasons and to ensure maximum reuse or recycling. 

The flow

If an officer places an order, the platform forwards this info to Bleckmann. The logistics expert then fits every piece of clothing with an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip. By matching it with the SKU (stock keeping unit) code of the garment, the platform knows exactly which pair of trousers and shirt have been sent to the officer. If the officer is returning worn pieces of clothing, the platform automatically receives an update. In the future, it should even be possible to use virtual scanning and AI to determine the officer’s size without performing any physical measurements.

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To create this end-to-end supply chain solution, we collaborated with Securitas and Bleckmann, a world leader in omnichannel distribution for Lifestyle and Fashion. Based on their input, we translated dozens of possible scenarios into a user-friendly internal webshop. This technological and user-facing layer comes on top of Securitas and Bleckmann’s know-how of fast and reliable logistics and distribution as well as innovative technologies such as RFID tracking and the recycling of textiles. 

In perfect Symfony

Of course, this whole project didn’t happen overnight. The functional analysis to elaborate on the complex flow of orders, returns, and exchanges resulted in a fifty-page document with no fewer than 24 flows on the platform. This was the basis used by our software engineers to develop a custom-made webshop on the Symfony framework.

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The essential part of the project was the integration

of the webshop with Securitas’ existing systems: the HR platform with the personal data of all 6,000 officers, their Single Sign-On platform and all communications regarding orders and returns.

With so many security officers on duty, the webshop server often receives large numbers of simultaneous requests. As a way to manage this flow and prevent overload, we integrated a waiting line system. Additionally, the platform was put into operation following extensive stress tests. As for the tracking and tracing of every garment, it is achieved by matching the SKU of the type of garment with the unique, sown-in RFID chip. This way the platform knows exactly which garment will be sent to which officer. For the sake of a good follow-up by everyone involved, the security officers themselves can also keep track of their history. 

“By automating and streamlining a process including multiple scenarios, we gave back Securitas an unobstructed view on all pieces in their internal market.”

Koen Vinken

Software Engineer

Safe, smooth and secure

The platform is a huge relief to the Securitas management team. By eliminating the blind spots in the process we have given Securitas full control of the entire life cycle of all its uniforms. But not only that. For the 6,000 security officers in Belgium, accessing the front end interface of the webshop has become much easier thanks to their own unique login.

Over 6,000 security officers can now shop in complete security

while Securitas oversees the entire shipment, exchange, and recycling process of every stitch of clothing. This is consumerization of enterprise at work!

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