Vanderbilt Industries, a provider of state-of-the-art security systems, announced Crider Foods, Stillmore, Ga. relies on Vanderbilt Industries SMS Access Control system to provide security for its large production and processing facilities. Tutela, Inc., out of Brunswick, Ga., is the integrator and installer on this long-running project.
Privately owned and operated, Crider Foods represents a commitment to quality, food safety and customer service. The Crider Foods Canning Facility was opened in Stillmore, Ga. after a fire destroyed their Augusta plant. In 2003, a “Fully Cooked” plant was added. Crider Foods is committed to being a leader in canning proteins and in its fully cooked operation. Crider is always investing in equipment and expertise to ensure continuous improvements.
After completion of the canning plant, Crider contracted with Vanderbilt and Tutela to set up a high-level security system. To date, the Vanderbilt SMS system manages access for over 500 employees and contractors at approximately 150 contact points spread over 11 locations at the Stillmore campus. Locations include the fully cook plant, company headquarters, the visitor’s Lodge, canning plant, cooler building, transportation building, warehouses and others.
“Our security system is absolutely critical to helping assure compliance to all the health and safety rules and regulations we have in the food production industry,” explained Ron Sasser, Crider’s IT director, who also oversees security. “We are committed to an extremely high level of access control management to prevent any cross contamination of our products.”
Sasser continued, “Our priority is to limit access for all our employees as to where they can go in the facility. The Vanderbilt system enables us to manage employees so that they can access only the areas where they have been scheduled to work, when they are scheduled to work. We also have the flexibility to easily change those access privileges as needed, at any time.”
Crider also uses their Vanderbilt access control system to verify time and attendance information. If an employee doesn’t punch in, Sasser and staff can use the system to verify when any employee has entered the property. In addition to controlling access to buildings and within buildings, Crider employs guards at the facility’s road entrances to verify all vehicles coming onto the property.
While asset protection is always an issue, for Crider Foods the number one priority is achieving full compliance with food and safety regulations in order to achieve the highest level of Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification. Crider has succeeded in gaining SQF, Level 3.
“Only a few companies reach this level,” explained Sasser. “To reach such a certification level, we carefully control the movement of all individuals within the complex, and this means, for example, restricting access to chemicals and to the roofs of our buildings, among other sensitive areas.”
Crider also deploys 100 IP video surveillance cameras to keep any eye on operations. “Cameras are helpful,” said Sasser, “but you have to start with access. My access control system tells me who I’m seeing on the video. Now, I know who someone is, because the access control system puts them in that location. Without access control, the cameras are only so good.”
“The Vanderbilt system is working well, it’s doing everything it is supposed to do. We’ve used it for so many years, and Tutela has been very good taking care of any issues and system expansion needs along the way. If we have a need, this team gets it taken care of."
The Vanderbilt system, under Tutela’s watchful installation and administration, provides a layered level of security starting from the minute one steps onto the Crider property, down to limiting access to chemical storage. The system supplements time and attendance data and provides documentation for OSHA reporting. But, at the end of the day, Crider’s high-level security system provides management the tools they need to achieve one of the highest Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification levels in the industry, and that’s worth a great deal in proof of product quality and company reputation.