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Backing onto a port used for daily fishing that produces high-quality catches, the „Criée Municipale de Quiberon“ (Quiberon Fish Auction House) manages the supply chain that links together fishermen, fishmongers and logistics workers.
The „Criée Municipale“ has chosen Konica Minolta to replace its outdated video surveillance system. As its primary function, the system monitors the areas surrounding the buildings, which are permanently open and most likely to be where machinery is operated during the day or night. However, the most important function of the video surveillance system at the „Criée Municipale“ is providing visual traceability for goods handling processes. The ability to track the containers at all stages – from when they are stored in cold rooms or tanks to the moment they are stacked on pallets for transportation – is essential both for safeguarding the interests of the fishermen and for investigating potential complaints from customers. The image resolution quality provided by the cameras, their resistance to extreme weather conditions such as extreme cold and sea spray and the security of the company‘s IT system were the main reasons for choosing Konica Minolta products.
There are 35 “criées”, or fish auction houses, in France, dotted along the country’s coastline. As an organisation it ensures that every customer, wherever they are in the country, is provided with fresh, quality fish, while bringing added value to the work of every fisherman. A “criée” functions as both a small stock exchange and logistics space. By liaising with fishermen, buyers and logistics workers, it ensures that the processes of bringing seafood to market, and the associated financial transactions, all run smoothly.
Each day, the catch is sorted by species, size, presentation, quality and by boat. It is then put up for sale on the clock face. The tanks house crustaceans, shellfish and live fish, while the fishermen store their dead catches in the cold rooms. Video surveillance is essential for protecting the facilities that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, it also creates the possibility of tracking the handling process and identifying the source of any errors made during preparation of the delivery.
“The security of our IT system. We identified that our old video surveillance system had a flaw that resulted in our database becoming freely accessible. We’re talking several million euro that pass through our IT system every year. With Konica Minolta, we no longer need to worry about that sort of thing.”
“The equipment is robust. The cameras need to be able to withstand sea spray, extreme cold— where they are installed in cold rooms—and salty sea air.”
“The high-definition images. We need to be able to track the movements of 100% of our crates. An average of six crates travel along our conveyor belt every minute.”
The equipment installed at the “Criée Municipale” consists of eleven cameras and three video viewing stations featuring the MxManagementCenter (MxMC) application. Aside from Alexandre Lebrun, Lebrun’s assistant and the dispatch team also have access to the images. “The cameras are positioned to view the docks, the cold room, the tanks, the car park entrances and exits, the entry to the pier and the docks for shipping and receiving goods,” explains Alexandre Lebrun, Manager of the “Criée Municipale de Quiberon”.
The exterior cameras are constantly recording. Inside the premises, including in the cold rooms, the cameras are triggered when someone opens the door.
Retracing the logistics history
The video surveillance system is used to visually track the entire handling process, guaranteeing that fishermen’s catches stored in the tanks or cold room remain intact, while also preventing vandalism. “If a logistical error is detected during inspection of a shipment—such as a batch is missing from a form or there is an incorrect reference on a pallet—the team will go back over the recording to identify the transfer error that led to the accidental exchange,” says Alexandre Lebrun.
Each fisherman has exclusive use of certain containers. The video surveillance equipment ensure that all containers remain intact, both in the tanks and the cold room.
For the dispatch team, every day is a race against the clock. “Regardless of the volumes processed, the lorries always leave at the same time in order to guarantee the day’s supply across France,” comments Alexandre Lebrun.
The cameras record the movement of 1500 tonnes of produce. The ability to quickly revisit the origin of potential transfer errors is vital.
By referring back to the time-stamped images, the team is able to perfectly track the route of each crate. “Being able to find a batch that has failed to reach its intended pallet by tracing its history is essential to our productivity,” explains Alexandre Lebrun.
Conversely, it could be that the batch delivered is all in order in terms of it reaching the correct destination, but it has been attributed to the wrong fisherman. One fisherman then receives a payment for a product he did not sell and the other fails to be paid for his wares. “Taking five crabs from the right tank but not the right container is enough to cause confusion. Viewing the footage helps us to rectify the situation by tracing the batch delivered,” says Alexandre Lebrun.
The video surveillance system is sometimes used to objectively address disputes with fishmongers. “For example, recently a fishmonger called us claiming to have received a batch of turbot that were smaller than he had purchased. The video recording, which we shared with him, enabled us to show him that there was in fact no issue with the delivery. The sharpness of the camera images is of course very important when dealing with this type of situation. The image resolution allows us to identify each crate with certainty and its contents with accuracy,” comments Alexandre Lebrun.
“By the end of 2018, our system of existing cameras had become obsolete; the technology was on its last legs. I discovered Konica Minolta when the photocopiers were replaced in the Quiberon municipal buildings. During an audit for the “criée”, I discovered that Konica Minolta could also provide me with a video surveillance system, so I asked for a quote.”
Manager of the “Criée Municipale de Quiberon”, France