British American Tobacco (BAT) is a leading multinational tobacco corporation. Headquartered in London, the group is represented in over 200 countries. BAT employs over 55,000 people around the globe and maintains 44 production facilities in 42 countries. The tobacco industry is a demanding sector that sets very high standards for security. This is why British American Tobacco Switzerland Ltd has been collaborating with Protectas for several decades. We asked Norbert Dietlin, Environment Health Safety (EHS) and Security Manager at British American Tobacco in Boncourt, about this win-win situation.
The group employs over 400 people in Switzerland, at its plant in Boncourt (Jura) and its office in Lausanne (Vaud). The factory has been manufacturing tobacco products since 1814. About seven billion cigarettes are produced at Boncourt every year, and 60% of them are intended for export. The fully automated production process with cutting-edge high-performance machines is integrated into a logistics concept that extends from provision of the tobaccos through to the packaging of ready-to-ship cigarettes. "Computers control, analyse and monitor every step of production. Nevertheless, the work done by the operators is a critical link in our production chain. Automated production guarantees maximum precision and the consistently high quality of the cigarettes," Norbert Dietlin explains.
The British American Tobacco Group strives to achieve maximum responsiveness, precision and efficiency. Its objective is crystal-clear: it aims to deliver top performance as regards service quality, safety and security. In the last six years, BAT has invested over USD 1.5 billion in research and development for its new-generation products. "Consumer habits have changed. We are responding with new products that have a potentially reduced risk profile," Norbert Dietlin notes.
The tobacco industry is a challenging sector. The Group sets demanding requirements for security. Protection against intrusion and employee safety are accorded high priority. Norbert Dietlin coordinates the measures and is responsible for safety and security at the Boncourt plant. To ensure that access to the site is secure and to prevent intrusions, Dietlin maintains close and direct contact with Protectas. Along with detailed performance specifications, Protectas' security staff are given clear instructions regarding the Boncourt site. "We assign many tasks to the Protectas employees. They are taking on more and more responsibilities at our site, so they are held in high regard here. Their work is professional and very precise.
We trust them, and their efficient security management gives us the feeling that we are in good hands," Norbert Dietlin comments. In his view, communication and trust are the key factors in the excellent collaboration between Protectas and the British American Tobacco Group.
The Boncourt facility opted for RVS one year ago. This turnkey solution is charged on the basis of a monthly flat rate that includes commissioning, breakdown service and replacement of materials. "The system is straightforward, practical and cost efficient," Norbert Dietlin points out. "Thanks to its flexibility, we combine video surveillance and infrared recording equipment – a combination that gives us a solution tailored to our needs."