Your operations don’t stop at the walls of your warehouse. The inbound and outbound movement of shipments, trailers arriving at dock doors, and the utilization of yard equipment and drivers are all critical components of running a profitable and successful warehouse.
With the recent (and ongoing) supply chain disruptions, it’s more important than ever to have efficient yard operations to stay on top of demand and avoid delays. While there are standalone solutions, the most effective way to streamline your operations is to invest in an integrated yard management system (YMS) that looks at your warehouse and yard as a whole.
Having an over dependence on manual systems for your yard can lead to a lack of trailer visibility, double handling, inefficient use of resources, process misalignment, and higher costs. What a yard management system does is automate the management of everything in your yard, from equipment utilization and dock management, to appointment scheduling, and trailer checks.
Some of the key yard management system benefits include:
Process flow improvements
If you rely on manual or separate management solutions, you won’t be able to ensure data consistency, reliable insights, or real-time updates in your yard. A YMS will allow you to avoid reactive operations, instead creating much more efficient process conformity and flow.
Having digitally maintained operations means you can see in real-time how your dock doors, labor, and equipment are being utilized, as well as plan and schedule the flow of the resources in your yard. Having a single management point allows supervisors and yard labor to have a clear picture of tasks and processes, as well as the ability to dynamically update the same data, meaning less double-handling and process misalignment.
Poor yard management and scheduling can very quickly lead to bottlenecks within the yard and at dock doors. A YMS will help your yard run more smoothly and efficiently, and this will have direct and indirect impacts on your bottom line: from reduced demurrage costs, increased throughput, lower driver detention, and ultimately greater customer loyalty.
YMS features like truck scheduling mean you can better organize your inbound and outbound logistics and carriers can request appointment times using real-time availability data. Once you have the insights to see where and how your yard scheduling is underperforming, whether that’s wasted time from bottlenecks, manually tracking or searching for trailers, shipment errors, or waiting idly, you can make strategic decisions and plan to better utilize your resources.
While many operators see a yard management system as just another expense, by automating and digitizing your processes you will clearly see where to make cost savings in your yard and get a return on investment. It goes without saying that inefficient use of transportation resources leads to higher wait times, delays in shipments, and ultimately negative impacts on your customer relationships.
Increased efficiency and velocity
The movement and operational status of your yard resources, from trailers to labor, can determine the productivity of your entire fulfillment process. When managed inefficiently, you waste valuable time and miss deadlines, maintain poor quality control, and risk the safety of personnel in your yard.
A YMS increases efficiency and productivity across the board:
- Enabling shuttle drivers to electronically receive, accept and confirm completion of move requests, eliminating the need for radio communication.
- Ensuring that every trailer, container and driver entering the yard is checked in and out in a consistent manner.
- Ensuring consistent quality control, from checking seals, recording damage, and correctly associating shipment information with trailer numbers.
- Enabling paperless trailer tracking so you can avoid manual checks and rapidly identify available empty trailers for outbound loads.
- Providing real-time visibility into asset location and operational status, including dwell times in various states.
These are just some of the ways that you can use a yard management system to streamline your operations and improve your velocity and throughput. See how Da Vinci can do this and more with our YMS module here.
If your operations span multiple yards, you may not have access to a single view of all your facilities without a YMS. Rather than relying on manual communication and checks between yards, your YMS will consolidate and automate your entire network. That way you can easily pool assets, utilize your empty trailers, and compare capacity and effectiveness across your locations.
This also means you can better manage appointment scheduling, with transparency of resources between yards, accurate and realtime tracking across your network, and automated scheduling portals to replace time-consuming communication. When you integrate your management systems, you not only connect your yard and warehouse, you consolidate your entire operations, from one location to another.
If you’re looking for an integrated solution to your yard and warehouse management, Da Vinci offers a unified system with a full supply chain management suite. On top of yard management, we also offer modules for labor and transportation management. If you want to see how this could work for your business, organize a free demo with us today.