By Pravinraj Panicker
In Internet of Things

With disruptive events like COVID-19, the need for an efficient supply chain has become even more obvious than ever before. Yard operations are marred by a variety of challenges. This leads to misaligned Inbound and outbound processes, incomplete assembly, delayed deliveries, spoiled goods to name a few.

The typical on the spur and almost uncoordinated activities at the yard add longer dwell times for the carriers, operational congestions and others leading to the overall inefficiency of a supply chain which typically goes unnoticed in the regular workflow. These add to the recurring operational costs. 

The other major issue faced is that there is a lot of time and resources wasted in trying to find where the trailers are located in the yard as well as where the inventory is located within the warehouses.

Yard Management (YMS) therefore is an important aspect that needs to be proactively taken care of and is almost the need of the hour – oil to be poured into the machinery. As per a Gartner article, the industry has historically overlooked improvement in yard operations even though there are very obvious and low-hanging opportunities available to do so.  

Unfortunately, organizations respond and prioritize the investments into solutions around warehouse management and transportation management and tend to ignore the benefits of the Yard Management System. They typically focus on these areas in isolation leading to missed chances to better coordinate between all the three areas. Covid-19 impacts have forced industry and supply chain leaders to look into yard management more seriously. In fact, the need to beyond and implement Asset Tracking solutions is also growing. 


Who should use YMS?

Irrespective of what Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Transportation Management Systems (TMS) is currently implemented or what their challenges might be currently — As per Gartner some criteria that can be used to decide whether one should go for a YMS implementation or not are:

  • Businesses with large fleets
  • If you have a high volume of supplier and customer shipments
  • Yard, dock door, and throughput congestion are common occurrences
  • Businesses with large yards making physical verification difficult
  • The operational complexity of Distribution Centers and Warehouses are high
  • Those with significant yard operations but have not systems like WMS 


Why Do Companies Use a YMS?

Most Yard Managers feel that they’re overworked. Locating trailers, transferring to the proper location, and entering the information into the system, typically it is hard to predict how much time it will take to get these done. Usually, spotters are frequently employed to find these trailers and get them parked at the required locations. They then report back to the warehouse about the status and locations of the trailers. Drivers at the same time would be idling their time, while their supervisors are unaware of this due to lack of visibility. Thus there is a lot of time and effort getting wasted in the yard operations making it difficult to put in targets for improvement based on key performance indicators or metrics.

Some of the key benefits from a YMS one could stand to benefit:

  • Enhanced inventory management
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Lower expenses
  • Automating time-consuming manual processes
  • Improved dock and trailer utilization
  • Carrier management
  • Develop key performance indicators

Managers using a YMS are able to pinpoint problems with the data available at their disposal; thus able to identify operational improvements, and control the detention costs and equipment dwell times leading to bottom-line improvements. Also, monitor carrier performance and thereby improve relationships with them and thus better service.


What is the Next Generation of YMS?

Typically homegrown and legacy YMSs, albeit provide some visibility but don’t provide any analytic, predictive, or automation or for that matter connect into other systems. Technologies like IoT devices, sensors, and autonomous trucking are currently making roadways into the yard.

Next-generation of yard management solutions is a combination of integrations with other systems like TMS, WMS and real-time visibility platforms providing a complete picture of ground-level operations and providing reporting and metrics to ensure optimal performance.

Quicsolv’s Yard Management System based on Internet of Things solution using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology will help you with improving your efficiencies, increase dock throughput and your detention cost!!

Feature Image designed by Freepik

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