The terminal yard is the final frontier in supply chain management. Warehouse and transportation software have created more efficiency in the supply chain, but truckyards have their own unique logistics challenges that can be automated to improve visibility in yard management.
Yard management systems fill the gap between warehouse management systems (WMS) and transportation management systems (TMS). Without the critical yard management component, operational bottlenecks can slow operations, affecting schedules, productivity, and profitability. A lack of visibility and insight into truck and trailer locations — along with the inability to locate or communicate with employees when needed — can lead to costly delays.
The larger your yard — some can be hundreds of acres — the more likely you are to experience misplaced cargo, throwing your operation out of balance. Without an automated system to track the contents and location of each truck, warehouse teams must struggle with tracking assets by hand — sometimes over large distances — a tedious and error-prone process.
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Connecting the Dots Between the Warehouse and Transportation Management Systems
Yard management systems (YMS) track and manage trucks, cargo, people, and transactions to help yard managers improve visibility in yard management to maintain a continuous flow of goods from trucks and into the warehouse, distribution center, or other receiving areas. YMS helps ensure that the right trailer arrives at the right dock at the right time. YMS tracks critical supply chain points between transportation and warehousing, including:
Gate Management: When a truck enters a yard at the gate, it is checked into the system.
Inspection Checkpoints: After checking in, the trailer is weighed and inspected for damage and safety issues. The trailer is then moved directly to a dock or to a staging area where it waits until an open dock is available.
Unloading and Loading Cargo: Once the cargo is unloaded, the trailer may be moved to another dock for loading or back to the staging area.
Tackling Today’s Yard Management Challenges
YMS helps you tackle these common challenges for visibility in yard management:
Congestion: As e-commerce explodes, more goods are flowing through physical spaces that can’t expand to meet the demand. So, congestion in the yard is inevitable and will only become more challenging as other parts of the supply chain become more efficient. Truckyards need a way to accommodate more traffic and cargo using the space they have.
Inspections: Inspections are critical for yard management. Trailers must be inspected for damage and load contents must be verified. The results of an inspection determine where in the yard the trailer will be parked and the order in which the trailer will be unloaded. For example, perishable goods can be scheduled for quick unloading while damaged equipment can be sidelined for repairs.
Logistics: If a trailer is directed to the wrong dock, delays can ensue. YMS helps ensure the right trailer is at the right dock when needed.
Operational Efficiencies: YMS helps yard managers meet their goal to get trailers in and out of the yard as quickly and safely as possible. As more cargo is moved through the yard, managers will find it more challenging to track assets without a YMS that seamlessly integrates with the enterprise WMS and TMS.
Increasing Performance with Greater Visibility
Better visibility in yard management translates into better performance, allowing you to move more goods in less time. YMS benefits include:
Reducing Warehouse Overtime: YMS automatically assigns docks based on availability, reducing downtime and reloads.
Increasing Yard Throughput: With YMS, you can create flexible business rules to maximize the speed and safety of moving equipment and product through the yard. YMS provides yard managers with accurate and timely information about the location and status of yard assets.
Limiting Detention Expense: YMS reduces driver wait time through efficient scheduling and exception management functions, which reduces detention costs.
Ensuring Container Visibility: When integrated with your enterprise WMS and TMS, YMS can give yard managers insight into what’s on its way to the yard with an estimated arrival time. This allows yard personnel to stage all of the necessary resources before arrival, reducing downtime. Upon arrival, RFID tags and barcodes on trailers give yard managers visibility into trailer inventory and service history.
Maximizing Space Utilization: YMS helps yard managers maximize the use of space to reduce operational expenses and avoid costly bottlenecks. Using space efficiently also helps reduce the need to secure more property, which is expensive at best and in many cases, impossible.
Take Your Yard Operations to the Next Level with the Right Mobile Solutions
Mobile solutions are a critical component of a robust yard management system, improving the quality and speed of communications while collecting data to track the movement of assets. Mobile solutions help streamline operations and reduce errors that can lead to delays, and can integrate with your operations in several ways.
Real-time Locating Systems (RTLS): RFID tags on trailers give you real-time information about the location of each asset in the yard and beyond to help accelerate the movement of trucks and trailers. Automating visibility in this way allows you to increase productivity, efficiency, and flexibility.
Yard Management System Software uses data collected from RFID tags and mobile devices to help yard managers synchronize gate check-ins, loading docks, and other operations to enable a continuous flow of cargo. More efficiency leads to lower costs.
Mobile Computing: By equipping yard workers with handheld devices, activity in the yard is directly connected to your backend systems to help yard managers monitor operations. PTT and text alerts give managers the ability to connect with workers in real time to boost efficiency.
YMS fills the gap in supply chain logistics systems. As more goods are expected to flow through the same space, YMS gives yard managers the visibility in yard management they need to stay ahead of changes in the supply chain industry.
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About Royce Digital:
As a proud DecisionPoint Company, Royce Digital Systems is committed to delivering end-to-end mobile solutions and managed services to healthcare workers and facilities across North America. Our solutions help increase productivity, boost accuracy, and improve patient care.