The best technology helps us save time. Supply chain and logistics companies know this, but the reality is that there are blind-spots hindering their efficiency, wasting their time, and ultimately costing them money.
The internet and email revolutionized the way individuals and businesses communicate. With today’s fast-changing internet culture, it’s easy to forget that typewriters and traditional mail were mainstays in corporate culture not so long ago. Back then, phrases like “biometric authentication” and “haptic feedback” were science fiction; today, we carry super-computers in our pocket. The problem is that, as with any technological revolution, many businesses have trouble adapting their workflow or their organizational techniques to take full advantage of modern innovations. The result is that something that might have once been an asset becomes a liability.
We see this in our own lives: how many of us have bloated email inboxes or half-heartedly organized computer desktops? What should be a convenient time saver can quickly become a huge time waster, and this problem is compounded in the corporate world.
What should be a convenient time saver can quickly become a huge time waster
For logistics and supply chain professionals, organization and time are precious commodities that are often unconsciously squandered. Usually, this isn’t the fault of any group of employees - though that’s an easy place many employers look first. No, the main culprits for wasted time and bad organization are inefficient systems.
One of the largest sources of inefficiency in the supply chain world - and possibly the biggest blind spot - is the shipping yard. For years, the focus has been on warehouse management and intermodal freight transport technologies to help save time and money. The shipping yard, however, has been left behind.
For example, warehouse teams are often equipped with advanced technologies, intuitive robotics, and automation software. Yard managers, meanwhile, typically rely on paper, pencils, clipboards, and a team of employees who’s sole job is to check on and remember where trucks and containers are in the yard. This creates a huge opportunity for human error, which leads to frustration, lost trailers, and employees or third-party logistics companies playing the blame game.
Yard Management Solutions (YMS) strives to close the technological and automation gap that exists in shipping yards by implementing software that is easy to use, cost effective, and works on every conceivable platform. A big area we focus on is saving our clients time, and we do that in three key ways: expediting gate check-in/out, improving turn times to meet time constraints, and improving dock scheduling.
The foundation of expediting gate check-in and check-out is our appointment scheduler. Shipment information can be preloaded into our software, reducing gate entry times and keeping the yard management staff updated on what is arriving or departing that day. To make it even easier, our Driver Self Check In feature can be used as a pre-gate, post-gate, or self check-in entry system to further expedite gate times. If desired, clients can opt for gate automation, which completely removes the need for staff at the gate. As drivers arrive at the yard, they simply enter their appointment number into a kiosk. Our system gathers all necessary information related to the load, assigns a parking spot, and opens the gate while simultaneously notifying management.
Another huge way we prioritize saving time at the gate is through the YMS Carrier Module. This software tool provides customer-driver permissions that allow carriers to schedule appointments while providing preloaded shipment information as drivers arrive at the gate.
Improving turn times to meet time constraints starts with our award-winning Eagle View. This top-down visual representation of the yard makes it simple to get information at a glance, rather than digging through paper or spreadsheets. Eagle View shows the status of every trailer using color-coded markings and simple animations. This allows yard managers to quickly identify how long trailers have been in their yard, and whether they’re in the right place. If something is in the incorrect location or off schedule, alerts within our software give management the information they need to solve the problem. System-generated emails are sent to notify the right team members when time limits are approaching thresholds.
Dock scheduling is one area YMS is particularly powerful at saving time for our clients. First, the appointment schedule controls the number of inbound and outbound shipments per hour, with the ability to allow carriers to schedule appointments for approved time slots. Next, our suite of status reports gives yard managers unparalleled access to historical information. Each report comes equipped with an instant search feature as well as the ability to export to CSV or Excel spreadsheets. Reports include the Inbound Status Report, Outbound Status Report, and Carrier Performance Report, which provides additional information on carrier arrivals/departures. Finally, the YMS Gate Module provides a complete history with time stamps of all arrivals and departures.
Technology only saves time to the degree that it improves processes and systems. The best technology helps companies respond to problems more quickly, receive more accurate data, and ultimately to save everyone more time. In the logistics and supply chain industry, shipping yards are commonly a blind spot that costs valuable time due to human error and outdated tracking systems. Yard Management Solutions is helping business across the world fix this through powerful, user friendly software. It comes with a quick financial return on investment, but just as important, our software saves time - and we all know that time is money.
Eliminate your facility's blind spots with Yard Management Solutions
Ready to increase your organization's visibility while saving money and frustration? Our award-winning YMS provides best-in-class yard management tools and customer service. Sign up for a free online demo today and see how we can help.