November 26, 2013
According to a recent survey from Deloitte, executives worldwide are increasingly concerned about their supply chains. The report cites negative impacts due to issues such as margin erosions and sudden changes in demand. A whopping 53 percent of executives said that supply chain disruptions have become more costly over the last three years. Nearly half of respondents (48%) stated an increase in risk event frequency over the past three years.
Decision makers need to face these challenges head-on and examine their supply chain from the early stages. One of these ‘early phase’ areas that should be evaluated is the loading dock and yard in each respective distribution center. With a reported increase of 40 percent in sudden demand change, loading docks need to be prepared to reserve energy when not in use and operate like a well-oiled machine when demand is high. Something like a broken dock door or an out-of-order dock leveler could potentially slow things down particularly during times of increased demand.
According to Deloitte, the four most important attributes, critical to a functioning and successful supply chain are:
- Visibility, the ability to monitor events as they happen
- Flexibility, the ability to adapt to sudden changes
- Collaboration, the ability to work closely, both internally and externally
- Control, having policies that work in place
How does one increase visibility, become more flexible and responsive to change, collaborate effectively internally and externally, all while abiding by and enforcing policies? Sheesh, what a challenge! Thankfully, engineers at 4Front have been busy developing 4SIGHT™ Yard and Dock Management System, a solution to increase visibility, flexibility, ensure collaboration and increase control using RFID, GPS and sensor technology.
4SIGHT increases visibility in your yard and on your dock, giving you the ability to monitor, schedule, and communicate trailer movements and load assignments. By reading real-time loading dock statuses in a simple, easy-to-use interface, you can better manage your yard and dock activity. Ensuring that dock utilization is high and constantly efficient so that in the event demand suddenly climbs you are ready to sufficiently manage the increased activity.
As mentioned, 4SIGHT utilizes the latest sensor technology and fully automates a process that was once performed using paper and a clipboard. This system guarantees that your loading dock and yard are prepared for change and flexible. For instance, maintaining loading dock equipment has never been more accurate. Maintenance schedules are based on actual usage as opposed to a traditional time-based maintenance schedule. Data is collected and displayed, and the system automatically identifies loading docks that reach a usage threshold. An automated email will be sent to service providers and maintenance managers, and affected doors can be locked out for maintenance. While this practice ensures your loading dock is susceptible to change and remains efficient at all times, it also saves lost time spent on unnecessary maintenance schedules.
4SIGHT opens communication lines between the loading dock, the yard and those who manage it. From communicating unauthorized dock door or trailer movements to recognizing the difference between a real or false security breech, 4SIGHT does a superb job of collaborating. This highly cooperative system also lends a significant hand to help you plan for the future. By providing you with tailored reports, specific to your unique application, you can make smarter choices going forward. Dramatically increase productivity, lower costs, and optimize efficiency with carrier arrival and departure data to help prioritize tasks. Keeping track of your assets has never been easier.
Furthermore, 4SIGHT includes a value-added benefit of increased security around the loading dock area. Using security cameras
and built-in sensors you can identify unauthorized dock door or trailer movement before it’s too late. Enhancing security means more control. More control means greater functionality overall.
Coming from manufacturing and retail companies, the 600 executives surveyed all agree on the four above attributes. If each attribute is achieved and nurtured, a supply chain will become more resilient and therefore more successful.
- Having the right equipment at your loading dock ensures warehouse managers are not constantly tied up with broken dock doors, or other unnecessary holdups. Instead they have the time necessary to increase Visibility and the ability to monitor events as they happen.
- Choosing the most suitable loading dock and yard management system means that your operation will be responsive to change and extremely Flexible.
- Successful, resilient loading docks and yards go hand-in-hand with a productive supply chain and Collaboration at all levels is vital to its success.
- Better technology means more functionality and more control. Cameras and built-in sensors make it easier to track unauthorized activity or movements. Putting the control back into management’s hands.
Make your supply chain more resilient from the ‘early phase’ with 4SIGHT Yard and Dock Management System and rest assured that your supply chain has set off on the right foot.
For information on 4SIGHT or to schedule a live demo please click here.