Traditional Yard Management Solutions Are Quickly Losing Their Effectiveness

April 29, 2015

There’s no doubt that as supply chains become longer and more intricate, traditional yard and dock management methods and practices are rapidly losing their effectiveness. Today, supply chains come with much higher stakeholder risk, greater global expectations, sudden and dramatic changes in demand, and an insatiable desire for interconnectivity.

Old School Yard Management

Old school yard management tools are anything but productive enough for today’s logistics pace.

Following are just a few examples of how traditional approaches to yard management and dock management are still inefficiently addressed today:

  • Physical Inventory Management: equipment by type and the number of containers and trailers are only accurate as long as physical inventories are done on a regular basis. However, as soon as a trailer is hooked up and pulled out of the yard, the accuracy of the inventory has been compromised.
  • Yard Driver Performance: tracking and watching drivers by using a spreadsheet, or worse yet, a scratch pad or clipboard to write down driver moves, clocking in and clocking out, and with no way to determine which employees are performing better at their assigned jobs.
  • Detention Monitoring: live drivers typically have two hours to handle a load. Not having the ability to receive a notice—such as an automatic email that provides a list of trailers that are in jeopardy of detention—means that problems will only mount over time
  • Demurrage Monitoring: if a trailer is delivered on-site or a sea container is dropped in a particular location and there’s no way to monitor how long the trailer or container has been sitting, demurrage charges start adding up. For example, only 20 trailers in demurrage out of 1,000 in demurrage for four days at $25 a day will result in a $2,000 bill.
  • Missed Live Appointments: if product is brought from warehouse racks to the dock in preparation for loading, and the appointment is missed, then either the product remains on the dock and clogs up the area, or the product has to be put back and moved all over again for a new appointment. Repeated missteps can quickly add up unnecessary costs.
  • Broker/Carrier Communication: due to lack of notification via an automated tracking process, valuable time is wasted on the communications loop between shipping offices and brokers and carriers notifying them that shipments are late or early, or completed and ready for pick up. Having no time stamp record to account for when truckers enter and leave a property can possibly result in bogus detention invoices.
  • Scheduling Problems: when a specific department gets backed up, for example due to a missing worker who is out ill, a department supervisor might make unilateral, haphazard decisions to catch up. Unfortunately, no one else in the system, including scheduling, the broker, the customer, etc. knows which trailer was worked.

The list of problems and issues can go on and on, but those identified above can obviously end up costing a company hundreds of thousands to even millions of dollars in unnecessary annual expenses. That is where automation can literally come to the rescue. Within months, the expense for such automation can be recouped. And once that happens, your ongoing cost savings will make a direct impact on your operation’s overall profitability.

To learn more about a better way to manage your dock and/or yard, check out the newest 4SIGHT Logistics Solution white paper: Doing More With Less: Yard and Dock Management From an ROI Perspective.

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