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What is yard management software & how it increase the yard efficiency?

Software
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/TechnoVectors)

The professionals in the logistics and supply chain industry are frequented with the terms like ‘yard’ and ‘yard management.’ Most of the logistics professionals consider yard management as an extension of inventory management but yard management is more than just the management of large items like; tractors or farm equipment. 

An effective yard management in logistics industry refers to the process of planning, executing & auditing loads as per the needs of an organization. By streamlining yard management operations logistics companies direct inbound and outbound vehicles, trucks, loads, shipments & pallets, anything & everything moving from yard to dork. Yard management is an important parameter that impacts the overall growth of a company. Real time monitoring of trailers & containers along with load status help businesses avoid detention charges.

What is the importance of yard management?

The logistics and supply chain professionals will agree that most of the discrepancies arise in supply chain management due to delay in trailer status information delays or inaccurate details. On an average a trailer takes 3 days to move from one facility to another but in reality for two days trailer idles in the yard only.  These inefficiencies impact the businesses at the larger scale and might result in serious issues like production downtimes due to discrepancies in manufacturing operation or loss of sales or clients due to unavailability of stock at retail outlets.  

Key yard management challenges

A minor disruption impacts the overall flow of the supply chain. Undoubtedly most of these challenges arise due to the manual operations involved in the yard management services as reported by Fourkites.  

Here are some of the common challenges faced yard managers; 

Inventory management - Inventory management is the biggest part of yard management operations. The inefficiencies in managing yard operations due to the complex processes involved in locating & managing inventory and equipment at yard make businesses lose thousands of dollars every year. The inaccessibility & invisibility of the customer team to inventory in the yard results in delay in shipments that further impacts the customer relationship. 

Operational Costs - Operational cost is another important aspect that affects the yard operations. Manual check in and check out is the major factor that results in increase in detention time at a busy yard that results in wastage of time & fuel due to idling trucks that further impacts the operational cost, on-time shipments and customer experience. 

Dock Activities - The disruption in dock operations is the most critical factor faced by shippers. A single issue on-road can result in delays and affects the workflow. Without having real-time information about dock activities, it is difficult for yard managers to forecast and update the customers on the delivery time. 

What is yard management software (YMS)?

Yard management Software system is a technical solution that takes charge of yard operations of a manufacturing unit, warehouse or distribution center by eliminating traditional method of working involved in the process and giving a 360 degree view of trucks, trailers  and pallets in the yard to help in efficient loading and unloading of inbound and outbound shipments. 

Yard management system provides logistics and supply chain professionals with real-time information that helps in moving trailers from staging to dock and allows businesses to reduce operational costs of inbound and outbound shipments and increase productivity & on-time deliveries. Yard management system helps in giving real-time data to manage mishaps and help yard managers to redirect their energy in other yard management tasks.

How can yard management software help? 

The benefits of technical software in any business and domain are enormous. In fact, any software is developed to solve the complex problems that exist in the industry specific ecosystem and needs improvement. 

Yard management software exists to fill in the operational gaps of an organization and help in efficient management of yard operations. Here are some of the important benefits of a yard management software: 

Visibility 

The most important advantage of yard management systems is providing 360 degree visibility of inhouse and on-road freights. With the use of high-quality YMS, it is easier to take prompt actions to avoid bottlenecks & help in smooth inbound & outbound shipments. It's easy to find trucks, trailers & pallets and track SKUs. This helps in reducing loading & unloading time and improves on-time delivery. 

Planning 

With better visibility of yard operations, it's easier to forecast the supply, vendor and financial disruption coming at you. With YMS you can manage & plan driver/labour availability in advance and take inventory decisions based on the available data. 

Better Communication 

Yard management software cut down the major work for logistics & supply chain professionals - communication. With YMS it is easier to communicate with customers, drivers and yard hostlers and share real-time information about trailers, trucks & pallets. 

Security and Reliability 

Most of the shipments delay due to time spent on yards and issues arising at loading & unloading points. With YMS it is easier to track who’s in charge of the premises and who’s handling the operations at the inventory  & where goods are at the moment. This helps yard managers to save on loss prevention. 

Cost Reduction 

The end-to-end automation of yard operations and complete visibility of trailers, trucks and palettes help shippers to reduce retention cost, labor, fuel and minimize the overall freight cost. Better planning also makes companies a preferred partner in this competitive market. 

Happy Employees and Customers 

With high-tech YMS in place streamlines the workflow for logistics & supply chain professionals and it's easier for them to share information with customers. It reduces stress & anxiety and encourages employees towards productivity. 

How to select the best yard management solution?

Yard management system benefits to solve all yard management complications. A YMS should be easy to use and the one that aligns with the business goals of an organization. 

Here are some of the tips to consider when selecting a YMS: 

Identify the Challenges

Before choosing a YMS, identify the operational challenges that your organization faces and the real-world issues that you would like to solve. Start with understanding what is broken in your yard operations and choose a system that aligns with your business goals. 

Technical Adaptability 

Many people are involved in yard management like; yard managers, warehouse managers, gate clerks, third-party logistics providers. Choose a software that is easy to use and does not require much technical expertise. 

Integration 

Integration is often a big problem. Choose a system that can easily integrate with third-party systems. Ease of integration will greatly reduce the inefficiencies in yard management. 

Advanced Technologies 

It's important to choose a software that is built using advanced technologies such as SaaS, AWS, Google Cloud. Usage of cloud technologies is even better as your data will be private & no one else will be able to access it and will be secured in cloud-only. 

Testimonial and Reviews 

Research & client feedback is an essential part of choosing a reliable yard management software. Before proceeding with a software, don't forget to connect with the existing clients of a software company that you are considering and clear your doubts from the end users itself.

Conclusion

It's important to walk hand-in-hand with current market trends while taking care of your company’s originality. With the changing scope of time, especially with the advent of Covid-19, it's paramount to adapt to digitization to keep up with the changing phase of work.

Rupinder Kaur, SEO Lead, Fretron