The current digitized economy has seen many companies automate yard, supply chain, and transportation processes to enhance efficiency. Traditionally, yard processes have been handled manually, a factor that has hindered the movement of goods, trailers, and inventory management. Therefore, what is needed to make yard management easier and effective? Here are four comprehensive solutions to help improve yard management.
The key to achieving efficiency in yard operations is identifying the bottlenecks that slow down or limit yard operations. Today, yard logistics are plagued with movement challenges that often see stagnation of goods at clearances and the overall trickle-down disruption of the supply chain. Thankfully, emerging technologies are helping companies ease yard management and for quicker operations.
Manual operations are time-consuming and far from streamlined. Trailers and their associated inventory can now be handled using yard management software that provides insight into the fleet location, movement channels, and higher tracking. Integrating such software can be a good starting point to tackle logistical challenges facing yards such as lost trailers, late outbound loads, and inaccurate inventory. Read on to explore our outline of the four ways to improve yard management.
Yard-Based Logistical Challenges Facing Businesses
Many businesses out there are based around inventory management from several regional and international warehouses. But it is easier said than done to keep track of freight and inventory. And it is even a more daunting task if you don’t have top-notch inventory and yard management software. An efficient yard comprises an interconnected system of tools and software that locates freight and yard equipment, schedules inbound and outbound trailers, and manages inventory. And without such systems, managing processes manually will compromise efficiency. Before we shed light on ways to improve yard management, let’s take a look at some of the main challenges facing yard managers.
- Congested yards because of a lack of structured parking regulations.
- Inaccurate information because of the lack of real-time systems on reporting.
- Lack of tracking and locating software that can detect incomings and outgoings of trailers and freight.
- Time wasted in the case of lost trailers.
- The overall inefficiency in the yard translates to increased operational costs, which cuts back on the profit margins.
If your yard enterprise faces any challenges mentioned above, you might benefit from adopting the emerging tech and software in yard management. This will increase efficiency and increase productivity, save costs, and prime your business to new opportunities. But what does a great yard look like? An efficient yard management system is based on the following four pillars:
- Proper and up-to-date inventory management.
- Proper planning and tracking facilities.
- Efficient and real-time access to information.
- Improved security to prevent trailer and freight loss.
Ways to Improve Yard Management
Effective yard management is essential in today’s digital economy and the subsequent evolution of the supply chain. Lack of proper planning of warehouses and yards can lead to frustrations and irritability from trailer drivers, detention charges, and angered employees. Yard managers struggle with clearance, truck control, personnel, and management of yard equipment. But the following ways can help improve operations in the yard and enhance efficiency.
Increase Trailer Visibility During Shipment
The first to streamlining operations is to have sufficient visibility of all trailers and shipments. You must identify what trailers are loaded with freight, the empty ones, and those queuing awaiting clearance. The best tech to deploy on improving visibility includes GPS and Radio Frequency that help locate and monitor truck status.
Investing in such software seems fairly straightforward, but it requires capital outlay. And while some may feel deterred, the long-term labor cost on automated operations will outscore the manual alternative. To have effective yard management, it is important to prioritize optimization and automation of yard operations.
Use Automate Check-In Processes
Slowdowns in the trailer-facing processes are enough reason to anger truck drivers because of long lines and detention charges. But investing in technologies that automate truck exit and arrival notifications could go a long way in clearing parking spaces. This will ultimately streamline the process because yard supervisors will know trailer arrival and departure times. This automation technology is best paired with shipment trackers to ease the backlog and ensure efficiency.
Minimize Yard Clearance Zones That Have Signage
Demarcating your yard with clear points of signage is key to minimizing confusion. That is because your yard will welcome new drivers who have not previously been there. And to ensure efficiency for new drivers, mark your pick-up zones, repair points, priority loading stations, and arrival ports. This, alongside clear instructions for anyone arriving on your site, will streamline operations. It also gets better if those signage points are few and located far between as it minimizes yard congestion and the associated frustrations. Besides, you will ensure drivers are accountable for the position of their trailers to the designated signage points.
Merge Yard Management and Warehouse Systems
Yard managing systems (YMS) can become an unfathomable puzzle if you operate every system independently and can cause a challenge to the yard managers regarding coordination. The ideal way to go is to integrate the YMS with the warehouse and transport management systems. This way, it can be easier to track freight, manage inventory in real-time, and save time and costs.
The Bottom Line
Yard managers face a lot of challenges ensuring streamlined operations at their sites. From slow clearing times and loss of trailers or freight to angered drivers and late outbound loads, there are limitless problems faced by divers and yard supervisors. However, with proper planning and appropriate use of technologies and software, yard operations can be made easy. Automating operations first and foremost goes a long way in saving labor costs because of the self-service aspect; tracking shipment can help prevent loss of trailers and freight, and automating check-in processes can help clear the backlog in the shortest time possible. Besides, you can do away with the trouble of writing spreadsheets by automating your inventory management system.