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Yard Management Solutions: 5 Ways to Streamline Supply Chain Operations

With increasing pressure to reduce costs and optimize operations, organizations are looking at every aspect of their supply chain. That includes yard management with an eye toward streamlining processes, enhancing productivity, and reducing labor costs. Amid labor challenges, inflation, and weaker consumer demand, it’s increasingly crucial that companies get it right.

Yard management solutions (YMS) are key to optimizing yard activity and yard processes to maximize results. Coupled with IoT sensors to track assets and inventory, yard movement, and environmental conditions, the right YMS software can streamline supply chain operations.

What Are Yard Management Solutions?

Yard management solutions use YMS software to manage every aspect of a logistics yard, including:

  • Planning and organizing 
  • Processing inbound and outbound shipments
  • Dock management, dock scheduling, and time slots
  • Inventory tracking
  • Optimizing yard space and slotting of yard trucks
  • Asset location

Yard management software aggregates data from RFID, IoT sensors, and other asset localization devices to provide real-time visibility of everything happening in your warehouse or distribution center yard. Yard software can also integrate with warehouse management systems (WMS), inventory management systems (IMS), and logistics software for end-to-end supply chain management optimization.

5 Ways Yard Management Systems Improve Operational Efficiencies

There’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to warehouse management. Inefficiency at any step slows down operations and fulfillment while increasing costs and lowering profitability. In the logistics industry, time is literally money.

There are significant yard management system benefits when you employ the right yard solutions. Here are five ways your yard software can help your bottom line.

1. Increase Yard Visibility With Real-Time Data

One of the biggest challenges in the yard is the lack of visibility. A robust YMS system provides real-time tracking of assets and inventory, allowing yard managers to know where everything is at all times. Using barcode scanners, RFID, Bluetooth, WiFi, and UWB, you can track where every truck is, what’s inside the truck, load status, and equipment availability.

Sensor integration with yard solutions uses these mobile devices for real-time positioning to reduce dwell time, prevent lost assets, and eliminate wasted activity. It can save a lot of time, eliminating the need for manual checks and managing movement.

2. Improve Times by Automating Processes

In modern warehouses and distribution centers, automation is essential for efficiency. Yard management services can automate the time-consuming manual processes that hurt productivity and are prone to error.

Yard management solutions can automatically sequence and assign tasks to workers based on location, skills, and availability. Instructions can be sent on mobile devices, reducing the amount of paperwork needed. Automating slotting maximizes space utilization while optimizing dock scheduling produces a more efficient supply chain process.

3. Avoid Detention and Demurrage Fees

Detention and demurrage fees are profitability killers and get more expensive by the hour, eating into your margins. YMS reduces operational costs by optimizing slotting, reserving space for incoming loads, and managing gate appointments to coordinate arrival times with capacity.

This efficiency produces a smoother workflow with fewer backups and delays that add to costs.

4. Enhance the Flow of Inbound and Outbound Shipments

The most efficient warehouse yards run like clockwork. There’s a flow that may look chaotic to the untrained eye, but everything is in sync. That’s not the case in many yards, however. Managing the inbound and outbound shipments is not so easy, especially when dock space is shared. Planning is crucial to efficient operations.

Your YMS solution can manage appointment times to ensure staff is available to handle incoming and outgoing loads, and dock doors and storage space are available. YMS software can sequence staged trailers based on priority, destination, and arrival or departure times.

Planning software can also automate cross-docking to route items between trailers to avoid excess handling. Creating a fluid and smooth yard-to-door orchestration keeps things moving on time and accelerates activity.

5. Leverage Comprehensive Analytics and Reporting

Another big advantage of yard management software is the significant amount of raw data that is generated for analysis. Embedded data analytics can yield insights into yard operations and help identify areas for improvement.

Modern YMS software includes customizable reporting to track your key performance metrics, such as:

  • Dwell time
  • Turn time
  • Track utilization
  • On-time shipments
  • Labor utilization
  • Average delays
  • Detention or demurrage fees by vendor or driver
  • Late and on-time deliveries

Asset localization can also keep track of the total number of trailers in the yard, whether they are empty or loaded, damaged or out-of-service (OOS) assets, type of trailers, and more. Dashboard visualization can track all of these KPIs in real time so that you can evaluate performance and see the progress of changes you make to improve yard efficiency.

Predictive analytics can also evaluate real-time conditions against anticipated scheduling to avoid conflicts and organize yard activity on the fly, incorporating delays or shortages to reorganize most efficiently.

Optimize Yard Management Processes With the Best Tools

We’ve seen over the past few years just how volatile the supply chain industry and logistics can be. Organizations need to be agile, but efficient, to deal with unpredictability and minimize waste. By leveraging real-time visibility, automation, and data, warehouse and distribution centers can overcome disruptions, streamline operations, and improve efficiency.

While most operators have invested in warehouse management, fewer manage outdoor localization and efficient yard management solutions. Yard management software and IoT devices track and automate processes so you can focus on production, receiving, storage, and shipping rather than yard flow. 

InteriusTM from Sugere enables you real-time visibility and status for assets and inventory. This saves significant time by eliminating door-swinging and hunt-and-find for assets. Configuration business rules and enterprise software integrations let you automate manual tasks to optimize productivity and planning, including coordination of transportation schedules with 3PLs and 4PLs. All of this creates a supply chain source of truth with real-time insights and 99.9% data accuracy.

Improve your yard management and overcome supply chain challenges. Contact the yard management software experts at Surgere today to request a demo.

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