Warehouse Yard Management Brings Cost Saving Opportunities
Warehouse yard management is not given the attention and recognition it deserves within warehouse operations and is often thought of as a necessary evil fraught with liabilities, costs and maintenance.
The reality, however, is the lot of drop trailers is the lifeblood linchpin between the distribution center and the outside world of suppliers and customers that holds real financial value for a company.
A well managed spotting / YMS service will prioritize gate truck arrivals, keep tabs on vehicle locations within the yard, identify the contents of the trailers, prevent bottlenecks, reduce the number of unnecessary truck & trailer movements, provide overall visibility in the yard. The difficult tasks of locating missing trailers, expediting deliveries and identifying potential issues become much easier to manage.
Measurable Operating Savings and Return on Capital come from the following areas:
With full vision into trailer locations, trailer contents, tractors on the lot matched with orders allows the yard jockeys to effectively move through the lot with the same precision found within the four walls of a distribution center. The yard spotter will system directed based on need and least travel optimization.
Improved Trailer and OTR Driver Utilization
By knowing when a trailer is needed at the door; why the trailer is needed at the door (unload or load); and where the trailer is in the yard will increase trailer turns. The operational team will have visibility to know when to add / reduce its individual carrier trailer pools. Too large of a pool is just as inefficient as an undersized pool.
Reduced Accessorial Charges
Having real-time visibility to when a trailer arrived, where it is within the yard and when it needs to depart reduces / eliminates demurrage costs with container pools and prioritizes live loads to reduce / eliminate detention costs. The time dates will also provide a level of accuracy to contest the charges when they do come into play.
Improved DC Labor Efficiencies
The key to any operation is to do more with less, which is much easily accomplished with real-time visibility. As an example, consider managing the inbound flow of material into a distribution center. Some products need to be in the facility for today's orders, while others can wait. Through the prioritization of inbound material based on need, complexity of the receipt and the inbound team's capacity can flex for daily requirements. This visibility provides an opportunity to have a base inbound team that has additional flex capacity from other operational teams when they have a slowdown at various times of their day. While this a simplistic example of some of the efficiencies that can be found at the inbound receipt docks, the story is similar throughout the facility and its sophistication increases the more one digs into its operations.
Better Fill Rates on Outbound Orders
For those of who have worked in a retail DC environment will relate to the frequent calls and emails from Finance and Sales about in-stock back orders ... IT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN is usually found somewhere within these emails, but it does because of inbound inefficiencies, inventory accuracy, volume of orders on a particular day (sometimes self inflicted), etc. Their are several causes, but the fix is visibility and management of resources. While visibility and management seems simple enough on the surface, there are issues both inside and outside the four walls that need to be optimized. Typically, a DC operates a high level of technology that is tuned and maximized within the facility to leverage its people and material handling equipment for incredible accuracy and speed, but unless paired with the yard is really sub-optimized.
Where InTek Freight & Logistics fits is it leverages its agency assets, which also includes the utilization of 4Sight for tier-one yard management service (YMS) on the most complex and high volume yards. RFID technology is affixed to every trailer entering the yard brings a level of technology that ties easily into all major WMS solutions. InTek also can bring in smaller asset solutions for those shippers not requiring the highest technology. In other words, InTek offers something for everyone and ties in well with its other freight management services for full optimization.