It has been barely more than a half decade since FourKites was founded with a mission to bring real-time freight visibility to a supply chain that, almost unbelievably, had been “doing business in the dark” for decades. Many were simply resigned to the inefficiencies and manual processes and strained relationships that all stemmed from an inability to answer a simple question: Where’s my truck?
What a difference a few years makes. As of today, we’ve brought real-time freight visibility analytics to more than 380 of the world’s leading shippers and to thousands of their broker and carrier partners. And along the way, working hand-in-hand with this incredibly engaged and collaborative community, we’ve introduced a slew of innovations – from Appointment Manager to Lane Connect to Dynamic ETAs for LTL freight and so many more – that have helped the supply chain improve on-time deliveries, optimize operations and spend, and ultimately deliver greater customer service and value.
It’s against that backdrop of incredible progress that I wanted to talk about our latest innovation, Dynamic Yard. Dynamic Yard represents not “just another” achievement in logistics visibility. It marks a huge leap forward, in that we’re bringing real-time visibility to a new part of supply chain operations – facilities. (You can read the full release here.)
FourKites’ Dynamic Yard, for the first time, connects traditional, siloed yard management software to real-time supply chain data and predictive ETAs. As such, it creates an entirely new category of software that enables companies of all sizes to optimize operations across all of their facilities. By infusing yard management software with in-transit predictive visibility and analytics, every aspect of yard operations can now be managed proactively – from appointment and dock scheduling to gate operations and spotter tasking. Armed with the ability to anticipate bottlenecks based on predictive ETAs, facility managers can accelerate gate-in and gate-out processes, shorten on-site time for drivers and optimize inventory across multiple sites, thereby reducing dwell times and increasing operating margins.
Dynamic Yard is also noteworthy as a comprehensive, unified solution that was created from many disparate parts. It builds on the yard, dock and gate control products that FourKites acquired from TrackX earlier this year, and layers on top integration with other key customer, carrier and FourKites applications, including:
- Customers’ ERP/TMS, WMS, and carrier ELD, GPS and telematics systems to fetch any missing information and to send back key events or data points
- FourKites’ core tracking systems, including details from electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) and electronic bill of lading (eBOL) documentation to enhance tracking quality
- FourKites’ Customer Portal, allowing customers to view important metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and reports across multiple facilities, and compare or benchmark the performance of different facilities for multi-site KPI reporting
- FourKites’ Appointment Manager, to facilitate expedited gate in/out procedures, no-touch document processing and unified communication flow across all parties: driver, dispatcher, appointment scheduler and yard personnel
- FourKites mobile applications, including FourKites’ Gate Manager App to give guards access to documents for check in/out purposes, and CarrierLink to ensure that small carriers and owner/operators have access to documents and associated workflows
With Dynamic Yard, FourKites has once again shed light on a part of supply chain operations that was previously siloed and completely in the dark. Now, facilities can be managed proactively and dynamically, enterprise-wide – and with a completely touch-free experience from truck arrival to departure, which continues to be critical during the ongoing pandemic (something else we’ve been working on over the past few months).
These new, integrated capabilities are a testament to the talent and drive of FourKites’ engineering, product, UX and implementation teams (including the talent we gained via the TrackX product acquisitions), and to our collaborative and inspirational community of shippers, carriers and brokers. It’s a new day in yard management. Stay tuned for more to come!
To learn more about what differentiates Dynamic Yard from traditional yard management platforms, register for FourKites’ upcoming webinar, “YMS Disrupted: Why YMS + Real-time Tracking Is Critical for Today’s Agile Supply Chain,” on Wednesday, August 5.