With every new implementation of Dynamic Yard, we have the opportunity to help people take control of their yard management challenges. But an often-overlooked beneficiary of visibility technology is administrative staff. Between making phone calls to carriers to find out a load’s status and collecting load documentation, manual workflows and redundancies put stress on every facet of an administrator’s day, and repetitive workflows make human error an inevitability. Every detail received and entered at the office needs to be accurate, but that’s easier said than done.
Here, I will dive deeper into the challenges a well-equipped yard management system helps administrative staff tackle every day.
Typically, the process to receive load updates from carriers is heavily manual, with updates made on a shared document. With manual data entry, it’s not only possible, but inevitable, that human error will weasel its way into your organization. The chaos that can ensue should an office staff member mix up numbers when assigning an appointment slot has detrimental ramifications for the entirety of the yard’s operations.
A yard management system is designed to eliminate that possibility for error by creating a unified system of record, putting all yard schedules, data, visibility and documentation in one place.
In many cases, companies can start using these YMSs as nonintegrated solutions to automate mostly manual processes, and to very quickly increase visibility to yard operations and their equipment.
– Gartner, Yard Management Technology Trends and Selection Considerations, November 2020
In a recent FourKites yard management survey, FourKites found that almost 60% of respondents consider manual appointment scheduling calls to be their biggest pain point.
Traditionally, office staff is blind to load statuses unless they are able to get in contact with the carrier and request an update. This lack of visibility leads to missed appointments and wasted labor. But modern yard management systems empower administrative staff with access to real-time load updates. This level of access enables them to access the information they would have received by spending time on the phone asking carriers for load updates. And better yet? It gives them that time back, to invest in more valuable tasks.
When carriers don’t have to answer multiple phone calls to provide load status updates, that’s a happy carrier. By allowing a yard management system to take over the hassle of providing that information, you’re actively improving your carrier relationships and incentivizing the best carriers to work with you.
Another opportunity for process streamlining is the organization of inspection documentation in a central repository. The status quo demands that administrative workers take the time to manually collect these documents, but it’s a needlessly time-intensive process that a modern YMS has the capability to expedite.
Interested in learning Gartner’s perspective on common problems in the yard?
Watch our recent webinar with Gartner VP Analyst Bart de Muynck to learn more!
Poor Labor Planning
Across industries, an immense operational issue within the facility is costs associated with overtime labor. One source of overtime labor for office workers is appointment scheduling. Whether it’s initial scheduling or appointment updates, it’s a busy job to keep up with the daily appointment schedule at a facility. Many warehouse management systems offer band-aid solutions for this functionality, but that doesn’t cut it for most facilities. A modern yard management system will incorporate appointment management into the platform to give you a singular, comprehensive view of the goings-on in the yard. With integrated carrier portals, carriers are empowered to self-schedule appointments, saving office staff countless hours of overtime labor.
Typically, a good deal of time is wasted searching for trailers on the lot. In turn, office staff spends time calling carriers to replace missing trailers, and the cycle of waste continues. With access to on-demand, real-time trailer inventory, organizations can save time and money, cutting down on costs associated with overtime office staff hours.
It’s important when considering a yard management system to take every possible user into consideration. We specifically designed our Dynamic Yard solution with the entire yard in mind. Whether it’s a yard jockey, office administrator or gate personnel, we communicated directly with our users to build this best-in-class solution, and we continue to improve the platform with input from our customers. Coming up in our yard management blog series, I’ll be covering the ways an effective yard management solution can help yard jockeys, shippers and dock workers.