Impact of Efficient Yard Management on Supply Chain Performance

Organizations invest heavily on tracing and tracking of transportation assets on the road to improve their visibility and hence their supply chain performance.

But many organizations are oblivious of the fact that the goods spend a significant amount of time in distribution centers and warehouses as they spend on the road. Any errors or delays due to inefficient management during these static periods gets amplified and reflects heavily on the performance of the supply chain. This is where the need of a well designed and well maintained yard management system steps in.
Yard Management

The yard is an outdoor extension of the warehouses and distribution centers, and this makes Yard management a critical aspect of supply chain management. With a clear understanding of all the operations and functions of a yard it is possible to identify the key metrics and use them to improve the performances. In order to identify the key metrics we need to first determine the common challenges faced during yard management.

Challenges

  • Lengthy load sequencing process
  • Prolonged gate check-in/check-out process
  • Delays
  • Time consuming yard checks
  • Multiple moves due to ineffective communication
  • Lack of information

Roots of all these challenges can be traced back to the lack of visibility of the yard operations

Key Performance Indicators

  • Parking space utilization
  • Dock door utilization
  • Driver performance
  • Equipment utilization
  • Equipment performance
  • Idle time for equipments
  • Parking space utilization
  • Freight-in time and freight-out time
  • Average distance for drive and move operations
  • Average turn time of freights
  • Equipment performance
  • Unproductive distance driven by vehicles in search of trailers

Benefits

  • Real time visibility of the yard
  • Availability of real time accurate information across the supply chain leads to improved decision making and increased collaborations
  • Increased visibility facilitating better shipment planning and management
  • Increased return on investment at a decreased total cost of ownership

Most organizations employ sophisticated warehouse and distribution management systems to improve their supply chain performance, but completely ignore the yard management aspect. According to a recent survey by Aberdeen Group, almost 60% of the companies still employ manual practices for their yard management. Such manual practices lead to high cost, data inaccuracy, lack of visibility and inefficient performances. A custom designed Yard management system can be the perfect stepping stone to achieve the real time visibility of the entire supply chain that every suppliers, organizations and customers wish for, thereby boosting the process of creating a lean and green supply chain.

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