In my last post I indicated some of the tangible benefits associated with yard management as a means of answering the question "Is Yard Management Important?". These benefits are real and sufficient to justify a project by themselves. However these benefits are only half of the equation.
Better Information the Key to Improved Operations
Information is the life blood of every business and I am sure that your business knows the important KPI's from the WMS e.g. cases picked per hour etc. or the PoS system can provide the average basket size of every shopper and so on.
But does your business know the KPI's for the yard operation or how the yard truly affects the rest of the operation? If not, then you may not know that a problem exists. You could be throwing good money away and have no idea.
For example; one of the metrics that retailers use is on-time delivery of trailers to the stores. In particular this metric is crucial during peak seasons. If product cannot get to the stores in time sales are lost. Furthermore if work crews are idle at the store waiting for the trailers, productivity is lost.
One of our customers was convinced that their warehouse was running at capacity during their seasonal peaks before they implemented a yard management system. All of their previous statistics showed that trailers were being brought to the doors on time but yet the warehouse was not able to load the trailers in a timely manner; this was a major issue for the retailer and seemingly not a yard problem.
After implementing Yard Smart the warehouse throughput increased by 12.4% during the seasonal peak. Further analysis showed that the increase in productivity wasn't achieved by processing more trailers, but by processing the right trailers. The inventory visibility that the yard management system provided enabled the operation to prioritize the unloading of trailers that contained inventory required for outbound loads. Also, dock productivity was increased by avoiding the congestion caused by handling inventory which was not needed for the outbound operation.
Bottom line - more products were shipped and sold with the same amount of resources.
So back to my original question: "Is yard management important?" As some of you have commented on part 1 of my posting, this is a contextual question. There needs to be a minimum operational volume to be able to justify a specialized solution for the yard. I wish I could tell you what that volume is, but this also is very dependant on the specific operation. That being said I hope you agree that the information provided by a yard management system is important and is essential in improving your supply chain operation.
Find the Unexpected Returns
If you would like to get more information, contact us for a demonstration of our yard management system - C3 Yard.