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Jerry Seinfeld on Dock Scheduling - or How to 'Hold' a Reservation


You know how to take the reservation you just don’t know how to HOLD the reservation and that’s really the most important part of the reservation - the holding....

We’ve all seen the infamous Seinfeld episode where Jerry rants at the car rental attendant on the most important aspect of a reservation - the holding of the reservation. I’m sure those of you that manage warehouses have felt like using that same speech to drivers on the importance of RESPECTING reservations on the dock.


To avoid these types of scenarios you need to consider implementing a dock scheduling system. Making carriers and vendors accountable is one of the key benefits of implementing a dock scheduling system.

Drivers showing up late for appointments often mean that unloading crews will be less productive and potentially will push work to the end of the shift, which ultimately results in overtime fees. More importantly, the reason you requested product to be delivered at a certain time is because the business needed that product in the morning, not at the end of the day.

If carriers or suppliers are not respecting appointment times, what else are they doing wrong? How many suppliers are not palletizing the product in the manner you have requested or not labeling pallets as specified in their agreements with your merchandisers.

Conversely, when your operation doesn’t respect the appointment you provided your driver, your warehouse yard becomes congested with waiting drivers; risking that carriers charge you detention fees for delaying their driver.


Return on Investment – The Starting Point

So where does one get started? I'm sure that you’re thinking that even if you can justify this type of project, your IT department is backed up for months and you will never have access to resources. Well, there’s hope since a dock scheduling system can be implemented with very minimal or even no IT resources. There are many software vendors that provide “software as a service” (SaaS) solutions that allow you to get up and running in days without having to make a long term investment.


So now you need to quantify what your current operation is costing you so that you can build a compelling return on investment. Some of the questions you will want to ask yourself are:

  • How many appointments does your team currently process in a day?

  • How many times do internal customers such as purchasing or customer service call you to get appointment status information?

  • How long does each call or email take?

  • How much overtime are you paying on the dock that is due to carriers not respecting their appointments?


These are just a few of things you will want to consider. ROI tools that will help you quantify these costs exist; here is one example you might want to try :

ROI Calculator


Appointment scheduling is an important step in improving both your operational productivity and overall service levels. Here are 3 key reasons to make dock scheduling a top priority.


3 Reasons You Need to Improve your Appointment Scheduling

  1. Maintain an even flow of dock activity to maximize dock labor productivity.

  2. Avoid paying driver detention fees by processing drivers as they arrive on-time.

  3. Establish a process to monitor if suppliers and carriers are adhering to your company’s merchandising policies.


In the words of Jerry Seinfeld “Anyone can take a reservation....”, I encourage you to download our white paper on “Understanding Dock Scheduling” to find out how an appointment scheduling system can help you “hold” the reservation.