Successful dock scheduling can generate significant results in the supply chain. Shippers realize faster, better management of the dock and savings on logistics costs can be redirected into reinvestment in the company or lowering product price points. Successful dock scheduling creates the ultimate win-win for customers and businesses alike. Of course, shippers should understand what is not working with dock scheduling practices today and how dock scheduling software can generate strong returns in a relatively short period.
What’s Wrong With Dock Scheduling Today?
The problem with dock scheduling today goes back to a lack of visibility into basic operations and costs. Freight costs include numerous components for pickup, cross-docking, freight consolidation and deconsolidation, linehaul, delivery to customers and of course dwell time, reports Canadian Shipper. While no one wants to sit waiting on an empty bay at the dock, it happens. The lack of visibility is the cause, and without visibility, dock managers cannot make the decisions necessary to streamline dock management as a process.
How Do Dock Managers Calculate the ROI of Successful Dock Scheduling Results?
The exact return on investment (ROI) of a successful dock scheduling software and improvement depends on the unique characteristics of each establishment. Those wondering exactly how such improvements could generate returns need to consider and know a few things about current dock operations, including:
The number of inbound shipments scheduled or otherwise received per week. Knowing the number of inbound shipments allows for the calculation of average weekly costs.
- The number of workers involved in handling or management of dock bookings and scheduling. Identifying the total number of people involved in scheduling ensures an accurate assumption of current costs and considers how automating such actions through a dedicated system will lower spend.
The amount of overtime paid to dock workers unloading/loading trucks. When carriers delivering priority goods do respect their appointment times, operations are often left with no choice but to receive goods after regular hours of operation incurring overtime labour costs.
- The percentage of daily time spent handling or conducting scheduling tasks as a portion of total work performed by these individuals, including non-scheduling tasks. Since schedulers can focus more on other tasks, this value reveals an immediate recapture of lost revenue.
- The average hourly wage or payments made to a third-party for the employment per scheduler. Again, this goes into determining the savings associated with lower stress and time spent by current schedules.
Additional direct costs related to poor scheduling, such as late outbound shipments, dwell time and attention fees, lost “Shipper of Choice” status, and more. Although these factors occur after the fact, they influence the costs of the dock, so eliminating them from the equation amounts to even higher profitability and returns.
Shippers can take this information and plug it into an online dock scheduling software ROI calculator to receive a customized report on how changing to a newer, advanced system will boost dock management and lead to higher profitability.
The specific report will generate the current estimated appointment scheduling cost and the total estimated savings per year
Best Practices for Improved Dock Scheduling Aside From Software
Building the business case for dock scheduling software is the most effective means of improving dock scheduling. However, that process can take weeks to complete and require a continuous back and forth between company shareholders and software vendors. Instead of waiting hopelessly, follow these simple best practices to improve dock scheduling now:
- Evaluate and determine the capacity of your docks.
- Set clear rules for arrival, departure, and holding drivers accountable.
- Thoroughly training employees and users of the system to accommodate changes in the schedule and meets demand.
Increase Dock Efficiency and Cost Management Now
Dock management might not seem like an essential practice in logistics, but a smoothly running dock is essential to success. Efficient, successful dock management will lower operational costs and lend itself to improvements through all subsequent supply chain activities. Unlock the secrets to success in effective dock scheduling with the right dock scheduling software, so request a C3 Solutions’ demo online today.