Tuesday, August 21, 2012

                                     YMS: The missing piece to the puzzle 

The main goal of Logistics and supply chain management is to ensure the flow of resources, between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. This process involves the integration of information to help manage and organize the data to keep operations running smooth and up to date.  Because of this, companies have implemented technological solutions such as Warehouse Management Systems and Transportation Management systems, but continue to overlook an intricate piece that completes this process; an efficient Yard Management System.  
A yard management system (YMS) is a system that is designed to oversee the movement of trucks and trailers in the yard of a manufacturing facility, warehouse, or distribution center. YMS is a tool which can help prioritize shipment arrivals, identify trailer contents, manage yard jockey activity, standardize yard processes, reduce the time needed to allocate vehicles to loads, and avoid unnecessary vehicle movements.
The Warehouse Management System (WMS) market saw significant growth in 2011, increasing by 10%, according to data from Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Services. Transportation management systems (TMS) came on the supply chain scene in 1980s and as fuel costs continue to rise there has been a significant increased in usage even in the last few years.  In contrast, as of 2012 more than 60% of yards in America are still conducting their operations manually on paper.

Jon Donchey, COO of Exotrac explains his experience in the field of Yard Management:
“Working in this industry over a decade ago entailed walkie-talkies, clipboards, extended time spent by yard jockeys physically locating trailers, not to mention the documents that were misplaced or weather damaged, all of which, in turn made me realize there was a strong need to have an automated, paperless solution implemented in the yard.”

As technology advances it’s important for companies to keep up with the times and we now find that having automated systems is the best way to minimize human error and increase efficiency. That’s why Exotrac has developed  a real-time, cloud-based yard management software system. This advanced technology can perform field-based functions that can remotely manage items, events, and actions, where information can be viewed real-time on customized reports via the web.
 Show me the money!
Some companies say they don’t feel YMS is a priority or it doesn’t fit in their financial plan mainly due to already having implemented costly ERP’s that have pushed them way over budget. But they are also failing to recognize that with a YMS they see a positive ROI in just a few months due to savings on administrative costs, time reduction and increased employee productivity. Implementing a YMS can often boost a yard's productivity by up to 30 percent.

Another financial incentive for 3PL and Trucking companies is offering Exotrac’s YMS as an add-on service that will provide new opportunities for cross-selling. The companies that have the necessary information systems in place to participate in the market for high-end transport solutions should offer their customers methods for tracking and tracing their cargo.  These companies can capitalize when their customers use Exotrac’s YMS in their yards.
Who’s watching your yard?
In addition to better management of yard operations no company should dismiss the importance of tightening the security of a yard.  With Asset Management we can now plot the real-time asset location on a map and closely monitor movement and operating status. Exotrac’s YardTrac provides better visibility with Graphic displays of  an entire facility including Trailer Location and Status. Without yard management systems companies can lose visibility from the time goods leave the warehouse and arrive in the yard to the time they are unloaded. A system such as YardTrac gives a company visibility throughout the entire process.

Companies that hesitate in implementing a Yard Management System and invest primarily on WMS and TMS are overlooking an intricate piece of the puzzle. Integrating a Yard Management System is usually the missing piece that completes a company’s operations.

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