The logistics yard is a critical part of any supply chain, but it can be challenging to manage. It’s an essential part of any business, handling the movement of goods between warehouses, carriers, and customers, but without an efficient and well-organised system, it’s easy to get bogged down in manual paperwork and tedious administrative tasks. Fortunately, with the right technology, it’s possible to streamline the process and optimise the logistics yard. Bespoke applications are the perfect way to do this, providing tailored solutions that can help make the most of resources. In this blog post, we will look at how developing bespoke yard management software can help reduce costs, improve visibility and enhance customer service, and ultimately help regenerate the logistics yard.

What is a Yard Management System?

A Yard Management System (YMS) is a specialised logistics technology used to manage the operational and physical aspects of a yard. It is designed to streamline the overall management of yard activities, including inventory control, order processing, loading and unloading of trailers, yard scheduling, and more.

A YMS is typically cloud-based and integrated with other core systems such as transportation management systems, enterprise resource planning systems, and warehouse management systems. This helps organisations gain visibility and control over their entire supply chain, from initial shipment to final delivery. The system allows users to easily monitor yard operations and make real-time decisions about yard activities. The software allows for real-time tracking of vehicles and containers within the yard, as well as providing access to historical data. A YMS also enables companies to allocate resources efficiently and accurately, helping reduce wait times and overall time in the yard, leading to cost savings. A YMS also helps maintain security in the yard by enabling security personnel to check identification and ensure that drivers comply with safety procedures. This helps prevent theft and minimise the risk of injury in the yard.

The Benefits of Bespoke Applications for Yard Management

A Yard Management System (YMS) is a powerful tool that can help your organisation optimise its logistics yard. And whilst there are plenty of off-the-shelf solutions available, bespoke applications are able to adapt to the specific needs of your business and are designed to increase efficiency and reduce costs by streamlining the management of yard operations. Here are some of the key benefits of using bespoke yard management applications: 

Improved Visibility: 

A YMS provides better visibility into your yard operations, helping users stay on top of trailers, containers and other assets at any given time. This can help to improve communication and reduce errors; with real-time tracking, users can quickly spot problems and take corrective action to avoid costly delays.

Enhanced Security: 

By monitoring activities in the yard, a YMS can help reduce security breaches, helping protect your cargo from unauthorised access.

Better Yard Planning: 

A YMS can help users plan and allocate resources more effectively, optimising parking spots and assigning tasks to certain equipment or personnel. This can reduce congestion, increase capacity and reduce downtime.

Increased Efficiency: 

By automating certain processes, a YMS can help cut down on manual labour and optimise the movement of goods and equipment within the yard, resulting in faster throughput times and improved productivity.

Improved Safety: 

A YMS can help improve safety, by tracking the location of assets and enforcing safety rules like speed limits and traffic patterns. This can help reduce accidents, injuries and damage to property.

Reduced Costs: 

By optimising processes, reducing manual labour and improving security, a YMS helps reduce costs associated with managing yard operations.

Enhanced Compliance: 

A YMS can help avoid fines, penalties and legal liabilities as it can help meet regulatory requirements related to safety, security and environmental protection.

Improved Customer Service: 

By reducing wait times and providing accurate and timely information about the status of shipments, a YMS can enhance communication and ensure that orders are delivered on time, leading to better customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention.

Bespoke yard management software is a powerful tool that can help organisations optimise and streamline logistics yard operations. Implementing a bespoke YMS into an organisation is not only beneficial to the company’s bottom line, but it can also improve the overall efficiency of the entire operation. To create a truly bespoke solution for yard management, it’s important to work closely with developers to assess current operations and determine which areas need to be improved, to help identify the features of a YMS that will best suit the needs of your organisation. For example, if you are looking to increase visibility in the yard, it may be important to develop a YMS with features such as real-time asset tracking, automatic gate entry and exit notifications, and even automation of trailer check-ins.

Getting the Most Out of Your Yard Management System

A Yard Management Systeme is a powerful tool for optimising and streamlining the logistics yard. When implemented correctly, it can save an organisation time, money and resources while making the process of running a logistics yard much smoother and more efficient.

Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your YMS:

Integrate Your Systems: 

Connecting all of the systems used within your organisation, such as the warehouse management system, inventory management system, and transportation management system, with your YMS will make your operations run much more smoothly. This integration will allow for seamless communication between the different systems and provide a single platform from which you can manage your yard operations.

Automate Your Yard Processes: 

Automating yard processes can save time and money, while also reducing human error. Automating certain processes such as check-in, check-out, tracking, and dispatching can help keep your yard running efficiently and ensure all vehicles are accounted for at any given time.

Utilise Yard Intelligence: 

By leveraging yard intelligence, you can gain visibility into the exact status of your yard at any given time. Yard intelligence enables you to monitor real-time data, such as vehicle movement, arrival times, and delivery status, and use this information to identify areas of improvement and potential issues. 

Sauce’s Bespoke Applications in Action

Sauce has extensive experience developing applications tailored to optimise the logistics yard, perhaps most evident in the in-house system created for Nestlé. With over 400 factories in over 80 countries, Nestlé required help combatting complex yard management issues and improving overall efficiency in their York site (this particular site sees around 500 trailers leaving the site every week to supply major supermarket chains).

Before developing a new YMS with Sauce, Lorry drivers would drop their trailers off at the York site, which would then be unloaded and remain in a designated waiting area until they were told it was ready to collect. Communication happened via two-way radio or walkie talkies and their records were mainly paper based, which meant that the system lacked visibility, making it difficult to track the driver, vehicle and trailer movements on site.

Nestlé had considered various off-the-shelf yard management systems, but ultimately came to the conclusion they required a bespoke solution to meet their needs. Sauce was able to work closely with the company to gain an in-depth understanding of their day-to-day operations and the challenges they faced. Consequently, Sauce was able to develop a unique yard management system to meet their specific needs.

The team at Sauce created a suite of bespoke applications for a flexible and scalable solution. This was made up of a new multilingual system whereby delivery drivers input their details digitally upon arrival at security, including their name, vehicle and trailer numbers. They then wait in a designated area where they can view the flight board – similar to an airport or train station information screen – enabling them to monitor the status of their load. When it has been loaded or unloaded, they can return to their vehicle and leave the site. Shunter drivers also access the live information via a tablet in their cab, meaning they are fully aware of all movements on site.

This system has regenerated operations and boosted efficiency at York, as well as enhancing on-site safety. The new system has been such a hit that it will even be implemented by Nestlé and its strategic logistics partner, XPO Logistics. Sauce’s new yard management system will be a key part of XPO’s new distribution centre which is set to be one of the most advanced buildings of its kind in the world.

Want to learn more about the work Sauce is doing to optimise the logistics yard? Read more here!