Separate Yard Management Systems are filling some of the gaps that do-it-all WMSs do not

How are Yard Management Systems are filling some of the gaps that do-it-all WMSs do not?

Shippers in many different industries are beginning to turn to yard management systems in pursuit of the most efficient processes. What a YMS does is not so very different from a Warehouse Management System. It seeks to reduce driver detention time, optimise the use of personnel and equipment, and fine tune all of the system priorities as shipping and receiving volumes change over time. The difference is that dividing your WMS and YMS into two different, communicating systems can be noticeably more efficient than having one solution to do both jobs.

yard management systems

So do I need a separate Yard Management System?

Whichwarehouse advise that a good Yard Management System will allow better control and tracking of your trucking assets, and let you use your personnel more efficiently on the yard itself. It can also show improved efficiency at the dock doors and parking spots.

Of course, whether you would benefit from a YMS has a lot to do with the size of your yard. If you only have a few hundred spaces, you don’t spend a lot of time micromanaging the yard, and the YMS options included with must WMS systems should be more than enough. Any extra efficiency wouldn’t justify the expense, or the time it would take to learn a new system. YMSs make more sense when you have 1000 spaces or more. 

Many yards in between those figures can see some benefit, though, depending on their unique situations. Several YMS providers are marketing real time asset location features to yards in the 250 spot range. They say that the complications arising from not knowing the locations of assets from minute to minute and confusion about carrier and dock appointment scheduling can cost shippers more than the YMS, but each yard manager probably already knows whether they need this or not.

These new stand alone YMS systems are of interest to many 3PLs and retailers as well, largely because many of them feel that the WMS systems available lack important features. Many such users have a greater need for real time tracking and virtual location of inventory, and need more overall supply chain visibility than their WMSs provide.

Of course, these YMS systems are still young, and will continue to develop. Providers tell us that within 4 or 5 years, some systems will include oversight capability for several connected yards, and a command centre-like interface. You should be able to pick out any time sensitive assets in the yard, such as refrigerated lorries that may be close to running out of fuel, and prioritising them separately.


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