A Yard Management System (YMS) is software tool that helps manage and track trailer and container assets as the arrive, move about, and depart distribution center, factory, manufacturing plant, and warehouse facility yards and dock doors. YMS systems are designed to manage and schedule this process, optimize labor requirements, provide analytics, metrics, and reporting of this activity before assets arrive and while they are on your properties. One way to look at it might be that yard management software offers a look through the walls of your facility into everything that is occurring outside of those walls in order to make better decisions and operate a more efficient and well optimized operation.
But how do you get this project started and completed? What obstacles and challenges might you encounter while considering and then implementing this type of enterprise software? Who might you have to convince and then work with to ‘get ‘er done’? Here, we explore some key challenges that may arise when considering a YMS installation and how they can be overcome to help get the tool in place and you operating likes pros in no time.
Many sites operate 24/7, 365 days a year and they never stop running. It may be daunting to imagine taking on a project and installing a new enterprise level software system. How long will it take to get the software implemented from start to finish? When can you expect to start to receive the benefits? There are only so many hours in the day, and you already can’t keep up with what is on the docket. The good news is that YMS systems installations can be simple and quick. A YMS system install is not as difficult as installing WMS or TMS systems. Yard management projects can be done in as little as a few weeks and the most complex projects shouldn’t take more than 2 months. YMS systems may also be installed in phases to gain the greatest benefits like visibility and better communication in phase 1, and then add features and functionality to tackle other operational gaps when you have better insight and understanding gained from the YMS system. With the system in place, you will have insight into what are the core problems that need to be fixed, instead of too many daily fires happening that you can’t even see straight. Overall, the few weeks it takes to install yard management software will immediately pay back in dividends of time and energy that not having a tool and trusted system in place limits you from achieving.
Each department will have their own agenda for what needs to be solved with a YMS system. Each department will have an opinion on what that vision looks like. It’s hard to see how each department fully works together without a good tool in place providing that insight. So, crafting and configuring a system that works best when these departments work well together, may be the first time this wholistic view is contemplated. YMS systems will help each department with accountability and managing their piece of the puzzle. The system will show how important each piece in the larger picture is important and can positively or negatively affect the whole operation. Aligning vision for the first time will take some work, but the benefits are abundant.
Change is hard. Change is uncertain. Change is, well…change. The old adage “Nothing changes if nothing changes” really says it all. Your operation shouldn’t expect a different outcome unless you make some changes. Staying idle because one can’t envision the possibilities is detrimental to progress. Your YMS partner should be able to provide references and case studies that show how other operations benefitted by making changes that at first might be scary, but in the end, allowed for some real impactful growth and improvements.
Once the system is in place, it is imperative that all parties involved in the operation of the yard and yard activities, adopt the new yard management system. As mentioned earlier, it may be the first time you are really able to see how important each piece is to the greater whole of the yard operation. Activities that used to be siloed are now out for all to see, for better or for worse. Any software systems data, and the success it brings, is based on the information going in to allow for the information coming out to be accurate and helpful. You have heard it before: garbage in, garbage out. When all parties adopt and take ownership of their piece of the puzzle, your operation yard will be firing on all cylinders and have the ability to take it to the next level.
Once your system is in place, you will want a yard management software partner who is responsive, willing to help and available quickly when your needs arise. Working with software vendors who are non-responsive or continually put issues back in your court and wipe their hands clean are costly for you and your teams. Make sure you perform the due diligence when selecting a partner and ask for their references. If they provide less than 5, be wary of their experience and what best case scenarios they are offering up. They best vendors will be happy to share a wide variety of contacts and typically 10 or more for you to reach out to. Service and support can either be a challenge for your site for years to come, or a breath of fresh air when finding those companies that do it right.
YardView’s yard management system is a robust, cloud-based software that provides complete visibility at the gate, at the dock doors, and throughout your whole operations yard and we make it easy to adopt and implement. Our software can integrate with any WMS or TMS, or we can install our YMS as a stand-alone yard management solution for you as well.
With almost 25 years of installing YardView yard management software to some of the biggest and smallest companies in the world, we now how to help your project get done affordably, timely, and well. We help remove the obstacles standing in the way of your operation becoming more efficient and running at peak performance. We help every department work together and understand their piece of the puzzle. We train your users to embrace the software and see how it will benefit their everyday tasks and productivity. And then we support you and your operation for years, even decades to come.