Challenges You Will Encounter & Overcome When Selecting & Installing a Yard Management System

Written by: 
Posted on: 
August 30, 2021

Aerial image of many trailers parked in a yard.

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.

Internal Challenges When Trying to Select & Install Yard Management Software

When installing enterprise level software, including best-of-breed YMS software, you can expect to have to address a variety of questions and uncertainties that come with implementing a better solution to the current and familiar processes of your operation. Each department has their priorities and requirements, their agenda for what needs to happen, as well as resistance to change. Typically, every department of your operation understands that changes need to occur, but whereto start is hard to envision. Below we outline some of the most common obstacles that you will need to overcome in order to improve your operations with a best-of-breed yard management software system.

Software (YMS) Installation Challenge #1 – Justifying Cost & Determining ROI

Justifying the cost to upper management is often the hardest challenge to overcome. Management just wants all departments to do their job better. They want accuracy and efficiency. They want the yard to work and work well with whatever tools, if any, they already have in place. Unfortunately, without modern software like a YMS, which provides real time information, visibility, and timely communication between all parties, it may be impossible. The best YMS system partners will have information and methods to help you calculate savings and return on investment that are achieved fixing your yards issues. Typically, the savings are a drop in the bucket when compared to the costs of not operating well. Gaining quicker trailer turn times at the docks, having fast and accurate communication with yard drivers and tying their activity together with inside personnel, and learning from metrics, analytics and reporting that are available in yard management software systems makes for huge savings and positive impact to the bottom line. All software comes with a cost, but the best systems will easily pay for themselves in only a few months after implementation.

Software (YMS) Installation Challenge #2 – Project Time Constraints

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.  


Software (YMS) Installation Challenge #3 – Resource Availability

Key resources need to be available to help with the installation. However, many companies make the mistake of having too many people involved. They best approach is determine who does what in the operation, how they do it, and then translate those tasks into the YMS system. That already sounds more complicated than it is. You see, instead of copying an arrival in Excel or on a white board, now you just record it in the software. Instead of calling out a move on a radio and waiting for a driver to let you know it was done, now you simply request the move in the YMS systems easy interface. Folks who don’t do common yard tasks each and every day, don’t need to be overly involved in the project. IT may make tablets and internet connectivity available to access the YMS system, but otherwise should not need to take up their time with the install. The best YMS companies will provide resources to help with the implementation, so that your resources can focus on what they do best – working at their already busy jobs.

Software (YMS) Installation Challenge #4 – Departments & Vision

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.


Software (YMS) Installation Challenge #5 – Bureaucracy

In order to get a YMS project started, you are likely going to run into some bureaucratic obstacles along the way. The folks furthest from the operation and least likely to benefit from a system, may be the ones who need to sign off on it. In their defense, as they may oversee the operation plus the supply chain for the entire organization, they may be worried about disruption at a higher level. Helping them understand that a yard management system will only help with the oversight and visibility to this key part of the whole chain. Providing ROI and helping them understand the daily challenges is key to working through the powers that be.

Software (YMS) Installation Challenge #6 – Uncertainty of Change

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.

Software (YMS) Installation Challenge #6 – Adoption by All Parties

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.


Software (YMS) Installation Challenge #7 – On-going Support by Your Software Vendor

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 YMS Installation Experience Help Remove the Challenges

Image of a hand on a piece of paper designed like a target selecting a YMS system by touching a phone call button with the YardView Pro Yard Management Software logo on the screen

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.  

Contact us today at to schedule a demo and meet our team. We look forward to learning about you and taking on your most difficult challenges.

Schedule a Demo